March 29, 2007

Beware The Legacy Dance

The Bush administration has started legacy hunting, and it has fixed its sights on immigration reform. The one issue where George Bush and the Democrats have common ground will get immediate attention, according to the Los Angeles Times -- a development that will concern border-security conservatives:

With President Bush looking to counter a legacy increasingly marred by the war in Iraq, the White House has launched a bold, behind-the-scenes drive to advance a key domestic goal: immigration reform.

For a month, White House staffers and Cabinet members have met three to four times a week with influential Republican senators and aides to hash out a consensus plan designed to draw a significant number of GOP votes.

With that effort largely completed, Republicans were set to present their proposal Wednesday to Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., who would lead the Democrats in any attempt to move a bill through the Senate.

The intense effort -- conceived by the president's chief political strategist, Karl Rove -- is intended to ensure that Bush will achieve at least one crucial policy achievement in the last two years of his presidency.

Success on immigration reform could also accomplish another Rove goal, shoring up the GOP's weakened support among Hispanics, who are even more critical to the party as independent voters become increasingly disenchanted.

The administration had backed a fairly liberal immigration plan, co-sponsored by John McCain and Kennedy, before the midterm elections, when the White House needed conservatives. Now, they need a legacy, and the Democrats in Congress will use their new strength to push even harder for citizenship for illegals while they eschew border security. Already, the majority leadership has hinted that the border fence will likely not get funded, the one small victory gained by hardliners on immigration.

If Bush hopes to reach an agreement, he has to do so soon, before relations between Capitol Hill and the White House get too poisonous. The new Democratic majority plans a series of investigations into the administration in order to build a record for the 2008 presidential election. Given the fact that the administration keeps giving them excuses, like the strange terminations of the federal prosecutors last December and the incompetent handling of the aftermath, it's hard to see how the Democrats could possibly overplay that hand. That kind of ongoing activity will eventually shut down all channels of communication and turn every bill into a pitched battle.

Perhaps Bush hopes that a success on immigration reform, defined as such by the Democrats, will slake their thirst for dirt and humiliation. If so, I'd say that a surrender on immigration reform would prove highly disappointing. I'd rather he surrender on Alberto Gonzales, in the long run. That wouldn't keep the investigations from continuing, but it would give the administration a more competent AG and it would not involve approving another amnesty program with no border security.

The only cause for optimism is the inclusion of conservatives like Jon Kyl in the development process. He has remained insistent on border security first and foremost, even while some of his colleagues seem more than willing to promote open borders in an age of terrorism. The Times reports on the Republican efforts to include "triggers" in the plan, which would only allow the normalization of illegals in the US after security benchmarks have been met. However, the GOP couldn't make that work when they had the majority. Now that the Democrats control Congress, the "triggers" will never survive in a final bill. Democrats don't do benchmarks, after all, unless they want to surrender to our enemies in the field.

Those Republicans who want border security are outnumbered and outgunned by the Democrats, and will likely find themselves abandoned by an administration that needs to secure some sort of victory in its final months in office. Look for a rehash of last year's virtual amnesty bill.

Note: I should emphasize that I do support some form of normalization for most of the illegals here in the US. I believe that it is impractical to assume that we can make it so miserable for them that they will self-deport back into a poverty in Mexico that far outstrips anything seen here in the US. However, that has to come only after we achieve a secure southern border - a priority that should have been addressed in 1986, after the last amnesty.


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Comments (20)

Posted by Cybrludite [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 29, 2007 6:03 AM

Jorge Arbusto seems intent on throwing the next election to the Dems. You'd think he'd know that we have a rather pressing need for securing out borders on account of terrorism, not to mention criminal gangs such as MS-13 who come north with the illegals.

Posted by syn [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 29, 2007 6:08 AM

When it comes to illegal Immigration the problem isn't just this administration, the problem is 77 million entitlement baby boomers demanding a cheap labor workforce to subsidize Lyndon Johnson's Great Society of self-indulgent narcissists.

