The Political Beast that Will Not Die...Unless You Kill It
According to news reports, many members of Congress, mostly Senate supporters of so-called Comprehensive Immigration Reform (yes, amnesty), are "surprised" at the veritable gusher of citizen outrage against it.
Surprise is far too mild an emotion for what Senators who venture out in public over the Memorial Day recess are going to experience. Given the demonstrative protests already mounting against the role of Arizona Republican Senator John Kyl in negotiating and fronting for this travesty, others might find a fact-finding trip to Iraq to be more peaceful.
Those Senators, particularly conservative ones, who are truly surprised (not just putting on the old political feint) show just how out of touch they are with the people they pretend to represent. No amount of lipstick on the amnesty pig will make it attractive for any purpose other than a barbecue with the devil's own sauce.
For many, opposition does not require getting past amnesty and the belief, based on ample precedent, that the government will never adequately honor the enforcement provisions. In fact, one of the "trigger" enforcement provisions is the hiring of additional border patrol agents, not having those agents actually do a job. When they can't chase and will themselves be jailed for shooting at drug smugglers or other miscreants, it sort of doesn't matter how many are hired.
Smarter and far more patient people than we are working diligently to take every piece of the bill apart, explaining its faults, enumerating the lies and misrepresentations and attempting to put border security, monetary and societal costs in perspective. Pat Buchanan, never one to mince words, has termed it national suicide. Thomas Sowell of Stanford University calls it fraud. Robert Rector of The Heritage Foundation has put an ultimate entitlement program cost to the suicidal fraud: $2.5 trillion.
That will be debated, of course, but since the Senate hasn't even attempted to put an immediate cost on the bill in their sprint to pass it under cover of night - now slowed down, but not by much - well, that should be just another indication of the sleight-of-hand the bill's supporters are attempting. (Oh, and did you know that part of the cost - to taxpayers - will be to provide free legal services to illegal agricultural workers? Did your Senator tell you that?)
The first comprehensive poll on the bill (by Rasmussen Reports) released since its introduction tells where voters of this country are: only 26 percent favor passage. Forty-eight percent are opposed. Twenty-six percent are not yet sure.
Opposition spans the political spectrum: 47 percent of Republicans, 51 percent of Democrats, 46 percent of independents.
Overwhelmingly, 72 percent of those polled support border enforcement and reduced illegal immigration. Only 29 percent believe it important that illegals currently in the U.S. be granted legal status. Sixty-five percent would support some kind of compromise, but on conditions far more strictly applied or assured than any in the current bill.
Rasmussen found that 78 percent of those polled were following the issue "somewhat" or "very closely." That can only harden opposition as more is learned of a bill that was intended to be largely secret, voted on and out before the public had any chance to react.
A danger for conservatives who oppose the bill is to believe that the polling data or the intellectual attacks will kill the bill. Truthfully, while they pertain specifically to the current version of the bill, they don't differ that much from those that existed during the seemingly endless previous debates. We understand why Democrats support the bill. The political bounty that amnesty promises is a liberal prize without end. Why any Republican who isn't being blackmailed would support it is a question without end.
What matters now are voices, your voices raised loudly and often against the bill. Once won't do it. Twice won't do it. Even three times may not do it. While some of the bill's supporters may be getting shaky, defeat is far from certain, and the amendment process is being manipulated just as much as the original bill was. (As this was being written, none other than Trent Lott came out in vocal support.)
Supporters of amnesty frequently say, "Well, what else can we do? We can't just deport 12,000,000 illegal aliens." To which a really good answer might well be, should you as a voter find it useful, "I'm not one of those who argued that we should do that, Senator, but you're absolutely right. We can, however, defeat you and perhaps find a replacement who will pay more attention to what voters - not illegals - want for their country."May 25, 2007
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