Politics & Policy

Nice Going, Karl

This immigration battle is a fine mess.

From: Nick Machiavelli, Senior Partner, Machiavelli, O’Blarney, Iago, Alcibiades and Morris, Political Consultants.

To: Karl Rove, The Smoke-Filled Room, Lower Basement, The White House, Washington DC.

Dear Karl,

I’m flattered–and pleasantly surprised. Of course, I saw the fine mess you had got yourself (and Junior) into over immigration and the Hispanic vote. But I thought that you would never admit it to yourself, let alone to an old and dear competitor.

When my confidential secretary told me you were on the line, I said: “Lilith, learn from this. A really great man is always prepared to humiliate himself if it safeguards his money, power, and reputation. He can always deny it later when he has triumphed. And who will dare disbelieve him then?”

Now, let’s review the situation. I have to begin by laughing. Truly, as the philosopher says, no mere fool can match a really clever man in creating mayhem and chaos for himself and everyone else. Following your advice, Junior has launched a massive immigration reform program that grants a “not an amnesty” to illegal aliens already in the U.S. and allows unlimited numbers of new “guest-workers” into the U.S. to work for wages most Americans won’t accept. (Nice play on “jobs most Americans won’t do,” you must admit.)

Sure, I know that this is a bi-partisan program supported by eight Democrats as well as four Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee. But if you think that will protect you, think again.

We both know the textbook definition of “bipartisanship”–that’s the Stupid Party (formally the GOP) getting together with the Evil Party (aka the Democrats) to do something that is both stupid and evil.

In this case Junior’s immigration reform is stupid on a number of counts. To begin with, it seriously divides his own party–and not by fifty-fifty either. About 70 percent of Republican voters are deeply opposed to both the not-an-amnesty and the guest-worker scam. Almost two-thirds of all voters share their dislike of it. And there is a mid-term election in seven months.

So who likes the legislation? Its supporters are Wall Street, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, corporate America, and in particular various large employers of illegal alien labor. In other words: the GOP’s big donors, whom the White House has now marshaled into a large “bi-partisan” lobbying group to preach the virtues of legalizing illegal aliens on the airwaves.

Alas, Karl, as you are beginning to realize, you failed to take the evil side of the Evil Party into account. Of course, the Democrats will support legalizing twelve million illegal low-paid workers and bringing in millions more. Low-paid workers vote Democrat. They are simply recruiting new constituents.

That is why they will also bring in amendments to give the legalized illegals and the new arrivals a faster path to citizenship and the vote. If you go along with those amendments, the Democrats will gain something like a net four million new voters within three or four election cycles and millions more with each passing decade. And Junior’s last presidential majority was wafer-thin.

So Junior vetoes these Democratic amendments, right? Wrong. If he does that, he will look as if he wants to bring in indentured serfs to lift and carry rather than potential American citizens who will play a full part in civic life.

That will alienate the crucial growing Hispanic vote, right? Wrong again, Karl. Doubtless a veto would annoy some Latinos, but most Hispanic voters were born in America and have little investment in illegal immigration. Those of them who are low paid themselves may actually oppose it.

Regardless, the large and growing Latino vote is a propaganda myth invented, Karl, by you. Don’t tell me you have started to believe your own propaganda myth now that it has been recycled back through your media dupes. That would be too rich. To restore your equilibrium, here are a few facts: in 2004 the Hispanic vote was a modest 6 percent of the voters. As the electoral statistician Steve Sailer has repeatedly pointed out, most recently on the website www.vdare.com, it is growing at the still more modest rate of 0.6 percent every presidential election cycle. And almost exactly half of the Hispanic vote is concentrated in two states–Republican Texas and Democratic California–that are dependably loyal in their voting habits and so unlikely to sway national elections.

In other words, Karl, the only way the Hispanic vote will take the large leap forward you suggest is if Junior’s policy of legalizing illegals is adopted! And if he tries to limit the electoral damage to the GOP by blocking the road to citizenship, he will truly alienate a much larger group of Americans–namely, ordinary ones, including Hispanics, who don’t want to reward illegal immigration or to abolish America’s borders, but who also don’t like the idea of importing a new underclass of indentured servants for the corporate elites. Why, Karl, that idea is as un-American as waving a Mexican flag on the Fourth of July.

All in all, a fine mess–and an unnecessary one. If you, Junior, and the Chamber of Commerce had a more accurate idea of your own interests, you would not have stirred up all this trouble for no real gain.

You would have quietly continued the status quo: a porous border, all the illegal alien workers that Big Business wanted, a blind eye turned to enforcement of employer sanctions, and when anyone complained, the announcement of another two thousand hires for the border patrol. (Only Lou Dobbs and a few cranks would have followed up to discover that they were all in the public relations department working to encourage a favorable public attitude to immigration.) Why did some idiot have to say: make it legal?

Sure, that could not have continued indefinitely. The voters were getting restless. But it could have continued past what looks like a very difficult mid-term election for the GOP this November–and perhaps past November 2008 as well.

Hence my advice: get the Senate Republicans to kill the legislation as soon as possible, maybe this week. The last thing you want is a long hot summer of illegal aliens waving Mexican flags in every swing state–with every newscast showing that embarrassing old video of Junior waving a Mexican flag himself before anyone but Mexicans knew what it looked like.

Kill the bill, bury it at the crossroads, and sow salt over its remains. It’s your only hope.

Your devoted friend,

Nick

P.S. If Junior won’t play ball, and disaster inevitably follows, threatening your power, money, and reputation, then follow the wise words of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”: Put the blame on somebody else. He’s retiring in 2008 anyway.

John O’Sullivan is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington and editor-at-large of National Review. He is currently writing a book on Reagan, Thatcher and Pope John Paul II.

Members of the National Review editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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