TCS Daily

Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor... Arguments

By Jerry Bowyer - August 21, 2006 12:00 AM

Tip to masochists: if you want a lot of hate mail, write pro-immigration articles for conservative publications. I'm decidedly not a masochist, but I do believe that when they throw lemons is the best time to open a lemonade stand. I've gotten plenty of raw material thrown my way recently, and you, dear reader, are the beneficiary.

One poster calmly put it this way:


As the argument runs, we all like immigrants just fine, thank you. But what we don't like is illegality. My grandfather, argues embattled Senator Rick Santorum, came here legally, and so should this generation's immigrants. The problems here are legion. First, when our grandfathers came over here legally, it was relatively easy to do. During the late 19th and early 20th century, 37 million immigrants came to American shores. Irish, Italian, and Slovak workers flooded into the country, legally. To compare earlier waves of immigrants with current, largely Latino, immigrants is to leave out a tremendous shift in immigration law.

Second, the argument is basically circular. The debate is about whether we should change our laws. If we liberalize immigration rules, then a number of immigrants will no longer be in violation of the law. They won't be "illegals." This happens anytime that a law is liberalized. The Constitution clearly gives to the Congress the power to create and modify laws pertaining to naturalization. According to Article 1, Section 8, they can, at any time, either loosen or tighten citizenship requirements on a simple majority vote.

Immigration hard-liners seem to be taking the position that, although Congress can make immigration laws more draconian, they cannot legitimately make them less draconian without somehow threatening the rule of law. They don't seem to take this tack on other issues however. For example, I was once called in to turn around a financially troubled business entity. The company was mired in debt, particularly back taxes. Upon taking the helm, I contacted the IRS and worked out a deal in which they would lift liens on assets so that I could sell them to pay the taxes. The penalties were waived. The agent explained to me that Congress had wanted to create a "kinder and gentler" IRS, and gave it the flexibility to waive penalties in its negotiations with taxpayers who have fallen hopelessly behind.

Republican politicians have, often, sponsored initiatives which instruct bureaucracies to take a lighter touch with factories threatened by environmental regulations, for instance. One technique is to create a shield which would protect "brownfield" development sites from litigation pertaining to previous violations of pollution laws in exchange for redeveloping the parcel. Shields have been created for airline companies, as well as companies threatened by asbestos lawyers.

The hard right never denounces any of this as "amnesty." As if this is always and everywhere a bad word. It isn't. Amnesty is a long-standing and perfectly legitimate tactic. It is used when very large numbers of people violate a law which is either unenforceable or in cases in which enforcing the law would create more harm than good.

In the 1860s large numbers of Southerners started to kill officers of the Federal government. Before the whole thing ended, over 600,000 people lay dead. Abraham Lincoln offered a general amnesty for those who were willing to lay down their arms, and the Civil War was over. Did this threaten the rule of law? No, it preserved it. Any other approach would have created a permanent class of disgruntled southerners who existed in the shadows outside legitimate civil society. The government of Iraq wisely made a similar offer last month to its insurgents. The President's plan, of course, isn't amnesty. It doesn't eliminate the penalty for illegal aliens who come forward; it lightens it from deportment to a fine.

I think that the hate-the-illegal-but-love-the-immigrant mantra is in many cases the 21st century version of the 19th century movement called the "know-nothings". Ashamed and aware of the revulsion which polite society held toward their anti-immigrant views, they simply refused to state them openly. When asked what their party stood for, they claimed to know nothing about it. Everyone knew, of course, that they didn't like immigrants.

Make a quick visit to one of our discussion forums, and you will meet some people who seem to be reviving this tactic: The discussion over my previous article brought out people who said quite vociferously that they are in favor of immigration, that it's only ILLEGAL immigration that they object to. Then they went on to ridicule small grammatical lapses by immigrant posters or to declare proudly that they put up signs forbidding the use of languages other than English at their parties. One email made the for-legal-against-illegal point and then went on to declare that Latinos and Africans were hurting America because they have lower IQs.

This stuff is 21st Century Know-nothingism, (not so) pure and simple.

Jerry Bowyer is an economic advisor for Independent Portfolio Partners.



Import poverty but don't give ME the bill.
The decision of whether to grant amnesty to 20 million plus illegal Mexicans and other Latin tresspassers is irrelevant. The real question the article should have asked is whether we want to continue importing poverty.

A large proportion of the illegals from Latin america are poorly educated (even compared to Americans), do not seek to assimilate (no senior, YOU should learn to speak Spanish) and do not show any evidence that they want their children to be doctors, lawyers, engineers or other highly compensated earners.

As they continue to breed in higher proportions than the educated, higher income non-latin population, they will exert an increasing pressure on the politicians who will feel obligated to grant them more social services and benefits.

Before the usual liberal attacks begin ("...racist...", '...bigot...", "...Latin-phobe..." [made that one up]), ask yourself, do you want to pay for their costs?

I don't.


Thanks for the reference

Yes my great-grandparents immigrated and yes it was a different time. They were busting sod in SD and MN trying to make a living on 160 acres.

My wife is a naturalized citizen. We went through the process legally, which is quite painful. (Why is it so difficult?)

If you read any of my other postings on TCS you will find that I do support legal immigration.

My proposal is to allow anyone with a valid passport, no criminal record and no disease into the USA. Of course they will be documented and names will be on file. They can work for whomever will hire them. They can get a social security card and start paying income taxes like everyone else. As residents, they will not be eligible for any federal welfare. States can do as they will.
After five years, if they do not become US citizens, they must return home and will be prevented from entering again for a year or so.
(How many entrepreneurial Indians, Europeans, Filipinos, Chinese, Africans, etc. would rushing the passport offices of their counrtries to have the chance to make it in the USA? How many countries would demand the USA restrict their policies?)

