In 2007, when then-governor Eliot Spitzer announced his plans to allow illegal immigrants to get driver’s licenses, I began receiving mailers like the one above from my county Republican party. Democrats I spoke with said that the fall-out from Spitzer’s plan would destroy Democratic chances in the 2007 county elections, that it would keep Democrats from gaining seats in the 2008 State Senate election, and that it spelled doom for Democratic candidates running in districts like mine (NY-29). In fact, county Democrats picked up two lej seats in 2007 (which led to the firing of the guy who masterminded the mailers), took over the State Senate in 2008 for the first time in over forty years, and gained two upstate Congressional seats, including mine.
Anti-immigration political tactics worked just as badly in Arizona:
McCain says that last year he saw how toothless the issue was in Arizona. “Congressman J. D. Hayworth had a pretty good opponent,” he said of the former Republican from Arizona, who lost his seat in the 2006 midterm election. “J.D. ran just on the issue of immigration, in a moderate but Republican district. Arizona State University is there, in Phoenix. And J.D. got beat by four points in the general election. There was a guy who was going to take Jim Kolbe’s seat”—an Arizona congressman who retired last year. “Jim was there twenty years, and had always carried the district well. The Republican candidate was another one where immigrant, immigration, anti-illegal immigration was his theme. He lost by twelve points. So I think there is a lesson in some of those elections when people use anti-immigration as a major part of their campaign. But I also know that it galvanizes a certain part of the Republican Party.”
Note that it’s a given that anti-immigrant politics are a terrible long-term strategy. This isn’t even about that — they don’t even work in the short term. So why did Romney and Giuliani choose to Tancredo themselves into ignominious defeat? I think it’s because they overestimated the power of things like the “brick brigade”, which formed to oppose McCain-Kennedy type legislation:
Advocates of tougher border security have sent thousands of bricks to Senate and House offices in recent weeks to make a none-too-subtle point with lawmakers about where many of their constituents come down on emerging immigration bills.
Leaders of the campaign, which has delivered an estimated 10,000 bricks since it began in April, said they had hit on the idea as a way to emphasize the benefits of a fence along the border with Mexico.
The same thing is happening again with the stimulus package. Despite polls showing its popularity and Obama’s overwhelming popularity, Villagers and Republicans alike are convinced it’s smart politics to oppose it because “the polls show one thing but the constituent calls to congressional offices against the stimulus are showing something else.”
Following the brick bridage’s marching orders was calamitous for the Republicans in 2008, not just because of the examples cited above but because McCain (who once co-authored a smart, fair immigration reform bill) lost the Latino vote by 2:1 largely because of this. So why is the GOP now taking orders from the silly putty and balls brigade? It could be fear of primaries, but look how Romney, Giuliani, and Tancredo did in those. And why does the Village seem to think this is all such a good idea?
Fool them once…
Hence Republican secret plan B: Make America’s economy so bad that illegals cross back into Mexico looking for work to send money back to their families here.
It’s the old cognitive dissonance story– The 50s social psychology classic "When Prophecy Fails" demonstrated that believers will react to ‘disconfirmation’ by trying to strengthen their social bonds to other believers. E.g., Call Your Congressman!
Please, please, please keep up with the Latino bashing, GOP. It’ll give us a Democratic majority for the next fifty years.
Anybody check out the banner at the top? Sam the Unlicensed Plumber’s Assistant Tax and Child Support Deadbeat has a book for sale.
Their tactics will just backfire on the GOP. David Plouffe said that Sarah Palin was Obama’s best fundraiser in the fall. I hope they keep it up.
If they make the party small enough, it will all fit into the same basement. That will save on postage, as they’ll be able to just hand the bricks to each other.
Mike in NC
Maybe Joe the Bricklayer will personally lead the "Brick Brigade" down to the border to begin this sacred mission. It’ll be a nice chapter for his book. Seriously, mailing a brick to your Congressman? Pretty damn stupid idea.
Exactly. I mean, it’s such a bad position for the GOP in the short and long-term, that even a pro-immigration guy like McCain who bucks the nativist tide within his party still gets punished at the polls. Doesn’t that tell the GOP something?
The Grand Panjandrum
They lost a good portion of the Latino vote (who are generally more culturally conservative than other Democrats) because of the racist undertones of the anti-immigration campaigns being waged? Shocking!
They are falling for the "constituent calls" stupidity. Only the most committed make the calls and that is not an adequate sampling of what the general public may (or may not) think about any given issue. The squeaky wheel may be get the grease, but the Republicans are going to get the shaft for these major political blunders.
Brick Oven Bill
Upon reflection, it very well may be the septic system industry and illegal immigration that solve our economic problems. It all comes down to aerobic digestion versus anaerobic digestion.
Aerobic digestion if far more efficient than anaerobic digestion. Septic systems are designed to keep the trench aerobic. This calculation was based upon traditional nuclear family loadings from good old America 1950s, with the entering argument being the number of bedrooms. But aerobically-operating septic systems are bad for septic system designers, because they rarely fail.
The key to this economic recovery is keeping the toe of the septic trench moist, separating the raw sewage from molecular Oxygen. This can be best achieved by putting a dozen or eighteen people in a house designed for four or five, a Central-American style loading.
