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Bush Tries To Redefine Amnesty One Last Time
Was this the straw that finally broke the camel's back?
On Tuesday, May 29, President George W. Bush declared that opponents of the Kennedy-Bush "comprehensive immigration reform" plan in the Senate "don't want to do what's right for America".
Bush to Americans: You unpatriotic curs!
The response to Bush's bluster has been overwhelming—but not in the direction that the President must have hoped.
White House staffers then threw fuel on the fire, telling the New York Times, that Bush "had ad-libbed the line during a passionate address on an issue he holds dear." [President's Push on Immigration Tests G.O.P. Base, By Jim Rutenberg And Carl Hulse, June 3, 2007]
In other words: Don't blame us flacks, we didn't come up with that line. Blame our boss—he really means it. Bush is so nuts for illegal immigrants that he's out of our control.
On Friday, Bush waded back in, delivering a semi-literate defense of the Senate amnesty bill:
"I say the system isn't working because there's a lot of Americans who say that the government is not enforcing our border."
In other words: How dare those disrespectful Americans say that the government is not enforcing our border! Don't they know the government is me?
Bush huffed on:
"I say the system is broken because there are people coming into America to do work that Americans are not doing."
In other words: Uh … hmmhmm … Well, I don't quite know what this means. My best guess is that the President left out a part of the sentence necessary for it to make sense.
"There are so-called innkeepers, providing substandard hovels for people who are smuggled into our country. In other words, we have got a system that is causing people—good, decent people—to be exploited."
In other words: People aren't being nice to those swell illegal immigrants and that makes me mad!
The amateurishness of Friday's remarks is noteworthy. Despite all his failures as a manager and "decider," Bush's speeches have traditionally done a better job of putting a more eloquent gloss on his policies than they've deserved. Now, though, even an eloquent speechwriting staff can't help. We're seeing the real Bush
Moreover, the hectoring inanity of his arguments—"America must not fear diversity. We ought to welcome diversity"—is revealing.
It's not just that after more than six years of pushing for amnesties and guest worker programs, the President can't come up with better reasons; it's that nobody can. Instead of analysis of the facts, the American public is bullied with the threat of being smeared as racist.
Bush went on:
"This bill isn't amnesty. For those who call it amnesty, they're just trying to, in my judgment, frighten people about the bill."
The President has been flailing about for years trying to come up with some contrived definition of the word "amnesty" that would handwave away two massive political problems besetting his immigration schemes.
- First, the public doesn't want to reward illegal residence in America by making it legal. That encourages more of it. In the years since the 1986 amnesty that was supposed to solve the problem permanently, the illegal alien population in America has quintupled (or worse).
And there are lots more where those came from. The Chicago Tribune reported in 2005:
"More than 40 percent of Mexicans in a new survey would opt to immigrate [sic] to the United States and more than 20 percent of them would enter this country illegally given the opportunity, a study released Tuesday disclosed." [Poll: Over 40% in Mexico would live in U.S. |Pew study also finds many Hispanics born here support curbs By Vincent J. Schodolski, August 17, 2005]
Even more disastrous for the long run: five billion people live in countries poorer than Mexico. Something like one-fifth of all Mexicans and one-fourth of all Puerto Ricans now live in our 50 states. What does that suggest the five billion people in even poorer countries than Mexico and Puerto Rico will do when Bush gives them the chance?
- Second, Republicans in Congress hate the idea of amnesty because illegal aliens who became citizens would tend to vote Democratic.
"My prediction: … It will fall apart in Congress because the Democrats want to put more immigrants on the road to being voters, confident that the majority will vote Democratic. The more intelligent Republicans understand that and don't want it."
By the first week in September of 2001, Bush's plan was dead in the water. He was only saved from a humiliating rebuff in the House by the 9/11 attacks.
So, when Bush relaunched his amnesty plan in January 2004, he altered it to deny citizenship to the illegal aliens he intended to legalize. Instead, he converted them into a disenfranchised caste of unassimilated guest workers.
But as I pointed out in February 2004, Bush's new Machiavellianism automatically ceded the rhetorical high ground to the Democrats, who quickly began pushing for "earned legalization" (i.e., giving illegals the vote). Bush was left contradictorily sputtering about how wonderful immigrants are and how we don't want them to become our fellow citizens.
Bush then realized that perpetual helotry for immigrants wasn't an appealing notion. So he conceded that illegal aliens should become citizens. But to mollify the House Republicans, he declared that they shouldn't become citizens soon.
And here's where the President displayed his genius for stupidity—with a masterful bit of verbal legerdemain so idiotic that it successfully stupefied everybody who wasn't paying the closest attention to immigration policy (e.g., the entire Mainstream Media).
What Bush did was redefine "amnesty" to mean … putting legalized illegal aliens first in line for full citizenship. In contrast, according to the President, giving them the legal right to be in the country but making them wait their turn to vote behind legal Green Card holders applying for citizenship was not amnesty!
In a debate with John Kerry, Bush said:
"Now, it's very important for our citizens to also know that I don't believe we ought to have amnesty. I don't think we ought to reward illegal behavior. There are plenty of people standing in line to become a citizen. And we ought not to crowd these people ahead of them in line. If they want to become a citizen, they can stand in line, too. And here is where my opponent and I differ. In September 2003, he supported amnesty for illegal aliens."
Of course, what amnesty primarily is about is not citizenship, but legal residency—the right to continue to enjoy your ill-gotten gain of living in the United States.
Mr. Bush's definition of "amnesty" was so off-the-wall moronic that it made your head hurt to try to think about it. And that was the brilliance of it. The rather obtuse John Kerry couldn't figure it out, and let the issue die—along with his chance at the White House.
In May 2006, Mr. Bush comically redefined "amnesty" once again:
"They should not be given an automatic path to citizenship. This is amnesty, and I oppose it." [Emphasis mine.]
And on Friday, Bush came up with yet another definition of amnesty:
"This bill isn't amnesty… This bill is one that says we recognize that you're here illegally and there's a consequence for it."
Oh yeah? The main "consequence" is that the illegal resident gets, virtually immediately, the legal right to reside in our country. The fines specified in the Kennedy-Bush plan would be a tiny fraction of the net present value of American residence.
And what if the illegals don't pay the fine? Is Mr. Bush going to round them up and deport them?
Well, on Friday, he said:
In other words: no.
So much for Bush's "consequences".
Personally, I prefer Malaysia's definition of amnesty. In 2004, it offered an amnesty to illegal Indonesian aliens—which meant the illegals got the chance to go home without being punished for breaking Malaysian law.
And by punishment, Malaysia means caning.