Is that anti-immigration?

I thought I made it very clear I am opposed to the current conspiracy from the governemnt and from business to willfully violate immigration laws. What message does that send to prospective citizens?

"It's ok to violate our laws, we didn't really mean them." What other laws don't you really mean? Being a citizen to vote? Needing a driver's license?

Which laws are we going to selctively enforce? Please let me know so my wife's family won't have to wait 20 years for a visa.

Give me your know-it-all condescending arguments - give another NR writer a guest shot
Is Mr. Bowyer implying that all who disagree on illegal immigration with him are modern "Know-Nothings" by association with those he quotes in his article? If that is the case, then the case could be made that he is a card carrying member of La Raza, Reconquista, Utopian One-World Socialist govt types cause these folks agree with him.

Since I am (as well as most others who comment against increased illegal immigration) not as articulate as TCS authors, would it be possible for TCS to get a guest writer from National Review to go point - counterpoint with Mr. Bowyer or Mr. Smith. That would be interesting to TCS readers.

Anyway, I am tired of disagreeing and sometimes commenting on their work, with ALL the TCS writers on immigration as they all push an open border policy.

Enforcement can work if we go after the EMPLOYERS of ILLEGAL ALIENS. Here's what I sent to President Bush:

Dear President Bush:

Twice you took an oath of office to uphold and defend our constitution. As incredible as it seems, we have abandoned the rule of law for an entire category of people (illegal aliens) by allowing them to remain in our country outside the enforcement of our laws. As chief executive of the USA, responsibility ultimately rests with you.

Here's my personal story: I recently learned from my father (who lives in Indiana) that all through the state it is implicitly recognized that illegal aliens ARE ALLOWED TO VOTE; they simply commit felony perjury by claiming to be U.S. citizens. No proof of citizenship is even requested! I couldn't believe him, so I confirmed this by calling government officials in South Bend and Indianapolis. This situation is intolerable and must be stopped now! (Just think how many fewer Democrat votes there could be).

With so many illegal aliens already here, what can be done now? I recommend going after the source of the problem. In my opinion, the worst culprits are those who hire illegal aliens. I'm sure you can see the temptations: sub-minimum wages, terrible working conditions, dispensable workers.

I propose that we establish a clearinghouse (online and via every employment office) for employers who are having difficulty finding legal workers domestically. After a short amount of time (if there are no challenges by competing domestic applicants), the employer may hire anyone in the world. The employer brings in the worker, spouse, and immediate children, and becomes responsible for them until they become legal citizens or leave the USA. In the meantime, they earn at least minimum wage and pay taxes.

To prevent continued use of illegal aliens, I also propose that we fine employers $100,000 per illegal alien employee, and offer a $500 reward for turning in those employers.

"mmigration hard-liners seem to be taking the position that, although Congress can make immigration laws more draconian, they cannot legitimately make them less draconian without somehow threatening the rule of law"

I want Congress to change the law to open immigraton to more people and to enforce those laws. Quotas havn't changed for decades. Why shouldn't we allow more Indians or Europeans or Filipinos or...into the country?

Let's be fair about who we let into the country illegally.

Illegal Immigration
Mr. Bowyer - you still don't get it. There are already laws in place that the government hasn't enforced and thus created the situation we have today. You are supposed to be an economist, yet fail to see the economic danger of importing uneducated, unskilled workers who are already here uninvited and have stymied the working class wage rate for at least ten years. Then there is the fact that they not only disregard the immigration laws of our nation, but commit another crime of false identification. Your "draconian" term is so progressive-socialist. This nation was established under the "rule of law" and it has proven to be the best.
Stick to economics, this subject is beyond your comprehension.

And the garage band blares on..
Where can one begin with this article? The author begins this missive with a touch of narcissism and paranoia (“Tip to masochists: if you want a lot of hate mail, write pro-immigration articles for conservative publications.”) and the weird assurance that his analysis is correct not because of clear, convincing and relevant reasoning or empirical evidence, but his the level of discontent and his summary dismissal of anyone who would dare disagree with him as a modern day version of a “Know Nothing”.

Sorry Mr. Bower, but readers, especially engaged ones, know a mercenary screed when they see it. They also know the pretensions of an intellectual illuminati when they see them as well.

So I submit here’s a tip for the arrogant: If you want to get a lot of hate mail, write ANY ARTICLE for conservative publications that takes a preachy, “I know better than you” attitude of the hard left and dismisses contrary positions not to differences in knowledge, perspective, policies, priorities, etc, but to deficits in cognitive ability and/or disingenuous moral defects.

A good analogy to the limited chord rhetoric of the pro-ILLEGAL immigration would be a nascent garage band with aspirations (delusions) of a record deal. Convinced of the euphonic tones of their own sound, they address neihborhood criticisms of simplicity and disharmonic deficit with greater and greater portions of percussion and volume. Your intellectual neighbors tell you its sounds awful so you crank up the volume. We want Beethoven, you give us more and louder speed metal and you wonder why we buy earplugs?

So, perhaps it’s not content but tone that draws fire. For me, reading “pro-immigration” (correct label, pro ILLEGAL immigration) smacks of the snotty tone of a Clinton (either one) Kerry or Dean or Kennedy, you know the legislator that has opinions on every work related matter, but never got a job outside of one that was given to him because of the cult of his surname?

