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Tilting at Windmills

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June 21, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

IMMIGRATION UPDATE....Is immigration reform dead? It sure sounds like it.

Kevin Drum 1:07 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (63)

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Comments

Passing a bad bill is bad.

Congress needs to take the time to get it right.

Posted by: Down goes Frazier on June 21, 2006 at 1:23 AM | PERMALINK

I don't think that immigrants can be reformed. We'll just have to take them the way they are.

Posted by: craigie on June 21, 2006 at 1:30 AM | PERMALINK

But I thought immigration was a crisis and we urgently needed to close our borders. Are the Republicans cutting and running? Or maybe the whole thing was an election-year ploy and they dropped it like a hot potato.

Posted by: croatoan on June 21, 2006 at 1:38 AM | PERMALINK

Or maybe the whole thing was an election-year ploy and they dropped it like a hot potato.

No, that could never be. Those steely republicans would never play politics with vital areas of national interest. Never, I say!

Posted by: craigie on June 21, 2006 at 1:42 AM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: cxmmc on June 21, 2006 at 1:44 AM | PERMALINK

Cheney, "huge setback for Bush" wasn't Kevin's phrase.

I think we all realize that Republican's don't want a legislative record on immigration. They think it will be better for the chances in November if they can just focus their rhetoric on particular aspects that have been polster tested in their district. It's hard work carrying water for corporations utilizing cheap labor while at the same time trying to get votes from folks who think immigrants are taking their jobs, raising crime rates, and carrying TB to their children's schools.

Posted by: B on June 21, 2006 at 1:44 AM | PERMALINK

and carrying TB to their children's schools.

Yikes, there's a new thing to be afraid of. Just another reason for universal health care, it seems...

Posted by: craigie on June 21, 2006 at 1:45 AM | PERMALINK

I agree with cxmmc.

Posted by: jimBOB on June 21, 2006 at 2:22 AM | PERMALINK

Craigie -- You, evidently, don't listen to enough talk radio. Good point about universal healthcare though. For the time being a lot of illegal immigrants avoid health care clinics. This puts me at risk of getting multi-drug resistant TB from my gardener, masseuse, or butler. There is only a 50% cure rate and I'm told by my personal assistant that it can not be raised by simply giving the doctor more and more money. This is not the way the free market is supposed to work. I have an appointment with John Stossel soon to see if I can figure out how liberals are using communicable diseases to confuse me.

Posted by: B on June 21, 2006 at 2:25 AM | PERMALINK

Ooh, the base is gonna loooove this.

Posted by: ItAintEazy on June 21, 2006 at 2:33 AM | PERMALINK

Good ridence. Fucking xenophobes. Fuckers messed up the DPW deal too. Goddamn idiots, making us look like assholes to get votes.

It's just not worth our energy to deal with the cluster fuck. We should just leave well enough alone.

Posted by: aaron on June 21, 2006 at 2:35 AM | PERMALINK

"Optional trim" means that the section so identified can be left out of the article when reprinting it in another newspaper without losing the gist of the original article.

Posted by: Linkmeister on June 21, 2006 at 2:53 AM | PERMALINK

Don't help Chuckles - it's fun to watch him bang around in the dark, cluelessly.

Posted by: craigie on June 21, 2006 at 3:07 AM | PERMALINK

This liberal says congrats to the House.

Posted by: Cal State Disneyland on June 21, 2006 at 3:09 AM | PERMALINK

Ah, craigie, my Mom raised me to be kind to everyone, even fools.

Posted by: Linkmeister on June 21, 2006 at 3:22 AM | PERMALINK

"...Tancredo added that the hearings were designed to build support for an enforcement-only approach adopted by the House in a bill it passed in December..."

Ohhh yea, please put Tancredo in charge of this

Please, please, please

Democratic Bonanza in November guaranteed

"...a culture of hiring children to do work that requires experience leads to childish results." - Robert Cahn

Posted by: daCascadian on June 21, 2006 at 3:41 AM | PERMALINK

The aim is to stretch it out until November, so that the House GOP can run against Bush if necessary. Immigration law is hard; GOP congresscritters are dumb; wetback-baiting is easy.

Posted by: ahem on June 21, 2006 at 4:10 AM | PERMALINK

Bush's style is to get bills passed without worrying too much about the specifics. He tends to let Congress make whatever sausage they like. Unfortunately, all this Congress knows how to do is to give goodies away vis earmarks. There's not much public policy expertise.

