May 8, 2013

David Brooks and Gail Collins debate immigration

From the New York Times:
David: Anyway, I was hoping we could talk about immigration and immigration reform. 
Gail: I have a sinking feeling this is going to be one of those conversations where we fail to disagree, which is so much less exciting. I don’t suppose you’d rather fight about Social Security again? 
David: When I was a kid my grandfather drew me an ethnic map of his neighborhood. Some buildings were dominated by Finns, some by Norwegians, some by Germans. He made all sorts of ethnic distinctions that we don’t think to make today. When immigration works, ethnicity drops from the foreground to the background over time. It stops being a public destiny and starts being a private source of meaning. 
Others disagree, but I think the current wave of immigration is going to end up working out like past waves, which is wonderful news for this country. 
Gail: Obviously I agree. However, it’d be a lot easier for the newcomers to find the American dream if we could juice up the economy with some infrastructure spending and improve early childhood education. But that’s another economic fight, and I can tell you don’t want to go down that road right now. 
David: I do worry about immigration reform, though. I think the proposal emerging in the Senate is a no-brainer. It increases high-skill immigration. It brings people out of the shadows. It’s got to be better than what we have. Is that your basic take? 
Gail: Yes. Of course it took Mitt Romney getting drubbed in the Latino and Asian communities to get Republicans interested in the issue.

David: But I worry about the proposal’s prospects in Congress. If this were still the same old Republican Party of Reagan, then things would be fine. But the corporate wing is much weaker and the populist wing is much stronger. The struggle within the party for control is now playing out as a struggle over immigration policy. A few weeks ago I would have said the bill had a 70 percent chance of passage. Now I’m down to 50. 
Gail: It’s been a long time since I gave a 50 percent chance to any piece of legislation larger than renaming a post office. I’d say 35 or 40 percent. 
David: I must say I admire Marco Rubio’s role in all this. He’s taken a bold position. He’s really staked his political future on it. And he’s getting beaten up on the right. If he can hold the Gang of Eight together and then add about six or seven Republican Senators, then this thing has a chance. 
Gail: On the other side of the picture, you have Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who is currently trying to take the credit for destroying gun control while vowing to do the same thing to immigration reform. Cruz is a great example of how the Tea Party affects the Republican senators. Every six years during election season they’re in the right wing’s pocket. Witness John McCain. In 2005, he sponsored a similar immigration bill. In 2010 he was running for re-nomination against a Tea Party type, and suddenly he’s talking about illegal immigrants murdering people and running “complete the danged fence” ads. 
But once they’re safely re-elected they remember how much they hate the Tea Party’s dogmatic craziness. Now McCain is back to the old mavericky 2000 version. That’s partly because he doesn’t have an election coming up. But I think he’s also been driven to the center by his loathing for Ted Cruz. You don’t often see such a combination of irritating personality, insane political convictions and total implacability in one so young. 
So I think it’s very possible immigration reform will pass the Senate handily, if only because so many people are eager to disappoint Cruz and Company. But the real problem, on this as on so very many things, is the House of Representatives.

I realize that I haven't presented a point-by-point rebuttal. But recall what Virginia Heffernan pointed out on the evolution of blogging:
Surprisingly, though, the focus of modern fact checks is rarely what we 20th-century fact-checkers would have underlined as checkable facts. Instead, Web fact-checkers generally try to show how articles presented in earnest are actually self-parody. These acts of reclassifying journalism as parody or fiction — and setting off excerpts so they play as parody — resembles literary criticism more than it does traditional fact-checking. 

39 comments:

William said...

The populist wing of the party is now stronger than the corporate wing? Other than being untrue, this is a stunning admission. I'm glad that Brooks simply comes out and says that, yes, he thinks the Republicans ought to be the party of corporate shills.

I, too, must say I admire Marco Rubio’s role in all this. He’s taken a bold position. He’s really staked his political future on sacrificing the nation's future.

Anonymous said...

But the corporate wing is much weaker and the populist wing is much stronger. The struggle within the party for control is now playing out as a struggle over immigration policy. A few weeks ago I would have said the bill had a 70 percent chance of passage. Now I’m down to 50. The corporate wing has always been stronger in the Republican Party than the Populist wing. Notice we always get tax cuts or no increase of tax cuts but nothing else.

