December 11, 2007

"Mitt Romney stood up, and vetoed in-state tuition for illegal aliens, opposed driver's licenses for illegals."

"Mike Huckabee? Supported in-state tuition benefits for illegal immigrants. Huckabee even supported taxpayer-funded college scholarships for illegal aliens."

That's Mitt Romney's new ad.


Meanwhile, Ryan Lizza has this big piece in The New Yorker about the Republican Party's embrace of "nativism." Excerpt:
“[Immigration] does appear to be the issue out here wherever we are,” [Mike Huckabee] told me. “Nobody’s asked about Iraq—doesn’t ever come up. The first question out of the box, everywhere I go—Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida, Texas, it doesn’t matter—is immigration. It’s just red hot, and I don’t fully understand it.”

Romney has not been similarly reflective in trying to discern the source of the issue’s power. Rather, he has quickly and easily adopted the negative code words of the anti-immigration movement—“sanctuary cities,” “amnesty”—and has tried to attach them to Giuliani and Huckabee. In doing so, he became the first top-tier candidate to seize the Tancredo mantle. My own sense, from talking to Huckabee, a Southern populist, and McCain, a border-state senator, is that they are genuinely appalled by Romney’s tactics, not only because of the damage to their campaigns but also because of the damage they believe he’s doing to the Party’s image....

[L]ast week, Huckabee, too, found his inner Tancredo: he announced the Secure America Plan, which included tough language about enforcement and pressuring illegal immigrants to return home. This leaves McCain as the only Republican candidate who hasn’t folded in the face of Romney’s attacks. At the press lunch in Virginia, after McCain had discussed his warm relations with several candidates, a reporter asked about Romney. “I’ve never known him,” McCain said icily. “I’ve never had a relationship with him.”

47 comments:

Icepick said...

Lizza gets off to a horrible start:

Once upon a time, John McCain was favored to win the Republican nomination. His straight-talking appeal and his cultivation of the Republican Party’s right wing put him first—at least in the early conventional wisdom.

When the hell did Republicans think McCain was the favorite? The fact that journalists and liberal Democrats seem to love McCain is exactly why conservative Republicans (of every stripe of conservatism) and libertarian Republicans can't stand McCain. If Lizza can't understand that simple concept, why should I read any article he writes about any complex subject.

peter hoh said...

Icepick, early on, my governor hitched his wagon to McCain. At the time, it didn't seem like a bold move.

Now, if this is how Huckabee is going to operate -- thinking about an issue -- well, I'm not sure he's cut out for politics. You don't think about issues in this game. You use issues.

Icepick said...

Two more problems with Lizza's whole article (I can't believe I'm bothering to read it):

First, he is constantly conflating the reaction of those who oppose illegal immigration to mean that they are opposed to all immigration. This is at best sloppy on his part, and at worst intentionally dishonest.

Second, he keeps framing it up that the anti-immigration crowd (I levae out the illegal since he does so frequently) is a small fringe group contained solely in the Republican Party. If that were the case, how is it that the comprehensive immigration reform bill went down to defeat, with a Democratic controlled Congress and a Republican President that was actively and aggressivley pushing the legislation?

ricpic said...

"It's just red hot and I don't understand it."

Nothing like living inside a buttercup to make one impervious to the obvious.

They participate in a presidential debate conducted in Spanish for its "American" audience and they don't understand it.

At what point will they understand it? When illegal aliens account for half the prison population? When head on collisions with drunken illegal alien drivers reach epidemic proportions? When the New Mexico legislature votes to rejoin Mexico?

Then will they understand it? Not likely.

ricpic said...

"It's just red hot and I don't understand it."

Nothing like living inside a buttercup to make one impervious to the obvious.

They participate in a presidential debate conducted in Spanish for its "American" audience and they don't understand it.

At what point will they understand it? When illegal aliens account for half the prison population? When head on collisions with drunken illegal alien drivers reach epidemic proportions? When the New Mexico legislature votes to rejoin Mexico?

Then will they understand it? Not likely.

Nasty, Brutish & Short said...