Worse, sandwiched between the authors opening self- righteousness and closing condescension is a soupy muddle of assertions, some irrelevant and some wrong. The part about the powers enumerated in the Constitution is pointless because the threat to the rule of law doesn’t emanate from lawful changes made by the legislature, but the use of such changes to ex post render already committed crime of illegal entry, not only legal, but morally noble, for the sole benefit of certain individuals.

Moreover, he fails to address the weird provisions of certain recent immigration "reform" bills that provided illusory and discriminatory “penalties” that would be a diminution of a lawful citizen’s civic responsibilities. Please explain why I should allow an illegal immigrant to file and pay a PORTION of their income taxes or why I should believe that those laws will be enforced, wehen the present ones are disregarded?

But for me, the worst insult is the following: “First, when our grandfathers came over here legally, it was relatively easy to do. During the late 19th and early 20th century, 37 million immigrants came to American shores.” Guess what Jerry; I’m old enough to have the benefit of the testimony of a great grandmother who was born in 1889 and emigrated here a century ago. She was reviled for her ethnicity and her religion, poked and prodded at Ellis Island, (what immigrant today is examined for contagious eye diseases with a safety pin?),and provided no assurances of being allowed to remain here after spending all her worldly treasure for three weeks at sea in steerage (vomiting most of the first week thanks to sea sickness.) When she came, she learned that the limitations of formal schooling and an accent meant her husband’s sole employment option was the “extractive industries”, aka coal mining. Yet so seriously did she take her responsibilities, that in the 1970’s, she neatly kept municipal tax returns in fear of having her citizenship revoked. In her eighties, when her memory and vision faded, she regularly sought assurance that indeed others kept those tax notices with the conspicious "paid" stamp on them.

Don’t you dare compare those folks to the people coming here today. Don’t you use my great-grandparents in experiences in your intellectual prostitution. There were no food stamps or Medicare for our ancestors and the only marching in the street was by the Klan. They wouldn’t dream about forming gangs, La Rasa or the “Reconquista” movement. They wouldn't dream of flying any flag other than the stars and stripes. Even after they swore allegiance and clutched their naturalized citizen documents, often with tears in their eyes, they walked in fear- feeling somehow that being here was still no longer a right, but a privilege and subject to summmary revocation for the slightest infraction of the law.

Also, don’t think we are stupid, we recognize the paid rhetoric of the workless classes that want illegal immigrants here, as compliant servants, because most are fearful of being sent back. We need them to change bed sheets at hotels, to work at meat processing plants without knowledge of carpal tunnel syndrome or the various compensations industrial injury can bring. We know there are plenty of industries that are built around fictional wages that externalize the costs of food, housing and healthcare to the taxpayer.

You have no monopoly on understanding of the matter or concern for the affected. You are nothing but an intellectual prostitute with delusions of intellectual and moral superiority. Yes, welcome immigrants, ones like my neighbor who entered legally, paid her taxes, waited out her time, swore an oath of allegiance and became an AMERICAN. As for the ones that sneak across the border, violate our sovereignty to overwhelm our generous “social services” and mine our economy to prop up the pathological messes of corruption and dictatorship, and then march in the street to tell us they are American, (when they aren’t telling us America is rightly Mexico), the welcome should be swift deportation, without the customary free dental screening. But that wouldn't be in the interests of your puppeteer masters, would it?

Well Said!

Illegal immigrants can get away with not paying any penatlites for commiting crimes legal citizens would be held liable for.

Hope you don't have an accident with an illegal alien. How are you going to force him to pay? He is outside the law (i.e. an outlaw).

And, as you point out Keith, for a sound economic system, the rule of law is essential.

I haven't seen this many bad arguments since the last time I read one of roy's posts
1) As near as I can tell, the author is saying that since it used to be easier to immigrate to this country, that excuses the current immigrants to who choose to ignore the law.

2) That if we pass new laws making immigration easier, that means that all of the immigrants who came here illegally in the past 20 decades, suddenly didn't break the law.

Better info on the effect of illegal aliens
Here are two articles with less rhetoric and more information:

Now- let's up the legal immigration by a million, change the "family" visas to spouse, children only and admit people from around the world to contribute more to our society and economy.

I agree - well said!

got a big head today.

I had a newspaper reply to my letter stating, "Why doesn't Mexico just join the USA?" They said it was wise, and should be thought about.

Immigration was fine as long as there were assets to steal from the Indian People
I suppose our European ancestors - from 1770 to 1870 - were well educated rich people who negotiated a fair contract for land from the Indian People? Only desperate people would leave their native land and spend a month on a "Mayflower" style ship for the chance of stealing a bit of land.

After the east coast was all stolen and civilized - only desperate people would leave Virginia and Maryland for the purpose of killing Indian People and Mexicans to steal land in Texas and Arizona - going from land that supports 20 cows per acre to a desert that needs 20 acres per cow. Only desperate people would hit the Oregon Trail and force wagons over the Rockies and Cascades.

We had plenty of land for immigrants as long as there was land to steal from Mexicans and Indian People. Now it is "I have mine and screw you."

If Indians had ...
If the American Indians and the Mexicans had more guns and a better cavalry than the USA, they would still be holding that land.

If the land is not owned, how can it be stolen?

But, I had read recently that disease had decimated many tribes long before the settlers arrived.

Assuming you agree with your own argument against irredentism.
And its not merely another meaningless left-wing (but I repeat myself), relativistic, self loathing injunction to propose a pact of national surrender, then you can see the effects of irredentism.

