May 18, 2007
Shaky base to build on
I don't like illegal immigration, and for a long time now, I have believed that the border should be closed, that a fence should be put up, and that no amnesty should be granted to illegal border crossers. I've even argued that uncontrolled immigration might have been a contributory factor in the Fall of Rome. My position on immigration, then, would appear to place me solidly within the conservative camp.
Because I have not supported draconian employer sanctions and massive door-to-door raids, the angry right wing would consider me a sellout wimp RINO libertarian stooge -- and I'd be lucky not to be accused of being an open border advocate.
And to the left I'm probably a fascist. (Small comfort that.)
Anyway, these thoughts have been on my mind over the years as I witnessed the government's inability to effectively do anything about the problem, and they were on my mind again when I saw what Kathryn Jean Lopez had to say about how "the base" feels about the latest crummy immigration bill:
Mark Levin, on Wednesday night, implored: "Do these Republicans ever learn? . . . Do they understand that a majority of the American people, whether they're Democrats, Republicans, or nothing, have had it up to here with illegal immigration and they don't want to subsidize it?"Via Glenn Reynolds, who remarks that there isn't much pro-immigration support for this bill.
First of all, I think Lopez is right to say that a majority of the American people do not like illegal immigration (see this Inquirer poll, for example), but that does not mean they are necessarily part of the "had it up to here" crowd. Nor are they among those angry activists clamoring for impeachment. My own opinion is that the people who like to call themselves "the base" are very, very loud about having "had it up to here" -- so loud that they drive away all people who might be inclined to listen to them. (Including some people who are in basic agreement with them.)
I keep hearing that Bush "betrayed his base," yet he has openly touted his Hispanic "strategy" since 1999. What's the matter? Couldn't the base read his lips? When an office holder behaves in a manner consistent with his campaign promises, that is not a betrayal.
What I find rather disturbing is that (at least if the Lopez column is any indication) "the base" is so utterly delighted to have their own party out of power. So delighted, in fact, that they can't wait to "kiss the Senate goodbye" so they can be even more out of power.
Presumably, this means they can't wait to kiss the "Casa Blanca" goodbye too.
Call me a RINO for asking, but what kind of "base" is this that so badly wants its own party out of power?
I don't know, but I do know that I'm not enough of a "had it up to here" guy for them, and it hurts, because I think I'm generally quite good at having had it up to here, but apparently I'm just not mad as hell enough over this. FWIW, I don't agree with the bill, but I don't agree with a lot of bills. What am I supposed to do? Gnash my teeth and howl at the moon? Join the Minutemen?
I find myself wondering about one thing, though. If the base has had it up to here now, what will they be like with a president whose campaign is co-chaired by the former head of La Raza?
How far up can a "had it up to here" base have it?
It's 400 pages, but the final version may expand to 1000+ once it's printed in the "official format."Great! That means that the geniuses who run our lives will be voting on something that none of them will have so much as taken the time to read! I guess legislating has come to mean passing laws you haven't read. (That ought to be an impeachable offense in itself. At minimum, it certainly constitutes outrageous derogation of duty.)
"On Monday, Senators are being asked to start voting on a complex immigration reform bill that most members have not had a chance to read or review. There is no doubt we need to secure America's borders and reform our broken immigration system, but this should not be done hastily by cramming through a largely unknown piece of legislation in a few days.Without getting into what any senator's position is on immigration, I'd like to risk venturing what sounds like a radical idea.
I think that any legislator who votes for a law without reading it should be impeached, and at minimum should lose his seat. Such people should be held in contempt -- not by the Republican base, but by the American base. (Anyone who doesn't think there is such a thing as an American base should read the polls:
Twenty-nine percent of Americans approve of Congress, down slightly from last month's reading (33%) and this year's high point of 37%, while Bush's approval rating is holding steady at 33%.It strikes me that there's a base in there somewhere.
posted by Eric on 05.18.07 at 05:33 PM
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