Funny that McCain says he doesn't know Romney, but in this youtube video from the 2002 MA governor's race, McCain calls Romney "a man who I have grown to know for his honesty and his decency and his commitment to America…I also have great and tremendous regard for Mitt Romney, because I think he brings honesty and integrity…to the young people of Massachusetts and all over this country."

http://youtube.com/watch?v=QA7JTDjG-Po

Simon said...

Icepick beat me to it, except that I don't give Lizza as much credit: those who conflate all opposition to illegal immigration with opposition to immigration period (the latter being the exclusive province of nativism) are either too unbearably idiotic or wholly dishonest. Reasonable people can disagree in good faith on so many aspects of the immigration policy question, but this asinine and disingenuous conflation lies not within the realm of an honest mistake.

MadisonMan said...

McCain does come off very favorably in this piece. At least when I read it. I read it with different eyes than icepick, by the way :) I appreciate that McCain sees immigration as shades of grey, not black/white as I interpret the other candidates' stands.

The way things are standing now, I don't think immigration will be a deal-breaker in the General Election. The economy will be.

George said...

Fred opposes amnesty in any form.

The man was a motel night clerk.

He does not live inside a buttercup and never has.

former law student said...

Because they can be deported at anytime, illegal immigrants are Republicans' ideal workforce: they either accept low wages and poor working conditions, or they're on the next bus back to Nogales.

Anyone who's read about the 1984-85 strike at Hormel knows that working class Americans could raise a family on what they made packing meat. Hormel began the race to the bottom by cutting wages and benefits of their union workers. The "jobs Americans just won't take" are jobs on which Americans just can't afford to live on.

Tim said...

"First, he is constantly conflating the reaction of those who oppose illegal immigration to mean that they are opposed to all immigration. This is at best sloppy on his part, and at worst intentionally dishonest."

Intentionally dishonest. Lizza's thumb-sucker is about making those in the cocoon feel better about themselves for being able to discern the difference between legal and illegal immigration, unlike those cousin marrying, truck driving, gun toting, double-wide renting Republican voters the New York Times thinks inhabits the wastelands between the coasts...

Zeb Quinn said...

he is constantly conflating the reaction of those who oppose illegal immigration to mean that they are opposed to all immigration.

To the open borders crowd they're the same thing.

The Dems continue to woefully underestimate the potency of the illegal immigration issue.

Tim said...

"Because they can be deported at anytime, illegal immigrants are Republicans' ideal workforce: they either accept low wages and poor working conditions, or they're on the next bus back to Nogales."

That's exactly right. That's why the Republicans are pro-illegal immigrant and it isn't an issue in our primary at all while the back-bone of the Democrat Party, the labor unions, are leading the nativist fight against wage-lowering illegal aliens.

Simon said...

MadisonMan said...
"I don't think immigration will be a deal-breaker in the General Election. The economy will be."

Really? It seems to me that the Democratic base and candidates bet the farm it'd be Iraq.

PatCA said...

I would add "nativism" to the buzz words the author claims are newly popular. It's much classier than "racism" and disguises, barely, his intent to call us all racists, which is so overused these days it carries almost no rhetorical weight.

former law student said...

Tim, the seeming paradox is easily explained: Republican party is composed of big business (economic conservatives) and straight arrows (social conservatives). Keeping illegal immigrants illegal (no amnesty!) keeps business's costs down while satisfying the "everyone must play by the rules" urges of straight arrows.

Democrats include people who feel compassion for others (bleeding heart liberals) and trade unionists (cigar chomping crooks). Letting illegals stay here satisfies the compassionate urges of the BHLs, while giving CCC's hope that they can unionize what's left of the American factory workforce.

Gedaliya said...

Really? It seems to me that the Democratic base and candidates bet the farm it'd be Iraq.

Bye-bye farm.

MadisonMan said...

It seems to me that the Democratic base and candidates bet the farm it'd be Iraq.

Well, both the Republican and Democratic bases force their candidates to jump through the hoops just so before talking about what really matters to the General electorate. It's a bizarre system, but it's the one we have to work with.

