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It's Alive! Bush Betrayal Tries To Climb Out Of Coffin
After letting Ted Kennedy and John McCain lead the fight for his illegal immigration cave-in earlier in the year, President Bush has now re-emerged to push publicly for the amnesty and guest worker plans that have obsessed him from his first days in office.
President Bush's public approval ratings have dropped this month to Nixon-during-Watergate levels. According to the Gallup Poll, Bush's rating among Republicans has been plummeting a point per day for the last two weeks!
And yet Bush can't resist going back for more of the hair-of-the-dog-that-bit-him. He is still prodding the Senate to pass his disastrous immigration legislation—what we have called "The Bush Betrayal." On Friday, Senate Democratic minority leader Harry Reid and the White House's main man on Capitol Hill, Republican majority leader Bill Frist, announced that the misbegotten bill they almost shoved through earlier this year is now ready again to be voted on by the Senate.
To cover up this historic sell-out of the American people, Bush reportedly will address the nation Monday night (8 pm EDT) and announce some cosmetic toughening-up measures.
The White House's working philosophy seems to be what I call "marketing major post-modernism": the belief, often acquired through osmosis while studying public relations or advertising in college, that some egghead over in Europe proved that there's no such thing as truth or reality, so … spin away!
The New York Times reports, in effect, that Bush operatives believe they just haven't been clever enough in their lying:
"White House officials said Mr. Bush had always understood the need to protect the border as a former governor of a border state, Texas. But they acknowledged they had perhaps erred in not emphasizing that understanding as they pushed provisions granting illegal immigrants working here legal status, angering Republicans." (Bush to Unveil Plan to Tighten Border Controls, by Jim Rutenberg, May 13, 2006)
This is comically mendacious. As President, Bush has killed off the last remnants of the once grand-seeming grand compromise in the 1986 immigration legislation, in which amnesty for current illegal aliens was supposedly to be combined with strict employer sanctions to prevent new illegal immigration. As VDARE.com's Edwin S. Rubenstein noted:
"Under the Bush Administration worksite arrests of illegal aliens fell some 97 percent, from 2,859 in 1999 to 159 in 2004."
It is rumored that the President will announce that National Guard troops will be headed to the border. (Why the National Guard? Don't we have an Army?) [VDARE.COM note: It's been repeatedly suggested that using the Army for border control would violate the Posse Comitatus Act, designed to prevent the Army from being used on Americans. (E.g. Raoul Lowery Contreras, in the middle of an attack on us here: "It is illegal to put troops on the border.") No, it wouldn't. Aside from the multiple modern exceptions to the Act, what is at issue here is a matter of guarding the border from foreign invaders. This is what armies are for.]
The answer: it can't.
The Washington Post reports:
"One defense official said military leaders believe the number of troops required could range from 3,500 to perhaps 10,000, depending on the final plan. Another administration official cautioned that the 10,000 figure was too high." [Bush Weighs Deploying Guard to U.S. Border, by Lolita C. Baldor, May 13, 2006]
But do the math…
- Our Mexican border is 1952 miles long.
- There are 168 hours in a week, so each Guardsman would be on duty on the border for, say, one quarter of that or 42 hours per week. (That is unreasonably optimistic, considering how much work time these days is devoted to training, leave, sexual harassment seminars, diversity sensitivity workshops, and the like.)
So, if each one of the 3,500 National Guardsmen was on patrol an average of, say, 21 hours per week (which is 1/8th of the 168 hours in a week), that would provide one soldier per 4.5 miles of border.
For some reason, I'm not reassured.
Particularly because this deployment would certainly be withdrawn as soon as Bush feels what might be called a "decent interval" has elapsed.
Some of the news stories on how the Bush Administration is going to "militarize" the border sound like the first draft of an Evelyn Waugh story. The New York Times' Rutenberg reports:
"Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld met at the Pentagon with Mexico's defense minister, Gen. Gerardo Clemente Ricardo Vega. Officials said they had discussed, among other things, potential United States help in training and equipping Mexican forces at the border."
The Bush Administration has seemed never to notice that Mexico is not the 51st state, but a foreign country—one that is engaged in a slow-motion invasion of America.
Of course, Bush will make no mention of any attempt to actually, well, deport the illegal aliens he has allowed to sneak in—even though there are many ways short of mass round-ups that public policy could encourage them to leave.
And Bush is unlikely to propose the one border enforcement step that couldn't be quickly reversed once public attention is diverted: an Israeli-style security fence along the entire frontier.
But even if Mr. Bush announces Monday that he favors a fence, the plain fact is that he simply can't be trusted to provide any honest leadership on such a project at all. It would be easy for him to delay its construction for, roughly, ever.
Here's just one obvious opportunity for obstruction: environmental impact.
Look at the endless delays in California golf course construction. It only took 18 months to build the superb Barona Creek golf course outside San Diego—because it is on an Indian reservation immune to the less crucial environmental regulations. In contrast, Barona Creek's designer Todd Eckenrode told me that he had other courses that were still on the drawing board after 8 to 12 years due to environmental impact hassles. The TPC Valencia course north of Los Angeles was proposed in 1985 but didn't open until 2002. Most of these delays are driven by the Not-In-My-Back-Yard interests of neighbors rather than by legitimate conservation needs.
Congress has the right to override environmental regulations, which they finally did last year to get the San Diego fence project moving again. But that won't happen on a national fence unless we voters demand it as part of the initial legislative package.
Just as the public was betrayed on immigration by its elected leadership in 1986 and 1996, we can expect more of the same in 2006.
This is shaping up to be a disastrous moment in the history of the Republic. The full impact of immigration legislation does not become visible to voters for decades (and, apparently, not to Senators for centuries). If recent history repeats itself, Congress won't consider immigration again until 2016.
Why is Bush doing this? I have suggested that his motives are dynastic—that he is selfishly sacrificing the GOP to build a family vehicle, much like Brian Mulroney sacrificed the Canadian Progressive Conservative party in a vain effort to build a personal fief in the French-speaking province of Quebec. Brenda Walker speculates he is a "MexiChurian Candidate."
What he is not is an American patriot.
So, my fellow Americans, it's now or never—unless Tom Tancredo's Immigration Reform Caucus in the House of Representatives can persuade Republicans there to hold the line.