The preposterous Senate bill does more to impede enforcement than to toughen it. It also adds much bureaucratic silliness.

I don't like the House bill, either. We already have an immigration law. We welcome more legal immigrants than any other country AFAIK. It's the executive branch's job to enforce the law. The Homeland Security Dept. has lots of resources.

I think illegal immigration is a serious matter, but I don't see a plan that makes sense.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 21, 2006 at 5:18 AM | PERMALINK

Huh.

So it seem that unlike the congressional Democrats of 1994, the congressional Republicans have the common sense to not commit political suicide in fealty to their President.

Posted by: Brad on June 21, 2006 at 6:40 AM | PERMALINK

So it seem that unlike the congressional Democrats of 1994, the congressional Republicans have the common sense to not commit political suicide in fealty to their President.

They already did. This is just how the circus is run when the clowns are in charge.


Posted by: SnarkyShark on June 21, 2006 at 8:02 AM | PERMALINK

Ex-lib. We may welcome more legal immigrants than most countries. We are also bigger than most. So it's not a matter of quantity.
It's a matter about whether the system works. It doesn't. It's haphazardly applied. Does not make sense from the outside (which is one reason that people move here first and then sort the details out with a local lawyer) is not applied evenly or fairly to people of equal backgrounds (like much of American life -- you get more if you can pay for it) and unlike 19 other countries (including our beloved friend Israel) we do not allow immigration for same-sex permanent partners as the government does not recognize same-sex families (or at least Immigration doesn't, the State Department does, and regularly secures visas etc. for partners of its employees).
I grant you that the thing is a mess. It's broken and it needs to be fixed.
Unfortunately the idiots here in Washington have absolutely no idea how to do it. Or even what immigration policy should look like. (Or good policy period.) Which is why we ended up in the mess we have so far -- a hodgepodge of laws that even lawyers can't figure out.

Posted by: DC1974 on June 21, 2006 at 8:14 AM | PERMALINK

>but I don't see a plan that makes sense.

That's because you are looking for something that has to do with straightening out the whole immigration system.

If you're looking for a plan that will allow Rethugs to hold Congress in November, then a pair of wacked-out, unreconcilable bills that re-start the controversy from scratch mid-summer makes perfect sense.

These people care nothing about immigration, fiscal policy, foreign policy, all they are there for is to stuff wads of cash down their backer's gullets.

Posted by: doesn't matter on June 21, 2006 at 8:14 AM | PERMALINK

what?!?! no body opposes Bush! it's a war on terror, whay a bunch of dissenting traitors!

the borders are our most important resource and i'm not going to let a bunch of muslimic fundamentalists come through, unless they'll work for 8/hr shucking bricks.

Posted by: mi$$ioncomplished on June 21, 2006 at 8:50 AM | PERMALINK

it's about time the congress got on board the mission accomplished train and pay attention to the deciders decisions.

no body anticipated the congress opposing the decider again after they cleared up the right (wing) play on NSA.

Posted by: mi$$ioncomplished on June 21, 2006 at 8:55 AM | PERMALINK

kevin: Is immigration reform dead?


gop blew their wad on gays, flag burning and a resolution with no legal or financial power supporting the iraq war...


gotta have priorities...

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 21, 2006 at 9:24 AM | PERMALINK

fwg: obstructionism

riiight...its not the republicans fault...

they just run things...

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 21, 2006 at 9:29 AM | PERMALINK

I want to thank all of you lefties so much for putting Howard Dean in his current position. Just let him continue to set the agenda and there will be another "inconvenient truth" for all of you this fall.......

gotta have focus........

gotta have consistency..........

gotta have a vision.......

gotta have a platform..........

Posted by: Jay on June 21, 2006 at 9:59 AM | PERMALINK

I told you this would happen. The GOP is trying to regain their balance, walking a fine line between keeping the cheap labor coming and recycling those immigrants to scare the shit out of poor whites in rural America.

So it's no wonder they don't want a policy. They just waited until the uproar died down and now they'll just going to take the Brown Menace on the road.

For their next act, the "Family Values" party will decide which one of three serial adulterers to pick for preznit.
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on June 21, 2006 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

GMT exemplifies being a racist and a victim. Nicely done you sack of pathetic liberal........

Racist victimhood is not a platform, just saying.....

Posted by: Jay on June 21, 2006 at 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

Lonely much Cheney? Posting in the middle of the night, what a shame.

