The Spectacle Blog

Re: What Would Reagan Do?

By on 5.16.06 | 12:03PM

Wlady: I agree with you, in part. We're not going to deport 10 or 12 million people, so we have to make sure that those who stay assimilate. To do that, they have to start with some sort of guest worker program and eventually gain citizenship. If we don't do this, we'll be the functional equivalent of France or Chechnya in a few decades. And this has to be accompanied by the utter destruction of the barriers to assimilation the libs have constructed over the years. All the multiculti bilingual nonsense has to be erased.

My problem is that none of this can possibly work unless and until we close both borders. If we don't do that first, nothing else can be done. And the president is unwilling to bite the bullet on that. All the rest, without closing the border and controlling the flow of people in and money out, is just blue smoke and mirrors.

What Would Reagan Do?

By on 5.16.06 | 11:57AM

The Wall Street Journal probably went to press last night too soon to react to the Bush immigration address. Instead it ran this fine editorial, "Reagan on Immigration." I can't recommend it enough, especially to those who today are fulminating against Bush, turning him off minutes into his speech, shutting off debate, burying their heads in the desert sand instead of squarely facing our long, complicated history with labor streaming up from the south in response to our own economic demands and enriching our nation' economy as a result.

Perfection is the enemy of the good -- we're not going to settle decades of history via presidential fiat. Conservatives used to be the first to know that life is unfair -- and it is unfair whether you're a fugitive low-wage laborer in a foreign environment risking deportation at a moment's notice or whether you're the same laborer who might luck into permanent resident status after years on the denigrated margins. Is it really a problem if sometimes the last shall be first?

Wal-Mart Profits

By on 5.16.06 | 11:20AM

Are up by 6.2 percent in the first quarter. Next thing you know, Bill O'Reilly will accuse them of price gouging, and Bill Frist will propose rebate checks.

Wisconsin No, but Maybe

By on 5.16.06 | 11:02AM

Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson this week announced he would NOT run for his old job, which leaves the GOP field to promising but less known candidate Mark Green. But the story in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel did contain this news:

Bob Wood, a former chief of staff for Thompson in Madison and Washington, said Sunday that Thompson's statement deliberately left open the possibility that he might still run against U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.). That is considered unlikely, however.

Thompson "will make that (Senate) decision this week," Wood said.

Thompson left Madison on Sunday and was not available for further comment, a spokesman said.

This Senate thing should be of interest to all political junkies, because a race between the extremely popular Thompson (one of the best governors ever, ANYWHERE), and the also popular, fairly congenial Kohl would be one of the most fascinating and closest Senate races anywhere in a long, long time.

A Reader Reacts: “Milk and Cookies”

By on 5.16.06 | 8:59AM

While our readers may be across the board on the President's speech last night, I expect many will agree with these sentiments:

The President turned me off 2:13 into his speech. I turned him off 23 seconds later. The opener should have been something about, um, the barbarians are inside the wall -- but no. Milk and cookies.

Good people are trying hard to make it seem as though it wasn't so bad -- but it was. The bones he threw us will be eaten by feral dogs, a booming industry in Pathway-To-Citizenship fraud will enrich an army of fixers, and we shall be overwhelmed.

Bush’s French Proposal

By on 5.16.06 | 8:14AM

The setup to one of the best French jokes asks, “How many Frenchmen does it take to defend Paris?” The answer, of course, is “Nobody knows because they’ve never tried.” That came to mind Monday night when President Bush said that, “The reality is that there are many people on the other side of our border who will do anything to come to America to work and build a better life. They walk across miles of desert in the summer heat, or hide in the back of 18-wheelers to reach our country. This creates enormous pressure on our border that walls and patrols alone will not stop.” How do we know walls and border patrols won’t stop illegal immigration? We’ve never tried.

An Initial Reaction

By on 5.15.06 | 10:53PM

I'm getting to the speech at a late hour (thanks to the wonders of C-Span). My quick reaction is that the substance is generally strong. The deployment of technology and the Guard is heartening, if 6,000 troops are enough. Ending catch and release and employing some sort of employment verification are good starts.

But some rhetoric is troubling: there is an absence of a sense of injustice over the wanton violation of American laws. I wonder if President Bush would be as forgiving of marijuana use or any other systemic crime. The temporary worker program is more of the same -- but as we know, the devil is in the details of fines, how long people have been in the country, etc. The White House and Senate plans we have already seen are essentially automatic plans to citizenship, or at least cheap forgiveness. Both of which sound an awful lot like amnesty to me.

Lastly, it is unfortunate Bush is drawing a line by insisting that border security must be linked to his neo-amnesty program. The program is optional -- border security is just doin' the job.