November 23, 2007

"At the moment, Giuliani and fellow moderate Mitt Romney are attacking each other for being insufficiently Tancredo-esque."

Writes David Brooks: 
[T]hey are participating in the greatest blown opportunity in recent political history. At its current nadir, the G.O.P. had been blessed with five heterodox presidential candidates who had the potential to modernize the party on a variety of fronts. They could be competing to do that, but instead they are competing to appeal to the narrowest slice of the old guard and flatter the most rigid orthodoxies of the Beltway interest groups. 

40 comments:

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

Yep. Because that is still where the power, money, and votes are in the party.

Simon said...

They're doing it for the simple reason that the conventional wisdom - right or wrong - is that there's almost no one in the Republican Party outside of Washington D.C. and New York City who doesn't think serious action on illegal immigration is necessary. And for Giuliani in particular, that's problematic because he already has all these issues where he's at odds with the party; heterodoxy is one thing, but you can only deviate from the party line on so many things before people start to wonder whether you're "one of us."

I find the immigation problem vexing because there is such a pervasive incapacity to distinguish between policy positions on legal immigration vs. illegal immigation, and Brooks himself flags just how embedded that impression is among some legal immigrants: why on earth would any immigrant who takes the citizenship oath be "drive[n] away" by a party's position on illegal immiration? The deeper problem is that I think Brooks is correct that they will be; the question's how that can be fixed.

rhhardin said...

It's not a good idea if the state is compassionate. Perverse side effects take over.

One of which is that compassion is lost.

Vicki Hearne Things have changed : kindness is no longer something that belongs to people, only to lords or to societies, like justice

rcocean said...

A rather weak column by Brooks. Average people, who don't read Brooks, and aren't liberals or part of the WSJ cheap labor crowd, don't like illegal immigration - period. Hence, the 77 percent against drivers licenses for illegals and the avalanche of opposition to Amnesty.

Moderates Republicans, in the past, reached out to African Americans and supported AA and Busing. Result: they increased the black republican vote from 10 to 15 percent. Hispanics aren't stupid -which Brooks implies - and they aren't one issue voters.

Obama and Clinton are very vulnerable on this issue, nominate Huckabee or Gulliani and this issue is off the table. In fact, nominate Gulliani and you will split the party,.

rhhardin said...

part of the WSJ cheap labor crowd

Cheap labor only benefits business if the business is the only one doing it. If the competitors do it too, the cheap labor flows through to the consumer.

Except that a labor-intensive product might not be bought at all with a higher labor price, as one of the consequences of this. But then it's a problem of being in a very marginal business in the first place. The marginal business lobby isn't a big one.

MadisonMan said...

When two candidates in a multi-candidate field start attacking each other, I'm always pleasantly reminded of the Jim Moody and Joe Checota and how their careers were derailed by Wisconsin voters in 1992 after a particular obnoxious primary, when the #3 candidate emerged victorious. I don't think Giuliani/Romney have reached the depths of the Moody/Checota race, however.

George said...

Haven't followed any of it. Maybe that's a good thing for the candidates.

Politico recently described Fred's campaign as "meandering," revealing a "haphazard work ethic." Maybe even listless.

Could be a plan. Don't know. Have to think on it. Not sure.

Original Mike said...

Simon said: "I find the immigation problem vexing because there is such a pervasive incapacity to distinguish between policy positions on legal immigration vs. illegal immigation"

It's not an incapacity. In many cases it's a deliberate, dishonest confusion of the two.

Simon said "...why on earth would any immigrant who takes the citizenship oath be "drive[n] away" by a party's position on illegal immiration? The deeper problem is that I think Brooks is correct that they will be;"

I think Brooks is wrong, especially if Republicans point out the difference between legal and illegal at every opportunity.

Simon said...

Mike, I'd like to think that you're right, but I think the evidence does point towards a large corpus among immigrants - especially but not exclusively among hispanic immigrants - who really do seem to equate being opposed to illegal immigration, period, and indeed, with outright racism. That this view is profoundly silly doesn't mean that it's not widely-held; these folks and their sympathizers are easy to spot, they're the dorks who point out that we're a nation of immigrants and get a smug little look because they think they've said something clever or in any way relevant.

(When I hear one of these talking head putzes saying that immigrants support amnesty or similar - Mark Shields, I'm talking to you - I do rather feel that I should co-opt that little anti-war "not in my name" meme.)

Freder Frederson said...

Cheap labor only benefits business if the business is the only one doing it. If the competitors do it too, the cheap labor flows through to the consumer.