Posted by: empty homes on June 21, 2006 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

If you gave Cheney 12 hours, a little bit of direction, and access to the internet he might even do OK on the reading comprehension section of the PSAT.

I guess that rules out my typing monkey theory.

Posted by: toast on June 21, 2006 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

GMT exemplifies being a racist and a victim.

Right. Talking about racism makes me a racist. No wonder you're a conservative.

Keep falling for bogus issues, dumbass. It's the only thing that makes you useful to your betters.
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on June 21, 2006 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK
So it seem that unlike the congressional Democrats of 1994, the congressional Republicans have the common sense to not commit political suicide in fealty to their President.

You must be from a completely different planet if you think the Congressional Dems in 1993-94 did much of anything in fealty to the President.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 21, 2006 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

Congress needs to take the time to get it right.

Is there any real evidence of a positive correlation between the time it takes Congress to come up with a bill and the quality of the bill?

Posted by: cmdicely on June 21, 2006 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, great, fatass is back with his usual wit and wisdom. How many months did it take you to come up with "dumbocrats", fatass? You might want to go back to the drawing board, it's pretty lame.

Obstructionism, my ass. How are dems being "obstructionist" in this case, fatass? Rightards in the House hold up a bill passed by rightards in the Senate. Where do the dems fit in?

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on June 21, 2006 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

Has Charlie finished shitting on the victims of 9/11 in the other thread? What a cunt he is.

When the GOP propose a bill that diverts money from Halliburton's no-bid contracts at DHS into reforming the immigration bureaucracy, then we'll know they're taking the issue seriously. As it stands, immigrants don't vote, but xenophobes do, and that's the biggest obstacle to reform.

Posted by: ahem on June 21, 2006 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

Jay - the repubs control the house and senate, so how is this a democrat fuck-up?

What's the repub's platform?

PRE-ELECTION: "We will shore up the borders and control illegal immigration."

POST-ELECTION: "Immigration? What? Pass the pork, please."

Yeah. You guys are really putting together a coherent strategy yourself.

Posted by: Hank Scorpio on June 21, 2006 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

If Congress passes a bill that contains amnesty provisions, it will be the Democrats' fault because they will have used their minority status to tyrannize the defenseless Republican majority into agreeing to a bad bill.

If Congress passes no bill at all, it will be the Democrats' fault, because again, they will have used their minority status to obstruct the majority.

Face it, every screw-up in Congress is the Democrats' fault. In any other situation, the Republicans would be able to use their control over all three branches of the federal government to impose their will on the nation, but you Democrats simply do not see the writing on the wall and are stubbornly refusing to allow this to happen.

Republicans are the clear victims here. I'm not trying to be a victim, I'm just stating a fact.

Posted by: American Hawk's stand-in on June 21, 2006 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

Why one earth do we need new immigration laws? The corrupt Dems and Reps don't enforce the present laws and they won't enforce new laws either.

Posted by: Myron on June 21, 2006 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

I have a 'funny' story about the immigration 'crisis.' On Father's Day I had the family over for luncheon and my sister-in-law, who is a Bush Republican and a pediatric nurse, told the story about how she uses the Spanish phrase no mueve to tell her 7 and 5 year old boys to stay still when out shopping. Her and the boys were shopping and my seven year old nephew saw an Hispanic family and said "no mueve America" to them.

My sister-in-law was very embarrassed. She related that where she works the Hispanics (Mexicans) always have clean polite children and that it is the other more European Americans who are the ones bringing meth babies and dirty unruly children to the hospital.

I suggested they dress up my nephew like a Minuteman and send him to the border, as a joke. I think this incident demonstrates how the rhetoric of crisis and invasion infiltrates into the verbal culture of children, which then stimulates a response when given the opportunity. I am not worried my nephew will become a normal American bigot, afterall, my father voted for Goldwater in '64.

Posted by: Hostile on June 21, 2006 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

This is a tremendous win for the GOP !

The Democrats in the Senate and the House, in service of ethnic grievance group politics, have almost unanimously supported a bill that will give Social Security to thieves, give tax amnesty to thieves, shaft all the law abiding people who came to this country as legal immigrants, bring in multiples of H1Bs to push American professionals out of their jobs, bring in vast hordes of guest workers (and show me the country where a temporary guest worker program was ever temporary or the guests ever left) to push Regular Joes out of their jobs, bring Mara Salvatrucha to your town, drug resistant TB to your children's school, and turn America in 20 years time to a Third World sh*thole where police chiefs and politicians and judges are routinely murdered by drug gangs. If you liberals want to run on that in November, all the while sneering about the 'racist, nativist, yahoos' who disapprove, be my guest. We won't save you by being stampeded into signing 'anything'. We will let you take your open borders agenda to the voters. We will let you explain to the 70% of the American people who demand border security without any 'comprehensive plan' nonsense that you have decided political correctness and importing a new underclass is more important.