So then the digestion becomes anaerobic, and the slime starts to creep down the trench base, and then up the trench walls, and then the raw sewage begins to spew forth from the ground. And then the neighbors begin to complain, and if the right government is in place, they will FORCE THE HOMEOWNER TO GET A NEW SEPTIC SYSTEM.
And then septic system designers get a couple of thousand bucks, if they can get the government to make all kinds of complicated regulations and layers of approvals. Thus saving us from economic collapse. Another growth industry is overflowing municipal sewers, as an aside.
Anecdotal evidence based on non-representative samples are always better than that science bullshit. C’mon man.
Besides, the people sending balls to the Senate are Real Americans.
Unrelated to immigration, but related to GOP racism, didja catch this cartoon that Tom Tomorrow pointed to yesterday?
I’m not sure I follow the logic here. Are you seriously suggesting that people taking a hardline on immigration lost because of that position? I would have to see even anectdotal, let alone empirical, support for that before I labeled it something other than a gross confusion of reality.
I think it is fair to say that anti-immigration positions did not suffice to help certain vulnerable candidates win, but that is a far cry from ascribing defeats to those positions.
As for even a political analogy between immigration politics and positions on the stimulus, I think you need to do a bit more than say, "see, it’s all the same."
Because they are morons.
Here’s what they’re saying in FL about Gov Crisp’s support for the stimulus :
Not a single Florida Republican in Congress supported it, but their public opposition is potentially tricky with Florida’s most popular politician, Crist, all over TV lately touting his support. Crist was side by side with Obama in Fort Myers on Tuesday, stressing how much help the package could be to Floridians.
”They may not be saying it outright, but the Republican delegation is very angry. If they got Charlie Crist in a dark alley, all you’d have left is a tuft of white hair,” said Ana Navarro, a Republican consultant from Miami, suggesting Crist has dampened enthusiasm for a potential U.S. Senate run in 2010.….
”You still have the same division in our party between the base who are extreme and the moderates who are interested in getting something done,” said Republican operative and Crist supporter Roger Stone of Miami.
The extremists love purity. And they love losing elections.”
Good God! Talk about racist.
Sure, because we all know anyone who "dampen(s) enthusiasm" deserves to die.
@Brick Oven Bill:
I see you haven’t upped your electrolyte intake yet.
The bricks thing perplexes me. Bricks can be used to build things. Why not just send them your trash instead?
Could you explain to me why McCain only got 31% of the Latino vote? He’s from Arizona and has had excellent relations with the Latino community there, winning their vote in many elections.
I apologize for the “gross distortion” of suggesting that 18 months of uninterrupted anti-immigrant hysteria from Republicans might have changed the minds of a few Latino voters. I know it’s quite a stretch to imagine that. And I know that a massive loss among a voter that McCain had previously won isn’t empirical evidence.
I guess you’re just a lot smarter and more scientific than I am.
A few years ago, when Bush’s popularity began to tank, I noticed that even my conservative inlaws were saying they were disappointed with Bush. Curious, I asked them how he had let them down. They said immigration reform. I was surprised. There were so many obvious reasons to be disappointed in Bush: starting a disastrous war on false pretenses, ballooning the federal deficit, not acting decisively as an American city drowned. I could not understand how immigration that would be the issue that turned them around.
In truth, I suspect it wasn’t. I suspect the country as a whole was turning on Bush, so they were looking for a reason that would fit their world view to dump him, but still that was a surprise. So I guess plenty of people who vote in primaries care about this issue, and as the Republican party shrinks Republicans will be more and more compelled to pander to them to get their vote.
Phoenician in a time of Romans
And why does the Village seem to think this is all such a good idea?
Because everybody at the country club agrees how terrible these illegal Mexicans are?
You know something?
I’m not sure if their strategy is THAT crazy. Their ideology, for sure is. The strategy ‘tho?
By going by constituent calls, those callers tend to be the more active side of the political world. The GOP is banking on those people being "Opinion Leaders" in their community, and leading the way for them.
Actually, now that I think about it they’ve been doing this for years now.
Hasn’t really worked so well thus far….besides making them more and more committed to these "leaders"
Ivan Ivanovich Renko
And they always lose the African American vote (also traditionally culturally conservative) for exactly the same reason.
Srsly, one does not need to review policy minutiae to the nth decimal place to understand why the GOP fails among "people of color."
The Republicans have become the party of white supremacy, full stop.
I think that’s right. But I think in this case these people are just kooks that no one listens to.
Someone who calls and makes a good point is not unlikely to be an opinion leader. Someone who sends balls, bricks, and silly putty is probably someone who frightens his neighbors.
If I understand the Sullivan piece correctly, the GOPers are voting against the stimulus package because they’re afraid that they’ll be bumped off in the primaries by someone to the right of them. That sounds a lot like the rationale that has packed the California state legislature with such a rich assortment of wingnuts.
Cubans vote Republican.
I think there is an overall “we’re the party of the white” element to the GOP that turns off non-white voters. But immigration policy is a big part of what gives that impression, and, moreover, they made inroads in the Latino vote under W.
joe from Lowell
You can build a pretty big structure with 10,000 bricks.
