June 12, 2013

Kaus: Set aside Team Red v. Team Blue follies and focus on the Big One, immigration

From Mickey:
It’s time to wake up! Conservatives–while you are (rightly) excited about NSA snooping and partisan IRS corruption, the Congress is about to change America in a more profound, permanent way right under your noses. In the process it will hand President Obama the major second term achievement that will help him overcome the very scandals that are distracting you–or, rather, make his survival or re-ascendance unimportant. He will have won. Democrats will have shaped the future electorate to their own liking. They’ll have transformed what America is.

Please forget about Benghazi and Cincinnati and Edward Snowden’s girlfriend for a minute and pay attention to the main event. 
You have one weapon in your arsenal that can trump the big money behind the Gang of 8 bill (S.744). That weapon is fear. It’s not as if the Republican elite has suddenly been persuaded that an amnesty-first immigration bill is a good idea, after all. They’ve always preferred amnesty. They were just too scared to pursue it. What stopped them was the prospect of swift retribution from the electorate, not limited to the Republican primary electorate. 
This fear hasn’t disappeared. The elites were scared of voters before and they can be scared again. This applies to red state Democrats like Mark Pryor and primary-able Republicans like Lisa Murkowski. It applies to fence-sitters like Lamar Alexander. It even applies to those like Kelly Ayotte who have now committed to supporting instant legalization (despite having campaigned against it). If voters now make their displeasure with Ayotte known–well, politicians at the top have a way of backtracking from unpopular stands. That’s how they got to the top. At the very least Ayotte’s difficulties would serve as a cautionary example to others. 
There will probably be several big votes–most likely on a House-Senate conference bill–before any amnesty can become law. Speaker Boehner will have to make a crucial decision on whether to break the “Hastert Rule” and try to pass a bill in the teeth of his own caucus’ strongly held views. In every case, fear will be the crucial factor. If Senators fear losing their office if a bill becoming law–and they tend to be highly risk-aware–it often has a way of dying without any fingerprints on it (which is arguably what happened in 2007). 
There’s a list of Senate phone numbers and emails here. Numbers USA has a handy page that lets you send a fax here. The Capitol switchboard is 202 224-3121
Ignore the f—ing scandals for a few days and save the country from Chuck Schumer.

25 comments:

countenance said...

What if Scandalapalooza hurts the Gang Bangers of Eight Bill? The proponents of the GBof8 bill are selling trust and asking us to give the Feds the benefit of the doubt. But "trust" and "BOTD" are things people are having less and less in the Feds after IRS, NSA, etc.

I've read Peter Brimelow's theory that all the scandals are controlled burns to distract from immigration. The problem is, too many controlled burns, and people think there's actually a forest fire. Each controlled burn makes the others worse.

Anonymous said...

I have linked this on my Facebook page, and have already written emails to both of my senators. I intend calling their offices several times in the coming weeks. I know the final stand will be made in the house, but we can at least influence the atmosphere in which the bill will be debated by starting now. Don't wait until the switchboard is jammed. Get some of your thoughts and arguments across before that happens. If your senator is a Democrat as both of mine are, emphasize populist themes--doing what the people want as opposed to what the big corporations and cheap-labor lobbies want. The last few days before it comes to a vote have your senator's phone number on speed dial and keep hitting the redial button. If you get through, yell.

Good luck to all of us.

Sgt. Joe Friday said...

Slightly O/T but, I have just started reading Dr. Helen Smith's new book, Men on Strike. She quotes the MRA Warren Farrell as saying that two things are necessary for a major movement: emotional rejection and economic hurt.

How does this relate to immigration? Well, you have the emotional rejection aspect (immigrants pushing Americans out of traditional blue collar jobs that many men would rather do than desk work) and the economic hurt (self explanatory). The Cathedral expects to amnesty 11 million illegal aliens, raise legal immigration to 2 million a year or more (which is a not-at-all-remarked-on aspect of S744) and to do this without engendering social friction or resentment.

Or maybe the Cathedral is quite aware that said frction and resentments could at some point boil over into a backlash. It may be they view that as a feature, not a bug, since it presents opportunities to pass more laws criminalizing more behavior.

Anonymous said...

