CochranMcCain and Kyl reportedly voted for cloture on purely procedural grounds and would have voted against the bill on the floor. Though, even taking their votes out, it seems that Akaka would have passed if it had gotten to the floor for debate. There were enough dodo Republicans to have put this turkey over the top. That's a very depressing thought. I guess this is one time when we can be glad that everything now in the Senate seems to need 60 votes to get to the floor. But no thanks to such weak Republicans as Collins, Hagel, Specter, Smith, and Snowe. I don't know what is up with Cochran, Coleman, Domenici, and Grassley. The Alaska senators voted for the bill as a logrolling effort to get the Hawaiian support for drilling with ANWR. Such is how our Senate works.
Tim Chapman blogged the decision and has up statements from Frist and Reid on the bill. The contrast is telling. This is what Frist blogged about the bill.
It is a core moral and constitutional principle of the United States that equal protection of our laws and equal participation in our government should never again be denied to Americans because of race or ethnicity. And it is a clear provision of our Constitution that American states be guaranteed a “Republican Form of Government.” Both would be endangered by Senator Akaka’s Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, which was just defeated on the Senate floor moments ago.Yes, I'm saddened too. Deeply saddened. Though glad that they failed.
Senator Akaka’s legislation would have created a new, independent government within our country – a government defined by and composed of a specific racial group. Worse still, Senator Akaka recently made clear that this race-based government would have been under no obligation to remain within the United States or to adhere to the most basic of our political principles: “[T]he governing entity will make a decision as to what happens to independence or returning to the monarchy.”
I am amazed and saddened that some would undo the great success story of Hawaiian assimilation into our country that we’ve seen since the people of Hawaii voted overwhelming to become America’s 50th state in 1959.
Harry Reid has different priorities.
There are no two finer persons that have ever served in the United States Senate than the senators from Hawaii," said Minority Leader Harry Reid moments ago on the Senate floor. "I think we should give the Senators from Hawaii credit for doing what is right for their state."So, according to Reid and the Senate Democrats, it is just fine and dandy to established a race-based government and even leave open the possibility of Hawaiian secession. And don't forget that polls showed that Hawaiians as a whole were against the bill. One poll last year in the Hawaii Star Bulletin had 74% of Hawaiians against the bill. And 70% of Hawaiians today would prefer to have a vote themselves before the federal government just decides something. So, Senator Reid don't give us this malarkey about doing what is right for their state. They were doing what they felt was right for their race, not the state as a whole.
Check out Mary Katharine Ham's posts on Hugh Hewitt. She has been blogging about the Akaka bill all week.