The Corner

Re: Contra Nadler

I’m afraid that Mark Krikorian’s post illustrates Kathryn’s point about how conservatives have been talking past each other. First, Nadler didn’t use the 44 percent figure in the article. Not sure where Krikorian is getting that from–or how you can call him a liar based on a figment of your own imagination.

Second, the notion that Nadler’s reference to “blood and soil” is an attempt to tar Krikorian and like-minded folks as fascists is silly and paranoid. Most people do not equate the entirety of the European tradition of blood-and-soil conservatism with fascism, nor should they.

Third, nobody’s disputing that Republican percentages fell across the board between 2004 and 2008. They did not, however, fall evenly, and there is evidence that Republicans’ opposition to comprehensive immigration reform–and the form and tone of that opposition–played a role in the disproportionate drop among Hispanics.

Fourth, Nadler has explained why he treats “attrition” and mass deportation as equivalents: because attrition depends on deporting a lot of people and holding the threat of deportation over the rest of the illegal population, and because the political effects of these policies are likely, for reasons he goes into, to be the same.

Fifth, the fact that candidates claim to favor “enforcement” is not a point in favor of the restrictionists, since everyone in the mainstream debate favors enforcement. If it could be shown that candidates who see enforcement and its implications the way that Krikorian does are generally beating candidates who take Nadler’s view of the question, that would count as evidence against Nadler’s political analysis. But that’s not how elections have actually been going.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.