Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Bad rhetoric

Michael Gerson writes a clever op-ed against those who oppose the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007. In a poker game his argument would be called a four-flush, if I remember correctly (never having used it myself!). It is not a choice between rage and national chauvinism vs. our common humanity; or Tancredo vs. Kennedy. (Never mind Christian faith and common humanity). I need a strong cigar.

Discussions - 15 Comments


You're right that Gerson shows how the "extremist" Republican opponents of comprehensive immigration reform can be cast in a bad light and what the political costs of that portrayal are likely to be. Would that Gerson had spoken about how Latino evangelicals regard those who favor border control, national security, and the rule of law (without the ethnic nastiness and without any expectation that we're about to deport millions of people).

I agree that Gerson gives us a false or incomplete choice set. But it is also true that Republicans have cause to worry: nativist voices exist among those who call themselves conservatives. We hear from them here. If I were a Republican, I would want the position that Gerson neglects laid out with both reason and passion. See also ">">"> this.

Peter, Gerson must have been writing the talking points. This is the same line we're getting down here from Lindsey Graham and our congressman (maybe not for long) Bob Inglis, using red herrings, though not as slickly as Gerson. I'll join you in a cigar (strong).

It is not always about politics between Republican and Democrat. We can look at it that way and perhaps that is how they continue to'sell' bad ideas by politicizing it and creating an anti-audience. (The "I am against anything this person or group is for" crowd.)

The problem that necessitated the entire discussion about immigration is "illegal" immigration and its impact on American services, benefits and the future of those things (healthcare, schools, etc.) Making people legal will not help or correct problems with schools, healthcare or the welfare state.

What riles me the most is that "Illegal" is the word everyone continues to leave out of every discussion, article and analysis. In the end, we are rewriting laws we do not now nor have not enforced to accommodate law breakers. Who's to say we will bother to enforce these new laws? Congress and the President can write this bill anyway they want to but until they are serious about enforcing any law, it is only worth as much as the paper it is written on. No wonder Americans are so angry at Congress.

Bush won both times on the white vote, and there was no "Hispanic surge" for him in 2004. All that talk was based on a single (inaccurate) exit poll.

And Hispanics are not budding into good Protestants, nor are their "family values" special at all. Indeed, their illegimacy rates are 1 in 2. And don't get me started about crime rates among young Hispanics. That too is outrageously high.

The real choice is this: We can either slow both legal and illegal immigration and maintain Republican power in this country, or we can listen to some dumba$$ from Texas and toss away the whole shootin' match by initiating this bill. I remember many pundits predicting ever higher illegal immigration from the S-M bill back in the 1980s, and those same people are saying the same thing now. Guess what? They were right then, and they are right now.

Yea, Krauthammer was pretty good until he suggested something as dumb as amnesty once "90% of illegal immigration" had ceased. All that would do is create a war among social scientists, the vast majority of whom would be crawling over one another to certify that the border was "sealed."

NO AMNESTY, under any circumstances. Rewarding past lawbreaking only encourages new waves of these people. Why? Well, they will figure that if they can only beat the new walls, drones, etc., they will ultimately be rewarded with citizenship. Why is this so hard for people to understand? These 12+ million people don't deserve our compassion...they have flouted our laws and should pay the price. Enforcement and deportation only...this is the only signal that we can afford to send. If we want to be serious about this, the PC effort to feel good about ourselves needs to be deep-sixed.

Paul at powerlineblog now has a nice post up about the Gerson article and its role in a White House spin operation to demonize conservatives, with a point by point refutation. As I said above, I've had my taste of it locally and, like Paul, "don't like having my character and intelligence insulted." Note also how rarely the WH has employed such tactics in support of conservative positions.

Yes, the Bush White House will trash conservatives (on certain issues) much more readily than it will trash liberals. In fact, liberals seem to be largely immune from White House attack.
As for Mr. Gerson, he knows God talk and compassion and the GWB mentality. He can also write. But he doesn't "get" politics. No wonder Bush hired him.

How much of a jerk do you have to be to oppose immigration?

Thank you, "Captain," for that libertarian swill. The next time I need a completely unrealistic, econometric load of crap I'll be sure to contact you.

On the other hand, I almost decided to let this go. After all, the link you refer to is very nearly self-scuttling. I've never see a finer example of one-world crappola (except make Dani Rodrik's BS). It amazes me how someone can start with neo-classical economic assumptions and end up endorsing what amounts to socialism :(

And another thing, "Captain," Rodrik (as well as the guy you cite who references him) should read is own friggin' research before he spouts off about how immigration ain't so bad. Like this piece:

Rodrik, D. 1999. "Where did all the growth go? External shocks, social conflict, and growth collapses." Journal of Economic Growth 4: 385-412.

And what does that article report? Something very simple: Racially- or ethnically-divided societies are conflict prone, and grow much less rapidly than more homogeneous societies. Of course, even a blind man could figure out that such a dynamic complicates purely economic considerations of immigration policy.

So, Rodrik can take his "policy recommendation" and shove it where the sun don't shine. If there's one thing I REALLY despise, it's a social scientist who selectively ignores his own research in order to peddle some subset of his own ideological preferences.

And people wonder why real conservatives distrust social science.

Ohhh, such hatred. Such bigotry. It saddens me to read this. You really should seek professional help.

Actually, Cameron (or whoever you really are), my commentary above connotes irritation with politically-inspired nonsense (e.g., Rodrik's inanity). I reserve my hatred for simpering idiots who try to substitute insipid value-judgments for thoughtful commentary.

Ohh, ohh, ohh. You are a very disturbed person, I think. Your hate is devouring you from the inside.

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