Either immigration laws have meaning or they don't.
Either national borders have meaning or they don't.
Either American society has the self-confidence to preserve itself or it doesn't.
This has been a difficult few weeks to be a conservative Republican, because I'm a firm believer that we as Americans get the government we deserve. To be fair, Bush isn't the source of the problem, though he's far from helping with its solution. I knew W was iffy on illegal immigration when I voted for him, so his continuing to be so in the face of open revolt by his conservative base is hardly surprising, or even too disappointing, though his use of Vicente Fox to vet plans to move our own troops is worrying in the extreme.
What's boggling to me is the naked insouciance that (primarily Senate) Republicans have shown when presented with the clear opinion of their electorate: secure the border. Don't play patty-cake with how many illegals we're going to offer a decidedly amnestic "path to citizenship." Don't hide behind canards about whether it's feasible to deport 11 million illegals when depriving them of sympathetic employers would cause them to self-deport. Don't, for God's sake, extend Social Security benefits to illegals who attempt to qualify with fraudulent papers, or with time spent successfully avoiding the INS!
I'm very patient on the subject of immigration: at least one of my grandparents came over on a boat--I'm a relative newcomer in terms of genetic time in-country, but my ancestors obeyed the rules. One of America's strengths is that we assimilate and integrate new blood from all over. It's great: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses..." I'm down with that.
But (shame this even needs saying), there's a war on. We have a crater in downtown Manhattan, and newly-released footage of the attack on the Pentagon. United 93 is in theaters. We've seen a little bit more of the far end, now, of what happens when immigration laws aren't enforced. There're also the little matters of wage depression, an increasing tax burden on communities where great numbers of illegals live without paying income tax, chaos in border communities, and sightings of men in Mexican Army uniforms violating the border.
I'm going to put this as clearly as I can, elected officials: keep this up and you will pay with your jobs.
There's a real chance of a bloodletting this November. I just hope it's in the name of replacing incumbents with young bucks rather than Republicans simply staying home in droves...
"Speaker Pelosi." Brrr.