June 28, 2007

It couldn't happen to a nicer guy

From the Washington Post:

NEWPORT, R.I., June 28 -- He looked uncharacteristically dejected as he approached the lectern, fiddling with papers as he talked and avoiding the sort of winking eye contact he often makes with reporters. And then President Bush did something he almost never does: He admitted defeat.

"A lot of us worked hard to see if we couldn't find a common ground," he said an hour after his immigration plan died on Capitol Hill. "It didn't work."

It was, in the end, simply a statement of reality after the Senate buried his proposal to overhaul immigration laws. ..

In March, he told an audience in Guatemala that he had to get an immigration bill to his desk by August to have a chance of success. After that, he reasoned, the congressional budget calendar and the presidential election campaign would make it impossible. But he and Rove remained supremely confident that they would prevail. Just 17 days ago, while in Bulgaria, Bush brushed off pessimism about the legislation. "I'll see you at the bill-signing," he predicted.

By Thursday, his tone had changed. He made no pretense that the immigration initiative might still be revived before he leaves office. Instead, he indicated that he is moving on to other issues. He would probably not admit to being humbled, but he appeared at least chagrined.

At one point during his Iraq speech, Bush pleaded for patience with Iraqis trying to pass reconciliation legislation. "In a democracy," he said, "the head of government just can't decree the outcome."

The audience laughed. Bush smiled wanly and joked: "I'm not saying that's what I'd like to do."

It's just not fair. If only those Guatemalans could vote in American elections already, then poor Mr. Bush wouldn't be so sad. But that nasty Constitution has some technicality in it about only American citizens getting to vote, so the President's fondest dream couldn't come true.

Seriously, let's stop and think about what an enormous waste of six years it has been for the President, aided and abetted by the almost the entire American Establishment, to pursue his delusion of imposing his immigration obsession on the citizenry. Even leaving aside how much better the immigration situation would be if Bush had followed his oath and simply enforced the damn laws, imagine what he would have been able to accomplish legislatively in other areas without wasting time, energy, and political capital on a losing proposition like this.


My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

25 comments:

Paul K. said...

Steve, right on the money as usual.

The president is sad and that makes me happy. He didn't get to put into place all elements of his comprehensive program to destroy this country. If this bill had passed, I would have made me sick to see his jaunty little strut to the podium, obligatory winks right and left, and his cocky little smirk as he gave us "the good news."

Bush is so over, can't we make him leave and get on with our lives? It is a flaw in our political system that we have no provision for a vote of no confidence which would remove a president who is no longer going to be able to lead his party or the country in any productive way.

After the Republicans took the House in 1994, it was interesting to see Clinton scramble to change positions, and, in fact, take credit for welfare reforms and spending cuts that were forced upon him. I suppose there's something to be said for cynicism in a politician. I can't imagine Bush bending to the will of the people and enforcing existing immigration law. After all, Michael Chertoff has been on television for days explaining that we couldn't do anything to secure our borders unless this bill was passed, and having not gotten what he wants there is no way the president is going to give the American people what we want.

Another flaw I see in our system is that there's no way to really hold politicians' feet to the fire and force them to explain themselves. I know Bush would not be capable of making any coherent defense of his immigration policy if confronted with an interviewer any more probing than Larry King, but the exercise would be useful.

I'd also like to see Teddy Kennedy forced to explain how American law enforcement going about the job of enforcing our immigration law--including the one he pushed in 1986!-- is somehow "Gestapo" activity too horrific to be tolerated.

Anonymous said...

...a losing proposition like this.

To be fair, given not that long ago precedent, not to mention other factors, it was not all that unreasonable to believe it would be a 'winning proposition'.

eh

Anonymous said...

Steve,

Next primary season, I hope bloggers like YOU print which senators were for this bill so paleos like us remember to donate to their primary opponents.
There is a list of senators right off the top of my head that I would like to see go down to defeat whenever their next election is. McConnell, Graham, McCain, Lott ("talk radio is running America indeed), Lugar, Kennedy (pure spite on my part) and every RINO who voted for this thing. The old Right needs some rallying points and needs to start contributing money in elective primaries to defeat some of these people, and to scare others into line. Money is our one tool to be able to do this. If the Old Right can become a "funding force", we might be able to assert ourselves much like AIPAC has at a grassroots level. Voting alone is not enough.

Ed H said...

Steve,
Let us celebrate this win! It was a total victory for what apparently Lott and the gang think of as the rabble. I come from a working man's perspective. I voted Democratic for Clinton, Kerry, etc.

It is a totally new perspective to have you, Kaus, The Corner, Borjas, basically talking outside of the MSM. It is a real difference. I wrote my senator, Ken Salazar, who I voted for, and explained my concerns (a few times.) This would not have happened without the internet.

