June 7, 2007

An Answer For Mr. Henninger

Daniel Henninger takes his fellow conservatives to task for their emotional opposition to the comprehensive immigration reform bill currently under debate in the Senate. At Heading Right, I answer his question -- and remind him that conservatives support solutions that work instead of putting process on the pedestal.


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Comments (21)

Posted by Mike M. | June 7, 2007 9:10 AM

I'm at the point where I've almost stopped thinking of the Wall Street Journal as being "conservative".

These are people would sell their own mothers and grandmothers to raise the value of their stock portfolios by an eight of a percentage point.

I am a big fan of capitalism, but there are some things in life that are more important than Mammon.

Posted by TomB | June 7, 2007 9:25 AM


Which is your real Blog right now?
But as per quote from his emails:

"What do these folks want?
They want the borders secured, the laws obeyed, English spoken, taxes paid, costs raised on employers of illegal workers, welfare payments suppressed, enclaved Spanish neighborhoods broken...."

Is it really too much to ask?
Is Daniel Henninger one of those, who already lost his understending of the written English, or is he simply stupid?

Posted by exdem13 | June 7, 2007 9:33 AM

You're definitely right, Captain.

Posted by brooklyn | June 7, 2007 9:36 AM

the insight is about the manner in which the opposition is formed.

the comment above by 'mike m.' is a personal attack on the staff at the WSJ for their insight, even demeaning their ethics and suggesting they are not 'conservative'.

that is simply something the liberal democrat partisans often do...

the issue is not debated on substance, offering sound insight, but is based on slander, vitriol, and hostility.

yes, one can say this is an emotional issue, but Conservatives are better than this.

i have watched some misrepresent many Republican positions, calling them 'open borders', when in fact they simply see the need for a guest worker program.

there are few high profile pundits who have acted in a responsible manner, and many have bowed to populism on the Conservative side, without showing responsibility.

even the NRO, challenging the WSJ to debate, sounded highly childish, and suggests their own delusions of self importance.

and most of the hype, deals with suggested 12 million illegals who are already here, and came in long ago over decades of neglect.

the hyperbole is mostly regarding a plan to deal with these people who are already here.

so if you do nothing to change the status quo, they will remain in the shadows.

i think some of the most regretful expression is in regards to this President in a personal manner.

the Man is ethical, has been slandered overtly by the liberal democrats, has led this Nation admirably after the worst attack on American Soil in history, and bears the burden of being responsible for many American Men and Women fighting in harms way.

and on one issue, some have vilified this President in ways that seem downright disgusting.

all the while empowering the Democrat Party...

didn't 2006 and the Speaker Nancy Pelosi teach us anything?

Posted by vet66 | June 7, 2007 9:45 AM

I wrote a letter to McCain, my senator, and told him that his position on immigration would cost him any chance he may have had or the presidency.

When confronted, McCain fires back; "What is your plan?" My plan is to secure the borders with a fence, where required, enforcement of current laws, allowing agencies to communicate with each other when an illegal is picked up, deportation regardless of family obligations (maybe the family will follow the deportee home) and a robust presence of border agents and National Guard that can conduct training exercises along the border.

Texas has authored a new commercial that implies that hotels/motels will not be able to clean a room without "workers", no Grand Slam breakfasts at Denny's without "workers", and no groceries without Mexican produce. Like they are passing on the lower production costs to the consumer and not pocketing the profits from cheap labor themselves.

Interesting article in IBD yesterday regarding the effect of increased border security and the diminishing flow of funds back to Mexico from legals/illegals working in the U.S. What a shame, the Mexican economy is suffering because dollars flowing back to Mexico are a fraction of what they were a year ago.

Let run the numbers here Senator McCain, illegal and legal workers are sapping our education system/medical facilities and are sending most of their earned money back to their families in Mexico. What a deal! Then they thumb their collective noses at the hand that feeds them by flying our flag upside down underneath the Mexican flag, boo our athletes and Miss America, and provide their version of an "Idiot's Guide for Cross Border Incursions" to would be illegals.

Control the border and weed out the illegals then we will talk about how capable the U.S. government is in enforcing visas, worker programs, and braceros. Any questions?

Posted by Scrapiron | June 7, 2007 9:53 AM

We wouldn't need immigration reform if we could get at least 10% effective enforcement of current immigration laws. I see less than 1% enforcement right now and the lawbreakers are supported by congress and unfortunetly right now by the President. All of these people are in violation of their sworn oath, but that means nothing to them since the American people have been dumbed down to the level of members of the religion of murder and destruction. Brainwashing really does work.

Posted by RBMN | June 7, 2007 9:57 AM

One thing that the "loud people" (as Sen. Lindsey Graham calls them) forget is: Even if the vast majority of this first generation (of Z-Visa holders who eventually become citizens) is unskilled, illiterate, and likely to vote for the political party offering the biggest safety net, their American-born children won't necessary do the same. Most of their children will be skilled, fluent in two languages, and just as likely to be Republican as Democrat.

People forget how fast the generations go by, and how each one typically does better than their parents, both in education and income.