Of course you should also, by extension, pick yourself up and emigrate to a country that your ancestors came from, unless you are a 100% descendent of the Mohawk, Delaware, Apache, etc. tribes. If you are a 100% descendant of one of those tribes, please situate your self in the appropriate geographical area. Mohawk descendants for example, should never live in Wyoming. In spite of the multicultural morass, America was not populated by one homogeneous group, but several distinctly different nations of indigineous groups.

I suspect of course that you will stay put, because for all your moral outrage, you'll never give up the security and comfort of the ill gotten gain, its much easier to run your mouth than return the "stolen goods", right?

Of course, as an aside, its really hard to tell who owned what prior to the settling (or invasion, according to Billwald) because there were no fixed borders, no system of land rights and certain parcels of land routinely traded hands, depending on the outcome of the latest war.

It was certainly easy for the Europeans to decide to settle a certain place by force, because that was the established precedent in place. The difference of course was Europeans brought superior weaponry and a system of land rights, which they immediately began using and enforcing. Had the original Americans had understood land ownership needs to be enforced, there might have been a different immigration pattern in prior centuries.

But hey, you keep on believing that that first (there were no native Americans) were berry-picking peacenicks who never raised their voice in anger, let alone a tomahawk. Moral turpitude in the form of conquest is only a European thing.

So ignore the poor and deal with the good arguments
In today’s multi-cultural society the limits to successful immigration, the assimilation rate, is much lower. We need to stop immigration – period – until we can assimilate the immigrants. Economics doesn’t determine thought … that’s failed Marxist philosophy. Culture determines thought (but with respect for the individuals who can rise about their cultural barriers.) When you give no credence to the legitimate worries people will become “know nothings” because they are fed up.

It's Not Just Me!
It's as if the author has been reading my posts!

Name: Rhampton
Subject: The New Know-Nothings
Date/Time: 03 May 2006, 3:07 AM


I am not, nor have I ever been, a lawyer, paralegal, court stenographer, bailiff, judge, elected official, lobbyist, or any other profession related to the law. As for your paranoia -- it's nothing new:

1843-1903: The Immigrant Church
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis the 1850s, anti-Catholic and anti-immigrant sentiments had come together in a movement whose members called themselves the "KNOW-NOTHINGS."

Officially called the American Party, the Know-Nothings were nativists. That is, they supported policies that favored native inhabitants rather than immigrants. Eventually, they ran their own candidates for office on platforms of limiting immigration and restricting the rights of immigrants who already were in the United States. And the Know-Nothings gradually began to think of immigrants and Catholics as one and the same.

Irish Catholics were a particular target for the Know-Nothings. Meanwhile, the new Irish immigrants, who tended to live in St. Patrick's Parish, also had a tendency to LINK THEIR CATHOLICISM WITH THEIR OWN CULTURAL AND NATIONAL HERITAGE...

Rhampton declares that Lyndon LaRouche speaks for all Democrats.
find the luniest guy on the other side, and declare that he is actually representative of the other side.

using rhamptons logic, then Lyndon LaRouche is the spokesman for the Democratic party.

Why hasn't Conress made it easier for immigrants to enter the country LEGALLY?

Increase family quotas?
Streamline the guest worker program. (Yes, there is one NOW.)

There has been a conspiracy to allow illegal workers into the country. Why?

Congress could fix this very quickly by increasing the number of legal immigrants and the President could start enforcing the law.

Another Irrelevant Cut and Paste
It's as if the author has been reading my posts!

If he is, it explains the deficits in his thinking.

Since everybody knows there were know-nothings, (their modern version is actually on the ACLU, Barry Lynn left, touting restrictions on public funding to private-read Catholic-schools) and cocedes their prtejudice, your cut and paste establishes nothing.

The author asserted everybody opposed to enforcing immigration laws is a know-nothing. Because its an inane proposition, you did not offer any corroborative evidence.

The Bowyers of the world are quick to throw around insults
Bowyer asserts on no evidence that everyone who believes that uncontrolled immigration is a bad idea is a Know Nothing.

One could in turn assert that Bowyer and his ilk who favor open borders are Anarchists or, worse, totalitarians willing to attain their end of open borders by any means necessary be it fair ot fowl.

Of course one could also assert that Bowyer and his ilk are at heart Stalinists who would not be wounded by that description.

There is a middle out here which recognizes and accepts the practical necessity of legalizing most of the illegals who have settled into the country after our leaders have proven their willingness to get control of the borders and of the visa system. But it is increasingly difficult to be reasonable on that issue as folks like Bowyer label anyone who believes in border control as a racist.

Tony Snow's Know-Nothings
Bush's Border Buffoonery
by Nick Gillespie, (Editor-in-Chief)
Reason, May 16, 2006

...As FOX News stalwart Tony Snow wrote just a couple of months before becoming Bush's press secretary, "IMMIGRATION IS NOT THE POX NEO-KNOW NOTHINGS MAKE IT OUT TO BE" (here's hoping he brings that POV to bear in the White House). Far from it. Unemployment is low and crime is down everywhere, but especially in areas teeming with immigrants. Those who worry for whatever reason about languages other than English being spoken in America can rest easy knowing that MOST LATINOS ARE SPANISH-FREE BY THE THIRD GENERATION.

Immigration restrictionists argue, not without some merit, that illegal immigrants don't fully pay into social-welfare system from which they benefit. Restrictionists tend to overstate the effect of illegal immigrants on American wages and they understate the amount of taxes even illegals pay...