I live in Denver and if you read the 2 newspapers here, you read the columnists and the editorials telling you that this bill needed to happen. Then you read the comments and the vast majority is against. (At the same time they say that the opposition to the bill is mainly a nasty little group of vocal Republicans.)

Thank you for your reporting on this and for reminding me that just cause I disagree with the elites (I don't know how else to describe it) that I have a right to my side of the story too.

Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Invasion of Iran? Expanded entitlements? I'll take wasted effort any day.

Mark said...

Seriously, let's stop and think about what an enormous waste of six years it has been for the President, aided and abetted by the almost the entire American Establishment, to pursue his delusion of imposing his immigration obsession on the citizenry.

There is still lots of room left in my life for worse presidents to come along and, given those who are running for 2008, I imagine one could come along very soon. Right now, George W Bush just makes me angry, but I have a feeling that no matter how old I get, when I look back on the Bush Administration I'll always weep.

Here was a man with a special opportunity to rebuild an American America - where people understood the value of patriotism, of sacrifice for your country, of the sacrifices made by the common man: 343 common men in particular come to mind.

Instead, Bush's patriotism was only as deep as his need to win the next election. Once that was past him, we saw how shallow it truly was. He took every chance he had to drive a dagger into the heart of Middle America, and those brave men - yes, men - who gave so much on 9/11. It was their sacrifice, their heroism, but Bush used it - in both senses of the word - for himself.

With all the problems this country has - out-of-touch politicians, out-of-control spending, out-of-control entitlements, a plague-like disease called multiculturalism, an idiotic, materialistic/consumerist mentality, the fast and ever-increasing gap betwen rich and poor, the trade deficit, the budet deficit, ad infinitum - Bush had maybe the last chance to really turn them all around. He didn't. He could have used his political capital on any of these important issues - he chose amnesty and open borders.

Of recent presidents, Jimmy Carter was probably the dumbest, while Lyndon Johnson probably did the most lasting damage. Bush has now claimed both titles.

Mark said...

Remember, the defeat of the amnesty bill is only a partial victory. The status quo may indeed be better than what the bill would've given us - but that still doesn't mean the status quo is acceptable.

When they brought the bill back up for debate, they all but conceded that the current enforcement measures were unacceptable and underfunded. Call your congressmen and demand enforcement NOW. Demand that the $4.4 billion in new security funding the were offering get funded NOW. And when/if any primary challengers step up to the plate to oppose these traitors support them.

Mark said...

From NRO, on Senator Brownback's alleged "No" vote:

A number of Senate sources explain how Senator Brownback appears to have voted today. "when the roll was first called, and he calmly called out 'aye,' from his seat. Near the end, however, he walked down into the well and as they called out his name again he voted 'no.'"

Apparently once it was clear that they after all the threats, bribes, and armtwisting that they didn't have 60 votes for cloture, lots of Senators switched.

As I've said before, a Senate vote against amnesty DOES NOT EQUATE to a Senate for enforcement or for a sane, rational immigration policy. Those of us who have the time and/or money need to work our butts off to see that that changes next year.

TGGP said...

Seriously, let's stop and think about what an enormous waste of six years it has been for the President, aided and abetted by the almost the entire American Establishment, to pursue his delusion of imposing his immigration obsession on the citizenry. Even leaving aside how much better the immigration situation would be if Bush had followed his oath and simply enforced the damn laws, imagine what he would have been able to accomplish legislatively in other areas without wasting time, energy, and political capital on a losing proposition like this.
What has Bush done right so far? The way I figure things, the more time they waste on Terry Schiavo and the less they spend trying to cure me of problems I don't have in a way that will make things worse, the better! I hope Ron Paul becomes President some day and vetoes every law the scum in Congress write. Sure, a few good ones will get blocked, but it will be outweighed a million to one by the bad. Gridlock and legislative failure have just saved the country an awful bill Bush wanted. That's the kind of success through failure I'd like to see repeated more often.

James said...

Fondue dreams is what I thought you wrote.

Anonymous said...

The collapse of this bill will also fatally weaken Bush's Iraq policy. Bush has exhausted his political capital pursuing this idiotic immigration bill, and completely disillusioned his base. His main Iraq allies in Congress, McCain and Graham, have also been discredited. Bush is now the lamest of lame ducks. By the end of August, you'll have several more Republican defections on the war. The smarter Dems surely smell the blood in the water (Pelosi was very shrewd to avoid immigration in the House). Congress will use defense and veterans appropriations to ram a "change of course" down the Administration's throat, tilting the balance in favor of withdrawal. It may take a couple more years to complete U.S. disengagement from Iraq, but the writing is on the wall.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see the end of the two term option. A president effects all the changes he's going to in the first four year term - the second invariably becomes an irritating combination of pushing ideologically based agendas or "visions" that the majority of the people don't want, and looking for his next job. I favor one, five year term - long enough to put plans into action, yet too short to mindlessly meddle. We would've been rid of Bush in 2006.