For the last fourty years The Worst Generation has been partying like there was no tomorrow, now the price of such infantilism has come due and the hangover will be brutal.

Posted by patrick neid [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 29, 2007 6:22 AM

"Success on immigration reform could also accomplish another Rove goal, shoring up the GOP's weakened support among Hispanics, who are even more critical to the party as independent voters become increasingly disenchanted."

if bush and company even remotely think this they need therapy. hispanics will be voting for hillary 80 to 20 minimum. when she trots out her free medical for everyone the vote may go as high as 90 to 10. the repubs have successfully been maligned as racists by the MSM and the dems. once that happens, and it has, it will take a generation or more to recover, if ever. think the black vote if you have any second thoughts.

this video should be watched by everyone who thinks they have an opinion on immigration. it is just about the numbers these last 40 years with the same numbers going forward as they are. short of building a fence that kept king kong out and grinding legal immigration to a virtual halt, its over. what the repubs and dems have been playing at these last 40 years is the stuff of conspiracy films.

my recommendation--take a several months long drive around the country as a farewell tour....

Posted by superdestroyer [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 29, 2007 6:38 AM

I guess it was nice having a two party system in the U.S. for the last couple of hundred years. President Bush seems determine to ensure that only the Democratic Party survives his presidency.

I wonder what the U.S. will be like when national politics looks like local Chicago or DC politics. At least election day in November will not be a big deal since all of the elections will have already been decided in the Democratic Primary.

I wonder which country President Bush believes that all of the native born blue collar whites in the United States should immigration to after all of the United States begins to resemble L.A?

Posted by The Friendly Grizzly [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 29, 2007 6:59 AM

Through all this, I keep wondering just what it is the Mexican government is holding over Jorge Arbusto's head? There has to be SOMETHING!

Syn: I am a baby-boomer, and most of my friends are. You tar us all with a rather broad brush, yet we are NOT all like that, and I daresay MOST of us are not. Look at the Audi-driving latté suckers with McMansions, and you aren't gonna see a hell of a lot of people in their 50s and beyond. So, enough of the talk-show talking points; they are boring and predictable. Putting not too fine a point on it, you are talking nonsense.

Posted by BoWowBoy [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 29, 2007 7:59 AM

This morning the Houston Chronicle again reports of an illegal alien who kills two people while driving under the influence (this is almost an every day report here in Texas).

"Prosecutor Defends Prior Leniency Given Suspect In Fatal Crash", Houston Chronicle, 3/29/07, page B3 (the Chronicle is so biased and this happens so often here it doesn't even warrant the first section of the newspaper).

This was the illegal aliens 4th DWI in the last few years and the prosecutor didn't want to bring the 3rd case to trial so she gave him probation. Homeland security was notified of the guys three strikes but didn't think it was important enough to deport him.

Now two people are killed when this guy didn't deserve to be in our country let alone our city (maybe some of you folks in the Northeast would like to take him).

There is a different justice for illegal aliens in this country than for Americans. If this is not enough to warn us that an illegal alien amnesty program is bad, I don't know what is.

Posted by BoWowBoy [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 29, 2007 8:08 AM

btw ..............there was a trigger placed in the Simpson-Mazzoli 1986 Illegal Alien Full Employmnet Act legislation.

The law was not to be implemented until a system of recording when immigrants come in and go out of the country.

This trigger was never enacted (as reported in the bi-partison 9/11 Commission Report).

Posted by Doc Neaves [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 29, 2007 9:01 AM

Perhaps before you speak as to the impossibility of self-deportation, Ed, you should look at some of the jails in Texas. Along the border, a new policy has replaced the old one. Before, you could just claim you were OTM (Other Than Mexican) with no papers, get a NTA (Notice To Appear), and then never show up after being released out into the general public. The jails were full every night, the processing took hours.
Now, they don't give NTA's. You spend your time in jail. Funny thing, they traffic is down so low, the jails are once again empty.
You see, Ed, border enforcement works. You can either mouth platitudes about how it won't, or you can actually try it to see if it will. When it's been tried, in every case, it works.