Of course the real purpose of using illegal immigrant labor (and it has been brutally effective in certain industries like meatpacking and construction) is to bust unions. The claim that liberals (as opposed to the bastardized and bought by big business and ag interest Democratic party) are not concerned about illegal immigration or the rights of undocumented workers is total, complete and utter bullshit.

Real liberals (and not Simon's "conservatives are the real liberals") want rational immigration, labor and trade policies that both address the plight of working people in this country and in their native countries so they can organize freely (both here and abroad) and without fear and their liveliehoods in their home countries are not destoyed because of cheap food imports from the U.S. in the name of "free trade". We realize that the best way to address the problem of illegal immigration is to address poverty in the countries the immigrants are coming from.

ricpic said...

The only reason the NY Slimes spotlights Brooks as its house conservative is that he isn't conservative. "Modernize" the Republican Party. Dead giveaway.

christopher said...

the evidence does point towards a large corpus among immigrants - especially but not exclusively among hispanic immigrants - who really do seem to equate being opposed to illegal immigration, period, and indeed, with outright racism. That this view is profoundly silly doesn't mean that it's not widely-held;

No, it's not profoundly silly. If you haven't figured out that a significant percentage -- how large I don't know, but large enough -- of the anti-illegal sentiment in the US is totally racist in origin you really haven't been paying attention to anything resembling reality.

Seriously -- you can't be that obtuse.

christopher said...

Oh -- and if David Brooks is too liberal for your idea of the Republican party, ricpic, I have two words:

Lotsa luck...

Original Mike said...

Simon said: "...I think the evidence does point towards a large corpus among immigrants - especially but not exclusively among hispanic immigrants - who really do seem to equate being opposed to illegal immigration, period, and indeed, with outright racism."

For that to be true requires appeal to either the "immigrants are stupid" hypothesis, or the hypothesis that they haven't critically examined the issue. The latter can result from the media's constant, unrebutted portrayal of opposition to illegal immigration as racist. Thus I think that meme needs rebutting at every opportunity.

rcocean said...

Businesses exist to maximize profit and not to "Pass savings on to the consumer".

You can make the case that some businesses are constrained by competition and cheap labor does hold down prices, but I'm skeptical.

For example, if Hollywood could cut the wages of the actors, directors, and craftsman in half, do you really think ticket prices would go down? Not bloody likely.

Freder Frederson said...

Seriously -- you can't be that obtuse.

Don't underestimate Simon. Why do you think he and Ann love each other so much? The infamous Althouse vortex is actually a black hole created by obtuseness and Simon accelerates it with his "legalette" observations.

rcocean said...

" We realize that the best way to address the problem of illegal immigration is to address poverty in the countries the immigrants are coming from."

Sounds like the liberal solution to crime. Don't put criminals in jail, attack the "root causes" of crime.

christopher said...

Freder Frederson said...

Seriously -- you can't be that obtuse.

Don't underestimate Simon. Why do you think he and Ann love each other so much? The infamous Althouse vortex is actually a black hole created by obtuseness and Simon accelerates it with his "legalette" observations.


Federalist Society -- divorced from reality as we know it. And that's just the honest ones...

Bruce Hayden said...

Of course the real purpose of using illegal immigrant labor (and it has been brutally effective in certain industries like meatpacking and construction) is to bust unions. The claim that liberals (as opposed to the bastardized and bought by big business and ag interest Democratic party) are not concerned about illegal immigration or the rights of undocumented workers is total, complete and utter bullshit.

I think that Freder has inadvertently pointed out why immigration is ultimately more of a problem for the Democrats.

Here in Colo., we have watched Bill Ritter go back on a lot of his campaign promises, and totally lose the backing of business, in his attempts to placate Big Labor, by, for example, allowing civil servants to unionize by executive order. He also tried to abolish secret ballots for union organizing. All this from a "moderate" Democrat who was panicked by the DNC threatening to pull their convention next summer if the state were not more union friendly.

The reality seems to be that
Big Union is still one of the biggest driving factors in the Democratic party. And yet, according to Freder, the party leaders repeatedly take positions detrimental to union interests.

However schizoid this may sound, it may actually be rational on the part of the Democrats. Their biggest constituency are the public employee unions, esp. teachers unions. And the public employee unions stand to benefit from increased illegals and are not worried about competition from such because they work for a legal monopoly - the government. Plus, giving benefits to illegals means more employment to unionized teachers, etc.

Of course, that doesn't help the low skill union members whom Freder seems to be worried about, such as in the construction, restaurant, etc. industries. But they are shrinking any way, and have far less power in the Democratic party than do those already on the public dole (i.e. unionized public employees).

