Hogan's Alley

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Immigration, A Rational Democratic Position

Thanks to Mickey Kaus for linking to an essay at Real Clear Politics by former Democratic Congressman from Oklahoma, Brad Carson. The piece is entitled, "Democrats Must Fight Illegal Immigration". Key quote:

For Democrats, fighting illegal immigration would not only be good policy, but would have the welcome effect of being good politics, too. Democrats' major political obstacle is the increasingly intractable opposition of the non-union working and middle class, exactly the groups who most fervently oppose illegal immigration. While the opponents of immigration no doubt include nativists and xenophobes, the vast majority of those who oppose illegal immigration do so on sound public policy grounds. Illegal immigration is seen rightly as a threat to their economic livelihood. So when the Republican Party offers a platform that not only comports with their social and religious beliefs, but also addresses the one economic threat that is open to government solution, is there any wonder that the working and middle classes find solace in the GOP? Democrats should find a way to bust up this alliance between economic populists and social conservatives, and make many current Republican voters choose which of these movements matters most.

Carson also wonders why Democrats cannot bring themselves to demand an end to illegal entry in to our country, but has no answer for his question. I would suggest that the reason lies in the white guilt posited by Shelby Steele which I linked to two days ago.

Democratic elites of the highly privileged and educated overclass highlighted by Carson are the very people who are most plagued by guilt over America's terrible treatment of brown and black people in the past. It is the very presence of a few xenophobes in the close-our-borders movement that is quickly smelled out by these Democrats' finely attuned political noses. Many of these Democrats had their political adolescence in the era of Bull Connor and George Wallace. That experience taught them the central equation in their political calculus: if someone hateful is in favor of a given position, the opposite position must therefore be the one a good, tolerant, liberal person should support. Facts and reality be damned.

The second essential for this group is to isulate themselves in the enclaves of their type, the better neighborhoods of Manhattan, Cambridge, Scarsdale, Madison, Berkeley, etc. The only "thinking" from the conservative side of the world they allow themselves to be exposed to comes from loud mouthed idiots like Bill O'Reilly and George Bush, the king of butchered English, whose arguments, such as they are, are easily refuted by this better educated priestly class. Their only goal is to improve the lot of those whom life has handicapped with the inability to truly understand the nuanced arguments that only this class can comprehend. After all nobility does have its obligations.