I wonder if they used them for the new visitor’s center.
Steele would disagree with you, even if he is only one of the 3 minorities in any GOP meeting.
I think this is a mistake, an unnecessary over-interpretation. My relatives expressed genuine hope from the moment Bush Jr. was handed the Presidency, even before, that this now meant that the country was gonna stop lettin’ the damn imgrants ruin everything, etc.
When even the Republican triumvirate (the 2003 takeover of all 3 branches of government) did no such thing, they began speaking as people betrayed.
This was at the height of Bush Jr. as Ronald Reagan II mania.
Read on the White House website e-mails from conservatives shocked at Bush Jr’s January 2004 proposal for a new temporary worker policy:
It’s up to you, but I don’t think these are people who are expressing generalized disappointment in Bush Jr. in the form of anti-immigrationism. This was at the very height of Republican takeover triumphalism, of proclaiming the Permanent Republican Majority.
You should think of immigration for a lot of people as not an immigration but as a race issue. When you think about how race has been the cornerstone of the late-1960s-onward ‘conservative’ movement, and ‘immigration’ as an extension of that, you shouldn’t be surprised that it’s a deep value issue rather than one of practicality.
joe from Lowell
Cubans vote Republican.
They’re losing them, too. IIRC, polling in California showed Cuban-Americans under 40 preferring Obama to McCain.
This past Thurday one of Bill Bennett’s callers suggested sending shoes to Capitol Hill.
Bennett and his side kick Seth quickly threw a wet blanket on the idea because Homeland security had asked them to discourage people from sending things in because it really screwed with screening the mail.
So all these people who are being too cute by half are pissing off the regular working folks in D.C. That’s smart.
And one other point about constituent calls — the Republicans listened to all of those calls and sank the immigration bill. The talk radio and its audience saw that as a success. But every time they’ve tried the same stunt since then, it’s failed. It seems to me the only people who respond to such tactics are the GOP. And look where it got them.
I agree that they’ll lose all the non-white vote if they don’t dampen down the xenophobia.
@Reverend Dennis: I was thinking the same thing. Another reason I hope the redistricting goes better after prop 11, so that there can be more moderates on both sides.
When has immigration NOT been a race issue????? From the 19th Century on, with Irish, Asians and others, the immigration issue has been a thinly disguised rants of whites vs. "others" (and remember, the Irish weren’t considered "white" then).
That’s what gets me about the immigration debates. Some folks have MEMORIES. And if you’re using the same rhetoric, the same arguments and even the same wording as blatantly racist anti-immigration arguments did in the 19th Century, how can you NOT expect to see immigration issues get mixed up with racial issues?????
The GOP just can’t help themselves but be the party of fear and loathing… now shh don’t remind them cause I want a dem majority for at least 20 years
Cubans have voted republican… That’s changing (as noted above, just thought I’d link, although I don’t have the original polls).
Agreed, the David Broder-types and the GOP continue jerking circularly. Please continue, by all means…
Constant overriding fear of primary challenges is a good way to just end up losing the general.
@gwangung (the message reference link thing seems to wipe whatever I type for some reason):
As long as mass mailing campaigns are in vogue, here‘s something to send the nativists.
Mike in NC
I’m Irish but the jury is still out…
HP has a selection guide on their website where you can put in the specs you want most.
@gwangung: And yet, no matter how profoundly race factors into the modern debate over immigration, it is almost never dealt with.
Maybe they’ll even get around to repealing term limits. They’ve been a disaster in this state: every time some wingnut gets termed out he or she is replaced with an even worse wingnut (And I’m including Democrats here.) who begins the process of learning what their job is. Unfortunately, the only ones giving instruction are the lobbyists and the staff.
@Reverend Dennis: I agree can you imagine the current impasse with Willie Brown in the assembly and sorry about posting to the wrong thread.
Yeah, well when the racists keep thinking THEY’RE the ones who are post-racial….
Somebody should tell them if they keep using reasoning and they keep using the words that racists in the past have used, you better take some time to SHOW that you yourself are not racist–saying "I’m not a racist" is not enough.
there really aren’t very many current gop positions that i am not in favor of them continuing to uphold. keep right on with your talking points that got you trounced in 06 and 08. by all means keep listening to those constituent calls. palin. JTP. gingrich. boner. vitter. a report card with straight Fs means we’re just turning the corner and about to resurge!!!
I think Doug’s larger points are :
1) The GOP’s in a bind. Their base is very excited by anti-immigration (among other things) sentiment. But, there’s a "net negative effect" because anti-immigration sentiment gets more people to vote against the GOP than for. This is what happens when you hitch yourself to a declining, and far-out-of-the-mainstream element of the population. Note Republicans claim this is what Democrats are doing ("far left"), but it’s just projection.
2) Once again, the Villagers are incredibly wrong about how "winning" of an issue immigration is for the GOP. Just like they were wrong about who won the McCain/Obama debates. Just like they were wrong about Social Security reform. And just like they’re wrong about the stimulus now.
