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June 11, 2007

The Amnesty That Wouldn't Die

Kaus addresses the amnesty crowd's talking points. Two of the most important rebuttals:

1. If all these enforcement measures are so wonderful, why not enact just them and drop the questionable legalization part? Bush is holding the parts of the bill everyone says they want hostage to the parts he wants.

2. If we tried the enforcement parts first, then we wouldn't have to trust the federal government. We could make sure the measures work before we go ahead with legalization (and attract a new wave of legalization-seeking illegals).

Indeed. It does not exactly inspire belief in a new, tougher attitude on the part of government to enforce immigration laws that the people claiming they're all about enforcement will only make the weakest, most transparently-false gestures towards enforcement if they get their precious amnesty along with it.

Kaus notes a key new talking point is "We get it; we understand your concerns; now we're really going to govern/legislate according to public wishes." Such as John McCain, here, "getting it:"

Trouble is, while McCain really says he "gets it" about the two miles of the promised 850 miles of fence being built, he's made his real feelings clear earlier, stating "I think the fence is least effective [element of border security]. But I’ll build the goddamned fence if they want it.”

Yet even that grudging I'll-build-it-if-you-make-me-build-it concession was made in January. It is now mid-June. So if McCain previously stated he would bend to public will on this issue, and yet did not. Why the hell would we believe him now when he makes basically the same statement? Sure, I'll build it, if you're that angry about it. We already were angry about this before, and McCain knew it. And yet no action.

But McCain -- and Bush, and Ted "This [1986 amnesty] is the last amnesty of this kind ever" Kennedy -- really want us to believe that now they're all on board with this "goddamned" fence. Right.

They want us to trust them. How about they trust us? If these jagoffs actually do pass enforcement-first reforms and begin enforcing the laws already on the books, we the voters promise that we will take a fresh look at the amnesty issue -- with a new openness towards it -- once we have a modicum of assurance that the borders will in fact be much more secure and that a fresh amensty won't be "needed" in ten years.

Funny, but they don't seem to trust us to change our minds on this issue. They seem to believe we'll never change our ways and thus giving in to us will result in only us getting our way while never permitting them to get their side of the bargain.

I guess I know how they feel. That's my concern about them, as it turns out.

So, they "get it." And yet, as they push for this a second (okay, third) time, they will of course offer only the most cosmetic changes and will of course not begin demonstrating their supposed new commitment to enforcement prior to pushing amnesty without security on us again.

"Give us what we want first and trust us we'll later carry forward on what you want."

Why do they keep offering the same deal to us they steadfastly refuse to accept from us? If it's such a great deal -- fine, guys, you accept it.

Trust us, guys. We don't like it, but we'll give you your goddamned amnesty if you want it.

After we get ours first, of course.

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posted by Ace at 08:41 PM

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