We may look back someday, and decide that we needed them (the illegal Mexican worker) to become American (and invested in America) more then they ever needed us to grant it to them today. Treat foreign workers like dangerous criminals, as they do in France, and that's how they'll eventually behave. But it doesn't have to be that way.

Posted by Ken | June 7, 2007 10:05 AM


"and bears the burden of being responsible for many American Men and Women fighting in harms way."

I used to support the man. I do so no longer. Any American leader who will defend the borders of another country but not our own, is unworthy of respect.

Posted by vet66 | June 7, 2007 10:06 AM


Let's talk about the increased risk from drunk illegals, driving without licenses, no insurance, drug abuse, rape and murder of U.S. citizens with virtual impunity, stolen vehicles driven south of the border, and drugs brought back when they reenter the U.S. to as an alternative income booster.

Then we can talk about the Mexican mafia influence on local law enforcement budgets and the sanctuary cities that provide cover for the illegal activities.

Posted by TomB | June 7, 2007 10:12 AM

Why we wouldn't let them in in a controlled way? Simply because the Big Guys want a very cheap labor to manicure their lawns!
It promotes anarchy and is simply a new form of slavery. Not to mention extremely unfair to those waiting for legal immigration (for years and years).

Posted by patrick neid | June 7, 2007 10:22 AM

as stated by the capt,

"What do conservatives want? Build the border fence that was passed last year, bolster the Border Patrol, and fix the visa-regulation system so we can reliably track violators, as was mandated for completion by 2005. Once that’s done, then let’s talk normalization."

that neatly sums up the basic position of many of us since this debate started in august 05. i don't think it is a stretch to think that there is some sort of conspiracy at work here. when an obvious first step solution is not taken--something is up. perhaps it is as simple as this--the size of our bureaucratic government will increase dramatically to handle 20 million and counting illegals. a whole new department with tens of thousands of employees will be born. it's the low hanging fruit that can't be resisted. the government long ago stopped being a benevolent parasite and has passed through the benign cancer state to its now malignant stage. it has a life of its own now.

even fox news seems to be part of the nightmare. every night on brit hume's show the panel discusses everything but border enforcement. it is if everyone is ignoring the 72% of the electorate that wants the border enforced. we are left with a "hobson's choice"* of a bad bill that avoids the obvious or no bill at all. as an added bonus one of the choices gets you labeled a racist or nativist.

even now as the amendment process proceeds senators who said one thing yesterday are now saying another today!

something wicked this way comes........


Posted by T. Shaw | June 7, 2007 10:24 AM

Me parece mentira!

I am becoming a proponent of the Bancroft family selling WSJ to Rupert Murdoch.

As Bart Simpson would say, "Mr. H., I'm insulted."

We can't deport 12 million? What 12 million? I bet the number probabtionary papeles will be 30 million, all approved in one day based on documentos falsos.

You can't deport 12 million people - case closed.

How does this sound? You can't arrest 12 million for not paying their taxes. I bet Henninger would be for Comprehensive tax reform, too!!

Posted by syn | June 7, 2007 10:27 AM

We must recall where we were in 2000, America wanted a Centrist leader and both parties accomodated their demands. Bush ran as a Centrist Republican not a Conservative and it was the 'moderate' Centrist which elected him not the Conservative base.

Today however, now that 30% of the country are BDS or RonPaulite conspiracy theorists this basically means that the Centrist position which prevailed up until 9/11/2001 is no longer the coveted position to take.

Centrism was the problem, not Bush.

9/11/2001 changed the political scene forever, so much so that Centrist platform was lost forever in the ash of two crumbling towers.

Posted by E9RET | June 7, 2007 10:39 AM

Wasn't it Rudy who made the police enforce "jay walking" and other minor violations of the law based on the theory that people who break little laws are more incline to break big ones?'

And wasn't his theory validated?

Entering the U.S. illegally is essentially a misdemeanor. I think that's what sticks in my craw. They have already broken one law and now they have no choice but to break other laws; illegally obtain medical treatment, social services, and education for their (illegal) children.

I'm sorry but I have absolutely no, nada, zip, zilch sympathy for these lawscoffs.

How hard is it to convince our political representatives to secure the borders with a fence, enforce current laws, deportation regardless of family obligations and a robust presence of authority along the border?

Then, and only then, will I be willing to consider "guest workers" but never, NEVER amnesty for any law breaking illegal immigrants

Posted by Jeff | June 7, 2007 10:39 AM

Rule of thumb: strict enforcement generates immediate compliance. Deportation must be credible and threatening. After Simpson-Mazoli, the ratio of illegals returning to their home country was 8:1 greater than those deported. That's when enforcement was credible. Enhance credibility and probability of deportation, you will see a multiplier effect.

Enforce first. Solution will appear rapidly.

Posted by Mike M. | June 7, 2007 11:04 AM

"Even if the vast majority of this first generation (of Z-Visa holders who eventually become citizens) is unskilled, illiterate, and likely to vote for the political party offering the biggest safety net, their American-born children won't necessary do the same. Most of their children will be skilled, fluent in two languages, and just as likely to be Republican as Democrat. "

If only this were truly so, then there would be nothing to worry about.