But the most efficient way to address these concerns is by MAKING IT EASIER FOR ILLEGALS TO FUNCTION IN THE LIGHT OF DAY, where they would have every reason to pay all the taxes the rest of us do. And to enter the country through official checkpoints (and to leave the country through the same gates)...

a great post superheater
the amazing thing is that such as Bowyer pass for analysts in the leftist realm.

and you actually believe that snow was addressing everyone who is opposed to illegal immigration?

I would think that the guilt would overwhelm you billwald
You have my profoundest sympathy. When I imagine how you must feel, to arrive home, sit down to dinner and lie down to bed, knowing as you do that you are living on the land of Indians your ancestors displaced, eating the food of Indians your ancestors dispossessed and lying on a bed above the ground soaked with the blood of Indians your ancestors slaughtered.

I have to respect you since a lesser man would have long since bowed down under such guilt.

You sell yourself short Rhampton
Your posts make a whole lot more sense than Bowyer's column.

Careful to Distinguish
No, and neither did I claim any such thing in my previous post or at anytime in the past. In fact, this is what I said when I first posted Tony Snow's comments

Name: Rhampton
Subject: Reasonable Immigration
Date/Time: 16 May 2006, 2:00 PM

While I agree in principal -- we must be careful to distinguish rational support for tight immigration restriction from cultural protectionism (and the rare outright racism).

Bush's Border Buffoonery
by Nick Gillespie, (Editor-in-Chief)
Reason, May 16, 2006

...As FOX News stalwart Tony Snow wrote just a couple of months before becoming Bush's press secretary...

Mark - Roy Bean generally makes a lot more sense than this fellow
Tha other fellow who writes weepy open borders stuff is at least cunning enough to sneak his points in. This fellow Bowyer is too stupid to recognize that he is vitiating his own case and defuzing one of the left's most valuable political weapons.

Let Bowyer and the other lovers of mankind and haters of people continue and there will eventually be an organization with a rainbow flag whose motto will be "We are all racists now."

So what? More non- proof
Are you trying to prove that the author is plagiarizing a several months old canard that still has no traction? Or are you trying to assert that there's an element among "conservatives" thats as cavalier with the charge of "know-nothing" as the left is with its incessant charges of "nazi", "fascist", "extremist", "neocon", etc.?

In any case, you, or Snow never address modern objections (subsidized healthcare, terrorism, epidemiological) that were not relevent in the nativist rants of a century ago. The fact that you can find 1000 people to level the charge doesn't make it true, nor if it were true would it discredit those who take the position that unrestricted immigration is unwise.

Illegal is illegal for a reason
We have a very generous legal immigration system. The reason most folks (and they are for the most part resonable individuals, selective quotes aside) are against illegal immigration:

--Legal immigration levels are already generous and for the most part do not select explicitly for skills or education

--In aggregate illegal immigrants consume more in government subsidies that they ever will contribute in taxes

--Illegal immigrants are creating a permanent, isolated, socially distinct underclass

--Condoning illegal immigration will result in ever acclerating immigration

All of these are reasonable and defensible. Previously open legal immigration was easier only from a legal standpoint. To immigrate to the US, one had to save enough money to book passage and be willing to tolerate immense physical and economic risks. Most importantly, there was no welfare state, so immigrants had to pay their own way. Many returned to their homelands during the depression, for example.

Those reasonable souls opposed to illegal immigration known that today's illegals did not run the same risks as our legal forebears, despite the authors protestions that is was "easy," invalidating the major argument of this column.

What an idiot...that "know-nothing" enough for ya?
nuff said

Good Guy Tony Snow?
"Are you trying to prove that the author is plagiarizing a several months old canard that still has no traction?"


"Or are you trying to assert that there's an element among "conservatives" thats as cavalier with the charge of "know-nothing" as the left is with its incessant charges of "nazi", "fascist", "extremist", "neocon", etc.?

Nope -- unless you want to label Tony Snow and Nick Gillespie as cavalier name-callers.

FYI: "neocon" is the shorthand version of Neoconservative, a movement founded by Irving Kristol among others. The Second generation necons (ex. Bill Kristol) are the extremists, but they're not Naz!s.

Neoconservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea
by Irving Kristol
Free Press, September 20, 1995

From Publishers Weekly -- This hefty collection of some 40 articles and essays written since the 1950s represents a kind of summation for neocon doyen KRISTOL, editor of the Public Interest. Particularly interesting is his previously unpublished opening memoir concerning influences such as LIONEL TRILLING, LEO STRAUSS and army life as well as the founding of his magazine and his work with the American Enterprise Institute to extend conservatism beyond free enterprise to reflect "on the roots of social and cultural stability."

The articles are a varied lot. Some denigrate such topics as multiculturalism and the "consumers' protection movement" or declare that the 1960s counterculture was essentially unprovoked. More compelling essays reflect on the "true purposes" of the American Revolution, the 1960s growth of the "new class" and the "perverse consequences" of Great Society programs that ignored universal applicability. Kristol also includes several essays on Jews in America and on the country's latter-day shift to conservatism.

It is nice to be noticed.
I was called a racist by a local columnist in Tucson.

I guess I am on my way to the big time.

Clinton style
When did Clinton's team take over TCS, at least on immigration?

When they could not defend a position, they would attack calling people bad names.

Sticks and stones....