The Villagers love conflct, soundbites and political theater. The GOP loves hearing themselves talk. So the GOP gets positive reinforcement from the Villagers and plenty of air time for their crazy views ("FDR caused the Depression", "Only tax cuts can increase economic activity", "Obama’s stimulus is going to cause an economic apocalypse", "the government has never created a job").
There are two things needed to stop this. One – Obama and Democrats stick to their guns. Two, Obama and Democrats need to be out there promoting/explaining, in clear terms: Why we’re right and how it was Republican policies that got us in this mess. Republican ideas don’t get a "do over" – they’ve had 30 years to work, and fail miserably every time.
Democrats have a lot going for us – we’re demonstrably right, or within the realm of solidly supported opinion, on every issue (war, healthcare, science, entitlements, energy policy, transit, environment). We also happened to be strongly aligned with what the American people want (check poll after poll on every issue).
We just need to explain it better and not let the Villagers lead us astray.
think norquist would be half happy if we just reduced the republic party to the size that we could drown it in a bathtub?
half happy for a half wit.
There is without doubt a nativist and racist element that hates immigration. Immigration as a word has a meaning and in this country a legal definition which is generally understood to be the same. In this case it isn’t and I’d have to wonder if the mangling of its ordinary definition isn’t deliberate.
There is a difference in legal terms and general understanding between immigration and illegal immigration, one having some sort of control and the other being an uncontrolled invitation to abuse. The levels of abuse are multiple, the illegal workers are subject to all kinds of employment abuse and the labor market is depressed. Tax reveues are abused and consumers are abused.
I am a construction contractor in E OR with little illegal hiring in my area. I cannot compete with ID contractors where illegal hiring is virtually the rule, my labot costs are multiples of theirs. It isn’t just a matter of wage, which would be bad enough, there is the little matter of all the tax loads, UE, Worker Comp, etc. When all of that is factored in my labor costs are 150% of wage, not including any ordinary business expenses of having employees.
What keeps me in business is keeping my labor costs in line with what a motel in town would cost per day for them to bring their crews here. If you check the more urban areas you will find that despite higher living costs wages are roughly what I pay, due to the presence of illegal hiring. That is my industry.
The same situation prevails in labor intensive low education industries across the country. If you are not in that labor market, its just racist bullshit, if your wages are depressed due to illegal hiring it becomes much more important to you. Without the illegal hiring you still have the unrestricted flooding of the labor market depressing wages. But you won’t bitch about insourcing while you throw hissy fits as higher level jobs are outsourced and you can’t understand your MS helpline Indian.
So what it comes down to is that you are more concerned with the interests of poor people with no legal right to either be here or be employed here than you are with your fellow citizens and legal immigrants.
Don’t even confuse me with the Lou Dobbs types, my concern is with the people who come out and bust ass for me and those like me who have watched their wages decrease every year since St Ronnie’s Amnesty. None of the above even begins to address the danger to the American system of creating a disenfranchised serf class.
You have a double whammy of tax encouraged wealth increase at the top and labor market flooding at the bottom and you misuse the word immigration to score a racism point? When the bottom falls out the middle class starts getting hit, notice any of that? Cheap rhetorical games suck eggs, whatever side employs them, DougJ.
If one of you wants to try the racist tag on me I’ll take your fucking hide off.
Of course, it could be that the really extreme wingnuts are actually Communist agents working to subvert the US in the most efficient way they know how. Art Buchwald told us all about back in 1961, in his column on The Orlov Plan.
You started out well but, like a lot of people who rant against illegal immigration, you seem much more upset at the people who come here for work than you are at the companies that hire them.
If we enforced the laws in this country against hiring illegal workers, there would be no illegal immigration problem. But large portions of the economy are based on keeping prices on things like farm produce and construction artificially low to try and increase profits as much as possible, so everyone turns a blind eye. Everyone in this country benefits from illegal workers, whether that benefit is a cheaper meal in a restaurant because all of the cooks are paid under the table or paying less to have someone mow their grass because the landscaper can pay his guys half of minimum wage and fire them if they get hurt. This is how companies have managed to essentially freeze wages since the 1970s — by keeping the cost of consumer goods artificially low.
I am worried about the rights of people who are not here legally. I am not worried about the rights of companies who hire them. Tyson Chicken should have been liquidated the second time their employees were convicted of hiring illegal workers, but since the government couldn’t prove that upper management approved of it, the jury decided it was just a "few bad apples" doing the hiring. And they’ll probably decide the same thing the next time — even the next 5 times — a Tyson plant is busted for hiring illegal workers.
Punishing the people who come here to work while giving the companies who hire them a wink and a nod when they keep hiring illegal workers over and over again is like arresting prostitutes but letting the johns go free. Unless you prosecute the one who initiates the crime, the crime will continue with a different person being exploited and sent to jail in their turn. Why haven’t you turned your competitors in to ICE for using illegal labor? Is it because you know the only thing that will happen is that their current workers will be deported, they’ll pay a couple thousand dollars in fines at most, and then they’ll go right back out and hire another group of illegal workers?
