Remember Darva Conger?
She was the "winner" of the first and only run of Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire. Chosen in front of record viewers from three thousand competing woman, within a week her fairy tale unraveled before a cackling country. Somehow, between the excitement of the on-set "marriage" and the reality of consummating such -- with all its attendant life commitments, bodily fluids, etc. -- Darva recoiled.
Right now, the President and certain Republican Senate enablers appear to have made a similar mistake of the heart, confusing short-term notoriety with true long-term happiness. Soon, they will realize the implications of their impulsive and highly publicized union with the panting Democrats, and the results will be no less putrid. Standing in for Darva's Rick Rockwell is a gentleman of equivalent smarm: Ted Kennedy. Like Rockwell, the Senator is dodgy about his past but quite forthright about his desired future. And like Darva, the Republicans desperately need intervention.
We all get into jams; that's part of life. Frequently, the cause of the problem begins with a pinprick of self-deception (e.g., it's not fattening, just one more drink, it's only a temporary job...). The Republican Party is paralyzed because some of its members can't accept the fact that we, and they, live in a changed world.
Readers Note: If right now you were reading a Wikipedia-type dynamic page entry instead of a compelling but hopelessly fin-du-siecle online journal, this is where you would provide your own update of the increasingly horrific grim immigration statistics. But don't worry: to understand the impact of illegal immigration, there's really only one number necessary to remember: 15.
Fifteen billion dollars is what it annually costs the State of California to provide direct services to illegals: education, healthcare, prisons (not including intangibles such as law enforcement, sanitation, roads, etc.). Fifteen billion dollars also happens to be the amount that is sent home annually in remittances from the state. Essentially, the illegal alien civilization of California is a giant wealth transfer machine, moving money from citizen taxpayers to the economy of Mexico.
This insane situation only continues to exist because of the inability of mainstream Republicans to accept the fact that America 2006 is a de facto welfare state. Democrats know how our society really works, of course, but they are smart enough to shut up about it. Sadly, Republicans feel that their self-worth is tied to accepting the notion that America remains a land of rugged individualism. Hence, the "settlers" from south of the border become the historical heirs of Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett.
How else to explain the President's statement in Laredo last week: "You can stop people from coming in, but there have been people here in this part of the world, for example, been here for a decade -- honest, hard-working citizens doing jobs Americans aren't doing, providing for their families, they own their home."
Note the President's curious inversion of damage. Since when does continuation of a crime count less than doing it once? If you owned a luxury hotel, would you be more concerned about a few teenagers who snuck into your pool a half hour ago -- or the twelve-member extended family in room 513 who've been there for a decade paying their bill on a defunct credit card?
In Britain, this particular self-deception does not exist -- at great benefit to public discourse. In early 2005, Britain had a national election in which the Tories ultimately did rather poorly. Mid-campaign, however, they did bounce up in the polls when they asked the public a simple question. In response to horrendous reports about the state of the health system, they put it on the line to the British people: Which are we going to have, a National Health Service, or a World Health Service? The question resonated strongly: opening up the services they alone were paying for to the rest of the world struck them as preposterous.
In the face of an even greater theft of social services, conservatives in this country seem unable to make as persuasive a political case to the general public. In the American public arena, there is an engineered disconnect between identifying who is providing and who is consuming social services. Unless and until this conceptual glitch is corrected, the statist Democrats will find enough misguided Republicans to prevent any true immigration reform.
Fortunately for Darva Conger, she had friends. Clearly, between the television marriage and the scheduled consummation, concerned individuals intervened. They explained the facts of life just in time for her to slither out of the mess that Fox Broadcasting had put her in.
So, if you're family or friend of Darva Bush, Darva McCain, Darva Graham -- give them a call, and speak gently about how it takes courage sometimes to face the truth. Hum a few bars about how love congeals and reveals the faint aroma of performing seals and all that. Don't embarrass any Republican by whipping out engagement photos of them and a smiling Teddy -- they just might dig in their heels. But by all means, tell them there's still time to change their mind. The Welfare State is here. Sure, we know how painful it is to accept the reality that Davy Crockett is dead. Tell them you know that calling off the consummation will be embarrassing, but remind them that a moment of pain is manifestly preferable to a lifetime of regret.
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