Friday, April 30, 2010

President Emily Litella

Well, that's very different then. Never mind:

Immigration reform has become the first of President Barack Obama's major priorities dropped from the agenda of an election-year Congress facing voter disillusionment. Sounding the death knell was Obama himself.

The president noted that lawmakers may lack the "appetite" to take on immigration while many of them are up for re-election and while another big legislative issue — climate change — is already on their plate.

"I don't want us to do something just for the sake of politics that doesn't solve the problem," Obama told reporters Wednesday night aboard Air Force One.

I'll say this for the President. He has a very dry sense of humor. "For the sake of politics," indeed. Let's translate that -- the politics just aren't working out so well for him right now -- that's what that means. So all that arguing about Arizona's racist, Nazi law? You can move on now.

It does raise an interesting question -- after a week of kabuki on the issue, why is Obama dropping the matter so abruptly? Here's a clue for you all (H/T: Instapundit):

Seven in 10 U.S. adults support arresting people who can't prove they're in the United States legally, a poll about Arizona's new immigration law indicated.

The Angus Reid Public Opinion poll of 1,002 American adults asked respondents if they'd want four guidelines in Arizona's immigration law enacted in their own state.


The link tells you how little support there is for the enlightened policies of the administration. So anyway, now it's apparently time for Obama and his merry band of reformers to go after global warming and cap and trade. That ain't lookin' so good, either.

16 comments:

my name is Amanda said...

The agenda is crowded. There is the economy, HCR, global warming, oh and that whole fighting a war business going on - and thanks to the GOP, it took an entire year to pass HCR. So yeah, I love this post. Trip someone, and then criticize them for falling! As the article points out, the GOP would merely parse an immigration bill to use it as ammo (not that any assertions about it would have to be true - right, death panels?! right, abortion coverage?!) during an election year with several seats that sway Right anyway - and in the end, nothing would even get done! Obama's just saving us time and energy, not "playing politics," at least not in any way special to his Evil Obama Ways. Any politician would do the same.

Re: popular support for bigotted laws - really? You want to go there? Think we don't already have a majority of racist, sexist, homophones in this country?! Since we just love pretending how different we are from the evil National Socialists from Germany, MUST I remind you that Hitler had popular support, too? Explain to me that since he had popular support, his actions were justified.

If you won't even Consider The Nazis, what about the fact that most people in the South opposed the civil rights in the 60s, too?

Mr. D said...

Amanda,

I'm going to offer you some advice. You really need to stop calling people Nazis and racists all the time. It's unseemly and a blood libel. It's not the sort of thing that should be done as casually as you do it around here.

Now, a few other things:

Trip someone, and then criticize them for falling!

Hey, he brought it up. It didn't work out the way he hoped. This is what's called an unforced error.

Obama's just saving us time and energy, not "playing politics," at least not in any way special to his Evil Obama Ways. Any politician would do the same.

Damn straight. We had 8 years of this nonsense. Your side wanted the presidency in the worst way. Guess you guys got it. :)

Seriously, what do you expect? There is widespread and sincere disagreement with much of what the President and his party are attempting to do. As I recall, there was widespread and sincere disagreement with what W. was doing as well. I don't recall that anyone on your side thought it the better course to just let W do whatever he pleased. They fought like hell. Why should this be any different, really?

Think we don't already have a majority of racist, sexist, homophones in this country?!

I'll assume you mean homophobes. Again, so casual with the blood libel and so contemptuous of your fellow citizens. No wonder your side has been so persuasive lately in winning the hearts and minds of your fellow citizens.

Explain to me that since he had popular support, his actions were justified.

Explain to me why I would respond to a strawman argument. C'mon, you can do better than that.

If you won't even Consider The Nazis, what about the fact that most people in the South opposed the civil rights in the 60s, too?


Well, of course -- it's much more persuasive when you compare people to Bull Connor instead of Adolf Hitler.

W.B. Picklesworth said...

I'm beginning to think that Obama's agenda isn't defensible.

They've been trying to sell it all gussied up with sauce a la racism and compote du panic, but it's all hysterics, junk science, corruption and power grabs. And it's all so transparent. And the most maddening thing is that people ARE seeing through it all.

In Amanda's defense, I get frustrated with people too, but it's probably best not to call them all Nazis and racists.

