The Week

(Roman Genn)


Oops-time for Marco Rubio. Ryan Lizza, in The New Yorker, quoted a Rubio aide, saying of a dispute between labor unions and the Chamber of Commerce concerning the Gang of Eight immigration bill: “There are American workers who, for lack of a better term, can’t cut it. There shouldn’t be a presumption that every American worker is a star performer. There are people who just can’t get it, can’t do it, don’t want to do it. . . . You can’t obviously discuss that publicly.” A Rubio spokesman protested that the quotation did not reflect the senator’s views: “[He believes] we need . . . to create legal avenues for U.S. businesses to meet labor needs when not enough Americans apply for jobs.” Rubio’s problem then is not that American workers are dumb, but that there aren’t enough of them willing to work for low wages. The correction is not much better than the original quotation.

Hundreds of immigration activists gathered at the home of the Kansas secretary of state, Kris Kobach, a nationally known foe of illegal immigration. Their leaders mounted the porch and shouted speeches through bullhorns. The crowd — mob? — chanted, “Sí, se puede,” and the rest of the familiar repertoire. Later, Kobach cited what he called “the Klan laws,” which state, in his words, that “you cannot intimidate an official by trespassing on his property or threatening violence.” What “our American system depends on,” Kobach said, is that “we don’t have mobs, we don’t have this kind of pressure put on decision-makers.” Our system depends on it, yes. If voters don’t like Kobach, they can throw him out in the next election. Meanwhile, get off his lawn.

July 15, 2013    |     Volume LXV, No. 13

Books, Arts & Manners
  • Mackubin Thomas Owens reviews Gettysburg: The Last Invasion, by Allen C. Guelzo.
  • Yuval Levin reviews Edmund Burke: The First Conservative, by Jesse Norman and Edmund Burke in America: The Contested Career of the Father of Modern Conservatism, by Drew Maciag.
  • Arthur L. Herman reviews Moment of Battle: The Twenty Clashes That Changed the World, by James Lacey and Williamson Murray.
  • W. Bradford Wilcox reviews How the West Really Lost God: A New Theory of Secularization, by Mary Eberstadt.
  • Carrie Lukas reviews Men on Strike: Why Men Are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream—and Why It Matters, by Helen Smith.
  • Richard Brookhiser discusses a life of changing technology.
The Long View  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Athwart  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Poetry  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Happy Warrior  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .