My grandfather, who was born in Oklahoma Indian territory, learned how to talk by walking behind the south end of a north-going mule. He talked short and to the point.

One piece of advice he gave me: Never buy a pig in a poke.

That aphorism translates to never trusting a used-car salesman — always look under the hood, check the odometer, kick the tires and slam the door.

Or, in the case of the McCain-Kennedy comprehensive immigration reform bill: never trust a couple of Senators who are trying to push a pig of a bill through without allowing time for debate.

Julie Ponzi at No Left Turns approves of former Senator Fred (Not-Yet-Running) Thompson’s similar characterization of the bill:

About the new “comprehensive” immigration bill in the Senate Fred Thompson says, “No matter how much lipstick Washington tries to slap onto this legislative pig, it’s not going to win any beauty contests.” That’s a great line but it also effectively encapsulates his point: the bill is too “comprehensive” and unwieldy to be good. If 1000+ pages are needed to satisfy everyone here, you can bet that no one is going to be satisfied–except, perhaps, those who don’t really want anything done.

Hugh Hewitt, a Constitutional law professor at Chapman University as well as a center-right radio talk-show host, has spent his weekend reading the entire text of the oinker. He summarizes his analysis:

There are so many problems with this bill that it should not be introduced in the Senate absent a period of open hearings on it and the solicitation of expert opinion from various analysts across the ideological spectrum. Even were it somehow to improbably make its way to the president’s desk, if it does so before these problems are aired and confronted, the Congress would be inviting a monumental distrust of the institution. There is simply too much here to say “Trust us,” and move on. The jam down of such a far reaching measure, drafted in secret and very difficult for laymen much less lawyers to read, is fundamentally inconsistent with how we govern ourselves.

Hugh’s multipart analysis of the bill is well worth reading — even if his opinions on the relative merits of college football teams are questionable.

The New York Times sees a misbegotten monster stitched together out of expediency:

But the compromise was stretched so taut to contain these conflicting impulses that basic American values were uprooted, and sensible principles ignored. Many advocates for immigrants have accepted the deal anyway, thinking it can be improved this week in Senate debate, or later in conference with the House of Representatives. We both share those hopes and think they are unrealistic. The deal should be improved. If it is not, it should be rejected as worse than a bad status quo.

Bipartisan dissatisfaction!

Captain Ed, of Captain’s Quarters, who had urged keeping an open mind on the issue, now sees problems with the existing compromise:

A few details have arisen over the weekend, however, that make me more uncomfortable with the compromise. The Bush administration insisted on removing a requirement to pay back taxes on money earned before legalization…

This is a huge mistake. It’s one thing (and not a good thing) to put illegal immigrants ahead of those waiting in line legally to enter our country. It’s another entirely to put them ahead of US citizens. Should we declare an overall amnesty on back taxes? If not, then why do illegals get preferential treatment?

And on and on.

Lonely in saying positive things about the bill are President Bush, his press secretary Tony Snow, and Senators McCain and Kennedy.

This bill cannot be salvaged. The Senate should kill it, and the President should push for enforcement of existing law.

[cehwiedel also writes at]

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