Not to mention that there are plenty of Mexicans in the West and Southwest whose families have been here a lot longer than mine has, and yet they still get treated as though they’re "illegals," because we’ve created a worker class based on race. There are plenty of illegal workers in Chicago and Boston, but somehow the Polish and Irish ones never get busted because they don’t "look" illegal when ICE shows up.
Comrade Baron Elmo
I’ve believed for a long time that Michelle Malkin, with her nonstop racist boilerplate –and her hyperwhiny overreaction when called on it — is worth her weight in gold to the Dems.
I’ve also noticed that a delightfully high percentage of Repubs carry themselves as if non-white Americans simply don’t pay attention to what they say. How else can you explain numbskull gaffes like George Allen — who I was certain was going to be the GOP nominee in last year’s election — calling a person of color a monkey on camera?
I still can’t understand this seemingly willful blindness on their part… but I also hope the wingnuts don’t figure it out, at least not for another decade or so.
It is clearly not in any way racist to be concerned with rational approaches to a national immigration policy.
On the other hand, it would be foolish to pretend that our national political discussion of immigration has come any where close to rational in decades.
For example, the very push factor that made the Reagan 1986 Amnesty necessary was that it was the open, declared, and completely well-known policy of the United States government (backed by a great deal of enabling from states via National Guard equipment transfers, training — why do you think Blackwater launched in Hertford NC waters?) to hire death squads and terrorists to either destroy the government and economy of one Central American nation (Nicaragua) or hire death squads and terrorists to slaughter civilians in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
Rational (reasonable) people would clearly have asked ‘Well, where the f*@% did you expect civilians would flee to?’
And when the Savings & Loan robbers needed to stash cash quick in an ultra-orgy of commercial property construction far faster than the construction market could keep up, ‘Where the f*@% did you think they would turn to get their instant & cheap labor force from‘?
And when Reaganism was driving the entire California economy into the sh!tter such that it was limping along on a service economy ‘booming’ only because California local and small business (i.e. restaurants) had a cheap Mexican & Central American labor force to draw upon, ‘Who the f*@% did you think Big Business Republicans would support in that effort‘?
And when NAFTA began displacing income and domestically-originated Mexican jobs in favor of semi-transplant reshipment and maquiladora factories, ‘Where the f*@% did you think the displaced work force would turn next?‘
And when NAFTA began favoring massive imports of U.S. agri-business food and agricultural products over previously protected Mexican small and regional producers, ‘Where the f*@% did you think those displaced and broke farmers would aim to go to?‘
And when you subsidize businesses to transfer production offshore rather than keep it in the U.S., ‘Who the f*@& did we think would get blamed, the anti-labor outsource industry of Republican ‘free’ trade maniacs, or the brown people we see around us?‘
And when here in Northeast Georgia, a dizzying boom in suburb construction arose with no limits whatsoever, sustainable only with an instant and cheap and reliable labor force, ‘Where the f*@% did you think the vast numbers of low margin builders of cheap homes and the high profit throwers of insta-Mansions would turn?‘
The truth is, we haven’t even begun to approach the zip code of being in a rational discussion of push & pull factors on immigration.
We get all hopped up on economic internationalist arguments that we push our ‘allies’ in the region to adopt such that quality of life plummets, jobs disappear, idiotic wargasm ‘drug’ policies allow narco-paramilitaries to literally co-administer the governments (national & local) of Colombia (the ‘hero of democracy’ in the Washington Post‘s view)…
…and then when anyone suggests reasonable standars on employers and business owners to determine the legality of their workers, it’s an attack on the entrepreneurial spirit and the ability of businesses to do with a cheap and disposable labor force what they couldn’t do with a constricted and expensive labor force.
Would I like to reduce immigration rates? Sure. Would I like to move toward a rational legalization of immigrants who are here and appear to be so permanently? Sure. Would I like Big Bizness rightism to stop using the vulnerability of immigrant labor with which to exploit U.S. workers?
You let me know when we’re about to have a rational discussion instead of a bunch of idiots screaming about walls and stopping the brown flood and making our businesses more competitive through globalization and our latest and greatest ideas on how our Latin American neighbors can be part of the exciting global economy by making life harder for their majorities.
I agree that illegal immigration hurts wages of legal workers. But there are two alternatives here: (1) continue to have undocumented workers or (2) make sure that every worker is documented. I think that (2) would have a less depressing effect on wages.
The notion that we can close off the border and deport 5 million workers without having a complete collapse in places like Arizona and California is not realistic.
The wingnuts are not proposing an actual solution to the problem of undocumented workers. They’re just throwing bricks through windows.
Brick Oven Bill
I understand the opposite of the word ‘Racist’ to be ‘Culturalist’. As I understand it, Racists attribute human biodiversity primarily to DNA, while Culturalists attribute human biodiversity to the cultures through which ‘blank slate’ human brains, which are all biologically identical, pass.
I guess this makes me a Racist, as the Culturalist theory does not seem to be based in reality. Culturalism seems to be a religion to me. Racism seems to be based in the science of varying evolutionary forces acting upon geographically isolated groups of Homo Sapiens oven the last 30,000 years.
Am I missing something?