Harriet Miers and the Immigration Debate
When President Bush nominated Harriet Miers for the SCOTUS, conservatives in the GOP did not react well. They argued that many justices like Samuel Alito and Janice Rodgers Brown were much better qualified, and should be nominated instead. They said that any nominee without a verifiable judicial record and well-known history of voting in consistent ways on key issues was potentially a Souter or a Kennedy just waiting to use the Constitution as toilet paper. Given that the record she did have was inconsistent, with a distinct leftward-tilt, this was a real concern. Furthermore, they argued that this nomination established a bad precedent: the stealth nominee. If we could not pick any nominees who had clear records, we would have to leave out those most qualified to serve on the SCOTUS. The President and his spokespersons ignored all of these rational arguments and blamed opposition on the fact the Miers was a woman, and that the people attacking her were elitists. (1) There was no evidence that this was so, but the President chose to attack his friends and allies just the same. It was a stupid, irrational and senseless manuever that served no purpose and did not address any of the concerns that people had about his nominee. We all know how this fiasco turned out. (Three cheers for Alito!)

As has already been discussed here, both Tony Snow and the President, as well as Mr. Bowyer have blamed opposition to amnesty programs on racism and anti-Catholicism. This argument does hold slightly more weight, because there are actual racist and anti-Catholic groups out there speaking loudly on the issue of illegal immigration. However, lumping the rational proponents of border security in with a bunch of bigots is doing the same thing that Bush did with Harriet Miers: Flinging silly epithets at people who are proposing rational arguments against your position. This sort of drivel may work for leftists, Mr. Bowyer, but it does not work with us. You will have to do more than call us names.

First, tell me how any program designed to legal could be effective without first securing our borders? The primary argument of those opposed to amnesty is that it was not accompanied by any legitimate possibility of enforcement of our immigration laws or protection of our borders. It is easy to say that we can vote on another all-enforcement bill, but with an amnesty program and guest-worker plan already in place, how easy would it actually be to get a vote? What possible benefit could either of these programs provide to illegals if it is easier just to slip across the border? How can we determine who has been here for years and who has been here for weeks without any method of verifying how long they have been here? We have to know who is entering, leaving and residing in our nation before we can enact any of these programs, and we cannot know any of that until we have secure borders.

Second, absent enforcing our borders, how can we hope to stem the flow of illegal drugs and terrorists in to our country? The drug threat needs no elaboration, but the terrorism threat is extremely serious. The stories of Border Patrol officers finding Qurans and prayer rugs in the desert are legion, (2) but the recent plot by al-Qaeda to smuggle nuclear weapons in to our country via the Mexican border with the assistance MS-13 ought to at least get your heart-rate up. (3)

Third, consider the crimes that illegal immigrants have to commit just to stay here for any length of time, and ask yourself if you want to grant amnesty for these crimes as well? Identity theft, document forgery, and of course, perjury when they go to the ballot boxes to vote in elections in a country where they are non-residents. If we grant it to them, should we grant it to every person who has committed such offenses in the United States? If not, why not? What makes people who came here illegally so special that they can get away scot-free with something that would send an American to jail for years?

Fourth and finally, we should allow more people to emigrate to the United States, but should we implement a policy that allows illegal immigrants in ahead of legal ones? What sort of message does that send to hopeful immigrants across the world? Get here illegally, fake your identity, work a year or two and you will be given preference over all of those people who go through the onerous process we currently put legal immigrants through?

We have to do something to stop illegal immigration. However, any proposal that fails to secure our borders before granting guest-worker status or even amnesty is a sham and plainly will fail. Any proposal that does not offer employers a means to verify the immigration status of their employees, and charge them through the nose for knowingly employing illegals will fail. Open borders are a nice idea, but impractical in a world of La Raza and al-Qaeda.

In the meantime, get yourself some real arguments, and fling your mud only at the deserving. Rational people have rational reasons to want to see a solution to this problem, and they have nothing to do with hating Catholics or Hispanics. You have lost any credibility you might have ever had with this audience, and you ought to be ashamed of yourself for dropping down to the level of debate of the left.



(3) Joseph Farah's G2 Intelligence Bulletin put out a report from the only journalist to interview Osama bin Laden since the 9/11 attacks stating that al-Qaeda had obtained Russian suitcase nukes and planned to smuggle them in to the United States through our Mexican border. The journalist's report confirmed the intelligence gained from the interrogation of Sharif al-Masri, an Egyptian with ties to Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda's #2 man. You can view some of the articles for free on, search for "Chechen terrorists nuclear weapons." One of the better articles is here: MS-13 is a notoriously violent gang composed o fillegal immigrants from El Salvador.

Very nice post
My great grandfather came over from Norway in the late 1880s and busted sod in the Montana Badlands near Terry, MT in 1889. He went through Ellis Island and it took him a while to end up in Montana. He came here legally like millions of others, he did not take a boat to Mexico or Canada and sneal across the border. The difference is he was documented and came here LEGALLY, through proper channels.

I agree with everything you said here. This is exactly the tact the government should take, but they need to stop the flow and send back some (as many as they can round up and throw back across the border in, say, 5 years) of the present illegals.

Good post Marjon, this is how it should go.

They can't win legitemately...
So they spout racism.

Sad, really.

Curiouser and curiouser
We hear this argument frequently - that to be against illegal immigration is to be against all immigration. If that is true, it seems to me the obverse of this must also be true: That there can be no such thing as illegal immigration; like water in a convoluted pipe, immigration is a force of nature that will inevitably seek its own level, a law of physics that must be obeyed, and however many people want to enter the U.S., it is, ipso facto, the right amount to let in.

