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Basing national laws on “teary-eyed children”?
Posted by: Billy Hollis on Thursday, May 24, 2007

The front page of USA Today contains an article on the intense debate over the immigration bill before Congress. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez are the first wave of a full court press by the Bush administration in support of the bill, and those gentlemen appeared before the USA Today editorial board to make their case.

The article was mostly about what Chertoff had to say. Much of it is the usual “We are bowing to reality” stuff.

The editors pointed out that folks such as California Congressman Brian Bilbray have been arguing for strict enforcement of current laws before creating new ones. That position obviously riles the Bush operatives, perhaps because they don’t have a coherent response. Here’s what Chertoff had to say about that:
Chertoff, whose department has staged a number of recent raids that have resulted in mass roundups of illegal workers and sharp protests from religious groups, warned there will be more if the workers don't get a chance to become legal. "We're going to enforce the law," he said. "People all around the country will be seeing teary-eyed children whose parents are going to be deported."
Teary-eyed children? That’s now the basis of our national decision making?

I’ve never believed Bush was a conservative. I always believed that his “compassionate conservatism” campaign theme was a dodge to keep from acknowledging that he really didn’t believe in conservative principles, and had bought into a wide array of liberal dogma on social issues. The prescription drug bill and his alliance with Ted Kennedy on federalizing education quickly provided support for that opinion.

But for goodness sake, just how far can his administration sink? Supporting the biggest change in immigration law in our lifetimes based on “teary-eyed children”?

What’s next? Forgiving all those bad real estate loans because kids will have to cry when their families lose their house? Kicking married people out of the military because their kids cry when they have to go out on a tour?

I realize there is a segment of our political spectrum that actually does make a lot of their political decisions based on emotional factors such as teary-eyed children. Some of them want nationalized healthcare, despite its clear failure in other places, because they just can’t bear to think about someone not getting healthcare because of the cost. Some of them put signs in their yard with such semantically null statements as “War is not the answer” because they are so emotionally repulsed by violence that they can't conceive of a situation in which violence could actually be the right choice.

Some believe Bush’s position on immigration is similarly emotional. He just can’t stand the thought of those hard-working immigrants being left outside the system.

If Chertoff’s “teary-eyed” children remark is any indication, I’d say they’re right. It looks to me as if the Bush administration is pushing this measure primarily for emotional reasons. As others have said, why is the fact that someone chose to come here illegally automatically a problem that the rest of us have to solve? Why is their well being such a high priority in the decision making? What exactly is so bad about attempting a more enforcement-oriented approach before turning our entire immigration system upside down, without any serious long-term debate on the likely outcomes or side effects of this immensely complex immigration bill? Because it makes kids cry?

I’ve disagreed with the Bush administration many times over the last few years. But this is the first time I’ve felt that they were acting like children instead of adults.
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
I’m thinking that the penal laws should be amended so that only childless criminals are sentenced to prison terms.
 
Written By: JDubya
URL: http://
Which supporters of nationalized healthcare are primarily motivated by "just can’t bear to think about someone not getting healthcare because of the cost"? How about some names?

As for Bush not being conservative, does that mean real conservatism hasn’t been tried?
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
As for Bush not being conservative, does that mean real conservatism hasn’t been tried?
Not by President Bush.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
As for Bush not being conservative, does that mean real conservatism hasn’t been tried?

Not by President Bush.
Not by anyone ever, I think.

Much of what is best in American political thought did not survive the challenges posed by the skilled trades and professional cartels, the mass labor unions, the Grange and Progressive movements, and what remained was killed off by Wilson in WWI, and buried by FDR and Johnson.

I’d rather have the best of 1870 carried forward and what flaws there were removed as mouldered branches, then 95% of what is law today.

Call me optimistic.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Which supporters of nationalized healthcare are primarily motivated by "just can’t bear to think about someone not getting healthcare because of the cost"? How about some names?
Five minutes of googling got me these:

One

Two

Three


All three stress the emotional side of the issue rather than cost savings or whatever. I’m sure I could find plenty more, but that ought to prove the point - that you’re being obtuse to deny that many supporters of liberal and leftist causes are primarly motivated by emotion.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
The warning about kids crying impresses me as a curt brush-off of criticism — on the order of:

Look dummies, whine all you want to but just be aware that yours are the hearts hard enough to make little kids cry. We’re trying to compete with outright bleeding hearts here for the affections of those kids and their parents — those potential voters who do tons of really important work very cheap, don’t ask hard policy questions (at least not in English), and might be able to keep Social Security afloat for a few more years if we can just set them up for more efficient fleecing.

You may not like our gambit for replacing, at your expense, your disgruntled derrieres with their grateful ones, but do you really intend to go running to Hillary and Pelosi and the others? Didn’t think so. So just knock it off. We’ll let you know when we need your input.
 
Written By: Linda Morgan
URL: http://
Well One is explicitly aimed at situating universal healthcare as part of Christian compassionate service. Two endorses the cost argument.
We have millions of Americans without any insurance coverage and many millions more with inadequate coverage. Of course the uninsured and the poor and near poor do get health care services, but they get them in the wrong places - emergency room and in hospitals, where the costs of such charity care is put on the backs of everyone else’s health insurance premiums.
And three suggests that the cost argument is over-emphasized by universal healthcare’s advocates.

I don’t deny that many supporters of liberal and leftist causes are motivated by emotion. Primarily is where I have an issue with you. How many wupporters of righty causes do you think are not motivated by emotion? Anger and fear are emotions too.
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
Anger and fear? Naw, rightys are motivated by hate. And greed, of course. But mostly hate. And lust.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://

 
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