George Bush owes apology for defaming anti-illegal-immigration opponents of current Senate proposal and opponents owe America support for proposals to remedy its deficiencies.
President Bush owes an apology to anti-illegal-immigration opponents of the current Senate proposal for implicitly defaming their motives and for failing to rebuke his spokespersons implicitly attributing bigotry to their motives. No doubt, there are some opponents on the fringes of the right (as well on the left-side of labor) whose opposition flows from bigotry, but the way Bush expressed himself (and tolerated subordinates' expressions) in criticizing opponents wrongly served to perpetuate the false impression (promoted by leftists) that bigotry motivates most, if not virtually all, opponents on the right rather than only a tiny percentage on the fringes. This justifiably left many of his thus-far most ardent supporters extremely angry at having been implicitly equated with bigots rather than proponents of secure borders in the age of terrorism.
Not only did Bush's and his subordinates' actions prompt such expressions of angry outrage by many of his theretofore ardent supporters, but such actions also prompted a field-day for the Bush-hating, surrender-now crowd on the left and their sycophants in the traditionally dominant media (a.k.a. "MSM") competing with each other to:
(a) echo (and seek to amplify) sentiments expressed by some of Bush's erstwhile supporters accusing him of having "alienated" his "base" and/or "destroying" the Republican Party and
(b) implicitly, if not explicitly, characterize as "true" the "bigotry" characterizations inferred from Bush's and his subordinate's criticisms of his supporters' opposition to the Senate proposal..
For example, the Bush-hating/surrender-now crowd and their MSM sycophants took particular delight in echoing/amplifying Rush Limbaugh's criticism of Bush in the matter. However, Limbaugh, an ardent supporter of Bush on Operation Iraqi Freedom, has long expressed serious and substantive policy-oriented criticisms of Bush on a wide range of issues (e.g., "spending," new "entitlements" such as prescription-drug benefits, and other "conservative" issues in addition to Bush's long-known position on how to deal with illegal immigration). Similarly, most of "talk radio" (e.g., Laura Ingraham, Michael Smerconish, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Bill Bennett, Neil Boortz, Michael Medved, Michael Reagan and Mike Gallagher, to name a few) as well as the dominant pundits on the right side of the blogosphere (e.g., Michelle Malkin, Captain Ed, PowerLine's bloggers, Glenn Reynolds, Victor Davis Hanson, and Charles Johnson to name but a few) have long-expressed serious, substantive criticism of Bush on similar issues. But, because such long-standing examples of criticism of Bush "from the right" don't fit the MSM's "template" for falsely characterizing such pundits "on the right" as mere sycophants for Bush, the MSM gave little attention to such examples.
Although Bush's (and his subordinates') defamatory mischaracterizations of "opposition" to the Senate proposal indisputably provide grist for the MSM mill to grind-out "news" falsely characterizing opposition from "the right" to the Senate proposal as founded on bigotry (against "people of color"), many responses from "the right" excoriating Bush (and his subordinates) served to exacerbate the effects such MSM responses. How? By mischaracterizing Bush's (and his subordinates') criticism of bigots as though it were a criticism of them rather than by expressing agreement with his criticism of bigots as a way of contrasting bigoted opposition to the Senate proposal with their unbigoted, rational, reasonable, and common-sense opposition to it as mind-bogglingly complicated proposal that would substantively amount to little more than a "Simpson-Mazzoli Redux."
Although Limbaugh expressed unequivocal opposition to the substance of Bush's position on the Senate proposal, he was one of the few "on the right" to reject the interpretation of Bush's comments as having been intended to characterize most opponents (of the Senate proposal) "on the right" (in contrast to the tiny percentage on the far-right fringes) as "bigots." To Limbaugh's credit, he refused to succumb to the "Bush-is-calling-me-a-bigot" interpretation of Bush's criticism of opposition to the Senate proposal; rather, though strenuously disagreeing with Bush's policy, he credited Bush for sincerity in believing that border-enforcement plus a guest-worker program would make it easier, rather than more difficult, to detect and prevent what the "Three Amigos" video above illustrates-- i.e., terrorists and/or Chavez-inspired "reconquistas" from crossing the border (the latter of who claim they "didn't cross the border" and that instead, "the border crossed them").
Regardless of whether one agrees or disagrees with the assertion that "illegal immigrants" arrived because they're willing to "do work American's won't do"şı (which anyone with a modicum of common sense knows to be at least partially true), the opponents of the Senate proposal are in reality most upset with politicians who seem to believe that the "real" job that "Americans don't want to do" is to enforce the border as satirically illustrated by the great Day By Day cartoonist, Chris Muir, who gave permission for his "border patrol" cartoon to be adapted to video by PoliSat.Com.
I agree in principle with those who say effective border control must come first as a foundation for a sensible, fair and enforceable "guest worker" program. I likewise agree with opponents of the Senate proposal as currently written which, among other things, irresponsibly contains provisions granting "z-visa" legality automatically within 24 hours after application unless a "background" check conducted within such 24 hours were to uncover grounds for denial. Instead, the bill should require as prerequisites for granting of a z-visa application: (a) that the applicant return to his country of origin to apply for same; (b) that the applicant prove continuous residence in his country of origin for not less than 60 days after initiation of such application, (c) that such applicant be required to tender an application fee in a sum sufficient to pay for a thorough background check during such 60-day period, and that (d) completion such background check without finding grounds for denial of the application be necessary for continuation of the application. Additionally, such program must also include elements requiring applicants to make satisfactory arrangements to pay penalties for any criminal fraud (such as fraudulent use of Social Security accounts/numbers/identification, for example). See, for example, suggestions I described in May, 2006.
No "perfect" solution can be devised, but whatever the solution, it must be one sufficiently rigorous to minimize it becoming a de-facto Simpson-Mizzoli Redux. Of course, no long-term solution can be effective unless it were to also be accompanied by effective political/economic pressure on Mexico to modernize its economic system with free-market principles and to crack-down on the pervasive corruption. That is the greatest challenge of all-- especially given the Paleo-Stalinist pressures (a la Hugo Chavez' growing influence among the disaffected poor in Latin America) likely to increase, rather than decrease, in Mexico.
--Jim Wrenn, Editor, WrennCom.Com.
şı Although I've often observed workers whose appearance matches that of what the Left loves to describe as Latino "people of color," I've never attempted to discern, and have never acquired reason to know, whether such workers were "legal" or "illegal" immigrants or citizens. In all but a very few instances, however, what I observed were people working very hard at very hard jobs. Having watched highway-construction crews for many decades before "illegal immigration" was even on the political radar screen, I have long been familiar with the familiar adage among motorist/taxpayers that such construction crews seem too often to involve two people watching for each one working. In contrast, in many instances in which I have observed so-called Latino "people of color" working on construction crews, the sight resembles the energetic work of ants rather than the "two watching for each one working" system so prevalent in highway construction.
The permanent link to this installment at WrennCom.Com is http://wrenncom.com/CommentaryArchives/2007/20y07m06d04-01.asp. The permanent link to this installment at PoliSat.Com is http://polisat.com/DailyPoliticalSatire-Commentary/du20y07m06d04-01.htm.