Free Markets, Free People
Like health care, no one is going to argue that immigration doesn’t need reforming. It’s the amount and type of reform that’s going to engender the argument.
That said, is immigration next on the Obama agenda? As I said on the podcast last night, I expect the Democrats to push for whatever they think they can get through the Congress by November. I think they recognize that their window for the radical side of the agenda will slam shut then. And I think they see some potential – in the form of electoral support, even if it ends up being future electoral support – in tackling the immigration issue. Let’s face it – after November, they’re going to need all the help they can get at the voting booth, illegal or otherwise.
Given all the focus on health care yesterday, you may have missed the news about an immigration rally in DC.
Mr. Obama addressed the crowd via a videotaped message displayed on huge screens, promising to keep working on the issue but avoiding a specific time frame.
“I have always pledged to be your partner as we work to fix our broken immigration system, and that’s a commitment that I reaffirm today,” Mr. Obama said.
He expressed his support for the outline of an immigration bill presented last week by Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, and Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York. While pledging to help build bipartisan support, Mr. Obama warned, “You know as well as I do that this won’t be easy, and it won’t happen overnight.”
What’s been clear is Obama has promised a lot of people a lot of things and has delivered on few of those promises. The speakers pretty much laid out the “benefit” a beleaguered Democratic party should focus on:
“Every day without reform is a day when 12 million hard-working immigrants must live in the shadow of fear,” said Representative Nydia M. Velázquez, a Democrat from New York who is the chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
“Don’t forget that in the last presidential election 10 million Hispanics came out to vote,” she said. She told the crowd to tell lawmakers “that you will not forget which side of this debate they stood on.”
Wow – 22 million potential Democratic votes. Now there is incentive.
Don’t forget the bill Obama says he supports, the Graham/Schumer bill, requires a national ID. That is a new Social Security card (which, you were promised, would never be used for identification purposes) with your biometric info stored on it and on government data bases.
That’s a non-starter. Again, I am not the problem here. The 12 million here illegally are. I am not at all prepared to surrender even more of my privacy on the vague promises of politicians and bureaucrats.
Yes, immigration has to be fixed. So does border security – fix it first. Then, streamline the immigration process, make it easier to apply and emigrate. Figure out how to bring seasonal workers in efficiently and have them return home after the season is over. Offer a path to citizenship to illegals from the back of the line that requires fines, back taxes, an application process and a requirement to learn english. Address the anchor baby scam.
But, no national ID. Any bill that contains that is unacceptable.
I’m sure today we’ll see a certain amount of crowing from the left. Such is life. You ram an unpopular bill through by trickery, lies, bribes and BS and I’m sure for some it’s a reason for celebration. Principles, ethics and decorum never were big on that side of the spectrum. However, “by any means necessary” is. Unfortunately, like most major legislation, those who put us in this hole will likely not be around to shovel in the dirt when the fiscal lies bury us.
Today the right -and independents who don’t support this travesty- learn that elections do indeed have consequences. In November, one hopes, the Democrats learn bad legislation that opposes the will of the majority of Americans has consequences as well.
There’s more too it than that, though. I think Megan McArdle best sums up my thoughts on what has transpired in the last months and weeks, culminating in last night’s vote:
One cannot help but admire Nancy Pelosi’s skill as a legislator. But it’s also pretty worrying. Are we now in a world where there is absolutely no recourse to the tyranny of the majority? Republicans and other opponents of the bill did their job on this; they persuaded the country that they didn’t want this bill. And that mattered basically not at all. If you don’t find that terrifying, let me suggest that you are a Democrat who has not yet contemplated what Republicans might do under similar circumstances. Farewell, social security! Au revoir, Medicare! The reason entitlements are hard to repeal is that the Republicans care about getting re-elected. If they didn’t–if they were willing to undertake this sort of suicide mission–then the legislative lock-in you’re counting on wouldn’t exist.
Oh, wait–suddenly it doesn’t seem quite fair that Republicans could just ignore the will of their constituents that way, does it? Yet I guarantee you that there are a lot of GOP members out there tonight who think that they should get at least one free “Screw You” vote to balance out what the Democrats just did.