Well spake. Allowing hordes of non-assimmable immigrants into any nation is national suicide, especially lower-IQ immigrants of dubious potential. There's a reason that Mexico is far less successful and prosperous than America, and it's not solely constitutional. White Europeans are simply smarter and more productive than mestizos (Gasp!)

DPG said...

Jeff Flake has to be vulnerable here. He narrowly won election, 49-46, in a state that elected Jan Brewer by a margin of 55-42...AFTER she signed SB 1070 into law.

He must buy into the supposition that Hispanics will view Republicans favorably after they pass immigration reform.

Anonymous said...

The bigger issue:race-replacement immigration policy can not be reversed through DC Beltway election cycles.

There is an unmitigated catastrophe in the making. Fuddy duddy-earnest-civic immigration reformism is no longer viable...don't waste your $$$.

So what comes next? Obvious Answer:full-blown amnesty. What happens the next day? Obvious answer:Unrelenting taunting of Native Born White Americans. You think the ESPN commercials are repellant now? Just wait Comrades. Moreover, it will no longer be possible for millions of Native Born White Americans to deny the obvious:that they can't vote their way out of this mess. Their fate is in the hands of a rapidly growing hostile nonwhite majority-as far as electoral politics goes.

What happens when the Frontier is really closed for real-since the famous proclamation about it being closed made by a famous American Historian at the 1898 Worlds Fair? Does Bill McKibben...on the take from Standard Oil...become a White Nationalist when the Adirondacks become infested with Sihks and Bosnian Muslims from a well known Central New York cesspoll?

Wat Tyler and Bill Blizzard

This ain't no f...g Tea Party.

Space Ghost said...

Kaus is a rare breed - a liberal who actually cares about America.

eah said...

A powerful piece.

But honestly, it's a shame that something like this has to be written. And I'm not so sure the basic premise is true: that Republicans have to act -- they must oppose amnesty -- in order to 'save America'. Or whatever. It seems at best stopping amnesty will only delay what seems like the inevitable: the demise of a majority white America. At no time have I ever heard, in polite public discourse, this sentiment raised: a majority white America has unique value and is worth preserving.

Simple common sense arguments about economics, labor supply v demand, etc, don't seem to get much traction either. People who work in the US owe guys like Sessions a lot for trying.

But I guess it's worth stopping amnesty in any case. They (Republicans) can always fall back on the 'rule of law' in order to avoid the taint of 'nativism'. Or worse.

no joy in mudville said...

As horrific a tragedy as destroying our country is, if diversity becomes a casualty -- I think that's worse.

Anonymous said...

http://cinephile.ca/archives/volume-3-hollywood-liberalism/

Hacienda said...

So lame. An internet blog plea. Where is your self awareness, people? Who do you think really reads this blog? Who are the constituents and the anti-constituents. Who are simply beneath constituency, yet "decide" things.

If the last TWO Presidential elections and hundreds of mayoral elections didn't clue you in, what will?

Jeeves said...

There’s a list of Senate phone numbers and emails here. Numbers USA has a handy page that lets you send a fax here. The Capitol switchboard is 202 224-3121.

I send Numbers USA money. But I'm in AZ, so faxing, or calling the switchboard, is futile. Flake is proving himself a Senate careerist, while McCain's butt rests comfortably on Steve's Invite, Invade, In Debt stool, making him The Compleat Turd.

Anonymous said...

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/06/11/Schumer-makes-impassioned-plea-that-immigration-bill-solves-illegal-immigration-secures-the-border

Whitehall said...

I wrote my senator, Dianne Feinstein, noting my strong objections to the current bill. Here's part of the reply:

"I believe comprehensive immigration reform is necessary to fix our broken immigration system. Comprehensive reform will allow the federal government to create effective immigration policies that better reflect the short-term and long-term security and economic needs of our nation. "

Well duh! Who disagrees with that boilerplate? The devil is always in the details and I have NO faith in the Senate to serve US citizens in this bill.

Anonymous said...

This immigration stuff is like replacing workers with scabs.

Anonymous said...


I am now a 5 year veteran reader of Sailer/VDARE/Derbyshire.

This is by far the most audacious attempt change the country I've seen, and I fear we've gone over the tipping point. (Los Angeles is unrecognizable from a mere 30 years ago.)

However, I am nearly certain the senate bill cannot pass the House and will not become law. Republicans in the House know the intent is a permanent, emerging Democratic majority.