Gino said...

she didnt call all people racist and homophobes.
just the majority of us...

thats ok. i'm used to it.
water off a duck, ya know...

my name is Amanda said...

I'm going to offer you some advice. You really need to stop calling people Nazis and racists all the time. It's unseemly and a blood libel. It's not the sort of thing that should be done as casually as you do it around here.

I am not going to stop comparing racist policies to other racist policies that have occured in history. Further, how am I calling anybody specific here a racist? I believe that I've been referring to the law. And WHEN did I call anyone who comments on this blog a Nazi?!

If you want a blog where your conservative friends are free to call Liberals ignorant indoctrinees or Nazis as insults - but not because they are making any kind of argument, if you want a blog where you shut down anyone who has clearly struck a cord, then block me, that's your prerogative, although I would be sorry for it. I am trying to make a valid comparison with things that have happened in history, and you are blatantly refusing to acknowledge any similarity.

This is a racist law. It doesn't matter whether the original intentions were only to fix the immigration issues in AZ, outside of the sphere of race. They are doing it in racist way. They need to throw out the law and implement some non-racist ones. And I will never stop trying to convince people of that.

I'll assume you mean homophobes. Again, so casual with the blood libel and so contemptuous of your fellow citizens.

(If I meant that, then I only would have written "homophobes.")

I have been trying to work on a post about this for a long time, but haven't got around to it - it's about something I've written REPEATEDLY here. All humans possess flaws. Flaws that occasionally express themselves, however faintly or strongly, in bouts of racism, sexism, homophobia, and other isms. You told me that you guys did consider what I commented to be worthy of conversation. If that's so, then why don't I see evidence that I have already stated the same thing on this blog at least four separate times in the last month?! Contemptuous?! If I was contemptuous, why would I care about trying to get people to see racism or sexism or etc? I disapprove of any flaw that ANY person has, which hurt other people, including ones that I have myself. How is this evidence of hateful, Nazi-name calling, and contemptuous, casual blood-libel labeling?

Strawman: In that case why would you infer that popular support is any way meritorious when the argument against, is that the law supports racial profiling? I wasn't setting up a strawman, I was responding to my interpretation of the point of posting about this poll.

WBP - It's time for people to stop fainting away in shock when it's pointed out that some POV they have is based in racial prejudice. For the eleventh million time, everybody does it.

Gino - I feel really sad that you think my only goal was to come in here and call all of you racists.

Gino said...

amanda:my tongue was a lil bit in my cheek on that one.

the rest: amanda faces a tough hill coming here to argue with us all.
its only understandable that she brings her hunting rifle to a crowd of pea shooters knowing that she will likely be outnumbered.

amanda: 'racist' is a highly charged accusation with its main intent to shut down debate by putting your opponant on a defensive posture he cant escape from without leaving the argument at hand. its a cheap shot leveled at rightwingers all the time.

it dont bother me. it no longer has meaning to me. (for me, its right up there with being called a 'do do head' in grade school.) but to others, they still take it personally, so you gotta be careful how you phrase it. generally 'nazi' references are a bad start and are sure to draw heavy hits in response.

nazi's should not be taken lightly, and the comparison shouldnt be made cavalierly.

nobody is mentioning death camps and gas chambers yet, so we'll give the nazi coparisons more time to be earned before they are made.

W.B. Picklesworth said...

I haven't seen any evidence that the law is racist. I've heard plenty of people assuming that it is. That's not the same thing.

My impression is that ANY law that seeks to crack down on ILLEGAL immigration will be construed as racist because the vast majority of illegal immigrants are Latin American.

Amanda, I understand that you feel passionately about racism, that you abhor it. That is wonderful. It is something that deserves to be abhorred. But can't you see the distinction between laws that disproportionately affect a particular group because of a behavior and laws that actually target a group BECAUSE of their race?

I feel as though lots of folks are assuming racism and aren't even considering the other, very logical, reason. And it isn't as if this reason is hiding; it is the stated reason for the legislation. Arizona has problems because of illegal immigration. It wants to do something about it.

Why isn't that an acceptable reason for passing the law? Why is racism the only possible explanation? If it is because of specific language in the legislation then point to it and explain it to us.

If you don't have something specific to point to, can you at least acknowledge that rational people can look at this law and see it as something that is trying to deal with a particular behavior, not as something that is just racial animus?

Anonymous said...