If the GOP takes the legislative innovations of the Democrats and decides to use them, please don’t complain that it’s not fair. Someone could get seriously hurt, laughing that hard.
But I hope they don’t. What I hope is that the Democrats take a beating at the ballot box and rethink their contempt for those mouth-breathing illiterates in the electorate. I hope Obama gets his wish to be a one-term president who passed health care. Not because I think I will like his opponent–I very much doubt that I will support much of anything Obama’s opponent says. But because politicians shouldn’t feel that the best route to electoral success is to lie to the voters, and then ignore them.
Please do everyone a favor, Democrats, and avoid talking about “polarization” and the “poisonous political atmosphere”. You created them (and if you didn’t you’ve taken them to a new and higher level) and any attempt on your part to shift the blame on others will be seen for exactly what it is – projection. Remember, it wasn’t the right calling those who earnestly turned out to oppose this monstrosity “fascists”, “brownshirts” and “astroturf”.
And please avoid whining about “bi-partisanship” and “transparency” as well. There was no attempt or desire to make this bi-partisan. The opposition was excluded from the beginning and then you acted surprised when they wouldn’t support this awful legislation. The process was about as opaque as one could make it. Backroom deals, political theater, bribes and legislation no one could read until it was up for a vote.
Yes, Democrats have set an new low for a standard in Congress – and that’s a pretty tough thing to do. Like McArdle, I hope they pay for it this November and November of ’12 and I intend to work toward that. My job? Keep reminding the electorate of what happened here. Keep the fire stoked and burning. Keep the anger bubbling. Keep reminding them that they were lied to and ignored. Keep pointing out that this bill wasn’t about how much the Democrats thought of the American people but instead how much they hold them in contempt. This was strictly about power, party and politics.
So celebrate on the left. Please. Do. I’d like to say you “earned” it, but I find unprincipled and deceitful grabs for power to be something less than that. It’s a gut feeling but I think you’ll pay heavily in November (I say you lose the House and retain a slim majority in the Senate sans Reid). At that point, you are barred from whining about minority rights, House or Senate rules, reconciliation and transparency. You’ve decided on a new set of rules and we’ll see how well you can live with them, won’t we?
And, since few will consider keeping their kids on their insurance until they’re 27 much of a benefit (and that’s about all that kicks in on this bill besides the taxes), my guess the fight for repeal will be popular, will most likely consume the next 2 years and will cost Obama his presidency in ’12.
Couldn’t happen to a nicer one term president. I’m sure his concession speech, barring a breakdown of TOTUS, will be a doozy.
In the meantime, let the law suits begin.
U.S. Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Menominee) announced three airports in northern Michigan have received grants totaling $726,409 for airport maintenance and improvements. The funding was provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration.
“This federal funding will help these airports better provide critical services to communities in northern Michigan,” Stupak said. “I am pleased the FAA has made this investment in our local airports and the individuals and businesses they serve.”
Do you seriously believe that Bart Stupak is so ill-informed that he believes an executive order will stand up in court against a law passed by Congress? Every single time the law passed by Congress will take precedence over an executive order. If the Senate bill allows for federal funding of abortions then the court is not going to set that aside for an executive order. Federal funding for abortions will be the law of the land.
So what is behind such an obvious cave by Stupak?
Unless Stupak is the dumbest Representative to walk the halls of Congress, he know his EO holds little but symbolic power. He has a nice autograph from the president that might bring a dollar or two on Ebay. And assuming he knows his EO is baloney, then you have to conclude that he just pitched principle (the supposed principle he found to be more important than health care reform) over the side. By doing so, he essentially announced that his former position wasn’t a position of principle, but one of convenience.
I can’t believe it was for airport funds although I do believe the FAA did “conveniently” decide now was a good time to award those grants (yes, friends – grants. That means your tax dollars given away to a few local airports in Stupak’s district). If it was he’s a cheap date. Or a cheap sell-out.
There has to be something more. Somewhere, hidden in all of this, we’re going to find 3o pieces of silver.
But hell, if that’s all it took, he’s not as cheap as Dennis “this bill stinks and I’ll be voting no” Kucinich. All it took for him was a 45 minute airplane ride.
Principles – something you can always depend on the left abandoning when the going gets tough.