@Brick Oven Bill: I don’t think you understand anything. Quite a lot of people who understand DNA as influencing human behavior are the same people emphasizing the dramatic role of human culture over idiotically reductionist DNA-based behavior theory; and blank slates are not capable of learning.
Humans learn precisely because they aren’t blank slates, and thinking you have to choose between biological determinism and human enculturation is entirely missing the point.
So, yes, you are missing something, though how deeply you are missing it seems yet to be determined.
The point is that we would totally fix our economy if we would begin to electrify our immigration policies.
Or as I used to put it to confused anti-immigration types, enforcing the no-illegal laborers laws = rich (predominately) white people going to jail. Not. Gonna. Happen.
So why is the GOP now taking orders from the silly putty and balls brigade? It could be fear of primaries, but look how Romney, Giuliani, and Tancredo did in those. And why does the Village seem to think this is all such a good idea?
Because fascists hate minorities. That’s the long answer.
The short answer is: fascists hate.
For some, hate is its own reward. Historically speaking.
Ivan Ivanovich Renko
One more thing– so long as the "illegals" are kept underground by the threat of ICE, they’ll continue to accept low wages and crap working conditions. Let them become "legal" (the wingtards call it "amnesty," I call it justice) and see if they’ll continue to do back-breaking labor for pennies.
This is the problem with hitching your wagon to the wrong horse. Take this example: Until the 1950s both parties were pretty darn racist. Then the Dems decided to adopt civil rights (mostly) and a ton of racists switched sides. This finally resulted in all the "Dixiecrats" leaving or becoming Republicans by the 80s. Which for a short time resulted in a Republican majority in the House/Senate. But the cultural forces are against the Republicans. Embracing racism and racists was not a demographically wise strategy (not to mention a morally unwise strategy too).
The same thing is true for hatred of gays, anti-immigrant sentiment, global warming denialism, and so on. Without commenting on even the merits of any of these issues, "reality" and "demographics" are on the side of Democrats as they exist today. Even on issues like healthcare, social security and market regulation – people aren’t necessarily "pro Democrat" but the Republican policies are opposed 2-1 on all of these issues (on an issue-level basis), and increasingly so given the state of healthcare and the market.
And, because Republicans have decided to embrace the loons (I argued they don’t have a choice, but still), they’re being dragged to the right as they kick out any moderating influences. I think New England Republicans are the "canary in the coal mine". Outside the racist south and mid-west "mormon belt" states the new GOP is not going to even hold its own in the next 10 years.
In other words, this video is the prescription that BoB needs?
It has electrolytes!
Ivan Ivanovich Renko
Damndest thing, ain’t it? The Republicans have put themselves on the wrong side of plain old justice, and even if most Americans can’t really articulate that, they certainly know something’s wrong with the GOP positions on… well, damn near everything.
Mike the dealer
I was at City Center in Vegas for my ‘pre-interview interview’ and while I was waiting to be called, I heard the greeter called up a series of latinos to the desk for their pre-interviews, it’s no wonder Nevada was a ‘battleground’ state and Obama took it in a rout, I’m just amazed the GOP could be this stupid to drive away such a large demographic.
I’m a blue collar worker whose employer is known for hiring illegal immigrants (google ‘TJMaxx Pittston’ if you want to know more), and my opposition to illegal immigration is economic.
Why should ‘I’ be in favor of illegal immigrant labor that lowers my bargaining power?
That said, having dealt with illegals at work and come to see them as real people and not just an abstract threat, I’m not so inhumane as to want to deport them all immediately.
Shit, if I were in their situation, I hope I’d have the balls to do what they did.
While I’d love to see a ‘Berlin Wall’ along our southern border, I’d also like to see that coupled with a campaign of real employer enforcement and a legalization program for the ones already here.
In other words, basically what we were promised back in 1986, but the Repubs in power failed to deliver.
As for why anti illegal immigrant candidates failed, my guess is that in a lot of instances, the candidate was a ‘one note Johnny’ and last year voters were more concerned about the economy and the wars overseas than they were about immigration.
Frankly, I voted Obama in spite of my position on illegal immigration because I realized there were more serious issues at stake and the ‘deport them now’ candidates were mostly fundamentalist whackjobs, neocon assholes, Club for Growth morons, or all of the above.
After the last 8 years, I’d have been crazy to vote Republican no matter what the party’s position on illegal immigration was.
kommrade reproductive vigor
Don’t forget, McPOW tapped Palin in an attempt to get the Disenchanted Super Feminist Clinton Supporter vote.
It’s like these guys have decided facts really do have a liberal bias, so they rely on rumor.
Some things to think about:
If it would make Americans feel that much better to build such a gigantic wall / gate / system, sure. I really don’t see it as being the answer. I also imagine that such an effort would not be completed for another several decades, long after we should still have been dealing with the problem.
If you keep the equivalent of a black market going, it will be attended to. For example, the tunnel industry. On the other hand, we could later get the
IsraeliMexican government to help us in a massive bombing campaign of the tunnels, which would then resume operations the day after the bombing stopped. And that could be the same Mexican military forces regularly exposed as being in collusion with the same narco-traffickers as those having the tunnels built.
I didn’t mean a literal wall.
If the most effective defense is defense in depth, then I’m all for it.
