Friday, May 18, 2007

The immigration sell-out: quote of the day

No one really knows what is in the "comprehensive immigration reform" bill. It has been agreed on, but it hasn't been completely written yet or released. It will run to about 1000 pages, per report, and won't be available for examination until after the voting is done. Regardless, Republicans are already in revolt.

What appears clear even from the information available is that the only part that will go off without a hitch is the amnesty part. The enforcement parts are all on delay, under study, or weakened to the point of uselessness.

Quote of the day, from Mickey Kaus at Slate:

This is looking more and more like the Bush administration's domestic version of Iraq: a big risky gamble, based on wishful thinking and nonexistent administrative competence, that will end in disaster.

What disaster?

1) Lower wages for struggling unskilled--and semi-skilled--American workers (including, especially, underclass men) even when the labor market should be tight;

2) Income inequality moving further in the direction of Latin America--maybe even to such an extent that social equality between the rich and their servers becomes difficult to maintain; and

3) A large semi-assimilated population along our southern border with complex, understandably binational allegiances--our own Quebec. ...

Actually, I can see why some Republicans might not be so bothered by (1) and (2). But what about Democrats? ...

There was never much question for conservative Republicans about who was the better of the two candidates in both 2000 and 2004. But one thing that has always sat poorly with conservatives has been Bush's position on immigration. And the more populist-minded the conservative (read: "Reagan Democrats,") the less Bush is liked on this issue.

The Bushes have close ties with any number of members of the Mexican plutocracy. The Mexican system, whereby there is a small number of extremely wealthy families and a huge mass of working poor, doesn't seem to distress the Bushes all that much. Mainly because they and theirs won't ever be a part of the latter group.

The failure to control our borders and control immigration is a tidy arrangement between two groups of plutocrats in the U.S. On the one hand, you have the Republican big business interests who like open borders because they drive labor costs down and will eventually break the backs of unions. It's like a bottomless cheap labor pool.

On the other hand, you have the (usually very wealthy) plutocrats at the top of the Democratic food chain -- epitomized by Sen. Kennedy. They like open borders because they know that first and second generation immigrants vote overwhelmingly Democratic. It's like a bottomless voter pool.

Working class Democrats are fooled into thinking that controlling borders and immigration is a mean Republican thing. All too many Republicans are fooled into thinking that what is good for Wall Street regarding immigration is good for Main Street, too.

As a final note, the Bush-Kennedy-McCain amnesty/immigration deal marks the end of McCain's presidential hopes. A spokesman bravely says that they're glad it is happening now, and not this fall. But given that real immigration reform (i.e. enforcement) is an issue of deep concern to the Republican base, and one which polls show deeply resonating with a vast majority of Americans. McCain can run, but it is doubtful that he will now be able to hide. His chances of wooing the Republican base were always a long shot. Now, it's Hail Mary time -- and one can't imagine what he would have up his sleeve.

Enter Fred Thompson stage right.

3 comments:

J Kerner said...

Exit John McCain stage left. Hopefully. McCain was one of the Keating Five, criminals who traded political influence for cash. He is not worthy of high office.

Jay Stevens said...

You're dead wrong about "blueblood" Kennedy. The Kennedy familiy, despite their position in socieity, has always championed those in poverty or in positions of powerlessness. That's not surprising: a regard for the humanity of all, and providing the institutions to ensure the equality of opportunity for all is at the heart of being a liberal.

And that's why most progressives favor amnesty for illegal immigrants, not for ulterior, insidious reasons, like creating a base of future voters. (Remember, most of these immigrants are pro-life rural Catholics.)

Don't think like a Republican when guessing at the motives of liberals!

Montana Headlines said...

You are right that I shouldn't speculate about liberal motives. After all, I've not had any personal conversations with the Kennedys or any other prominent political bosses on the left in which they have explicitly said that a part of the attraction of high immigration levels is the prospect of more Democratic voters.

The Democratic share of the Hispanic vote in Presidential elections has never dropped below 60% -- and was only that low during the Republican re-election years of 1956, 1972, 1984, and 2004. Pro-life and rural or not -- that's a demographic that historically has voted 60% or better for Democrats.

Perhaps Democratic strategists at the top levels are unaware of this, and perhaps they are so principled as never to be swayed by this historical fact even if they are indeed aware of it.

By the same token, I've never had any personal conversations with captains of industry or Wall Street moguls about illegal immigration (or high levels of legal immigration) in which they have said that they enjoy the cheap labor and don't want to lose their cheap gardeners and nannies.

I therefore will retract that part of my statement as well, and assume that they are just in favor of sharing the American dream on humanitarian grounds.