Posted by AnonymousDrivel [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 29, 2007 11:03 AM

Ah, yes. The "Hokey-Pokey Amnesty" coming our way soon.

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 29, 2007 11:24 AM

Bush can "hunt" all he wants. He can't pass diddley.

The man is as incompetent as you can get.

Yet, no one can tell him off to his face.


He'll end up with a reputation worse than Jimmy Carter's.

And, he's managed to anger REPUBLICANS!

While the donks also diddle. And, have very little in the way of "talent."

Why did Bush's reputation hit the rocks?

You have to ask?

Posted by james23 [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 29, 2007 11:36 AM

"Success on immigration reform could also accomplish another Rove goal,"

that goal being what, the utter destruction of the Republican party in 08? Another immigration fight will polish off the GOP coalition--which is why Dems will try to instigate, and why the GOP party elders, if they have any concern at all for 08 and thereafter, will have a candid discussion with Bush and Rove.

Rove "the Architect"? Looks more like "Demolition Man" to me. G*d I hope he retires from GOP politics in 08...

Posted by trapeze [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 29, 2007 12:42 PM

As a regular contributor to the Republican party, I receive frequent solicitations from the NRC and other Repub outfits for cash. However, for the last nine months or so I have been sending them a note in their pre-paid postage envelopes stating:

"Not one more dollar until the border fence is built." or something similar.

I cannot and will not continue to feed my hard-earned dollars to a party that gives me the finger on the illegal immigrant/open borders/guest worker issue. They will reluctantly get my vote since the alternative is unthinkable but they won't get my money until this dangerous and ridiculous policy is changed on a national basis.

Posted by AnonymousDrivel [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 29, 2007 1:06 PM

RE: trapeze (March 29, 2007 12:42 PM)
I have been sending them a note in their pre-paid postage envelopes stating:

"Not one more dollar until the border fence is built." or something similar.

Might I suggest appending that note with "...and I am sending every dollar that I would have donated to your cause to NumbersUSA instead."? And then sending that money for their operations? They do a terrific job of covering illegal immigration issues and the legislation pushed to "address" them.

Posted by trapeze [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 29, 2007 1:10 PM

Actually, this makes and even better envelope stuffer for the RNC:

Posted by patrick neid [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 29, 2007 4:30 PM


the video i linked to above is from numbers usa..........

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 29, 2007 5:01 PM

Jorge Busho? that is assanine.

Most Americans support comprehensive reform. That is just a fact. People can deny it all they want, but pushing for that will not throw the next election to the Democrats, railing against it just might however.

Bush's attitude about immigration reform have not changed since the days when he had approval ratings in the 60's. It is not fair to act as if the man betrayed you because he is sticking to his principles. He is not the one doing the backstabbing here.

One of the reasons Republicans lost the last election was their refusal to compromise on an issue like this. Their assumption that everyone agreed with them...when obviously they did not and their treatment of other people's opinions on this issue only alienated voters. Now we have Democrats in control of the Congresss and the same hardliners are doing everything they can to cripple their own party and their own president.

Why? Because he will not do their bidding.

So we have people like Carol, raving in her incoherent Bush bashing invective that reads like something a crazy person would write...And meanwhile eveyone else is going to blame Bush for actually doing something he thinks is right and that has the support of the majority of the American people...complaining that it will hurt the Republicans...why? Well because they will set back and not vote and let the Democrats they are constantly complaining about win if they don't get their way on this. When I look at the votes coming out of the Congress on everything from the War to taxes I think to myself...I hope all those folks who refused to vote are proud of themselves now.

And how will that help your cause? The truth is there are far too many people on the right who are more interested in demagoguery than they are in solutions. So far all they have accomplished is to lose votes among Hispanic Americans who are citizens and alienate a great many other people who feel a compromise approach is better than nothing at all.

