While Democrats everywhere are taking delight that the President’s unpopularity on the Iraq war may well cost his party its majorities in the House and/or Senate (btw… screw multi-millionaire Ned Lamont who doesn’t need your money… send a few bucks, if you can and believe that Democrats should run against Republicans in the Senate instead of other Democrats, to Claire McCaskill in Missouri, or perhaps to Jon Tester in Montana or Jack Carter in Nevadathey need your money, and we need their seats)… the Republicans have their own counter-attack planned.
While we approach 9-11 (9-11, 9-11, 9-11) with its jubilant anti-Middle Easterner (and anti-Moslems in general) jingoistic subtext… the Republicans have been thinking about their own political misdirection-play, which may be enough to help them in enough key seats to hold their majority (that, of course, and the three seats we likely won’t be winning in Connecticut thanks to Ned Lamont, and yes… I am bitter about that… against Lieberman for being a prick, and for those supposed progressives who somehow think that discipline against apostates is more important than taking power back.)
The strategy… oh yes… according to the New York Times, is to rely on the hard-line House position on… wait for it… immigration. While the article discusses a particular district in Colorado (and if you are inclined to consider throwing a few bucks his way, the Democrat running there is Ed Perlmutter) it will doubtless be used elsewhere.
Let me make this easy: if the Democratic Party stands for anything at all (besides pressure group pandering, of course) it would actually join with the Republicans in Congress on this issue, in an alliance against the President. What’s that, TD? Have you gone all bat-shit rabid on us? Has someone put PCP in your kibble? What on Earth could you be talking about?
Let’s think about it. The Democrats actually have a pretty easy overall message, if they want it (simplistic, but let’s go with it): Democrats are the party of honest working people. By the same token, Republicans (certainly those loyal to George W. Bush) are the party of dishonest business people. Everything else can follow from that. On immigration reform, honest working people resent interlopers jumping lines, and taking jobs that Americans might otherwise do, thereby driving down wages and benefits, not just for those jobs, but for all jobs. Worse, the crappy jobs that people risk death to come here to take tend to pay so poorly that those holding them, in turn, have to rely on our social services network for everything from health care to education to food stamps to you name it… all so the dishonest businessmen can make more money by exploiting them… and the rest of the honest working men and women.
We of “the Honest Working People’s Party” must shed the fact that many of us are ourselves urban information workers who ourselves may employ… possibly undocumented… workers to clean our houses, watch our kids, mow our lawns, paint our apartments or work in restaurants… and dispense with the fact that we may well know people who are here… without proper documentation… and realize that they are breaking the law and shouldn’t be here.
Let me make this still easier: I have no sympathy for such people. None. The only people I am remotely sympathetic too are their dependents, especially those who were born here and are therefore citizens. Even in their cases, however, I frankly have no problem deporting their parents; the children are free to return when they are 18, unless they can find someone here legally to raise them in the interim. (It might seem cruel, but it’s not a choice any of us made; the fact is, untiil and unless a definite stand on this is taken instead of perennial “wink wink”, the wave of illegals will just keep coming; the irony is that anything remotely smelling of an “amnesty” whether called that or not will have the same effect.)
I realize that none of the undocumented workers are going to take my own white collar professional job, but pressure on some workers is ultimately pressure on all workers. Millions of people coming here to take crap jobs puts overall downward pressure on all wages and benefits; sure some jobs can be outsourced, but those jobs may well have already been outsourced, and in the end, most jobs can’t be outsourced or you’d see a hell of a lot more of that practice. Instead, the overwhelming choice is to literally import the means of outsourcing: foreign workers, preferably illegal ones, who aren’t likely to complain about poor working conditions or substandard (or even illegal) wages and non-existent benefits.
Again: if Democrats are to be the party of honest working people, none of this should be a problem. There are lots of people waiting in consulates all over the world, frequently for many years, for legal authorization to enter this country, and many of those people are honest Latino workers. Indeed, there are tens of millions of Latinos in this country (i.e. the overwhelming majority) who are U.S. citizens or otherwise here legally. They are the people for whom I have sympathy: people who play by the rules, damn the inconvenience of it.
While some people will doubtless disagree with, if not resent what I am suggesting, the reality is, actually securing our borders from illegal inflows of people and enforcing our labor laws against abusive employers here, will likely help people at the lower ends of our economic pecking order, to wit, (legally present) Latinos and African Americans.
And from an electoral standpoint, it would pretty much cut the legs out from this particular Republican ploy, while still doing the right thing. The odds Democrats will go for anything remotely like this? Non-existent, of course. Democrats will likely instead believe that by coasting in on the unpopularity of the war, they can win. Maybe. But let’s just say… that’s not how you bet.