Of course, there is always the question of how many of them are registered to vote, and how many more could be if Spitzer hadn't reversed himself.

Bruce Hayden said...

Federalist Society -- divorced from reality as we know it. And that's just the honest ones...

Somehow, I expect Christopher here missed the 25th anniversary Federalist Society convention that was on C-Span the last day or so. A lot of his least favorite lawyers and judges spoke, including at least four Justices. Whatever the conventional wisdom is on the loony left about the group, seeing who spoke, it is hard to argue that they haven't become mainstream.

christopher said...

Whatever the conventional wisdom is on the loony left about the group, seeing who spoke, it is hard to argue that they haven't become mainstream.

Sorry, Bruce -- a self-congratulatory circle jerk doth not a mainstream make.

Any organization that boasts Ted Olson as a member is by definition both ridiculous and deeply dishonest.

SGT Ted said...

If you haven't figured out that a significant percentage -- how large I don't know, but large enough -- of the anti-illegal sentiment in the US is totally racist in origin you really haven't been paying attention to anything resembling reality.

Actually, it just goes to show how bigoted the left is towards anyone who disagrees with them on the issue. It also shows how the left, along with the press, has tried to frame the debate and shift the narrative from law enforcement to smear it into just another example of racist Amerikkka keeping the Brown Skinned People down.

Thats what the race hustlers and open borders clowns here in California did back in the 90's. The State Dems support open borders because they see a huge public assistance constituency, already in place, who's votes they are hoping to purchased with our tax dollars.

But that arguement isn't working anymore, as more and more people realise that it isn't racist to want immigrations laws enforced.

It's also about assimilation, as the marches in LA last year showed when we saw all those Mexican flags, instead of American flags. Most ordinary people, uninfected by the Multi-cult bug, expect that wanna-be citizens ought to behave as such, especially when they have fled a third world shithole like Mexico. If you are so proud of your former country, as to fly its flag over that of the Nation where you reside, why are you here? If it's for the money, benefits and you aren't here legally, then most Americans want you to go home and make room for those who want to be here for the right reasons.

christopher said...


Thats what the race hustlers....



I rest my case...

Pogo said...

christopher rested his case before uttering a word, and despite lacking any evidence. It's the lefty way, to assume that their position is the only possible moral choice, and that all others are, by definition, evil.

It's a nice trick, deifying oneself, but it has in the past led to the unfortunate tendency to permit those who disagree with your agenda to become the Other, and whisk them off to death.

The pattern is an old one, christopher, one that I'm sure you recognize.

christopher said...

Pogo said...
It's the lefty way, to assume that their position is the only possible moral choice, and that all others are, by definition, evil.


Apparently, Pogo has never listened to Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity, who scream to the heavens that liberals are evil on a daily basis.

Nice try....

Freder Frederson said...

It's also about assimilation, as the marches in LA last year showed when we saw all those Mexican flags, instead of American flags. Most ordinary people, uninfected by the Multi-cult bug, expect that wanna-be citizens ought to behave as such, especially when they have fled a third world shithole like Mexico.

By your measure, a good chunk of the Confederacy still hasn't assimilated back into the U.S. Perhaps we should send them packing too. Or at least not let them vote. And they actually enjoy living in third world shitholes like Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, Georgia and the Carolinas.

christopher said...

Freder --

I suspect Sgt.Ted is one of those who seriously believe that the goal of the illegals is to reclaim California and Texas for Mexico.

You know -- a paranoid, racist loony.

Freder Frederson said...

I think that Freder has inadvertently pointed out why immigration is ultimately more of a problem for the Democrats.

The Republicans have just as big a problem with it because the Con-Agras, the corporate farmers, the Swifts, Tysons, Hiltons and Wal-Marts of the world are addicted to cheap labor and desperately want to keep wages down and suppress renewed union organization. To do that they need illegal immigrants who will not unionize out of fear of losing their jobs.

But of course this pisses off the working class Republican voters who have been taught over the last twenty-five years or so that Republicans are the party of "family and traditional" values. The cracks are beginning to appear. It is also is beginning to piss off middle-class, technical Republican voters who have seen legal immigration (through H1B and short term visas) devastate their incomes and supposedly safe high tech jobs by suppressing wages and out-sourcing over the last ten years.

Simon said...

Freder Frederson said...
"Real liberals (and not Simon's "conservatives are the real liberals")...."