Josh said...

Bush is the first Post-American president. He is working for the corporations and his rich buddies. As both a lapdog for the wealthy,which certainly includes the oil companies,AND a nut-job Born Again Evangelical Protestant who thinks Jesus is coming Back to Israel to actually sit on a throne and rule from Jerusalem,he ia also the first jewish president.Though depised by the bulk of "American" Jews,he is completely supine to the Jewish Establishment. he has screwed us big time,we will be suffering for a long time thanks to this idiot.

Anonymous said...

Bush is so over, can't we make him leave and get on with our lives? It is a flaw in our political system that we have no provision for a vote of no confidence which would remove a president who is no longer going to be able to lead his party or the country in any productive way.

Except for the single issue of federal judges, I'd be fine with Bush and Cheney slinking off into the sunset and letting Nancy Pelosi be president. So she's a liberal, so what? At least she isn't a warmongering liberal like Bush.

Anonymous said...

Naturally, the lunatic anti-Semites come out to play. I don't like GWB anymore than any one else. But America's problems have nothing to do with Israel.

See the Management of Savagery AQ manual here.

Bottom line: AQ believes it can replicate what it thinks happened with the USSR and Afghanistan. Create chaos to degrade nation states, replace the nation state with an Islamic Regime modeled on the Taliban living in the 7th Century.

This has nothing to do with Israel. Our problems with Islam are because of our individuality which threatens Islamic society completely.

Far too many on this site are delusional. America like every other Western nation faces profound challenges from globalization and Islamic terror, blaming scapegoats (Israel, Jews, GWB) won't address them.

Our military is too small, GWB hasn't spent enough on it. It's been bouncing around 4% or so which matches Clinton's. We face real threats: Musharaff hangs by a thread, the Taliban/AQ control most of the NWF and Musharaff's "peace treaties" handing over control of those provinces has been a disaster. The Red Mosque controls Islamabad and made Musharaff back down. Control of Pakistan's nukes could fall into bin Laden's hands in short notice. Iran steamrolls ahead to nukes, and it's experience of intimidating and backing down the US over: acts of war (seizing US Embassy, Beirut Barracks, Khobar Towers, aiding the 9/11 plotters) with no consequences from Presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and Bush again is a serious threat. As is Lil Kim's Korean Outsourcing Nuclear Arms to Go stand.

As a result of forcing a fight over Immigration, Conservative Hawks who think the Nation worth defending find Bush in contempt, and seeking to govern with Dems.

I predict Bush will assent to the Dems (Maxine Waters and the CBC demand an immediate pullout not just in Iraq but also Afghanistan, saying "we can't win" and "we are defeated") demands for a very quick white-flag surrender and retreat. Putting a giant NUKE ME sign on the US cities. Unless you want to bet on the good will of Osama and Ahmadinejad. Not a call I'd make.

We have real problems not being addressed: how to deter nuclear attacks in a post-Cold War age by non-state actors who think us weak and effeminate, easy targets. Based on years of capitulation, surrender, retreat, and appeasement. Along with structural problems of dependence on cheap labor, loss of sovereignty, too much materialism and consumerism, contemptuous elites and alienated, angry average joes and janes.

That men in their thirties have a 15% drop in income compared to their fathers in the 1970's is appalling. That has nothing to do with Jews, a search for scapegoats is stupid and self-defeating (and worthy only of Kos idiots). So too a search for a man on a white horse (Paul, Kucinich, and Gravel are all a kind, lunatic anti-Semites looking for a morally pure elitist nation run by a new nomenklatura, preaching disarmament in a dangerous world).

Our solutions post-Amnesty defeat are simple but hard: close the borders, enforce the laws, restore sovereignty, throw out the elites, restore the military, deter attackers. Something GWB has failed on every level. [He is not a conservative, rather the last JFK-style liberal.]

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see the end of the two term option. A president effects all the changes he's going to in the first four year term

Its precisely because of the two-term option that a President is able to be effective for the first four years. If a President is term-limited, he's going to be a bit of a lame duck for his last 1-2 years no matter what.

Luke said...

I caught Bush's speech to the naval war college in the middle of last night (insomnia), which was delivered right before these comments on immigration. One line stuck in my mind. He told the audience that we are in "the early stages of a long war." Was totally disorganized in his delivery, as usual, but not one iota less cock sure than he has always been. See ya' at the signing ceremony indeed! He reminds me of a king who happens to be a fool, surrounded by ministers who, if not fools themselves, are more than happy to exercise the prerogatives of their office. Rove was quoted in the New Yorker as saying he's a great boss, with no apparent irony. Nothing like coming in in the morning, R. said, and having the guy you work for ask out loud what they could "do today to make the world a better place."