Anonymous said...

The Tea party is soft on Rand Paul who opposes e-verify, inspite of their talk, accordint to 24 here a lot of their leadership has not been tough on illegal immirgaiton. Tea Party loves love taxes and immirgation is second to that.

I am not Spartacus said...

A Mexican Catholic arrives in these United States and he is expected by we deracinated secularists to abandon his ethnicity and language and to be reborn as whom or what?

Is he to die to self and be reborn as a consumer or will he adopt the american religion of sports and which professional religion is the rennet that binds us together on our High Holy Day of Super Bowl Sunday?



Anonymous said...

Brooks: "Others disagree, but I think the current wave of immigration is going to end up working out like past waves, which is wonderful news for this country."

One of the big early immigration waves was negro slaves to the Virginia and Maryland colonies to address labour shortages in tobacco farming. How's that workin' for ya?

Anonymous said...

carefully scripted 'debate' In many ways they have suceeded here more than the soviet union

Anonymous said...

The only sin is hypocrisy and the only "sane" measure of legislation is moralistic, humanitarian universalism.

Think of the children, Steve, the children (of third world peasants and mercenary h1b programmers)!

I swear the comments under this piece don't even measure up to eighth grade standards of reasoning.

Harry Baldwin said...

I had not thought my contempt and loathing for David Brooks could increase, but hey, he's outdone himself.

Dave Pinsen said...

Why didn't Gail debate Douthat?

Oh, btw, influential tech blogger Om Malik is about to go on Bloomberg West to talk about why he's uncomfortable with Zuck & Co.'s FWD.us.

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vP0cUBi4hwE

Nerd fascism.

No mention of Orson Scott Card because fairistocrats hate him.

Card thinks bender's lame.

Anonymous said...

"I have a sinking feeling this is going to be one of those conversations where we fail to disagree"


Here's a crazy thought - how about if Brooks and Collins tried debating immigration with, let's say, Sailer and Krikorian, instead of each other?

That's thinking WAAAAY outside the box, I know.

Anonymous said...

"Ender's Game is a science fiction novel by American author Orson Scott Card. Set in Earth's future, the novel presents an imperiled humankind that has barely survived two conflicts with the 'Buggers', an insectoid alien species."


Buggers. Rotfl. Sounds like what we have today. Buggers rule all.

Anonymous said...

When immigration works, ethnicity drops from the foreground to the background over time.


I'm sure we're all familiar with the people like Brooks (i.e Jews) keep their ethnicity "in the background".

garyinfh said...

So, in other words, the simple presentation of the David Brooks-Gail Collins “debate” – where as Collins presciently predicted, the two “fail[ed] to disagree,” and where Collins attributed John McCain’s shifting positions on immigration not to his basic mendacity, but to the baleful influence of the Tea Party and McCain’s “loathing for Ted Cruz,” and in which the actual merits of the issue were never discussed, except in terms of political personality – constitutes a more pungent critique than any line-by-line fisking even Steve Sailer could manage.

Anonymous said...

I realize that I haven't presented a point-by-point rebuttal.


Looking at that exchange, the rebuttal would have to be several pages long. Every sentence contains multiple errors of fact and/or logic.

Anonymous said...

This couldn't be a less informed dialogue if it tried. Brooks thinks Mexicans are going to work out like the Norwegians and Germans? We're on generation 4 of Mexican immigrants, totaling maybe 35 million people, and they still haven't built one hospital, as Gregory Rodriguez has pointed out.

Brooks and Collins should be happy they have this media perch for now. In any kind of competitive system they wouldn't be read.

Anonymous said...

Hilarious "debate." It's all ethnic kitsch and meaningless catchphrases now -- Brooks is supposed to be this great writer and he used that "bring people out of the shadows" line? OK boss, whatever you say

C. Van Carter said...

"David:...I think the current wave of immigration is going to end up working out like past waves, which is wonderful news for this country.

Gail: Obviously I agree."

Well, that's settled then.