Fen said...

My own sense, from talking to Huckabee, a Southern populist, and McCain, a border-state senator, is that they are genuinely appalled by Romney’s tactics, not only because of the damage to their campaigns but also because of the damage they believe he’s doing to the Party’s image...

*hands crying towel to McCain & Huckabee*

God forbid our politicians be held accountable for decisions they made in the past. Look, if you supported Sanctuary Cities and Amnesty [in all its euphemisms] then have the balls to either defend it on its merit or denounce it.

A few months ago, McCain gained a point back with me by admitting he did not do enough to reassure voters about border control before pushing amnesty. Now he's whining about being "swiftboated" [ie., using past positions/statements against him] by Romney?

Typical Beltway Weasel.

*takes point back from McCain the Media Whore "Maverick" *

formner student: Democrats include people who feel compassion for others (bleeding heart liberals) and trade unionists (cigar chomping crooks). Letting illegals stay here satisfies the compassionate urges of the BHLs, while giving CCC's hope that they can unionize what's left of the American factory workforce.

Oh Bullshit. For all the GOP Business sins re cheap illegal workers, the Democrat's motivation for supporting illegals in this country is:

1) Vote Fraud.

2) Another plantation community to exploit when the blacks finally wake up and leave the Party.

Paul Zrimsek said...

"We are a sanctuary city, make no mistake about it." -- San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom

Darn those Republicans and their racist codewords!

knoxwhirled said...

YUCKabee

Joe said...

former law student, illegal immigration has gutted unions. Genuine business conservatives have never cheered illegal immigration; the support comes from politically agnostic opportunists who will support whichever candidate maintains their cheap supply of labor.

A big irony here is that big business conservatives largely pushed for massively enlarging the H1B program and fought enforcement while the Democrats largely fought these changes. (For the record, I think the H1B program is an excellent one, but poorly enforced and disagreed that it needed to be expanded.)

Be aware that I'm speaking in generalities. The support or opposition to any immigration reform is very connected to the major businesses of a state and its proximity to Mexico more than any Political party. It's also related to how desperate a politician wants the Latino vote in general and the Cuban-American vote in Florida in particular.

Simon said...

MadisonMan said...
"Well, both the Republican and Democratic bases force their candidates to jump through the hoops just so before talking about what really matters to the General electorate."

Whether that's a vice or a virtue is entirely subjective since it depends on what the hoops are, seems to me.

"It's a bizarre system, but it's the one we have to work with."

I wish more people agreed with that!

Trooper York said...

Gentle Ben went through the typical journey of his boomer generation in the sixties. He was a fresh faced idealist when he marched for civil rights in the early sixties, but eventually he turned to drugs and casual sex. He tuned in, turned on, and dropped out. Even though he was a television star, he was still searching for spiritual gudiance. He met an old shaman who taught him how to smoke magic mushrooms. When he smoked them he turned into a Mexican. But he soon found that he didn’t like yard work and day labor so he stoped smoking mushrooms and turned back into a bear.
(Ricou Browning & John Florea, Gentle Ben, The E True Hollywood Story)

Richard Dolan said...

Mitt's real problem is that voters have reason to doubt that he believes what he is saying, or that he will do what he says he will do. On all of his appeals to the social conservatives, he comes across as the guy who has learned his lines in this year's script, with the prior scripts from his earlier campaigns being consigned to the inoperative bin. Romney is a better class of person than Nixon, and at a personal level he presents much better than Nixon did. And, it bears notice that Nixon won twice despite his obvious flaws. But despite all of Mitt's polish and presence, I don't think I'm the only one to see more than a little bit of Tricky Dick at the core of Mitt Romney.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

“I’ve never known him,” McCain said icily. “I’ve never had a relationship with him.”

I read that, but heard Captain Queeg.

Joe said...

My take on Romney is that he has no heartfelt opinion on several "hot-button" issues like Abortion, Illegal-Immigration and Same-sex Marriage. This means he can switch his position on these issues without any effect in his own mind on his core integrity.