So that means if 1 million want to enter, who are we to set limits? If 500 million want to enter, I certainly won't betray my pro-business, pro cheap labor, pro-short term gains irrespective of long-term costs position: All immigration is good and there is no such thing as illegal immigration.

Obviously, this position is mathematically untenable.

Let's set aside for the moment the issue of legality; the question is, who should set the limits on the amount of people coming in? According to this article, the laws of - what? nature? economics? welfare? ought to set the number of immigrants. I believe that, as a sovereign nation, it is we, the people - remember us? who have the right to decide how many immigrants enter - legal or otherwise. And don't hit me with the "we are a nation of immigrants" canard.

Republicans have two reasons for wanting no-limit immigration: cheap labor and votes. They can forget both; the first thing these folks will do while the ink is still wet on their amnesty papers will be to organize for higher wages, creating a vacuum that will attract more illegals who don't enjoy the benefit of amnesty papers, who will work for the same wages their erstwhile brethren accepted. Big Business cares not a whit for the costs to taxpayers of maintaining the straining social safety net. As for votes, what Republican - even among this craven, profligate, drunken-sailor set currently in office - can out-promise a democrat? Ain't gonna happen: The new arrivals will be a democrat voting bloc for at least a generation, and probably two or three.

As for the democrats, they rightly see a whole new bloc of voters - witness the Clintons' trial motor voter programs - that will keep them in power for the foreseeable future. Dems have all the advantages here - they assuage big business, get a whole new population of victims whose victimization they can create, package and institutionalize, and they can get points for their warm and fuzzy commitment to diversity, the "gorgeous mosaic," as NYC Mayor David Dinkins referred to the increasing balkanization of NYC, whose #1 product was race and class resentment.

But forget that. Gosh darn it, I don't want to be seen as anti-immigration, so I say, BREACH THE LEVIES OF SOVEREIGNTY! Let the tide of immigrants flow in unabated! It is THEY who should decide how many enter America, not us!

As Katrina showed us, however, the life-sustaining properties of water can quickly become a stagnant cesspool of toxic waste if the flow isn't managed. And while nothing is more refreshing to me than an ice-cold bottle of Disani, if someone poured all the bottles of water in the world on me at once, I wouldn't feel refreshed; I'd feel drowned.

Who are 'they' encouraging to enter illegally?
Those that don't speak English.

Those that are from totalitarian regimes.

Those that are uneducated.

Those the politicians can control.

If the flood gates are opened, I would suggest there would be a flood of people entering, but not just from Mexico, Central and South America.

There would be many more who speak English, who are educated and would not be bought off as easily by a welfare state.

I think it could be argued that if the gates came crashing down, the USA economy would boom while the rest of world would slow. Money and entrepreneurs would pour into the USA abandoning their restrictive homelands.

Tony Snow is in my opinion, a "good guy", but like the rest of us is prone to mistake. If he thinks all people opposed to unlimited immigration are "Know Nothings", he's wrong.

I didn't say you said NEOCONS were Nazi's. (Try reading what's written, for the milklionth time) I said that the two terms are thrown about by the left. Nazi is a favorite injunction for decades now."Neocon" is nothing more than code for liberal apostate and another boogeyman term of the left.

As for the term "extremist", there's another meaningless pejorative of the left which is code among believers and nothing more than verbal shunning. The very fact you guys use the word proves that you have no room for disagreement in your political bunkers.

stealth nominees
Reagan and Bush the Elder had no choice but to nominate stealth candidates. They faced a Senate still controlled by Democrats.

With the Senate allegedly in Republican hands, Bush the younger does not fact this obstacle. There is absolutely no need for him to ever put forth a stealth candidate.

Put forth a qualified, conservative candidate, and if the Democrats try to fillibuster, go over their heads to the people. Most people will not stand for the Democrats playing politics with SC nominations, as the polls showed over and over again.

Neocons are Wilsonian-Leftists
You guys? The fact that you lump me in with Leftist doesn't make it true.

I actually do know the history of Irving Kristol's Neocons, so I do not use it as a pejorative anymore than I use the term Republican or Democrat, Liberal or Conservative as an insult.

Neocon, in it's current second-generation form, isn't even philosophically Conservative. They believe in big, intrusive government to cure social ills. By many people's definition, necons are the most powerful Wilsonian-Leftists in America today.

I am not anti-immigration, you incredible nincompoop!!
Just because I am anti-illegal immigration does not mean I am against immigration.

If you can say that is a tired, poor argument, then certainly I can say that you are in favor of a completely open border with no enforcement of immigration law. Damn you people who say that we are anti-immigration because we disagree with your idea of immigration. Damn you people who say that anti-illegal-immigration means we are anti-immigrant. Like Nathan Smith accused us of a while back: we don't want "swarthy Spanish speakers" working next to us. Damn you incredibly arrogant people. If we disagree with you, it's because we're racist. That's how liberals argue. I would expect more of libertarians.

I am a landlord. I have had many Filipino women rent from me. They are the best renters I've ever had. They were all registered nurses. They all paid lots of money and jumped through lots of hoops to get here and get jobs as regular nurses. They have paid their dues. So I am a racist, anti-immigrant because I think Mexicans who come by crossing at night through a river bed shouldn't be treated the same way as a hard-working, educated Filipino nurse? Damn you, Jerry Bowyer.

this is true of all neo-cons?
You know this, how?

Why is it that everyone you label a neo-con, is a neo-con. And why is it that you believe that all neo-cons are identical in their desires.

If I were to try and identify every member of any other group using such crude metrics, you'd be amongst the first to label me an idiot and a bigot.

when you don't have an argument
the next best thing is to attack the motives of your opponent.