C. Van Carter said...

"When immigration works, ethnicity drops from the foreground to the background over time. It stops being a public destiny and starts being a private source of meaning"

That's a weird projection.

Anonymous said...

I am not Spartacus said:A Mexican Catholic arrives in these United States and he is expected by we deracinated secularists to abandon his ethnicity and language and to be reborn as whom or what?

Is he to die to self and be reborn as a consumer or will he adopt the american religion of sports and which professional religion is the rennet that binds us together on our High Holy Day of Super Bowl Sunday?

I don't want him to be reborn as a deracinated American mouth breather. I want him to remain a Mexican IN MEXICO. While there, he can practice or abandon his folkways as he pleases. He is also free to breath his Mexican air through the orifice of his choosing.

-The Judean People's Front

C. Van Carter said...

"Improve early childhood education" - for the smug-faced idiot, there are few problems that don't have that simple solution.

Anonymous said...

once they’re safely re-elected they remember how much they hate the Tea Party’s dogmatic craziness.


Remember, the only sort of dogmatic craziness you're allowed to love is the New York Times brand of dogmatic craziness.

manton said...

Shouldn't "debate" in your title be in scare quotes?

Anonymous said...

"Improve early childhood education"

jeez, these mouth-breating bigots of yesteryears can't even see that the real fight is in utero, by the time they are breathing on their own, it's already too late!

Anonymous said...

and for proof, just look at the racial baby differences video.

Evil Sandmich said...

Those two needed to get a room.

Anonymous said...

When immigration works, ethnicity drops from the foreground to the background over time
So David Brooks ethnicity has blended into the background? and Frank Rich? and so on and so on?

rob said...

Anonymous said...
Brooks: "Others disagree, but I think the current wave of immigration is going to end up working out like past waves, which is wonderful news for this country."


But that's more like survivorship bias. There are a bunch of countries in the New World. All of them had more or less immigration from various places at different times.

When a big wave of migrants effed the place up, or became the big bananas of a backwards Bananastan* that was sort of it for migration Later waves of migrants didn't want to pick bananas for peanuts on some Hispanic's o Lusitania's latifundia. They wanted to move to places where the current inhabitants had built better societies.

Backwards nations didn't appeal to many migrants, especially migrants who were themselves backwards. This phenomena is the source of Nick D. Azz (aka El Angry Spaniard Fop) ire towards the US. Southern European colonists and later immigrants created societies they dreamed of: tan lords and ladies of vast estates with little brown peons attached to the land, and gradually becoming more Latino through the generous donations of Spaniard semen. Not much economic demand for more aristocrats. Later waves of Southern European running from themselves saw their coethnics hadn't made many opportunies for them in Bananastans. The backwards migrants wanted to come to the Anglo nations. Anglos saw what Southern Euros did to the half of the new world they took, and didn't want endless hordes of backwards Southern Europeans, we didn't want the Malthusian excess from Latin America either. They wanted a whole 'nother continent in which to foul their nests.

All it takes is one disastrous wave of aliens to break a nation. Then new backwards aliens will want cleaner nests to foul.

The tsunami of aliens that doesn't work out is always the last one.

*There's always money in the Bananastan!

Anonymous said...

"The populist wing of the party is now stronger than the corporate wing? Other than being untrue, this is a stunning admission. I'm glad that Brooks simply comes out and says that, yes, he thinks the Republicans ought to be the party of corporate shills." - The corporate wing still has strength, but they fear their ability to use it and retain power. The tea party may have been co-opted, it may ignore the national question, but it still threw out a lot of republican seniority.

As long as they lay low and wait they hope that this will blow over and they can get back to screwing everyone, but this is not going to happen, everything is just going to keep getting worse until they are thrown out.

a Newsreader said...

But I worry about the proposal’s prospects in Congress. If this were still the same old Republican Party of Reagan, then things would be fine. But the corporate wing is much weaker and the populist wing is much stronger.

How fabulous! Brooks's and NYT's loyalty is right out in the open.

Elli said...

If you look at the readers' comments in the NYT, an awful lot of them are saying "sibboleth."

Anonymous said...

Every six years during election season they’re in the right wing’s pocket.

Obviously, the right wing is a huge menace. They affect senators opinions every six years.