This clearly served him well in business and in running the SLC Winter Olypmics (though he does have a track record of claiming to have done more than he did--a common flaw among upper-management types.) However, people expect their politicians to have strong opinions on many of these issues even if there's not much the politician can really do about them.

My worry with Mitt is that it's unclear how broad his apathy about issues goes. As governor, he went pretty far left and displayed a remarkable apathy for some issues like the Big Dig. Going forward, does he really believe in strong national security, or is that another issue where he'll just put his finger in the wind? Does he have any position on taxation that won't mutate instantly?

Ultimately, I fear Romney is a man who will be whoever the paymaster(s) want him to be (and is very good at it.)

Revenant said...

When the hell did Republicans think McCain was the favorite?

Never. "Conventional wisdom" is code for "the collective opinion of the almost entirely Democratic media".

First, he is constantly conflating the reaction of those who oppose illegal immigration to mean that they are opposed to all immigration. This is at best sloppy on his part, and at worst intentionally dishonest.

Yep -- but very, very common among those who favor amnesty and open borders.

Revenant said...

Democrats include people who feel compassion for others (bleeding heart liberals) and trade unionists (cigar chomping crooks). Letting illegals stay here satisfies the compassionate urges of the BHLs

I'm amused at how many of the BHLs I personally know were against outsourcing. Remember Kerry and his "Benedict Arnold corporations"? But the thing is, outsourcing helps citizens of poorer nations at the expense of college-educated white people. BHLs are college-educated white people, and mysteriously uninterested in giving up THEIR jobs to aid the needy people of the world.

The irony is that I'm pro-outsourcing (despite being in an often-outsourced field) and anti-illegal-immigration (despite not being in competition with illegals). Yet I'm accused of being selfish and uncaring. Quite the opposite! I'm concerned about poor Americans (who get screwed HARD by illegal immigration) and not terribly worried about the ability of smart, educated people to survive in a global economy.

jeff said...

I am not sure why this country, out of all the other countries, is not allowed to have some control over the borders. I would feel the same if several million Irish invaded the country in a short time. The other side knows to win the argument, it just has to frame it as one against immigration and racism. And if you can blame it on the rich, so much the better.

PatCA said...

"I am not sure why this country, out of all the other countries, is not allowed to have some control over the borders."

Because the people advancing this argument despise America in particular and Western, Caucasian people in general.

Others, like La Raza, just want money and power. So far, they are doing quite well for themselves taking this tack.

SGT Ted said...

But the thing is, outsourcing helps citizens of poorer nations at the expense of college-educated white people. BHLs are college-educated white people, and mysteriously uninterested in giving up THEIR jobs to aid the needy people of the world.

Well, of course. Bleeding Heart Liberals measure compassion by spending OTHER peoples money. Why would that be different with their jobs? It's like College professors bitching about a "lack of diversity" in their academic field, yet none of them seem willing to give up their job to a promising minority applicant. That's for OTHER people. Not The Annointed.

Those OTHER people are to do without, so that BHL can morally preeen about his compassion towards the disadvantaged while enjoying his SUV and large home with redwood decks. He NEEDS his job/money/entitlement/excuse so he can HELP those poor unfortunate souls not as wise or enlightened as himself.

Kinda like Al Gore flying his private jet around lecturing others on their consumption of fossil fuels.

SGT Ted said...

Republican party is composed of big business (economic conservatives) and straight arrows (social conservatives). Keeping illegal immigrants illegal (no amnesty!) keeps business's costs down while satisfying the "everyone must play by the rules" urges of straight arrows.

Not if you don't agree with this cartoon depiction of the Republican party.

The idea that those who want the borders enforced are in cahoots with those businesses who benefit unfairly and illegally by exploiting illegals is a lie, bordering on conspiracy theory kookyness.

john said...

The race to the base is the race to the bottom. I wouldn't get so exercised about this until the next race, the only important one, begins next fall.

Robert Holmgren said...

Conventional wisdom is whatever the scribbling class says it is. And you'd take it and shut-up about any other unscrubbed wisdom you hope to peddle--regardless of its truth.

TMink said...

