Jed: It's too late to think of the 10 plus million illegals in our midst as an external problem. That's why it imperative to open closed liberal minds on assimilation and welfare matters. As for security issues, let me quote from the excellent John Tierney in today's N.Y. Times. "Mohamed Atta did not have to hire a coyote or swim across the Rio Grande. He and the other hijackers entered the country legally...." I cannot recommend his column strongly enough (available, alas, only to Times Select subscribers).
The Spectacle Blog
Wlady: The problem is both internal and external. I don't care about opening closed liberal minds. We have to focus on the security of our country, and the illegals' unassimilated threat to it. Are we going to let ten million become citizens? Twenty? One hundred? Before we can do anything else, we need to understand that our ability to assimilate them, and the costs they impose before they assimilate, is very limited.
We have to control the flow of people into the country before we can do anything else. Unless we do, our arrogance at proposing finely-tuned programs to let them work, be schooled and cared for medically, to get them to pay taxes and learn English is the arrogance of France, or ancient Rome. Start with the external problem. Until that's solved, nothing else can be.
Jed: We have met the enemy and it is us -- or at least those of us who are liberal and insist on telling newcomers they should never assimilate into White Anglo Male Americanness and by the way if you want to be on welfare and register as card-carrying-Democrats that can be arranged too. Closing borders won't open closed liberal minds. The problem is much more internal than external, in other words. It requires nonlibs to challenge the fundamental premises of contemporary multicultists. Building a Great Wall of China along our southern and northern borders won't do a lick of good on that front. (Incidentally, the Great Wall didn't do China much good either -- at least not until Western tourists turned it into a favored destination.)
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.
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?
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.
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.