The problem is twofold, one is that we don’t have enough resources on the border and two is that we don’t crack down on employers who create the job market for illegals to begin with.
If I had my way, the person who decided to hire an illegal would be serving hard time in prison, and if the illegal he hired turned him in, then that person gets automatic citizenship.
Now that’s an intriguing idea. I anticipate a rather madcap day when that law is getting ready to come into force.
Brick Oven Bill
I supervised the construction of a six-foot high masonry wall, which was 3,000 feet long. It cost $80/ft and is was completed in a couple of days by a work crew of around four guys.
Figure the feds will pay ten times that cost, or $800/ft for a basic wall with barbed wire, along the southern border. This would cost $8.5 billion. This is less than 1% of the stimulus package price tag.
The reason for the delay, is to lower the cost of domestic labor, and centralize power among the political class and the power structure to which they answer. Labor on the world market goes for $3/day.
Like I said, I’ve come to know some of the illegals I work with as people, and I frankly sympathize with them.
On the other hand, you have the declining standard of living for blue collar workers such as myself working against accepting illegals and asking us to accept yet another vector of attack against us is simply unreasonable.
I believe that sending the person who hired an illegal to PMITA prison in return for citizenship for the exploited illegal who turned the bastard in would be a fair trade.
In fact, I’m willing to see his/her spouse and children get automatic citizenship.
The real problem isn’t the illegals but the bastards who hire them in the name of higher profits and damn the laws.
@Brick Oven Bill: Why on Earth would it occur to you even for one fraction of a moment that your experience building a brick wall has even the tiniest bit of relevance to a border security wall / gate / system for the U.S. Mexican frontier?
Yep. Speaking of that, I had forgotten about Republicans being wrong on foreign policy, torture/prisoner treatment, freedom of the press, etc.
Wile E. Quixote
I think it’s time to update this song for the Red State Strikeforce. Proof that the paranoid style in right-wing American politics is nothing new, plus ca change whatever, you get the point.
The John Birch Society
The Chad Mitchell Trio
Oh, we’re meetin’ at the courthouse at eight o’clock tonight
You just walk in the door and take the first turn to the right
Be careful when you get there, we hate to be bereft
But we’re taking down the names of everybody turning left
Oh, we’re the John Birch Society, the John Birch Society
Here to save our country from a communistic plot
Join the John Birch Society, help us fill the ranks
To get this movement started we need lots of tools and cranks
Now there’s no one that we’re certain the Kremlin doesn’t touch
We think that Westbrook Pegler doth protest a bit too much
We only hail the hero from whom we got our name
We’re not sure what he did but he’s our hero just the same
Oh, we’re the John Birch Society, the John Birch Society
Socialism is the ism dismalest of all
Join the John Birch Society, there’s so much to do
Have you heard they’re serving vodka at the WCTU?
Well you’ve heard about the agents that we’ve already named
Well MCA has agents that are flauntedly unashamed
We’re after Rosie Clooney, we’ve gotten Pinkie Lee
And the day we get Red Skelton won’t that be a victory
Oh we’re the John Birch Society, the John Birch Society
Norman Vincent Peale may think he’s kidding us along
But the John Birch Society knows he spilled the beans
He keeps on preaching brotherhood, but we know what he means
We’ll teach you how to spot ’em in the cities or the sticks
For even Jasper Junction is just full of Bolsheviks
The CIA’s subversive and so’s the FCC
There’s no one left but thee and we, and we’re not sure of thee
Oh, we’re the John Birch Society, the John Birch Society
Here to save our country from a communistic plot
Join the John Birch Society holding off the Reds
We’ll use our hand and hearts and if we must we’ll use our heads
Do you want Justice Warren for your Commissar?
Do you want Mrs. Krushchev in there with the DAR?
You cannot trust your neighbor or even next of kin
If mommie is a commie then you gotta turn her in
Oh, we’re the John Birch Society, the John Birch Society
Fighting for the right to fight the right fight for the Right
Join the John Birch Society as we’re marching on
And we’ll all be glad to see you when we’re meeting in the John
The John, the John Birch So- ci- i- teee
And how much does a pair of wire cutters cost, sunshine?
The thing is, it doesn’t matter if the majority dislike the anti-immigration stance of the GOP; if the majority simply don’t care about their anti-immigration stance, it’s still a loser for the GOP.
The anti-immigration stance only works if the number of people who would become GOP voters because of an anti-immigration stance is greater than the number of people who would become Democratic voters because of that same stance. Most people who really like the anti-immigration stance probably vote GOP anyway, whereas a lot of minorities who would otherwise vote for conservative policies are going to be repulsed by a party that treats them like second-class citizens.
As usual (and as with the stimulus), the GOP somehow convinced themselves the rest of the country thinks the same way they do. That wasn’t even true during the days of Bush II, let alone now.
Best rant of the weekend. Every idiot who wants to just build bigger fences or let ICE haul more tomato pickers off to the deportation center should stop and read a few like that first, then try to figure out what’s really going on.
