Jun 28 2007
There is a lot of speculation running out there that the immigration bill will fail its cloture vote test this morning. Clearly it will be close. But I think there are enough GOP members who honor the process of democracy more than winning on one issue. After years of bitching and moaning about how all conservatives want is an up-or-down vote on measures dear to them, and after years of Bush being in their corner for them, I think they will take salvaging the process over the immigration bill.
Why? Primarily because they are losing the battle and destroying the party. They are not convincing anybody. While Rassmussen runs polls about “amnesty” the polls about ‘guest workers’ and ‘paths to legal status’ show the same lopsided support. They know deep down the red herrings they floated failed and made them look either petty or like they keep grasping for technicalities to cover up for something. We had the canard no one does anything about the issue – while the bill’s opponents propose the “Do Nothing Now” strategy! That was irony at its best.
We had the myth we could not process criminal record checks from fingerprints in 24 hours because some people confused a passport with a fingerprint check. OK, so some are little less edcuated on the finer details of law enforcement (a surprising number of which hold law degrees – figures). We had the myth we couldn’t process 12 million fingerprint checks without serious investment. I busted that myth when I noted the FBI’s IAFIS fingerprint system, the largest in the world with connections to major international systems, had processed 100,000 prints a day. And it is easy to expand capacity. That made the check for criminal records a paltry 3 month affiar – if all the illegals came in on day one, which we know is unrealistic fantasy.
Recently a reader posted a real bizarre concern. Seems we are not a perfect species and we have imperfect systems. I guess Ted Kennedy was forced to admit our 97.5% accuracy rate in records management would create 300,000 errors if used on 12 million people. Oh well, I guess some people panic at the mention of typos. Heaven knows I create a lot of typos and I have seen the spelling police out there.
But this last example proved the silliness and vacuousness of the opponents. Some of the worst of the far right have likened illegal immigration to a cancer on our society. Hyperventilating as usual, it was a good analogy to address with the 97.5% accuracy rate. The deniers, the DO NOTHING NOW types, are pretty responding to the medicine for this supposed cancer by saying “no thanks, I will live with the cancer until I find a cure that is guaranteed 100% effective”. And people wonder why I call them ‘amnesty hypochondriacs”.
This bill will be more than 70% effective. I doubt it will reach 95% – but future adjustments can get it there. That range of 70-95% effective is damn good for new policy, but reasonable. It is not the doom and gloom fantasies of the far right and or the far left. So it is not the bane of our existence as the hypcochondriacs claim. The bane of our existence is hyperventilating exaggeration that insults wide swaths of this country who did nothing seriously wrong. THAT is what needs to deported – the unreasonable hate.
One of the worst myths from the far right is Mexico is a criminal, socialistic, disease ridden place which is trying take over this country. Mexico has its problems, but few countried on this planet have our standard of living. They are all lesser places to some degree. So using that as some reason to insult a people and a culture is the purist of the ugly American stereotypes and is why people hesitate our efforts to protect ourselves internationally. But even here at home that kind of biased rhetoric does damage. The irony of the far right’s arguments can be seen in the fact those people who left Mexico (and other places south), who left their families behind and wandered at great personal risk into a foreign land, did so because they too saw how much better America was. And they stayed and brought their family here and raised them because they wanted to share in the American dream. They were not bringing disease and crime, they were fleeing it.
So to claim those who come here illegally (and many legal residents and citizens once were here illegally) are the disease ridden criminals of a corrupt culture is as insulting and unfair as it gets. Every society has its criminals. At this point, with the ludicrous irony flying, I cannot help but note that Geoffrey Dhalmer (sp?), the human cannibal, was pure bread American. As I watch the far right turn on its own one could forgive someone from using the broad stroke exaggeration method of debate to make a connection!
But a better analogy is Tammy Faye Baker. When I hear Hannity whine about how he cannot believe what is happening in this country, and Laura Ingraham whine about process and procedure, all I see are Tammy Faye’s with dripping mascara running down their cheeks. They have cried ‘wolf’ so many times and nothing has been there that they have become comical. The ultimate irony in this comedy is the proposed solution: DO NOTHING NOW! This is such a bad situation and there is no hope in this bill the only answer is to do…..
Nothing! But of course when people point out the flaws in the opposition, the harm they are doing to the nation and the party, and the true bigots and racists in their midsts, the opposition goes Tammy-Faye on us. “El Presidente Jorge insulted us, the triator”. The irony is so thick it is amazing. So now we will see who are Senators, and who are Tammy-Faye’s crying out because they know God put them on this Earth to save America from the evil illegal aliens raising their families down the street, and of course from the dreaded typos in the government’s records. We have a choice. Either be serious and let America’s representative bodies VOTE on these measures, or listen to the hysterics for another 10 years.
I think a lot of people realize it is better to pass this, stop the civil war, and make more changes later. But then there are the suicidal ones who would be happy to fall on their sword and leave the GOP in the minority for decades – and see real amnesty arise when Dems take control of both houses of Congress and the Oval office. Because that is the choice they fail to see. This IS the best Hutchison, Chambliss and others will see in their lifetime. It is all down hill from here.
I suspect cooler heads will prevail, they will honor their core beliefs in representative government, many will honor a promise they made to El Presidente Jorge to give this thing a fair vote, and many will realize this is the best they will see for decades to come. That might tip the GOP from disaster. But what do I know. I thought they would avoid disaster in 2006. And right now they don’t even have people like me in their corner any more.