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Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Clueless Over Illegal Invasions

If the Democrats take the House of Representatives and impeach President Bush, he has nobody but himself to blame; he destroyed his party through his baffling insistence on amnesty for illegal aliens and a guest-worker sham which is the equivalent of tossing a steak on top of an ant hill. Frankly, the President`s duty is to faithfully execute the laws of the United States, and his willful failure to do so is, frankly, something which could legitimately be used to impeach him. (The Democrats like Bush`s approach, however, so any impeachment will not include this.) Bush`s bizzare views, and the knock-kneed response from many Republicans-particularly in the Senate- have done more to disaffect the base, which was already miffed about out-of-control spending and Bush`s ``compassionate conservatism`` which is code for sounding conservative but following a liberal agenda. Bush himself brought this issue to a head, and and the blame for a Republican loss of Congress will rest squarely with Mr. Bush.

Which brings up Robert Novak; Novak understands this issue is sinking Republicans, but not the contempt he holds for those who want to stop millions of aliens from invading our country. He refers to our views as ``ugly nativism`` and argues that we must have these workers to fill jobs. He thinks that Americans are opposed to this flood out of selfish economic motives (they take American jobs) and not on principle. I would suggest Mr. Novak read the history of Texas; we are in the process of the ``reconquista`` a reversal of what happened in Texas in the early 19th century. If stopping millions of people from breaking your laws, settling your lands, and eventually destroying your country is ``ugly nativism`` then I am a proud ugly nativist. The reality is that most of us have no problem with legal immigration, the kind where the immigrant wants to become an American. This is different-this is like what happened to Lebanon, or the old Roman Empire. We are being swallowed by our open border policy, and the man who is supposed to defend us has joined the enemy.

Novak shows that he is an insider, and, like the rest of the Washington establishment, is completely clueless about this issue.

Here`s Novak`s piece:

Immigration: Republicans have all but decided to scuttle immigration reform legislation that has become a noose around their necks. The perception that Republicans are doing nothing on immigration could be very damaging. This is why the House leadership's decision to put some kind of border-security bill on the floor may be smart, even if it has no chance of becoming law. Meanwhile, Republicans may get some border enforcement provisions passed into law through the appropriations process, including a partial fence on the Mexican border.

Both the Senate Republican leadership's unofficial agenda for the last pre-election session of Congress (beginning this week) and a privately circulated White House legislative wish list are extraordinarily heavy. But immigration is not mentioned on either expansive list. The nail in the coffin for comprehensive immigration reform was probably the Congressional Budget Office report that detailed the $127-billion price tag for the Senate's guest-worker program.

In retrospect, the President's decision to make immigration a big election-year issue was particularly unwise. This is not to say that the issue is permanently intractable, or that immigration reform should not happen -- only that it has been handled as clumsily as possible by the White House. Bush could have called on Congress to pass tough border-security measures and then tinker quietly and gradually to raise legal immigration quotas, but he instead took head-on the task of implementing sweeping reforms that frighten many average Americans.

But at the urging of the business lobby -- whose need for many more workers is very real in today's low-unemployment, high-wage environment -- Bush has created the wedge issue that works against his own party, and it came to a head just months before an election. His forcing of the immigration issue has forced Republicans to take sides at a very inopportune time between an ugly nativism and an anti-populist position which -- to rank-and-file voters of both parties -- appears to favor open borders at the expense of American workers. In other words, President Bush created a lose-lose issue for his own party going into an already-tough election year. Now he's abandoned it altogether, just as he abandoned Social Security and tax reforms when they failed as political issues.

At this point, Republicans can approach immigration in one of three ways: (1) pass the lax Senate immigration-reform bill before the election, (2) campaign vigorously for stronger border security or against illegal aliens, or (3) set the issue aside until after the election. It is clear that after months of trying to force the first option, the White House is now being forced to adopt the third. Various House and Senate campaigns are moving to the second option, in order to create distance between themselves and an unpopular President.

This summer's legislative debate has also driven many Republicans to attempt option No. 2 because they fear the reaction of their base if they appear to be too accommodating to illegal immigration. This "nativist" posture, however, is political fool's gold, except perhaps in a very limited number of local constituencies. Immigration is a local issue in some parts of the country, such as the San Diego district where Rep. Brian Bilbray (R) rode nativism to victory in a special election this year, and perhaps in some parts of Arizona. But it will fail in most places, and in the long run, it will hurt Republicans not only with the emerging Hispanic electorate but also with the business community and a wealthy, white suburban demographic that shrinks in horror from the specter of nativism.

Still, the short-term loss from appearing to pursue an open-borders position could be just as bad for the GOP. If any single issue causes the Republican base to sit it out in 2006, this will probably be it. That Republicans have finally figured this out is a good sign for them, but it is perhaps too late to do them much good. Democrats, meanwhile, can only benefit from this fight, and all they have to do is stand by and watch, unless they are foolish enough to throw themselves in front of the "border security" train when these provisions come up for a vote.



Anonymous Mike Austin said...

Spot on as usual. I do not understand why Bush loves open borders and refuses to enfore US law. And I do not understand why he seems to bow down to the UN. Maybe at heart is is a transnationalist.

Alas, I think Buchanan is right about our border mess.

2:52 PM  

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