If you love wealth more than liberty,the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in pease . We ask not your counsel,nor your arms,Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you.
may your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that were our countrymen. ————— Samuel Adams
Brick Oven Bill
Because I have climbed over fences in my lifetime. These fences did not have barbed wire, but it still was not easy. It slowed me down at least.
I have not tried to drive though a masonry wall, but I did have some friends at school who tried to jump a set of railroad tracks in a Chevy Malibu once. They got the front axle to impact a rail, and the car did not make it across the railroad tracks. One of the front seat passengers, who was drunk, managed to crack the windshield with his head though.
I suspect it is harder to drive a car through a masonry wall than it is to jump railroad tracks in a car.
So apparently the people who cross a desert to come to the US and work 16-hour days in menial, physically demanding jobs will be prevented from doing so by…. having to climb a wall.
That being said, if we ever need a way of keeping the right-wing bloggers out, a wall sounds like the way to go. Maybe some monkey bars too. Those fuckers would run a mile to get away from exercise. The patrols could carry wet towels and force the ones they capture to give them 20 sit-ups before sending them back.
Don’t forget that the immigration policy of the US government at the time was, "Death squads tried to kill you in El Salvador/Guatemala/Honduras? You must be a Commie — back you go!" And hundreds, if not thousands, of people were deported back to their deaths because it was OUR guys doing the killing.
It was so clearly and blatantly unfair that you had Americans helping illegal immigrants across the border, because these people from Central America had no other option if they didn’t want to be slaughtered. It set up the entire underground network we have now.
You evidently missed the part where I mentioned that I am an employer? You really think in the face of that rant that I have some sympathy for the cheating pieces of shit who are ruining my business?
Let me be real clear, I file all paper work, I’ll hire a green martian with proper papers who will agree to work hard, do it right, and work as a crew member. My personal desire for those rat bastard cheating employers would be ruinous fines first go around and jail for second timers. Do not every think that I’ll stand for the users over the used and abused. I did not call one thing by another name, I used the words illegal hire and illegal immigration.
Now if you’d like to try to make the case that flooding a labor pool isn’t an issue, I’ll take you up on it.
I have yet to be able to think of a stupider idea than building a wall to stem economic flight. There is such a thing as turning off the damn magnet. As for the idea that the American economy is dependent on illegal hiring, that neglects that even in some of the most labor intensive agricultural activities paying an actual wage would amount to about 7-12% increase in price at the maximum.
Brick Oven Bill ponders:
Nope. Besides your hilariously anachronistic concept of what the "opposite of the word ‘Racist’" is*, I don’t think you’re "missing" anything here. At least you own up to your own ideology, and are unapologetic about being a racist, sexist, crypto-eliminationist neo-aristocrat. It’s, um . . . refreshing? No wait, that’s not the word. Horrifying. Yes, that’s it. But while I recoil in horror at your worldview, I do respect your 1st Amendment right to express it. However, I do not necessarily respect all of your other rights (see, e.g., 2nd Amendment right to bear arms) because you are way outside the boundaries of societal norms (i.e., you are fucking crazy).
You’re too good to be true, dude. Too good to be true.
And all on a Valentine’s Day evening thread! Classic.
*Srsly? Apartheid-era Afrikaner anthropological terminology? Wtf books do you read, man?!
@Mnemosyne: The Sanctuary movement arose to save death-squad targeted refugees from El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua & Honduras.
The "law & order" right happily cracked down on them with a COINTELPRO style program of repression against a variety of groups, most famously CISPES (Committee In Solidarity with the People of El Salvador).
Republicans never fall out of their love of hiring fascists, anti-Communist nut squads, death squads, terrorists, narco-traffickers, mafia syndicates, and general crooks to do their bidding when mere law doesn’t seem fun enough.
Gotta keep them hippies from saving brown people from our death squads.
Brick Oven Bill
SGEW sounds like one of those bitter unionized civil servants that I have described stewing in their cubicle. I reject the projection. It is false, as much as SGEW would like for it to be true.
Nationalism does not mean hate. Nationalism, to me at least, means protecting the ideals provided to us by the Founders. This includes the freedom of thought and free inquiry on all subjects, including the politically incorrect ones.
Oh, Bill . . .
I thought we went over this. I never said you were full of hate; just full of "hate speech" (a legal term meaning "bigoted" – perhaps a misleading term, but that’s what it is).
As a final point, let me use your own words, eh?
As a Jewish "Oriental" I hereby tell you to shut the fuck up, ’cause I’m smarter than you. Ha! How’s them apples?
[P.S. This is irony.]
Why do the conservative Republicans stick to hard-line anti-immigrant positions even after losing elections?
Boy that’s a hard one (sarcasm intended). My boyfriend keeps asking this question every day, usually followed by some comment like "you would think that they would have a different stance seeing as how immigrants put in a lot more in terms of labor and take out a lot less in compensation than would be the case with other workers. Everyone talks about the jobs they take away but no-one talks about the demand for goods and services that they generate. Don’t conservative talk show radio hosts care about THAT? And with GOP anti-immigration GOP candidates losing elections, one would hope they would change"
This was so naive, one day I had to tell him, "I don’t think you understand. Anti-immigration stances are rooted in racism, which goes beyond economics or election politics. The GOP may disappear, racism never will."