"Democrats include people who feel compassion for others (bleeding heart liberals) and trade unionists (cigar chomping crooks)."

I think you left out the disadvantaged (government dependents).

Trey

former law student said...

Sgt. Ted: no implication that fiscal conservatives are in cahoots with social conservatives; the two groups often want the same goals, but for different reasons. For example, social conservatives oppose welfare because they believe in taking personal responsibility for one's actions and they believe children should be raised by a mother and a father. Fiscal conservatives oppose welfare because it's money taken out of their pockets.

A Simpson's-eye view of the Republican Party:
Social conservative: Ned Flanders
Fiscal conservative: Mr. Burns

Finally, fiscal conservatives who like to smoke pot call themselves Libertarians.

Icepick said...

Madison Man wrote: McCain does come off very favorably in this piece. At least when I read it. I read it with different eyes than icepick, by the way :) I appreciate that McCain sees immigration as shades of grey, not black/white as I interpret the other candidates' stands.

What shades of gray does McCain see? He wants to give all the illegals legal residency status. It's every bit as judgemental and rigid as Tancredo's position - it's just the opposite of Tancredo's position.

As for not seeing with my eyes, that's probably true. I doubt many people in Wisconsin have had their old neighborhoods overrun by Haitian drug dealers.

The intensity of a person's reaction to illegal immigration is directly correlated to how close it hits home. The type of reaction is directly related to type of experience one has had with it.

Simon said...

[Tangent] the news for Huckabee gets worse: in 1998, he signed onto a full page ad in USA Today endorsing the Southern Baptist Convention's "call[ing for] wives to graciously submit to their husband's sacrificial leadership."

former law student said...

Huckabee ... signed onto a full page ad in USA Today endorsing the Southern Baptist Convention's "call[ing for] wives to graciously submit to their husband's sacrificial leadership."

Sorry Obama. With this news, I'm going to be pulling a Republican ballot after all.

Joshua said...

2) Another plantation community to exploit when the blacks finally wake up and leave the Party.

Good thing we have people like Fen to show those dumb darkies the error of their ways.

Joshua said...

he signed onto a full page ad in USA Today endorsing the Southern Baptist Convention's "call[ing for] wives to graciously submit to their husband's sacrificial leadership."

That's not going to hurt him in a GOP primary. Nor will the AIDS/quarantine statement.

Revenant said...

Keeping illegal immigrants illegal (no amnesty!) keeps business's costs down

That's simply ignorant.

First of all, the "big business" interests of the Republican Party generally FAVOR amnesty and open borders.

Secondly, the current situation doesn't help big business as much as amnesty would. BIG businesses are afraid to openly employ illegals because they have too much to lose and attract too much attention. The people who employ the bulk of illegals are small businesses and independently run franchises in search of a way to compete with big businesses.

What big businesses want is the largest possible legal labor force. Why? Because the larger the labor force, the lower the wages they need to offer to recruit workers.

rcocean said...

Here's Kaus on the Lizza article:


**--You won't learn much else from Lizza's article. It's ... not one of his best! A classic dumbed-down Remnick-era New Yorker piece--remedial reading for U.W.S. cocooners. Lizza skips over all the wonkish aspects of the immigration debate (like whether "comprehensive" reform will actually work) as if they have nothing to do with the politics, paints opponents as unfeeling racists, ignores well-publicized evidence (e.g., from Carville and Greenberg) that Democrats might have political problems from supporting legalization, falls for the recent Pew hype and generally fits the issue into a comfortable Civil Rights template (moral moderates vs. pathetic bigots). Did I mention that it's a bad piece? ... 10:15 P.M.

Guess he had mixed feelings about it.

former law student said...

The people who employ the bulk of illegals are small businesses and independently run franchises in search of a way to compete with big businesses.

Sure, small businesses like Wal-Mart. I will say that big businesses often insulate them from the charge that they knowingly hired illegals by using employment agencies who lie to them. But who are they fooling? The workers come too cheap to be legal residents. It reminds me of the flimsy black helmets bikers use to circumvent the helmet laws. They must wear helmets must meet DOT requirements, so the manufacturers helpfully affix a "DOT" sticker to each one. Remember: If the workers were legal you'd have to pay them the wages you pay legal residents.

