Election 2006: Will Worse Be Better For Immigration Reform Patriots?
Over the last twelve months, the patriotic
immigration reform movement has shocked the
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
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.
"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 (”
Hock To The World”).
Nor is two-thirds of the Senate that passed last May
the abysmal Hagel-Martinez open borders act by a vote of
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
Michael Barone, or both crowing that the loss of the
House is a crushing reproach to "nativism"
"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
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
Yet, even with the loss of the House, all will not be
- First, on November 8, Mr. Bush
wakes up an
extremely lame duck. Politically, he`s history.
- Second, while on paper it
might look like the President`s beloved
"comprehensive immigration reform" will sail
through a Congress where
Pelosi is Speaker and the
Senate is already on record favoring the
admission of scores of millions more
unskilled immigrants, there will be zero mandate
for it. Nobody is running this fall on
letting in 66 million people and lots of
candidates are running against it.
- 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
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
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
For immigration reformers, it may prove that, in
words commonly attributed to Lenin, worse is indeed