I like the fact that, in context, the speaker says that Republicans are in the Tea Party's pocket every six years when the Tea Party has only been around since about 2009

How's that for fact-checking?

I am not Spartacus said...

I don't want him to be reborn as a deracinated American mouth breather. I want him to remain a Mexican IN MEXICO.

Dear Anonymous. Had America not been making treaties with them that resulted in businesses moving our manufacturing there and flooding their markets with our state-subsidised farm products then maybe he and his family could have afforded to stay there as a farmer instead of being forced to leave his home in search of work thanks to two crummy governments - ours and his; but, as it is the real world, one can't be surprised that a family farmer is unable to compete against say ADM.

Volksverhetzer said...

The latifunda broke the Roman Empire as well, as we have numerous Roman authors explaining/complaining that hordes of the servus class and free Roman farmers, that escaped into the barbaric Germanic nations in order to live free from oppression.

"The men of olden times believed that above all moderation should be observed in landholding, for indeed it was their judgment that it was better to sow less and plow more intensively. Virgil, too, I see agreed with this view. To confess the truth, the latifundia have ruined Italy, and soon will ruin the provinces as well. Six owners were in possession of half of the province of Africa at the time when the Emperor Nero had them put to death." (Pliny's Natural History 18.7.35)

I wonder what would happen if Obama just killed the richest Americans, in order to save America. I didn't save Rome in the end, but it might have helped them go on for a few more centuries.

Svigor said...

carefully scripted 'debate' In many ways they have suceeded here more than the soviet union

Thus proving that competition dispels laziness.

The only sin is hypocrisy

American Jewry and Israel shot that one to shit a long time ago.

Brooks and Collins should be happy they have this media perch for now. In any kind of competitive system they wouldn't be read.

So not true! Each "American" media company strive mightily to candy-coat the poison pill more tastily than the next.

As long as they lay low and wait they hope that this will blow over and they can get back to screwing everyone, but this is not going to happen, everything is just going to keep getting worse until they are thrown out.

Yes, over the last 7 years or so, I've been persuaded that we're going to run out of other people's money long before they get their dream of diluting our ancestry beyond the point of no return.

That's got to have some ants loose in their pants.

Volksverhetzer said...

Norwegians and Danes have been in the USA since day one,even if you disregard the Vikings, as they used to pass as Dutch, during the Dutch Empire.

The Dutch used Norwegian and Danish sailors in both their merchant and naval fleets, so they were preferred immigrants even here, and not only in the USA, where they were also used to break new land, in addition to manning a lot of the US ships.

It went so far that the King were afraid to lose his soldiers, so before a Norwegian could emigrate, he needed a pass from his commanding officer, that he was not needed for the defense of the country.

Probably since the Norwegians were trained as soldiers from a young age, one in five of all Norwegian males fought in the US civil war voluntarily. It is anyway a high number, as the 4 of 5 that did not fight, included children and older men.

Anonymous said...

I am not Spartacus said:Dear Anonymous. Had America not been making treaties with them that resulted in businesses moving our manufacturing there and flooding their markets with our state-subsidised farm products then maybe he and his family could have afforded to stay there as a farmer instead of being forced to leave his home in search of work thanks to two crummy governments - ours and his; but, as it is the real world, one can't be surprised that a family farmer is unable to compete against say ADM.

I am genuinely sympathetic to the plight of the displaced Mexican farmer, but why must American workers also be displaced as a result of elite malfeasance? Why should ordinary Americans be forced to foot the bill for the sins of ADM? American blue collar families owe nothing to the foreign victims of a plutocracy that cares as little for them as it does for the peasantry of the Yucatan.

-The Judean People's Front



Anonymous said...

Didn't she have that book about Texas? "What's The Matter With Them" I think was the title... There was this Texas fad 2 years ago, Friday Night Lights and so forth. I bet whichever librarian reviewed it for WorldCat or the ALA database thought it was fabulous

Dennis Dale said...

Oh. My. God.

There is one thing you can add to the text to finish it off. A photo-shop of David and Gale conversing in Maxwell Smart's Cone of Silence.

"I demand the cone of silence!"