Election 2006: Will Worse Be Better For Immigration Reform Patriots?


Over the last twelve months, the patriotic
immigration reform movement has shocked the
Establishment—defeating a

disastrous plan
to import

66 million more unskilled immigrants
that was backed
by the President, the Senate, virtually the entire

Mainstream Media,
most of the

corporate interests,
as well as the

ethnic lobbies.

We`ve even forced the Senate to pass and Mr. Bush to
sign, grudgingly, a bill authorizing

a 700-mile border fence
…leaving a mere 1,252 miles
unfenced. And that`s if the Bush Administration doesn`t
sabotage the fence, which is a big If. But, hey, you`ve
got to start somewhere.

(By the way, the

video clip
of the President signing the fence law is
pretty funny. As

Mickey Kaus
blogged in Slate.com:

"Am I crazy, or does he seem
not very happy doing it? He slaps down his pen in
I-hope-that-keeps-you-happy fashion and gets out of
there fast
. …"

You can fast forward to the 1:00 mark of the clip to
watch Mr. Bush affix his signature and then practically
slam his pen through the top of his desk.)

Nevertheless, for structural reasons, the political
environment for patriotic immigration reform is likely
to get worse before it gets better.

And 2007 may well be a very difficult year.


Midterm elections
tend to be referendums on the
President. This one is shaping up to produce a broad
rebuke of Mr. Bush`s strange grand strategy (
Invade
The World—Invite
The World—In
Hock
To The World”
).

The problem for the immigration restriction movement,
though, is that the President, whose dream it has

long been
to

elect a new people,
isn`t running on November 7.

Nor is two-thirds of the Senate that passed last May
the abysmal Hagel-Martinez open borders act by a vote of
62-36.

In contrast, every seat in the House of
Representatives is at stake. Despite all its other sins,
the House has been a rock on immigration, precisely
because each Member must face the voters

every two years
. Republican Representatives know
that getting tough on immigration is the best (only?)

issue
they have to run on.

But, because they are all up for election, House
Republicans are the ones most likely to suffer from the

expected voter backlash
against Mr. Bush.

Thus, as of early Saturday, ten days before the
November 7 election, the

InTrade
betting market gives the GOP only a 36.5
percent chance of retaining control of the House, versus
a 72 percent chance of hanging on to the Senate.

Now, anything could happen. But it is quite possible
that on the morning of November 8, the White House, the
Senate, and the House will all be controlled by elements
committed to further opening the borders.

The fix will be in.

If the Republicans lose the House but not the Senate,
you can expect to read on November 9 an op-ed in the

Wall Street Journal
by

Tamar Jacoby
,

Michael Barone
, or both crowing that the loss of the
House is a crushing reproach to "nativism"
and

"xenophobia"
and that the new Speaker of the
House Nancy Pelosi should send up to Mr. Bush for his
signature a massive amnesty (excuse me, "earned
citizenship"
) and "guest" worker bill.

In reality, a fine-grained post-election analysis
will likely show that without the immigration issue,
House GOP members would have suffered a 1974 or
1994-scale blowout.

As an antidote, it`s worth dreaming about how
strongly Republicans would be doing in 2006 in an
alternate universe in which Mr. Bush had, after throwing
out the Taliban, prudently stayed out of Iraq and was
not in the throes of his

weird obsession
with

erasing the border with Mexico.
Even if the rest of
Bush`s record was just as feckless, merely removing the

open wound of Iraq
and letting the GOP run a

unified campaign against illegal immigration
this
fall would mean that the Republicans would be cruising
to victory right now.

But don`t expect any realism or nuance from the
press. The same media myth-making machinery that
concocted the current conventional wisdom that

Pete Wilson ruined
the

GOP in California
in 1994 by running against illegal
immigration and that George H.W. Bush`s

Willie Horton
ad in 1988 was

racist
would soon enshrine the WSJ-line as
the orthodox interpretation of why the GOP lost the
House.

Yet, even with the loss of the House, all will not be
lost.

  • Third, it will be possible to
    persuade (i.e., intimidate by the likelihood of
    defeat in 2008) enough

    House Democrats
    to break ranks with Pelosi to
    keep a bad border bill from passing. It won`t be
    easy, but it can be done.

  • Fourth, if the Open Borders
    lobby tries to use its flukish and likely
    short-lived domination of Washington to shove
    through the second coming of the Hagel-Martinez
    bill, it will more fully demonstrate to America that
    it is merely an opportunistic coalition of special
    interests that deserves defeat. As I was informed
    when
    I
    underwent chemotherapy back in
    1997, when the
    cancer hunkers down and doesn`t try to grow, it`s
    hard to beat. But when it comes out and tries to
    take over, it`s easier to wipe out completely.

  • Fifth, if the immigration
    restriction movement can save America from a Bush-Pelosi
    invite-the-world law, we will emerge from this
    ordeal even stronger than we are now.

  • Sixth, from this cauldron of

    debate over immigration,
    better 2008
    Presidential candidates are likely to emerge than
    the dismal crop of contenders we appear stuck with
    now. In particular, a Democratic bill would finally
    unleash the natural inclination of the Republican
    Party to oppose national (and
    its own
    ) dissolution.

In summary: in recent weeks the risk of a disaster on
a historic scale—i.e., legislation of the Hagel-Martinez
ilk being signed into law by President Bush as his
vengeance on the nation that has rejected him—has
worsened.

Yet so has the chance that we will eventually

emerge from this struggle
with a Congress and a
President that will finally do what needs to be done to
preserve America.

For immigration reformers, it may prove that, in
words commonly attributed to Lenin, worse is indeed
better.

[Steve Sailer [email
him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and

movie critic
for


The American Conservative
.
His website

www.iSteve.blogspot.com
features his daily
blog.]