Here are some articles from the first two pages of google search. Give me a pointer to the struggling mom and pops who must hire illegals to survive.:

First came Wal-Mart's record $11 million fine in 2005 to settle federal allegations that the world's largest retailer had used illegal immigrants to clean its stores.
ICE officials made it clear that none of the raided companies are in trouble, but that they are investigating a privately contracted employment services provider, which hired workers for these businesses.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement also seized a bank account containing more than $600,000 from the employment agency, Jones Industrial Network, which provides workers in the Baltimore area.



The locations included in the raid were the port of Baltimore, sportswear maker Under Armour Inc., Tessco Tech, Dixie Printing, Pritchard Brown, BP Castrol, Steinway, Baltimore Metal and Commodities and Beacon Stevedore.

By Andrea Hopkins

CINCINNATI (Reuters) - Hundreds of U.S. immigration agents raided the Koch Foods Inc. chicken plant in Fairfield, Ohio, and arrested more than 160 employees as part of a criminal operation against illegal immigrants, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said on Tuesday.

"As of 2:45 p.m. (EDT) more than 180 Koch employees have been identified for further questioning and more than 160 have been administratively arrested for immigration violations," ICE special agent in charge Brian Moskowitz told a news conference in Cincinnati.

Moskowitz said employees faced a range of charges including illegal reentry to the United States, identity theft, document fraud, social security fraud and forgery. Koch Foods was being investigated for federal crimes including encouraging, inducing or harboring illegal aliens.

ICE said in a statement the raid by more than 300 agents was "part of a two-year, ongoing ICE investigation based on evidence that Koch Foods may have knowingly hired illegal aliens at its poultry processing and packaging facility."

The raid at Koch Foods, which produces chicken for export, food service and retail markets, began at 10 a.m. EDT. Moskowitz said simultaneous search warrants were executed at the plant near Cincinnati and Koch's Chicago headquarters.

Calls to Koch Foods, based in the Chicago suburb of Park Ridge, Illinois, were unanswered. Koch Foods is not affiliated with Wichita, Kansas,-based Koch Industries, the largest private company in the United States, a Koch Industries spokeswoman said.

Tim Bachman, development services director for the city of Fairfield, said the plant employs about 500 workers.


The raid was the latest targeting businesses employing illegal workers. In December 2006, hundreds of employees were detained in raids at Swift & Co. meat plants in six states, part of a probe into identity theft involving illegal immigrants.

Many U.S. meat industry workers are immigrants, mainly Hispanics.
Court Criticizes Mass. Immigration Raid
AP
Posted: 2007-11-27 21:20:29
BOSTON (AP) - A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by immigrants arrested in a factory raid, saying their constitutional rights were not violated - though it noted that government bungling allowed children of some detainees to go unsupervised.

The March raid at leather goods manufacturer Michael Bianco Inc. led to the arrest of 361 of its 500 employees, mostly Central American women, on federal immigration charges.

Fen said...

Fen: "Another plantation community to exploit when the blacks finally wake up and leave the Party."

Joshua: Good thing we have people like Fen to show those dumb darkies the error of their ways.

Darkies? Oh look, another Leftist bigot. What a surprise.

Yes Josh, keep exploiting racial strife for political gain. There is no principle the Dems won't trade in for political power.

Revenant said...

Sure, small businesses like Wal-Mart.

In Fantasyland, maybe. Here in the real world no significant percentage of Wal-Mart employees are illegals. Even here in San Diego, if you go into a Wal-Mart (or any other chain department or grocery store) the employees are almost entirely native English speakers. If you hire someone to work on your house, on the other hand, lots of luck talking to the people who show up to do the work if you aren't fluent in Spanish.

I will say that big businesses often insulate them from the charge that they knowingly hired illegals by using employment agencies who lie to them.

The illegals work for the agencies, which are the aforementioned "small businesses and independent contractors" I mentioned.