Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Fred Thompson on Immigration

About the new "comprehensive" immigration bill in the Senate Fred Thompson says, "No matter how much lipstick Washington tries to slap onto this legislative pig, it’s not going to win any beauty contests." That’s a great line but it also effectively encapsulates his point: the bill is too "comprehensive" and unwieldy to be good. If 1000+ pages are needed to satisfy everyone here, you can bet that no one is going to be satisfied--except, perhaps, those who don’t really want anything done.

Thompson also makes the very sensible point that Congress really ought to focus entirely on regaining control of the border. It can worry about what to do about those who are already here later. But getting control of our border is both a matter of national security and of regaining the trust of the American people.

There is nothing in this piece that is groundbreaking or astonishing--except that it is coming from a potential presidential candidate. It is, it seems to me, exactly what a presidential candidate ought to say about immigration at this moment.

As for the running commentary on the Darwinian aspects of a Romney candidacy, I would say that while Thompson may not be as attractive as Romney I wonder if Romney might not be suffer, in the end, from looking just a little too handsome. Unless you are an intern with self-esteem issues, a president is not--after all--a potential mate. You are choosing him not to father your off-spring but to be something like (and I mean this very loosely) a father-figure to you. A handsome man like Romney may strike some as a bit too much; too polished and too put together. Can he roll with the punches? Will he be willing to get dirty or will he need to take a moment to slick down his hair? This is why I think John Edwards will never, ever be president. He’s the stereotypical preening weenie forever now--whether he actually is one or not. That reputation is going to stick and it is the kiss of death. Romney should do something to counter any perception of something like that now--but he can’t look phony doing it (a la John Kerry hunting).

Discussions - 10 Comments

Julie: You nailed it: Focusing on getting control of our border is THE key to "regaining the trust of the American people". Maybe Prince Harry could be sent to......Nogales??? Just asking.

George W. Bush's legacy is going to be defined by events in Iraq. So he ought to stop this "comprehensive immigration" reform nonsense, get himself on a plane, get himself to Iraq, and not leave until he's personally satisfied that events have taken a turn for the better.

For the duration of his Presidency, he has two OVERRIDING issues:

1} Winning the war in Iraq, and

2} Making sure that he completely stops Tehran's Manhattan Project.

Those TWO issues should completely consume the rest of his Presidency.

If he completes those two tasks, he will be recalled in history as a great President.

IF HE WERE TO FAIL in any one of those tasks, he will be remembered as America's second worst President. History will identify him as America's Chamberlain. As Chamberlain placed his faith in diplomacy, Bush will be recalled as the man who prattled on about various UN procedures, while Tehran armed itself with weaponry of supreme slaughter.

It's kind of hard for Romney to counter that image, when in fact that is exactly what he is. He's a phony NRA member, a phony man, and a phony conservative. He's a John Kerry type who just happens to have thrown his lot in with the GOP. The only thing that I don't understand is why so many "conservatives" like Dobson, Heritage, and NLT, keep putting lipstick on the Romney Ken doll,

Captain Clinthab sails again to harpoon the Great White Romney. Yaarr!!!

Oh, Julie, we've had our disagreements in the past, but one must give credit where it is due. That phrase you coin -- "preening weenie" -- very nice indeed (as well as apt). Well done.

Hmmm, what to say. If you want the real truth on Romney check out this website These people had stuff at CPAC that was dead on and pretty much proved what a fake Mitt is. A position or two is acceptable, but this guy has done a 180 in four years--that's just scary.

Thomas, you're way out of line. I don't really care what the ancestory of Mexicans is (or yours for that matter). Also many Hispanics are converting to evangelicalism, are they better or more european than the supposed 200,000 converting to Islam?

I have to say that I agree almost wholly with Dan--but with these two caveats: I think regaining control of the border should be considered (almost exclusively for now) a national security issue and so it should rank up there at least 3rd in his list and, I still think that history will be kinder to Bush than anyone today is inclined to be. It is fair to be critical of many of the things that Bush has done but it is unfair to forget the kind of opposition he faces every day and the determination he still shows in the face of it. He deserves much of the criticism he gets (and brings much of it--unnecessarily--upon himself) but he gets the nature of the struggle we are facing. He may be ineffective at communicating it, unpersuasive in explaining it, and occasionally misguided about how to respond to it BUT (and it's a big BUT) he gets it. He will be remembered for that, at least.

That said, national security is why I am not even interested (at this point) in talking about "what to do" with the millions of illegal immigrants already here. Beef up the border (which means, especially, a serious fence) and beef up intelligence. Find and deal with the bad guys. The rest will work itself out when we have the luxury to debate it rationally.

Dain, I'm glad we're friends again.

And Thomas . . . you're either a seminar poster or simple-minded Nazi kook. Whatever the case . . . just go away. Really, this is over your (European though it may be) head.

David, I am sorry this is simply not true that illegal aliens are keeping down wages. This is a common myth that is bandied about and insures that illegal immigration will remain illegal and remain a deadly problem. The majority of jobs done by illegals are jobs that noone will voluntary take.. at least at a price they would be affordable for most middle class persons to be able to afford such services. The most common service provided by illegals is land work, gardening services. Now honestly tell me that you will get young unemployed Black kids to go work on those jobs, and what you will hear is, 'we'd didn't get of the plantation to work in the fields'... and to get some white middle class kids to do that hard work is even less of a find. These people are willing to do the job at the price most people can afford to pay such services... and neither domestic minorties nor the white middle class will be willing to do that even for 4x the current rate (as my poor 84 year old mother found out trying to get people do cut her lawn for her these past eight years, since I fled to Central Europe). What needs to be done is to make it as easy for these workers to come and go back to their families after the season ends. The reason why they stay now is because once they get here they cannot risk returning and not being able to come back next year. So they stay, and they establish families up here. All the scare figures that get bandied about how many Latinos will come up here are just that.. fantasy figures.

Clifford, how do you expect to keep up with events in Poland? Anyway, Sowell has a series of commentaries that dispell most of what you say. Hispanics are a minority in nearly all job categories, giving the lie to the notion that they take jobs no one else will take (your grandma notwithstanding). Moreover, back in the 1980s, as people were debating the Simpson-Mizzoli bill, some said it would result in ever more illegals...and people like you said they were engaging in "fantasy" figures. Nonsense. You are the one living in a never-never land. Most Hispanics come to STAY...getting home is their last concern (as the birthright baby boom attests to). Pull your head out of the sand, man...and come home. We need you more than Poland.

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