I've never said that conservatives are the real liberals. What I've said (echoing Hayek to a great extent) is that the term "liberal" had one meaning, but was co-opted in the Twentieth Century by people who called themselves liberals but who would certainly not have been called liberals under the old meaning. Strictly speaking, libertarians are the "real" liberals (accepting the parameters of Fred's rubric of a static language for sake of argument), and I'm not one of those anyway. (This also suggests, paranthetically, why Ron Paul isn't a real libertarian anyway, as Ilya Somin has noted - free trade is the sine qua non of both libertarianism and liberalism. Protectionism is of populism.)

christopher said...
"If you haven't figured out that a significant percentage -- how large I don't know, but large enough -- of the anti-illegal sentiment in the US is totally racist in origin you really haven't been paying attention to anything resembling reality."

Oh, I wouldn't dispute that some of those who are opposed to illegal immigation are opposed on nativist or quasi-nativist grounds, and I suppose that there may well be some who are opposed in part or whole because they're racist scumbags. Nevertheless, I think that those on both sides of the aisle who favor amnesty (under this or that name) are wont to vastly overstate the extent to which their opponents are motivated by either of these things (which is only their second-most egregiously bad-faith tactic, after co-opting the term "comprehensive solution," but that's another debate), and (as ever, with all due respect), I think that many on the left are often very quick to rush to an accusation of racism without any real basis.

I'm going to leave your observations about the Federalist Society alone (other than to join Bruce's comment, with reservations), but were you quoting who I think you were quoting in your repy to Ricpic? Was he sitting to Jan Greenburg's left when he said it?


Original Mike said...
"For that to be true requires appeal to either the "immigrants are stupid" hypothesis, or the hypothesis that they haven't critically examined the issue."

It requires only that one observe behavior. You have to account for those legal immigrants who marched for illegal immigrants over the last couple of years somehow, and I don't think "media bias" alone covers it. With that said, I agree with you as to the solution, but I don't think it's helped.


Freder Frederson said...
"Don't underestimate Simon['s obtuseness]. Why do you think he and Ann love each other so much?"

While I certainly wouldn't disagree that my obtuseness shouldn't be underestimated - some days I'm also scalene, in fact -- I'd like to take a moment to thank you for your continued attempts to sell Ann on what her opinion of me should be, it's terrifically sporting of you. Fictitious, of course, but very sporting.

christopher said...

were you quoting who I think you were quoting in your repy to Ricpic? Was he sitting to Jan Greenburg's left when he said it?

You lost me on that one, sorry.

I didn't know I was quoting anybody...

Freder Frederson said...

Strictly speaking, libertarians are the "real" liberals (accepting the parameters of Fred's rubric of a static language for sake of argument)

No, strictly speaking, libertarians are just silly, selfish right wing anarchists who espouse an unworkable, utopian, incoherent economic theory that is even more ridiculous and indefensible than Marxism.

Simon said...

Freder, so your theory is that libertarians are "silly, selfish[, and] ... espouse an unworkable, utopian, incoherent economic theory that is even more ridiculous and indefensible than Marxism," and this is by way of trying to convince us that they are't liberals? Talk about backfiring...

Pogo said...

who scream to the heavens that liberals are evil

That's an illegitimate Tu quoque argument, christopher, and a misplaced one at that, much as I make no claim on Hannit or Limbaugh.
You should know better.

those who seriously believe that the goal of the illegals is to reclaim California and Texas for Mexico
El Plan Espiritual de Aztlan is seriously believed by MEChA, if that's who you meant.

Simon said...

Pogo, remember there was a La Raza guy who did a drive-by posting here earlier this year? I think there's certainly many of these Aztlan people out there, but if Chris' point is only that it's not true that all (or even most) immigrants are that way, that's certainly true. So far as I'm concerned, México puede tener California trasera cuando el Aztecs puede tener México trasero.

Pogo said...

I'll have to steal that phrase.

The rallies in California seemed to backfire by the useful idiots raising the Mexican flags. Even if they didn't mean 'we're taking over', that's what people heard.

Revenant said...

Apparently "modernizing" the Republican party entails rejecting the large majority of the American electorate in order to chase after a minority vote the Democrats already have locked up.

Anyone dippy enough to think that condemnation of illegal immigration is a problem for Republicans hasn't bothered to look at the actual statistics. Opposition to illegal immigration is one of the only things that saved the Republicans from a worse drubbing in 2006. Being soft on illegals torpedoed the McCain candidacy this year and cost Bush a good third or more of his remaining Republican support.

For that matter, did Brooks not notice how fast Hillary scurried to disavow drivers' licenses for illegals? There's a lesson in all this, and it isn't "Republicans are out of touch on immigration".