Anonymous said...

As a conservative Republican it pains me to know that Business has become more of a threat to our nation than Liberals. Twenty million illegals is just the start. If it was politically feasible they'd import another hundred million. Wow, think of all the economic growth!

I voted for Bush twice... uggh.

RKU said...

RE: Anonymous at 6/29/2007 2:36 PM:

It's also always nice to get a visit from the "lunatic Semites" as well...

Fred said...

The populist impulses here are troubling and likely to be self-defeating. Some of you may feel like you're struggling financially, and you may want to sock it to 'the rich', but 'rich' is relative. For broke blacks, Hispanics, and other hard-luck Dem constituencies you are the rich.

Also, anti-business types forget how fortunate we are that so many companies and entrepreneurs want to do business here. While we sit around bitching on the Internet, it's businesses and entrepreneurs that create jobs for us, provide us with products and services and fund our government with taxes. Try to go John Edwards on them and enough may go elsewhere that our living standards will suffer. A company I own stock in just re-located its headquarters to Ireland: lower taxes, less nanny-state regulation, etc. London has overtaken New York as the world's financial capital after the punitive and pointless Sarbanes-Oxley regulations.

fwood1 said...

Now that the immigration bill has been defeated, I predict the Homeland Security Department will quietly stop its raids of businesses employing illegals. These "too little, too late" enforcement measures were just a show to fool the rubes.

Note to Anon. 2:36: when you call Paul,Kucinich and Gravel anti-semites, isn't that an example of lunatic anti-anti-semitism?

TomV said...

Anonymous 6/29/2007 2:36 PM:

Naturally, the lunatic anti-Semites come out to play.

Come now. The only comment prior to yours that mentions Jews or Israel is that of Josh's. And here's what he said:

He is working for the corporations and his rich buddies. As both a lapdog for the wealthy,which certainly includes the oil companies,AND a nut-job Born Again Evangelical Protestant who thinks Jesus is coming Back to Israel to actually sit on a throne and rule from Jerusalem,he ia also the first jewish president.Though depised by the bulk of "American" Jews,he is completely supine to the Jewish Establishment.

Anti-semitic? It is at least equally anti-corporate and anti-Christian. He targetted those first, didn't he? And he even allowed that most American Jews hate Bush (though admittedly with a scare quote on "American").

It is indisputable that Bush shares many positions with Jewish lobby groups (as distinct from the average Jew) on the issues that matter most to them, just as he does with Evangelical Christians on the issues that matter most to them. It's not bigotry to point that out, especially if BOTH special interests get the same treatment. Indeed, I remember that the Bush-as-First-Jewish-President characterization was first made by his Jewish admirers.

Fred said...

"Now that the immigration bill has been defeated, I predict the Homeland Security Department will quietly stop its raids of businesses employing illegals."

Maybe, but not according to Secretary Chertoff. I saw a clip of him on TV yesterday saying he would now focus on enforcing existing laws, and 'warning' us that we'd see families torn apart, etc.

BTW, the WSJ had an editorial today warning us yahoos that now we might face a worse amnesty bill from the Dems '09. The WSJ clearly misunderstands the breadth of the opposition to illegals -- an opposition that crosses party affiliation. Also, enforcement laws passed at the local level (how many so far? 1100 nationally?) demonstrate that the debate is shifting in favor of those of us who want to limit unskilled immigration.

Anonymous said...

An example of the views that shape NPR's immigration coverage (for those who may listen):

'Race, blood, lineage, and nationality don't matter -- they're just the way small minds keep score.'

eh

Andershot said...

I think a single six year term would be best for Presidents.

But more than that, is the importance of getting rid of the old sons of bitches that get in the Senate in young middle age and stay there forever. They are invariably very popular in their home states, because they get high up in committees and bring home pork. But for the nation as a whole they are a curse. Since the leaving of Thurmond and Helms, the Dems have the big guns-Kennedy (who since he was installed at 30, is still relatively young as these goats go) and Byrd.

Term limits are one solution, and indeed, their appeal was mostly that they would get rid of these buzzards. I think term limits fever petered out for good reason-people realized it would make machine politics much more feasible, a la Daley, Tammany Hall, and Pendergast.

Someone mentioned the idea of creating a third house of the national legislature, an American House of Lords more properly (I think he said "Senate Emeritus"). It would have virtually no real power, and would be something one got elected to whether or not one wanted it, and once elected thereto one could not hold other legislative office. Even Supreme Court Justices could become "eligible", although I think mandatory retirement at 75 for them would be a better fix.