We Republicans will happily run as the party of order and security. A stance in which we always win and win big. When we have cleaned out a lot of open borders Democrats (and scum like Cannon) this November a chastened Senate feeling bullseyes on their back will give us the border enforcement first that the American people demand.

Posted by: Charles Warren on June 21, 2006 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

Well, that big loud whhummpp! sound we just heard was the sound of Congress punting the whole immigration issue downfield into the next session (if not later), just like I have thought would happen for a couple of months, now. Face it, "immigration" isn't a simple issue (and thus unwelcome in Congress). It's a rare case of a trans-partisan split: xenophobic bigots vs. economic exploiters on the Republican side; bleeding-heart "social" types vs. protectionist unions for the Dems; each Party vs. the other - nobody willing to compromise, and President Bush managing to position himself all alone in the "middle", advocating policies that nobody likes. Swell.
Since there is no easy solution, it's no wonder the Parties are willing to just kick the can down the road, and try to exploit the issue for what it's worth for electoral gain in November. Immigration is one of those issues that makes for a more (politically) attractive "problem" than a "solution"

Posted by: Jay C on June 21, 2006 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

Interesting links for those wishing to learn more about the general topic:

Gil Cedillo/SB 160: free community college for illegal aliens (Needless to say, Cedillo is a Democrat)

Blame Mexico: the Mess Starts at Home

Links between the Democratic Party and the Mexican government

Posted by: TLB on June 21, 2006 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

Not quite dead, I think -- just being reborn as the new Southwestern Strategy (patterned after Nixon's Southern strategy). These so-called hearings and meetings will likely be free for alls allowing the repub base to justify more of their racist tendencies.

Not to say that the immigration bill is a good one -- neither the House or Senate has got it to my mind -- but repubs know how to exploit racial divisness (you always want to divide people, right?) and this one is a doozy.

Posted by: cassandra m on June 21, 2006 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

lonewacko, no one reads your stupid blog, so please stop trying to ride on Kevin's coattails. Here's a hint if you want anyone to glance at your amateur drivel, write better. See, that isn't hard now is it?

Posted by: Roxy on June 21, 2006 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

Rich GOP dude 1: I loves to oppress me some brown folks!
Rich GOP dude 2: Hmph.
Rich GOP dude 1: But...I loves to employ me some brown folks!
Rich GOP dude 2: Grunt.
Rich GOP dude 1: Decisions, decisions...

Posted by: brooksfoe on June 21, 2006 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

Not quite dead, I think -- just being reborn as the new Southwestern Strategy (patterned after Nixon's Southern strategy).

Looks like Chuck is on board. Poor dear! He actually thinks the GOP give a shit about reducing illegal immigration. Should we tell him about Bush ignoring laws already on the books that punish people who hire illegals? Shafting border patrols on manpower?

Or would that be cruel?
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on June 21, 2006 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

DC1974, I agree with you that the system is broken. I've two hired professional level non-residents. In both cases, the Immigration and Naturalization Service delayed what should have been routine approval for months, forcing us to hire attorneys and jump through hoops. My cousin's Canadian husband was forced to remain in Canada for the better part of a year, until he got necessary papers. The incompetence of the INS one reason the Senate bill is a joke.

Our INS bureaucracy cannot carry out current mandates. What would they do if their workload went up by a factor of 100? For sure, it wouldn't be what the Senate bill imagines.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 21, 2006 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

Put me on the "I told you so" bus, too.

This whole immigration whoop-la is Unka Karl's strategy to keep the House.

You all see what happened in Cal-50? Aside from the stupid comment by the Dem candidate, this is what's going to happen all over the country. Republican'ts are going to run on protecting the country from the sun-tanned hoards, and their base is going to eat it up and get energized.

Meanwhile, the poor-old Dems will be stuck again with a "nuanced" position. Hispanics will love it, but the Dems probably already hold the seats of districts that have significant Hispanic voters. Union workers, on the other hand, will be turned off by the "let 'em all in" implications of a combo program of legalization of the mililons here, new guest workers, and current "bring in the family" laws and will stay home.

