The Corner

Contra Nadler, Yet Again

Andy McCarthy is right when he says that Richard Nadler’s latest 2,700-word tirade is a “very damaging smear” and a “monstrous caricature of his opposition.” Rather than encourage Nadler further by responding at length (my previous responses are here and here), let me make several brief points that relate to Kathryn’s concern that conservatives are talking past one another in debating this issue:

* Nadler repeats what can at this point only be described as a “lie” that Bush got 44 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2004, something supporters of Nadler’s position often bootstrap to “nearly half.” The Republican share went up among all demographic groups in 2004 (“winning”) and went down among all groups in 2008 (“losing”).

* Nadler offers as some kind of proof of his position that the Democrats who replaced Republicans in Congress will be more receptive to amnesty and receive lower immigration-control grades from Numbers USA than their predecssors. Of course, they’ll be worse — the point is that they had to pretend to support immigration enforcement in order to get elected.

* Nadler persists in describing attrition as “radically” “vast” and “revolutionary.” I suppose it depends on what the meaning of radical is, but the core of the attrition policy is making it steadily harder for illegals to illegally find employment through increased use of the E-Verify online program. The system enables employers to ensure that new hires really are who they claim to be and, according to new data we released today, it is becoming a standard part of the hiring process, with up to one-third of all new hires this fiscal year being run through the system. It is growing organically, with most users not subject to mandates, and over time will contribute to a significant drop in the illegal population (assuming it’s not discontinued by the Democrats in Congress this week).

* Finally, Nadler all but calls supporters of immigration control fascists (“This ‘new’ American conservatism is actually an echo of the ‘conservatism’ of the old world, built on blood and soil”). And not just immigration hawks, but even supporters of official English and American civics education. This points to the basic problem with Nadler’s approach — he is indeed “talking past” most Republicans because he doesn’t understand the central role that national sovereignty and self-determination play for the Republican party. Whatever you think of his comments on Limbaugh, David Frum nails the differences between the parties in his book:

Over the decades, Republicans have been many things: the party of the Union, the party of the gold standard, the party of temperance, the party of free enterprise, and the pro-life party, among others. Amid all these changes, there is one thing that has never changed: Republicans have always been the party of American democratic nationhood.

Democrats, by contrast, have historically tended to attract those who felt themselves in some way marginal to the American experience: slaveholders, indebted farmers, immigrants, intellectuals, Catholics, Jews, blacks, feminists, gays — people who identify with the “pluribus” in the nation’s motto, “e pluribus unum.” As the nation weakens, Democrats grow stronger.

Whatever his intentions, Nadler’s approach to immigration would inevitably weaken the nation, and strengthen the Democrats.