But I'm afraid that in reality, the evidence to support this is mixed at best. Latino schoolkids have the highest school dropout rates in the nation, exceeding even that of even the troubled African-American community. And outside of the Cuban-American exile community, Latinos remain one of the most rock-solid Democrat constituency groups. And I won't even get started on the issues of crime and gangs, because nothing needs to be said regarding it.

I do firmly believe that any immigrant group can assimiliate into America in one generation, IF it really wants to. The problem is that far too many of today's immigrants (especially from the Latino community) really don't want to assimilate into America all that much, and we don't encourage them to the way we used to decades ago. Given the choice of speaking English or speaking Spanish, they prefer to speak Spanish, which is why all of us are increasingly seeing the demand for Spanish being met everywhere. You simply wouldn't be seeing this if they weren't demanding it.

Posted by nandrews3 | June 7, 2007 11:12 AM

Ed presumes to "remind" Daniel Henninger "that conservatives support solutions that work instead of putting process on the pedestal."

Yeah, right. Except when they don't. Look at the nearly lock-step support for the occupation of Iraq from the very beginning. Even now, a few dead-enders are still toeing the line. Hey, Ed, that sure is a great illustration of your pragmatism.

If ever in human history there was an idea which should have sounded extremely dubious to an honest, principled conservative, it was taking over a large, fragmented, (mostly) Arab country and expecting to build it up into a model of democracy. If you supported taking on this task, well, you probably have your excuses. But you can't say it was because you were being a pragmatist.

And if you kept on right on supporting the effort, as it proceeded from failure to catastrophe, then good luck claiming that you "don't celebrate process and ignore performance."

The only thing that Ed and his fellow cheerleaders have done, in writing about events in Iraq, has been to celebrate process, and ignore performance when they aren't totally misrepresenting it. Remember the last Iraqi elections, and how the fact that Shiites and Sunnis came out to vote en masse was supposedly such a vindication of our own policy? Remember the purple ink on people's thumbs? That was process.

As for performance, well, look at who it was they actually voted for. They repudiated the secular, trans-sectarian parties that we were backing, and voted in a coalition of ethnic sectarians. That's when Moqtada al-Sadr got his thirty seats in parliament. Did it change our own notions about what kind of process of development Iraq should (or could) undergo? Nope. We just started pushing the same "national reconciliation" agenda on a bunch of Shiite sectarians who wanted blood.

That's what people like Ed are still supporting to this very day. Hey, great job lining up "solutions that work."

So now Ed says he's against the immigration bill, supposedly because it sets up an unworkable process and presumes, for no good reason, that it will succeed. Maybe that's a valid point. But good luck trying to claim that that's really why conservatives oppose the bill--because they're such pragmatists and care so much about what works.

C'mon, Ed, you're just looking around for reasons that sound respectable. And you're making Henninger seem like the honest one.

Posted by RBMN | June 7, 2007 12:30 PM

Re: vet66 at June 7, 2007 10:06 AM

I'm not for legalization of illegal immigrants--the ones willing to come forward--because it's a good deal for them, even though it is. I'm for it because it's a good deal for America too. Good for our security in the short term (by helping identify who's here) and good for America's future.

In a time when young Americans are trading life and limb to create a non-terrorist democratic outpost in the Arab Middle-East, sacrificing themselves for the future, we at home should maybe ponder not just how immigration affects us personally, but how it affects America's future capacity for commerce, growth, and security.

Posted by quickjustice | June 7, 2007 2:47 PM

You get it, Ed. Thanks.

Posted by quickjustice | June 7, 2007 3:16 PM

As for Nandrews3's rant, I just have to laugh.

Because you see, the Bush Administration policy in Iraq is drawn directly from Democrat President Woodrow Wilson's internationalist "make the world safe for democracy" policy.

Either you believe that every human being deserves freedom and democracy, or you don't. Now, it may be that it's excessively ambitious to try to turn an Arab country that's never known democracy into a democracy in five short years, and George W. Bush and his advisors may be guilty of hubris in making the attempt, but equality of human rights ought to be a principle upon which we all agree.

To read Nandrews3, however, you'd think that Arabs are racially inferior human beings incapable of democracy, and fit only to be ruled by religious tyrants. For example, the Iraqi people "voted in a coalition of ethnic sectarians". How dare they not vote the way we Americans want them to!

I mean, in suggesting that Iraqis and other Arabs are inherently incapable of democracy, or at least incapable of it at present, Nandrews3 sounds like-- wait for it-- William F. Buckley, Jr., a respected conservative.


Posted by harleycon5 | June 7, 2007 7:12 PM

Great job Captain, with you at the helm I feel secure that we will not be swamped by Liberalism by the Republicans OR Democrats.

I agree that it is foolish to allow the import of millions of poor migrants who have no love of this country is foolish. Letting them become legal and vote is suicidal. Do we really want a European Socialism? I know that I don't.

We Republicans need to clean our house of the RINO leadership that thinks they can survive in the Brave New World without borders, laws, or national unity.

I also think quite a few Democrats are also angry, and a candidate such as Guliani, Romney, or Thompson can capture their votes. This is an issue of the greatest importance as we head into the coming years of the world's greatest society.