Unka Karl may have played the Preznit for a fool on this one, but it's a role Dubya was born to play.

Posted by: Cal Gal on June 21, 2006 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

I think Kevin's post would have been accurate if he said "Are changes to immigration law dead?" The word 'reform' connotates an improvement, I doubt anyone on any side of this issue thought things would be better with the bills under consideration.

Posted by: American Citizen on June 21, 2006 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

I rub my mommy's dirty underwear on my peepee.

Posted by: Fat White Guy on June 21, 2006 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

lonewacko, no one reads your stupid blog,

Guess he chose a good name for himself, then.

Posted by: craigie on June 21, 2006 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

When Congress reconvenes in September, most lawmakers will be preoccupied with their campaigns; traditionally, little important business gets done at that time.

the vote to authorize the Iraq war happened after Congress reconvened in September. If the hearings are held in July and August, and if immigration enforcement continues to tighten, a compromise could pass. The question is whether the candidates want to run before they vote on the reform or after they vote on the reform. I expect that the Republican majority will force a vote before the election.

Posted by: republicrat on June 21, 2006 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

Some people here seem awfully confused over the immigration issue. But then they are the same people confused over most every other issue too.

To those confused people consider this -- the 'open up the border' bill from the Senate was overwhelmingly supported by Democratic Senators and opposed by a majority of the Republican Senators. The 'crack down on illegal immigrants' bill from the House of Representatives was overwhelmingly opposed by Democrats and supported by Republicans. So you confused people -- exactly which bill was it that Bush supported? Don't you remember? Is it too inconvenient to your confused belief system? If Bush is truly as bad as you claim, shouldn't his support of the Democratic side tell you something?

Of course the Congressional Republicans are not going to side with Bush on the issue of illegal immigration. Sure there are plenty of business interests pushing Republicans to open the borders, but there are a hell of a lot more Republican-base voters who would take revenge, and the Congressional Republicans are wise to that fact.


The issue of Illegal immigration in 2006 is very much like the issue of gun-control in 1994. In both cases one party controls the Presidency and the Congress (1994 Democratic control, 2006 Republican control), and in an election year with waning popular support for the incumbent majority. In both situations a sitting President pushes his party to vote on an issue which is dangerous to the reelection chances of his Congressmen. In 1994 the Democrats voted the way their President wanted, and the result was disaster for the Democrats. In 2006 the Republicans have the sense to not make the same mistake.

Posted by: Brad on June 21, 2006 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK

Brad, how did your ancestors illegally immigrate to the US?

Posted by: Hostile on June 21, 2006 at 7:50 PM | PERMALINK

The issue of Illegal immigration in 2006 is very much like the issue of gun-control in 1994. In both cases one party controls the Presidency and the Congress (1994 Democratic control, 2006 Republican control), and in an election year with waning popular support for the incumbent majority. In both situations a sitting President pushes his party to vote on an issue which is dangerous to the reelection chances of his Congressmen. In 1994 the Democrats voted the way their President wanted, and the result was disaster for the Democrats. In 2006 the Republicans have the sense to not make the same mistake.

Good analogy. Though I was thinking more in terms of NAFTA where Clinton aligned himself with the GOP to betray his own base. Every voice of establishment opinion, every editorial page of every publication, all oligarch opinion supported NAFTA, just as they supported 'comprehensive immigration reform'. The only voices opposed came from Regular Joe who knew he was being shafted. Clinton got the New Democrats to ignore Regular Joe and support NAFTA. When NAFTA passed all oligarch voices praised Clinton's "leadership" and his "great victory". The front page editorial of the New York Times even imbecilically suggested that this might herald a new bipartisanship in Washington.

Well it was a victory that won him nothing because without economic populism the Democratic Party has nothing to keep Regular Joe from voting social issues. There was nothing to persuade Regular Joe to vote for a party that only cared about and represented urban singles, oligarch multinational globalism, and white collar professionals. It was all downhill for the Democratic Party as it lost Congress and mayoralty after governorship. The New Democrats were slaughtered and the new House Republicans not the least bit grateful. No NAFTA, no impeachment.

