The immigration amnesty bill is dead, but like a zombie, its corpse is still twitching, and folks in Washington D.C. are still very interested in it. I wouldn’t mind if they wanted the zombie to be part of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” dance team, or as a shuffle-on role in the next zombie flick, but the powers that be in Washington want to make this zombie immigration bill become law.
Somebody shoot this zombie in the head, please! Then drive a stake in its heart. Wait, that’s vampires. Oh, who cares? I don’t want this bill to be mostly dead, I want to see it become all dead.
Sadly, there are Republicans who like the zombie bill, and who are excited to make it happen. President Bush is in the forefront of those who favor the bill, and President Bush is wrong to do so. America doesn’t need illegal immigration reform; it needs border security. Border security is a gushing arterial wound, while immigration reform is but a splinter in the finger. Common sense says you treat the life-threatening wound before the splinter. But I’m afraid that there is something either in the water or the air of Washington D.C. that leeches the common sense right out of the people there. I wouldn’t be surprised if it were a zombie leech that goes for the brains.
A zombie leech would explain some of the incredibly stupid things being said in Washington. Here is one burst of flatulence as reported in the New York Times:
The Republican whip, Trent Lott of Mississippi, who supports the [immigration] bill, said: “Talk radio is running America. We have to deal with that problem.”
Problem? PROBLEM?!? What the hell are you talking about, Senator? It’s true talk radio is overwhelmingly conservative, so what is Senator Lott doing, saying stuff like that and angering his Republican base? Smooth move, Senator. But his statement is so wrong. If talk radio really ran America, the Democrats would never have taken over Congress. To bring his comment into the 21st century, Senator Lott might instead have said, “Blogs are running America. We have to deal with that problem.” That statement would be just as ripe a raspberry to his conservative base.
To put it simply, talk radio and blogs are forums for ideas, and it may very well be the revitalized marketplace of ideas that is Senator Lott’s problem. It’s so much easier for the governing elites when the huddled masses just shut up and let their betters go about their oh-so-important work. It’s pretty clear that the howls of outrage over the immigration bill from the huddled masses caught Washington D.C. by surprise, both Republican and Democrat. They wanted the bill to be a fait accompli, but talk radio hosts and listeners didn’t like this closed-door-crafted bill, so they — horror of horrors! — talked about it. And talk radio agreed: a loud fart crafted behind closed doors is just as stinky.
I have supported President Bush in many parts of his Presidency, but he is wrong about immigration. This is a strange blind spot for him to display, since he has otherwise had a remarkably clear grasp of America’s security needs. The New York Times quotes President Bush and shows his disconnect on this issue:
Mr. Bush said the $4.4 billion [for border security] would “come from the fines and penalties that we collect from those who have come to our country illegally” and apply for legal status.
Representative Duncan Hunter of California, a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, scorned such linkage.
“The idea that we will have border security only if it’s paid for by illegal immigrants is unacceptable,” Mr. Hunter said.
Judging just from that exchange of ideas, it is clear that Rep. Hunter gets it, and President Bush doesn’t. If the Republican leadership continues to champion a badly-created bill, they will succeed in continuing to piss off their conservative base and losing more elections.
Or they could be successful in passing the bill. In which case, they will have successfully pissed off their base, and installed a rotten zombie of a bill as law. Zombies are notoriously bad border security guards or immigration officers. It’s hard to hunt down the bad guys when all you can muster is a lurch, or maybe a choreographed shuffle.