Democrats laid a trap, they dug a big hole in the Southwestern Desert desert, and Republican honchos are lining up to fall into it! I refer to the invasion of thousands of underage illegal immigrants, of course.
The media are doing a piss-poor job of covering these events. An example: They describe the young illegals as “children.” Yet, it matters a lot how many of these “children” are, say 17, how many are six or under. I could have moved to another country when I was sixteen, on the one hand; I would have been capable of doing it competently, I think. On the other hand, any six-year old who is really unaccompanied is a tragedy, with other, even greater tragedies waiting to happen. The media don’t want to know, I think. I suspect they are complicit in a conspiracy.
My scenario is that some Democrats encouraged the mass migration from Central America. (I doubt the president himself was involved. He is too detached from is office and too attached to his golf game.)
The relevant immigration legislation has been in place for a long time. There was no announcement of change in immigration policy right before the exodus of young people across Mexico and through our southern border. It’s not difficult to encourage people discretely to take great risks if their living conditions are bad enough, dangerous enough, if they are poor enough, if they are close enough to illiteracy. Well-placed rumors often repeated will do the trick:
If you ship your kids to the US, the Americans will take care of them and you will eventually be able to join them.
Incidentally, the last part of the rumor is not really false. Family re-unification provides the bulk of our legal immigrants year in and year out. It works in accordance with a ranking of priorities. Re-uniting parents and minor children is right at the top of the list.
The way the Democrat organizers see it, nothing moves Americans faster than the spectacle of suffering children. As it turns out, President Obama’s plan for wholesale immigration reformed is blocked. Rather, it’s blockaded by Republicans in Congress. Just about everyone agrees that our current immigration system does most things badly. It does not please any group, except, perhaps, some labor unions. I am not revealing any secret here. You would be hard put to find a single elected Republican willing to say publicly, “It’s just fine, leave it alone.” The problem is that Republicans in Congress don’t want the specific reform package Mr Obama has been trying to cram down their throat . (See my essay on this blog: https://factsmatter.wordpress.com/2014/07/01/immigration-if-it-couacs-like-a-duck-it-may-be-a-goose)
If he wants something done, the president has to negotiate with the Republican Party, or at least, with some Republicans. If he does, he will end up with less than he wants. The “path to citizenship” for illegal immigrants so dear to left-Democrats might just fall off the table, for example. But, there is another way to go, more to Mr Obama’s style anyway, a path increasingly popular in the left wing of the Democratic Party: Create a crisis of huge proportions in order to make an executive order acceptable for that which should constitutionally be achieved only through legislation. (There are famous historical precedents for this kind of political behavior. Think about them.)
The intended effect is simply to be in a position to declare: “This is out of control, the problems caused by our inadequate immigration system have become intolerable. The whole shebang has to be reformed, top to bottom.” Now, it’s difficult to make this argument coolly, rationally; you have to appeal to intense emotions to get away with it. With enough emotion, it’s relatively easy to simplify, like this: The Republicans are so heartless that even the spectacle of abandoned, defenseless children does not move them, not even little kids.
If the ploy fails completely, there are still considerable benefits for the Democratic Party to garner. Let me explain.
People are busy with their lives, their children, their mortgages, their church services. Even those who are fairly well off see their attention drafted by daily life such as taking kids to and from the game and the mechanical task of paying bills. The very large number of growing parents simply don’t have any free time, as a rule. Many people are just too tired after work to do anything but watch entertainment on television. Many have brains that are chronically overcrowded. Many are simply lazy.
Hence, for a vast fraction of the population, such things as hard-to-understand slow growth statistics, the failures of Obamacare, economic cronyism, sicking the IRS on political opponents, spying on American citizens, half-truths, distortions, outright lies, even lying about a terrorist attack, may not leave a durable impression. In the tumult of daily life, I speculate, there is not much that has traction.
In principle, I see two exceptions to the general principle of no-traction. First repetitive offenses may leave in many minds like tracks in the mud. Second, imagery that generates deep emotions tends to become seared in people’s minds. An invasion by helpless, poor children qualifies. Pictures of illegal immigrant children in refuges are beginning to seep into the media as I write.
Digression: I say “seep” because the Obama Administration got caught in its own contradictions. On the one hand, it would serve well the purpose of creating a crisis to show many beleaguered, probably crying children in poor shelters. Yet, showing such images would demonstrate anew the administration’s gross incompetence – about everything. You can be sure more pictures are coming our way.
Come the next partial election, and even the next presidential election, Mr Obama’s many sins will be a distant and therefore vague memory in many voters’ minds. The poor children won’t be. That’s ineradicable.
Even harder to forget will be pictures of an angry crowd of conservatives turning back in the night a busload of defenseless children, as happened in Murietta, California. That is is never going to dissipate. The crowd looked for all the world like a lynch mob, even to me. That episode could not have been better staged by one of Hollywood leftist directors to serve as a centerpiece of future anti-Republican propaganda. I am betting it will be used over and over again. Because of the intemperate and mindless reaction of some Republicans, the “War on Children” is soon to join the “War on Women” in the fallacious Democratic Party narrative.
As a result, Democratic voters will be more motivated to vote, including those who are newly disenchanted with the Obama overall performance, independents will be swayed, some Republicans will feel shame and make it a reason for not voting the next time. This is the stuff of which elections are made. The beneficiary will be Hillary “Benghazi” Clinton.
Often , in morality as well as in politics, it’s important to think of the short term first. Often, what’s right is simply what’s humane. What you must do with children, including children who were cynically sent across danger unaccompanied is clear: You feed them, you give then shelter, you supply them with medical attention, you arrange for toys and basketballs. There is no other way. That’s what America does; that’s what it has always done. We will settle accounts later with those criminals who sent them and with those who encouraged those who sent them.
As I write (July 9th 2014) not a single Republican leader has pronounced these obvious truths. We will pay dearly for this lapse of sanity, this shortfall of humanity.
Update July 10th: President Obama is asking for four (4) billion dollars to deal with this particular crisis. Predictably, Republican voices are raised to ask for an offset, for reducing federal expenses somewhere else. A Republican tin ear again! This is not the time, this is not the place. Instead, the Republican House leadership should grant the funds requested and demand that 3/4th be earmarked completely, integrally for the care of the illegal immigrant children. They should dare the administration to argue that these money would be better spent for other purposes.
Folks, that’s about $25 (twenty-five US dollars) per working American. Isn’t this ridiculous?
Bill O’Reilly and some conservative voices are clamoring for an ill-defined “militarization” of the border. They probably envision the National Guard standing shoulder to shoulder on our endless border with Mexico. Way to go, friends: Machine gun the little bastards!
Many Republicans are currently giving Republicans a bad name; this time we come close to deserving it.
PS I am an immigrant, my wife is an immigrant. I write often on immigration. There is a link on the face of this blog to my article in the libertarian Independent Review (co-authored with fellow-immigrant Sergey Nikiforov) : “If Mexicans and Americans Could Cross…“