The Corner

Re: Contra Nadler

Ramesh: Nadler does indeed repeat the false 44 percent figure when he writes of the 13 percentage-point drop in Latino support for Republican presidential candidates between 2004 and 2008,” giving the 2008 figure as 31 percent: 13 + 31 = 44.

“Blood and soil” nationalism isn’t philosophically the same as fascism, and one could argue that in some form it’s the antithesis of fascism. But in political, as opposed to philosophical, discourse of course it’s the same thing. Do a Nexis search and you’ll find that most U.S. media uses of the phrase in this sense (as opposed to blood and soil samples at a crime scene) refer to fascism or Nazism. Or look at the brief Wikipedia entry: The whole thing is about Nazis.

You’re right that even amnesty supporters say they support enforcement, even if they really don’t. But I referred in my second reply to comments made by one of the very Democratic candidates cited by Nadler as an example of how pro-amnesty candidates beat immigration hawks. Nadler quoted comments by Dina Titus to a Hispanic group, but not this response of hers to a general-interest Nevada political site:

So the number of illegal immigrants has increased considerably over the last administration and the time that Jon Porter’s been in congress. So, if you look at my record on immigration, you’ll see that I voted for a bill, introduced by Richard Perkins, that said no driver’s licenses for illegals. I voted for that bill. I also voted for a bill last session, introduced by Marilyn Kirkpatrick, to fine businesses that hire illegals or undocumented people. That bill has been brought forward at the federal level several times and Jon Porter, who is supported by the chamber of commerce, has voted against that bill, not to penalize businesses that hire illegals. I believe as long as there is a job here, people will come. Also at the federal level, the only thing they’ve done is start to build a fence, which hasn’t made a bit of difference. I’ve never seen a fence that somebody couldn’t climb over or crawl under. You’ve got to close that border in a realistic way with more guards and better technology if you want to stop the flow. I don’t want the services being used. [My emphasis]

This is not just the usual boilerplate that you hear from “comprehensive immigration reform” supporters. Does she believe any of this? Probably not. But she did feel the need to say it when trying to get elected.

And finally, you’re right that Nadler treats attrition and “mass deportation” as different words for the same thing. But, as Lincoln noted, just because you call a dog’s tail a “leg” doesn’t make it so.

The central problem here is one common on the Left — taking a charitable and important notion (here, outreach and welcome to newcomers) and changing its nature to something very different (privileging the interests of foreigners over those of Americans and positing a right to amnesty). We’ve seen that in the evolution of conservationism (invented by Republicans, BTW) into “The World Without Us” environmentalism; the humane treatment of animals into “animal rights”; benevolence toward the deaf into a chauvinistic “deaf culture”; and of course, affirmative action (in its original sense) into racial preferences.

Acknowledging the importance of extending a warmer welcome to newcomers is essential to political success; but just as important is preventing that sentiment from morphing into an amnesty entitlement and a rejection of the American people’s sovereign right to determine who belongs.