Here's a better question Amanda? What should we do about our illegal immigrant situation? No Changes?

Mr. D said...

Amanda,

We get your point. We don't agree with it. Gino has summed up the issue quite well. You seem to believe that calling things racist is the start of the dialogue. As a practical matter, it's the end of the dialogue, because it's a categorical charge that cannot be refuted. And if you call a law that people support racist, you are implying racism on the part of those supporters. You can deny that, but it's reality.

I disapprove of any flaw that ANY person has, which hurt other people, including ones that I have myself.

Imputing racist motives to people is a flaw you seem to have, Amanda. That's why I'm calling you out on this. It's also the same technique I came to recognize during my college days from professors who were Freudians, or post-structuralists, or whatever else was the intellectual fad of the moment. If you control the terms of the debate, you control the possible responses of people to that debate and you limit their ability to think for themselves. It's not about creating greater understanding at all. It's about forcing people to understand the world the way you do. And it's an approach that is more objectively fascist (or racist, totalitarian or whatever imprecation you'd like) then anything else that's on offer 'round here.

As long as I have free will, I'm free to reject the imputation of racism that you are throwing out around here. And while you are free to reject my advice, it is my advice that you desist with the racist and Nazi stuff, because it undercuts your arguments for precisely the reasons I've listed.

One more point: if you'll recall, when we first started talking about the law, I mentioned that I'm generally pro-immigration. I understand why people want to come over the border from Mexico or other Central American nations; conditions are horrible there and they want a better life. And there are ways we can help them that very well might include letting them come to the United States. But we have to find a way to balance their interests with the interests of people who are adversely affected by the overwhelming needs the immigrants bring with them.

Arizona's law is a cry for help as much as anything else. And when the cry is answered with "RACIST!", it's profoundly unhelpful.

J. Peterson said...

Please inform us Amanda as to what you would suggest that we do about the issue of Illegal Immigration to the United States. Actually if you could just let us know what you would have the State of Arizona do that would be grand. If I understand it with accuracy you now reside close to where this is happening. Please enlighten all of the Middle, and Mountain West people here as to how the advanced people of Californian will deal with this. If you are going to just take the usual leftist, liberal, democratic party route, and do nothing then just step aside so those that are having this situation in their backyards can while you watch from afar.

Gino said...

j peterson: in CA, we deal with it by electing politicians and judges who cowar at the very smell of a demonstration.

make that 'demandstration'.

we passed an intiative making it illegal for wetbacks to get welfare, and the judges through it out as unconstitutional.

Brian said...

What to do about immigration other than give police power to demand the papers of brown people? I have a few ideas, in no particular order:

1) Liberalize immigration laws, make it much easier to be here legally, blow open the quotas to reflect the actual market for labor that drives illegal migration. Include in whatever reform package does pass a broad amnesty for those here, much like the one signed off on by notorious liberal fascist Ronald Reagan.

2) End the federal drug war, taking the profit motive out of the vast majority of the non-human illegal cross-border traffic.

3) Use that big, swinging national dick of ours to put some serious pressure on Mexico to get their house in order, and quit using the US as its socioeconomic escape valve. Better protection of property rights and privatization of Pemex would be a good start.

Mr. D said...

Thanks for stopping by, Brian. That's a classic libertarian view and I actually agree with a lot of it, especially the second point about the drug war.

The third point is the tough one but it's probably the most important one. The reason that immigrants come here is that Mexico is horrible. I'm not sure how much influence our "big swinging dick" has right now, but there needs to be some pressure brought to bear. And I'm all for privatizing Pemex. Mexico has enormous potential but it's been mismanaged since its inception.

Brian said...

Point 3 is absolutely the most difficult because it requires tremendous political will on both sides of the border. (I think legalizing drugs would be easier, which is really saying something.) A friend of mine who knows a great deal more about Mexican politics than I do says that privatizing Pemex would be on par with ending Social Security and/or Medicare in the US.

W.B. Picklesworth said...

Aha! Some ideas! I think all three deserve serious discussion. I'd personally like to see a liberalization of immigration policy, but have it tied to serious enforcement. I think we need to do the latter first because it's too easy to let that slide.

Gino said...

brians views mirror mine a great deal. been thinking of puting it all out, in one post, but that takes effort at typing, of which i suck at.

so, i just snipe away at a variety of little things, never quite making myself clear as to where i'm totally coming from.