September Diary
On the Sovereignty Caucus, Chris Christie, the existence of evil, and more.


John Derbyshire

The Sovereignty Caucus. Did you know that the U.S. House of Representatives has a Sovereignty Caucus?

Well, has or had. Just Googling around, the Sovereignty Caucus seems to have quiesced. It was formed two years ago in reaction to the administration’s nomination of Harold Koh as legal adviser to the State Department. Koh is keen to extend the authority of trans-national outfits such as the International Criminal Court over U.S. domestic policy and jurisprudence.

I just heard about the Sovereignty Caucus last week. It struck me as a bit peculiar that a national legislature should need a caucus promoting the nation’s sovereignty. The caucus had/has at least 25 members. How did/do the other 410 congresscritters feel about U.S. sovereignty? Best not to ask, perhaps.

The occasion of my hearing about the Sovereignty Caucus was a CIS event promoting a new book by John Fonte of the Hudson Institute. Title of the book: Sovereignty or Submission: Will Americans Rule Themselves or Be Ruled by Others? John spoke to us very eloquently on the topic of sovereignty.

He writes just as eloquently. Here’s the first paragraph of Chapter 14:

A “struggle for a new world” has begun. Across a broad range of far-flung, often obscure, but nevertheless vital fronts, the liberal democratic nation-state is locked in an intense ideological and institutional conflict with the forces of global governance. At the center of the coalition supporting liberal democracy stands an independent sovereign American nation-state. Across the trenches, the overarching goal of the global governance party is the subordination of American constitutional democracy to global authority.

Heart and head on immigration. On the particular topic of illegal immigration, awareness seems slowly to be dawning at high levels of the GOP that this is a deal-breaker for some quite big segment of the Republican voter base. What has caused the dawning has, of course, been the fast drop in Rick Perry’s poll numbers following his defense of the Texas DREAM Act in that disastrous — for him, I mean — September 22 debate.

The open-borders faction of the GOP is busy doing damage control. Here was Linda Chavez in my Saturday edition of America’s Newspaper of Record:

The illegal immigration issue is easy to solve — and at far less cost than building a nearly 2,000-mile fence along our southern border. Create a legal way for workers willing to do jobs that Americans shun — even during periods of high unemployment — and you will eliminate about 90 percent of illegal immigration. And those new, legal workers will pay taxes, buy American services and products, rent and buy homes that now sit vacant, and bolster the economies of communities that are now suffering.

The implication here is that there is no “legal way” for foreigners to come and work in the U.S.A. In fact there are at least a dozen legal ways for them to do so. I have listed the relevant visa categories here.

As can be seen from that list, there are “legal ways” to enter the U.S.A. for every kind of worker, from concert pianists to fruit pickers. To pretend otherwise is just dishonest.

And then: “those new, legal workers will pay taxes.” The New York Post version of the piece came decorated with a photograph of Ronald Reagan, caption: “Reagan: Believed legal immigration produced taxpayers.”

Hmm. Ronald Reagan was a great president, but he wasn’t infallible. Of course legal immigration does produce taxpayers. It also produces tax-eaters. An interesting question about immigration policy would be: How can we so adjust our policy to maximize the taxpayers and minimize the tax-eaters? This is not a question you hear much discussed. To put it mildly.