SGT Ted said...

Freder --

I suspect Sgt.Ted is one of those who seriously believe that the goal of the illegals is to reclaim California and Texas for Mexico.

You know -- a paranoid, racist loony.


And the leftist makes my point without asking, living up to the standards of intellectual bigotry that comprises the left worldview towards anyone who doesn't toe their party line.

SGT Ted said...

Freder Frederson said...

By your measure, a good chunk of the Confederacy still hasn't assimilated back into the U.S. Perhaps we should send them packing too. Or at least not let them vote. And they actually enjoy living in third world shitholes like Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, Georgia and the Carolinas.


Wow I missed this bit of Teh Stupid on my first glance thru. Do you really beleive that?

Cedarford said...

David Brooks is the last person to write objectively about immigration. He is a transnationalist Jew that sees nationality as a convenience. As a former member of the WSJ editorial board, he is committed to the corporatist vision of Open Borders, endless cheap illegal immigrant labor, free trade and globalization. And. of course...use of illegal labor for union-busting and driving the "excessive wages" of the American worker downwards so we can compete more effectively with 3rd World labor in a borderless economy, and enhanced profits go to the Ruling Elites who will use the concentration of wealth in their hands more wisely than lesser Americans have.

Brooks deliberately conflates illegal immigration with legal immigration, as Rudy did in one of several damaging "Come on in, Sanctuary!" speeches Rudy gave. And his political analysis, in which the economy and illegal immigration are likely to supplant Iraq if it continues to improve - is way off.

1. Brooks needs to get out of Manhattan more often. Large parts of the country are bullshit-mad about illegals and Bush and Congress's inability to control our Borders or set up our native labor pool for 21st Century jobs.

2. Americans are fine with legal immigration, as long as they know that H1-B visas and other legal paths are not simply being used as plug-ins where foreigners are automatically the 1st choice to address labor shortages in specialities like nursing and engineering rather than train and give those opportunities to talented Americans that would love upper middle-class jobs.

3. Brooks theory that legal immigrants will Resent Republicans from now 'till eternity for trying to control the Borders and end the welcome mat for illegals is misplaced. Many past groups would have loved America to have limitless immigration outside the law of untalented, menial workers of their own ethnicities --but now they are the Tancredos and Jindals saying Stop!

4. As a Jew, Brooks is part of that tradition that wanted free immigration to the US because Emma Lazarus said we had an obligation to take in all wretched refuse from other's teaming shores...and because of the St. Louis and it's inference that we failed a moral duty to let in all the Euros that wanted in prior to WWII that later died at the hands of other Euros or the Soviets..Why Emanuel Cellar and Javits, among others, were able to orchestrate the 1965 Immigration REform Act and open America up to 3rd Worlders and "family reunification" that has whole Iraqi, Palestinian, and Lebanese villages moved off to Dearboorn and similar Guatemalen and El SAlvadoran villages "reunified" in Florida.

So I thing illegal immigration - opposed by 70-80% of Americans, is a short-term winner for Republicans. Long term, those illegals that were fortunate enough to stay and assimilate or plop out an anchor baby or two will be like other Americans - not want their jobs or quality of life harmed by more illegals.

It is beginning to reach out and bite Democrats like it bit John McCain on his Amnesty treachery. And Huckabee has been under the radar about his calling those who opposed amnesty "racists" and his college scholarships and in-state rates for illegals that can show they once worked in Arkansas while barring residents of other states with jobs in Arkansas from similar consideration.
And Rudy will get hammered on his "I love Emma Lazarus, more illegals please NYC needs them, Sanctuary for all!!" speeches. "We are all immigrants who owe compassion to the latest 'undocumented compatriots' climbing over fences"???

That crap doesn't fly anymore. Not with independents, not with working Democrats in trades and unions hammered by illegal labor, not even with a growing number of blacks - who have been hot hardest by mass immigration of 30 million unskilled workers and their offspring over the last 20 years. (Democrats cynically believe that blacks are locked in as Dems and may be abused and taken for granted as long as Dem politicans scuttle to sooth the NAACP and Sharpton when demanded. I think they may be wrong, as even in NOLA, unemployed, possibly less able and more expensive black workers watch illegal Mexicans recover the City.)

Revenant said...

a good chunk of the Confederacy still hasn't assimilated back into the U.S.

Even if that were true -- which of course it isn't -- the Constitution explicitly classifies the people born in those states as American citizens. Ergo expelling them would be a gross violation of their Constitutional rights.