Senate Democrats conducted an all night filibuster of nothing in particular last night. And this morning emerged from the chamber red-eyed, but rosy-cheeked with the flush of victory. As Republicans were unable to surmount the 60-vote hurdle in order to move forward with a floor vote on no bill whatsoever. It was a heady victory for exhausted liberal partisans, several of whom viewed the day as a seminal moment in the push to dramatically lower surface temperatures to a more pristine time.
Barbara Boxer, one of only two Jewish senators from California, stated that this represented merely the first step in a long and cold journey. She continued, “Our work will not be complete until the Northern Hemisphere is blanketed by beautiful 50 foot ice sheets.” The senator went on to describe the insidiously catastrophic warming that has occurred since the ice age, along with the many fauna and flora that have erupted like malignant lesions in its wake. “Look around,” she exhorted reporters. “Can you hear these birds? Can you see these plants? This isn’t what nature intended. Man used to ride mammoths in the Everglades and enjoy summertime ice fishing in Death Valley. But those activities are now lost forever. This is a fight for our future.”
Though passions on the environment are running just as fevered in the lower chamber, where Democrats insist that nothing is as effective at lowering ambient temperatures than the body heat from 20 million Mestizos: Democrats immigration gambit.
Hill Democrats and immigration reform advocates are almost certain they’ll have to resort to a rare procedural move to try to force a vote on an overhaul this year.
The tricky part is deciding when to pull the trigger.
Though aides say no decision has been made, House Democratic leaders are strategizing on when to deploy what’s known as a discharge petition, which would have to garner a majority of lawmakers’ signatures to force immigration legislation onto the House floor for a vote.
Advocates of the gambit are aiming to increase the pressure on Republicans who have so far resisted moving on reform this year. But the pro-reform coalition is split over the timing of the discharge effort — with some urging lawmakers to take it up immediately and others advising them to hold off.
One thing is certain, however: House Democrats won’t try to advance the Senate’s comprehensive immigration overhaul. Their version essentially mirrors the Senate bill with a pathway to citizenship for the nation’s undocumented immigrants, but the House Democratic bid scales back the Senate’s border-security provisions.
And so the opposition is formed, the pieces set. Will Democrats succeed in cooling the country with trash and tequila? Or will the obstructionists prevail again?