Even when you have no idea what your opponents motives are.

No Subject
Neocon 101
The Christian Science Monitor, 2004

What do neoconservatives believe?

"Neocons" believe that the United States should not be ashamed to use its unrivaled power – FORCEFULLY IF NECESSARY - TO PROMOTE ITS VALUE AROUND THE WORLD. Some even speak of the need to cultivate a US empire. Neoconservatives believe modern threats facing the US can no longer be reliably contained and therefore must be prevented, sometimes through preemptive military action.

Most neocons believe that the US has allowed dangers to gather by not spending enough on defense and not confronting threats aggressively enough. One such threat, they contend, was Saddam Hussein and his pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. Since the 1991 Gulf War, neocons relentlessly advocated Mr. Hussein's ouster.

Most neocons share unwavering support for Israel, which they see as crucial to US military sufficiency in a volatile region. They also see Israel as a key outpost of democracy in a region ruled by despots. Believing that authoritarianism and theocracy have allowed anti-Americanism to flourish in the Middle East, neocons advocate the democratic transformation of the region, starting with Iraq. They also believe the US is unnecessarily hampered by multilateral institutions, which they do not trust to effectively neutralize threats to global security.

. . . . .

What is the difference between a neoconservative and a conservative?

Liberals first applied the "neo" prefix to their comrades who broke ranks to become more conservative in the 1960s and 70s. The defectors remained more liberal on some domestic policy issues. But foreign policy stands have always defined neoconservatism. Where other conservatives favored détente and containment of the Soviet Union, neocons pushed direct confrontation, which became their raison d'etre during the 1970s and 80s.

Today, both conservatives and neocons favor a robust US military. But MOST CONSERVATIVES EXPRESS GREATER RESERVATIONS ABOUT MILITARY INTERVENTION AND SO-CALLED NATION BUILDING. Neocons share no such reluctance. The post 9/11-campaigns against regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq demonstrate that the neocons are not afraid to force regime change and reshape hostile states in the American image. Neocons believe the US must do to whatever it takes to end state-supported terrorism. For most, this means an aggressive push for democracy in the Middle East. Even after 9/11, many other conservatives, particularly in the isolationist wing, VIEW THIS AS AN OVERZEALOUS DREAM WITH NIGHTMARISH CONSEQUENCES.


Key Neoconservative figures

Elliott Abrams
John Bolton
Douglas Feith
Frank Gaffney Jr.
Robert Kagan
William Kristol
Irving Kristol
Michael Ledeen
Lewis "Scooter" Libby
Richard Perle
Norman Podhoretz
Paul Wolfowitz


In their own words

"A neoconservative is a liberal who's been mugged by reality. A neoliberal is a liberal who's been mugged by reality but has refused to press charges."
--Irving Kristol

"Change--above all violent change--is the essence of human history."
--Michael Ledeen

"Ultimately, this WTC/Pentagon attack is anchored to a terror network embedded in Saudi royal politics. I don't think we will win this war if we do not begin to honestly examine the full nature of Saudi politics and behavior. This is truly the key issue."
--David Wurmser

"American power should be used not just in the defense of American interests but for the promotion of American principles."
--William Kristol

"The President of the United States, on issue after issue, has reflected the thinking of neoconservatives."
--Richard Perle

"It is time to stop pretending that Europeans and Americans share a common view of the world, or even that they occupy the same world."
--Robert Kagan

"Iraq is just one battle in a larger war, bringing down the regime in Iran is the central act, because Iran is the world's most dangerous terrorist country."
--Michael Ledeen

"On the outcome of the confrontation with Tehran, more than any other, rests the future of the Bush Doctrine - and, quite possibly, the Bush presidency - and prospects for a safer world."
--William Kristol

"Republicans are good at wielding power, but they're not so wonderful when it comes to the more idealistic motives of liberal internationalism. The Democrats are better at liberal internationalism, but they're not so good at wielding power. I would say that if there were a Joe Lieberman/John McCain party, I'm in the Joe Lieberman/John McCain party."
--Robert Kagan

"We are going to have to take the war against [the terrorists] often to other people's territory, and all of the norms of international order make it difficult to do that. So the president has to reshape fundamental attitudes toward those norms, or we are going to have our hands tied by an antiquated institution [the traditional international system] that is not capable of defending us."
--Richard Perle

Well Said
If all of the Filipino, Indian, British, etc nurses were able to work in the USA without visas, do you think we would have a shortage of nurses?

There is no shortage of landscapers and day laborers.

Is there something in this CS analysis or the attributed quotes that causes the far left to use neocon as a self-defining pejorative? I'm not a neocon (by any extension of that ambiguously defined term), have manifest disagreements with them when they base policy on the perfectibility of humanity, but don't believe my differing political views to render THEM as intrinsically evil, as does your side.

If they retain a leftist zeitgeist, as you assert, then theseething hatred of the conventional hard left, merely illustrates how intolerant it is.

CS Analysis
Strange how intolerant those folks are who claim to be so liberally tolerant? The reason why two political parties were created was to counterbalance each other. The "neo-con" and other definitive terms are nothing but phrases of those who believe they are intellectually superior and view the rule of law as some sort of conspiracy against humanity. More hateful rhetoric comes from the Left rather than from the conservatives or grassroot Americans, the very people who view the Republican Party as "jack-booted thugs" and those who would change the entire American political establishment founded by 56 men who created a country out of the chaos of revolution. These are the very people who will be the downfally of America if the rest of us let them.

TCS Daily Archives