I remember thinking last summer that the American people were not going to appreciate it if the Republican Congress refused any kind of compromise. Even when Bush signed the Fence Bill it was not good enough. Nothing ever is. And it makes the hardliners look unreasonable, even a tad nuts.

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 29, 2007 6:42 PM

Bush will probably go down in history as one of the worst presidents EVER. How did he do this? Because his wounds are self-inflicted.

Will he get to "open our borders?" How? By making a baridge on AG Gonzales' back? Perhaps, a dance? Where Gonazales can hand-hold Miers, who can hand-hold Condi.

But convincing the American people to follow him? Oh, I doubt it.

About the only difference between Jimmy Carter's last two years in office, and this schmoe's ... is that here you have "some" from the GOP who refused to get outraged.

While Jimmy Carter outraged EVERYBODY!

Made for an interesting election, in 1980, ya know?

It also seems that Bush and his lackluster people, are on par with POTTED PLANTS! So, yeah. They dressed in suits & ties. And, they're no screaming or yelling, allowed.

But when they take meetings? You might as well send in a brigade of potted plants.

It's one of the reasons Blair can't do anything. So the 15 kidnapped sailors? They'll have to get used to captivity.

What will be bargained away?

While Bush wants a "legacy?" Oh, boy.

By the way, Jimmy Carter had NO FRIENDS IN CONGRESS! Politicians do not risk their careers for LOSERS.

Will someone tell Bush that he's really, really stepped in it? He's not surrounded by the most astute folks in the world, ya know?

And, there are still events, ahead. (Like what happens when the next Supreme Court vacancy opens?) Hmm?

Jesse Jackson "took" the name "Rainbow Coalition." But that's what Bush wants. Something that appears idealistic, that does not work at all.

And, so far? He hasn't learned ONE LESSON!

I wouldn't even bet that Condi lasts out the next two years. WHY? Because the Saudis are not our friends! And, Bush tied himself up with them, anyway. He hasn't got a clue.

Posted by conservative democrat [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 29, 2007 7:43 PM

Bush, like any other president is interested in his legacy. That does not make him a bad man. Everyone I talk to, whether dem or gop, wants to enforce the southern border. We can hash out what to do with the illegals already here, BUT CLOSE THE BORDER! That is not a partisan issue, but a common sense issue. Like one of the previous posters, I too used to believe Rove was a genius, now I am having my doubts.

Posted by unclesmrgol [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 29, 2007 8:02 PM


I'm with you on this one.

My program for how to do this:
a) Window of amnesty provided the illegal alien has been working here at a legal trade for a "long" period of time (say, three years), or was brought here and placed into a condition of servitude.
b) A requirement that no employer be allowed to fire a worker claiming amnesty under (a).
c) A requirement that the alien claiming amnesty surrender all false documents and yield up the identities of those providing the false documents.
d) Felony prosecution of all the employers whom we find wilfully hired the illegals whom were given amnesty, and of all providers of false documents.
e) Citizenship contingent on swearing allegiance to the United States and formally renouncing any foreign citizenship rights, including the right to vote in foreign elections.
f) wait one year; while waiting, deport any illegals found not matching the requirements of (a).
g) go to (a).

My program would cut down the number of jobs offered illegals tremendously, make the problem manageable by the Border Patrol, and treat humanely those who have worked diligently during their tenure here. It would attempt to punish those in the illegal alien importation industry by forcing the illegals wanting amnesty to "rat" on them.

When Lincoln was President, all you needed was to pay your landing tax and you were in. We can't do that, because transport is now too cheap (from Mexico, transport is even cheaper than too cheap). But the immigrants we got in Lincoln's time were ones willing to work hard, and those are the the ones we want to keep this time around too.


They weren't MS13 when they came north. But when they were deported south, they were. That's one of the problems of deporting criminals rather than locking them up -- the dirt gets spread into places we don't want it to be.