Within the GOP hostility to the oligarch agenda of outsourcing, offshoring, and illegal immigration has intensified. It would have been much easier to pass CAFTA had that not been the case. There are tons of old fashioned conservatives who think conservatism is based on family, church, community, country, values, and a good life for Regular Joe, not being a whore to the latte sipping multinational globalists who don't give a damn about this country. There are tons of old fashioned conservatives who think the duty of an American president is to do what's best for America, not to expend Regular Joes so his buddy Vincente Fox can get reelected. A Bush weakened by Iraq no longer has the political capital to impose the oligarch agenda upon them.

This populist grass roots revolt, like the ones about Harriet Miers and the Dubai deal, shows a conservative movement so strong that it will not hesitate to read a Republican president the riot act when he forgets who he is supposed to be working for. The New Democrats needed Bill Clinton. The House Republicans don't need George Bush.

Posted by: Charles Warren on June 21, 2006 at 8:12 PM | PERMALINK

Charles Warren,
" There are tons of old fashioned conservatives who think the duty of an American president is to do what's best for America,..."

I think nationalism is an under-rated force in American politics. Probably because most of the press who rate national issues are on the opposite side.

"Good analogy [on gun-control]. Though I was thinking more in terms of NAFTA where Clinton aligned himself with the GOP to betray his own base."

Thanks, I'm glad someone gets it. Your point on NAFTA is well taken too. There were many things which weakened the Democrats in the lead up to the 1994 elections, NAFTA no doubt discouraging both Democratic and Perot supporters.

When examining what weakened the Democrats up to 1994, Clinton is only partially at fault (though Clinton is undoubtably key). It didn't endear the Democrats to the public when they raised their pay at the same time (1990) they raised taxes on everyone else. The house banking scandal didn't help either. Or the the new round of tax increases in 1993.

The Congress was at the edge of the cliff in 1994, but it took Bill Clinton to sweet-talk them into stepping out into the void!

Posted by: Brad on June 21, 2006 at 8:43 PM | PERMALINK

Charles Warren: Well it was a victory that won him nothing because without economic populism the Democratic Party has nothing to keep Regular Joe from voting social issues.

You only say that because it's true.

Within the GOP hostility to the oligarch agenda of outsourcing, offshoring, and illegal immigration has intensified.

That's true for illegal immigration, but the other two? Please show me the evidence, because I haven't seen any. The Dubai ports opposition doesn't count because it was based on national security, not economic, grounds.

Posted by: alex on June 21, 2006 at 8:43 PM | PERMALINK

Within the GOP hostility to the oligarch agenda of outsourcing, offshoring, and illegal immigration has intensified.

"That's true for illegal immigration, but the other two? Please show me the evidence, because I haven't seen any. The Dubai ports opposition doesn't count because it was based on national security, not economic, grounds.",

Conservatism isn't just doing the bidding of people who live off of returns from capital and belong to country clubs as the WSJ editorial page would have you believe. It is doing the bidding of people who are afraid for their futures and those of their children in a nation that is exporting good jobs. Such people are across the political spectrum. How can you have stable families and communities in an economy where people have to chase jobs across the country and are so overwhelmed that they let Viacom raise their kids ? As Brad says, don't ignore nationalism. National security has an economic component. If history has anything to teach us it is that the industrial superpower of today will be the military and financial superpower of tomorrow. Look at this proposed sale of highways to foreign investors. Conservatives see an America that is like a rich old family hocking its paintings and silverware to maintain its high consumption lifestyle. If this is what we have come to how long are we going to remain a superpower ?

Look at the Christian Right. And remember that the Christian Right of today are the descendants of New Deal Democrats and William Jennings Bryan Populists. They never stopped being economic populists. They despise the godless, cultural elite secularist, latte sipping, 'citizen of the world' multinationalist overclass, none of whose sons are suffering and dying in Iraq. Read what the columnists of the Religious Right who I mentioned earlier have to say about outsourcing and offshoring. Never underestimate nationalism.

Posted by: Charles Warren on June 21, 2006 at 9:30 PM | PERMALINK

Please don't use the term "reform" as a euphemism for lax treatment of illegal activity like walking across our border. Us populists are with you on the economic stuff, but we don't really want "progressivism" to be a caricature of what conservatives say it is.

Posted by: Neil' on June 21, 2006 at 9:38 PM | PERMALINK
Conservatism isn't just doing the bidding of people who live off of returns from capital and belong to country clubs as the WSJ editorial page would have you believe.

Yeah, actually, it is.

It occasionally pretends to be other things (which change over time; the actual service to the current economic elite is consistet over time, though) in order to maintain the political power needed to serve and reinforce the position of the currently wealthy, though.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 22, 2006 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

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