Still, call your senators.

Evil Sandmich said...

Not to mention trying to save the stupid party from itself, again.
Kaus' passion is to be commended.

Hacienda said...

Not to mention trying to save the stupid party from itself, again.
Kaus' passion is to be commended.

----------------

I would posit ANY communication, especially the most ENERGETIC kind is necessarily pro open borders. And the internet is actually a multiplier of open border communication. Even if the content itself is ANTI open borders.

An exercise in "shooting oneself in the foot".

Corn said...

I emailed both of my Senators (Mark Kirk and Dick Durbin). I told Kirk that anyone who reads polls knows most illegals are Hispanic and Hispanics lean Democrat. I told Kirk that if amnesty passes he may find himself voted out of the job.

Dave Pinsen said...

"What if Scandalapalooza hurts the Gang Bangers of Eight Bill?"

Kaus has argued previously that it helps it, because it detracts attention from a hideous bill. And he seems to be right.

"I believe comprehensive immigration reform is necessary to fix our broken immigration system."

That's such an insidious claim. What's "broken" about our current immigration system is that our government isn't enforcing its own laws. How is that fecklessness an argument for weakening the laws instead of enforcing them?

BTW, OT, but the world keeps giving Steve material: "Transgendered student goes to Maine high court". That student is a 5th grader. Can you imagine what would have happened if you pulled this crap when you were his age?

Jack Hanson said...

The thing about Flake and McCain is that they both faced primary challengers from the Right and were die hard immigration hawks until they went back to Congress. Flake in particular is an idiot - he thinks his cratering poll numbers are due to his vote against gun registration. I've been to McCain's town halls and he's old, tired, and cranky with his constituents. Every single one has shouting matches with people about how fucked the immigration system is and they want people deported.

I'm an immigration law enforcement agent. I've called both their offices and promised to visit their public appearances with other agents and tell everyone how fucked the situation is on the border, how we can't enforce immigration law, etc. Maybe it'll make a difference, but I don't have much hope it will.

Cail Corishev said...

Kaus has argued previously that it helps it, because it detracts attention from a hideous bill. And he seems to be right.

Not just the distraction, but if Republicans think their base is worked up enough about the scandals to come out strong against Democrats next time, they may think they can afford to pass this immigration bill. As he says, the only thing that will stop them is fear of being ousted, so anything that makes their seats feel more secure works against stoppage of this bill.

ben tillman said...

I would posit ANY communication, especially the most ENERGETIC kind is necessarily pro open borders. And the internet is actually a multiplier of open border communication. Even if the content itself is ANTI open borders.

An exercise in "shooting oneself in the foot".


That was incomprehensible.

Anonymous said...

"I've been to McCain's town halls and he's old, tired, and cranky with his constituents."

Maybe most of these Senators are just too old for the job. Modern medicine works wonders, but there are limits.

I don't understand how considerations of maintaining complex professional friendships over the long term can't ultimately drive out connections to the voters they are supposed to represent.

NOTA said...

Amnesty, surveillance of everyone, and bureaucratic harrassment of outsiders causing trouble for insiders are all consensus policies of people at the top. They see all these policies as good for them, and if they're bad for other Americans, well, that's not really a problem, is it?

The IRS hassled outsiders--not Cato or Heritage or the NRA, but rather Tea Party types who were trying to make the powerful insiders listen. Similarly, there was widespread surveillance of antiwar and Occupy protesters. Again, outsiders tryng to make the powerful insiders theoretically on their side listen. Insiders are overwhelmingly *just fine* with this--insurgents in their party or political movement are pain in the ass to the Feinsteins and McCains of the world.

Amnesty is similarly just fine to the people at the top. They get contributions from businessmen who benefit from cheap labor, high-tech serfs on visas that lock them into only one employer, etc. Their kids' schools and their neighborhoods are not really hurt by lots of third-world immigrants moving to the US--those kids go to public schools, and those immigrants can't afford to live in the kind of nice neighborhoods the ruling class lives in. The immigration bill apparently even includes a bunch of police-state stuff like 24/7 surveillance of the border by drones and a national ID card. That will come in handy the next time the outsiders are raising trouble about something, I'm sure.

The best model for all this is that the ruling class and the ruled have very different interests and incentives. Amnesty is just one more place where this is true.