The Discerning Texan
-- Edmund Burke
Thursday, May 31, 2007
"What's right for America": It's nothing Personal, Mr. President; it's just a Bad Bill
As someone who has supported this President through thick and thin, I think I can at least begin to understand now why so many on the left are infuriated by him: some of his pronouncements are so "black and white" that they leave very little wiggle room. "What's right for America" is an enormous brush with which to paint this issue--especially when so many in his own party (myself included) see this more as steering the Titanic towards the iceberg, full speed ahead. It's easy (for me anyway) to agree with "what's right for America" when the President is discussing the War against Jihadists worldwide--but it is also becoming easier to see why those on the opposite side of that argument are so virulent.
Speaking for myself, I'm not looking at "a narrow slice of it" but only at its first and most important consequence: The conferring of instant open-ended legal residency and employment rights on just about anybody on the planet who wants them under a visa that, while technically "probationary", will in practice be all anybody ever needs because (aside from its other benefits) it removes any possibility of deportation. After that's gone into effect, the "narrow slices" and "little aspects" in Section 739(f) won't matter.
Any "background check" will be perfunctory and conducted by an agency manifestly unable to cope with its present caseload. When I saw the President a few months ago, he touched en passant on the sclerosis of government departments. I find it hard to believe that as the chief of state he's not aware that this particular state agency is in no position to "solve this problem". If he is really unaware, I suggest he visit those CIS processing centers where, due to shortage of space, the adjudicators have to store files at home or in the trunks of their cars. That's one reason why, for example, an agency which demands original documents manages to lose so many of them.
I respect the President and I appreciate that his sincerity on this issue has been obvious for his entire political career. But I don't think he should impugn the good faith of those who, equally sincerely, disagree - not on "narrow slices" but on the central proposition: that drive-thru legalization for millions of people subject to desultory background checks by an agency without the resources to conduct them is not "what's right for America".
While I would be the first to defend many moral absolutes as an undisputed prerequisite to the rule of law in a civilized society--still in the President's attempt to build an inclusive society, using such terms as "what's right for America" and disparaging anyone who disagrees with him is hardly a way to be a "uniter." When you make black and white pronouncements like that, yet are unable to come up with facts to effectively back them up, it is a recipe for disaster--and that is what we saw yesterday in Georgia.
Yes he stands on his core principles, and I can and always have admired and respected that. But most thinking American people have principles too, and the rule of law happens to be high on my list. And an absolutist communication style which does not leave someone who believes the laws ought to apply to everyone any wiggle room is at best myopic and at worst suicidal. Yet that is exactly what President Bush managed to do in one destructive paragraph yesterday.
Since the mid-60's Americans have been looking the other way when it comes to Illegal Immigration. Some of the 9/11 hijackers were here illegally, and so were two of the Fort Dix conspiritors. There are many more Islamist illegals who are already here, just looking for a weakness to exploit or an opportunity to commit mass murder. I have no doubt of this. And I think it is high time that we made it more difficult--not easier--for those people. To ignore their illegal entrance into this country does exactly that. To make it illegal to deport them is like spitting in the face of the rest of us who do believe that a society which does not enforce its laws is an invitation to anarchy.
Mr. President, we simply cannot afford to look the other way any longer. If any of our laws are to have meaning, all of our laws must have meaning. As one example of many I could choose from, how can you possibly support a bill that would forgive these illegals their back Income Taxes owed? What does that say to the millions of us who have paid taxes through the nose? So...while you are at it, how about mailing me refunds for my tax receipts back since Amnesty I came to a border crossing near you in 1986. I followed the law; I paid my dues. So why don't I as a law abiding American citizen get the same benefits that you suddenly want to dole out to 12-20 million illegals--including the pool of about 20-60 thousand or so of those from which future mass murderers may be festering; if you believe the Pew poll, 1 in 4 of those 60K want an opportunity to kill Americans for Islam. Is that good for America?
In my mind, showing its citizens that laws matter and that no one is above them is "what's right for America." Show us a bill that does that, and show us you can and have enforced our existing laws-- and then let's talk.