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How out of touch is Morton Kondracke?

MorTON! offers "Bush Must Talk Sense To Republicans On Immigration". He starts with a bad title and goes downhill: the ones who need sense are Bush's handlers and the corrupt elites that favor massive illegal immigration.

Believe it or not, Morton wants Bush to co-opt Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Hugh Hewitt and Laura Ingraham, so that those fine hosts can then turn around and explain the wisdom of Bush's plans to the great unwashed out there beyond the beltway. Unfortunately, Kondracke doesn't discuss what those hosts would do when their ratings started to plummet.

And, he can't even tell his amnesty schemes apart:
...Bush tilted right himself... declaring opposition to "amnesty" for illegals... ...but business and pro-immigrant groups are concerned that the bill will contain a provision sponsored by Sens. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) that would require workers to return to their home countries after their six-year work visas expire... That would disrupt employment patterns and family life and discourage illegals from reporting for work permits in the first place.
Actually, the Cornyn/Kyl scheme requires the workers to go back to their countries and then register. It's Bush's "temporary" worker scheme that says they have to leave after six years. Therefore, Morton just called into question Bush's scheme.
Immigration restrictionists denounce the McCain-Kennedy provision as "amnesty," but it's really a recognition of reality: There are 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S., and it would be far more efficient to concentrate law enforcement resources on finding and expelling criminals among them than trying to corral them all...

...It's up to Bush to avoid stalemate - and there are lots of good arguments he can use to pull his party together. On the merits, he can show that enforcement-only immigration policy simply doesn't work. According to the Migration Policy Institute, overall spending on immigration enforcement increased from $1 billion in 1985 to $4.9 billion in 2002. Appropriations for the border patrol went up tenfold, and the number of agents rose eightfold. Yet, according to the Pew Hispanic Center, the number of illegal immigrants entering the U.S. has averaged from 480,000 to 660,000 and a total of 9 million have entered since 1990.
Now, for the truth, see "GAO: ICE all but ignores workplace enforcement".

Kondracke goes on to quote the National Immigration Forum and suggest that Bush should work with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. And, he plays the "Hispanic Vote" card.

But, wait, there's more work for me to do:
...Anti-immigrant campaigns don't win. In Southern California, Jim Gilchrist, co-founder of the much-publicized Minutemen Project, a civilian border-control group, got only 25 percent of the vote and finished third...

And former Virginia Attorney Gen. Jerry Kilgore (R) lost to Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine (D) despite ads that attacked Kaine's support for a day-labor site in suburban Herndon and education for immigrant children. The ad concluded, "What part of illegal doesn't Kaine understand?"
The Kilgore race appears to have hinged on something else. As for Gilchrist, Mort completely distorts the significance of that 25%. For instance, on election day, Gilchrist seems to have gotten more votes than Campbell.

Then, he says:
Currently, the 2006 favorite [for prez of Mexico] is former Mexico City Mayor Andres Lopez Obrador of the left-wing PRD party - someone who's likely to get financial assistance from Venezuela's radical President Hugo Chavez and, if elected, could pursue economic policies that cause a surge in illegal immigration.
Even more than Bush and Fox have managed to do? While I'm sure he would drive MX even further down, he might also shake things up a bit. And, he certainly wouldn't be as chummy with our "American" president as Fox has been. Plus, we'd probably see Mexico's plans a bit more clearly with someone else at the helm. I'm not in favor of Obrador, but if he won it would have some advantages that another Pepsi executive type would not have.

Then, Mort trots out the poll discussed in "FAIR Responds to Sham Immigration Poll" and Immigration "news" from the Wall Street Journal. And, he ends with this:
Doing the right thing is win-win for Republicans, if only Bush can convince Sean Hannity.
Hannity might be an idiot, but I'm sure he isn't stupid. I'm sure he doesn't want to be reduced to being the night jock on a Fargo Oldies station. Perhaps Bush should learn from him, instead of the other way around? After all, Hannity actually knows what most of the public wants, unlike the Bush administration and Beltway hacks.

Immigration · Tue, 01/10/2006 - 10:12 · Importance: 9

Thu, 01/12/2006 - 05:55
D Flinchum

The Kilgore loss probably had nothing to do with his stand on immigration. Mark Warner, one of the most popular - and competent - governors that VA has had in modern times campaigned for Tim Kaine, his LT. Governor. Kilgore ran a series of fairly nasty ads on the death penalty, one of which trotted out a reference to Hilter. Not the smartest move in the world ever but especially when VA as well as some other states have recently had prisoners freed as a result of new DNA testing. Right now, VA is testing DNA that could prove that a man executed for rape and murder in 1992 was innocent - or guilty, for that matter. Also Kilgore's accent was like fingernails across a chalk board. That shouldn't matter but in these times of heavy media, it does.

Wed, 01/11/2006 - 12:42
Derek Copold

Good post, but I have two quibbles:

1. Vicente Fox worked for Coca-Cola, not Pepsi.

2. People in Spanish-speaking countries use two surnames. The first is from their father's family, and the second is from their mother's. Thus, Vicente Fox's full name is Vicente Fox Quesada. If you're going to reduce Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador down to one name, you should go with Lopez. Of course, you could follow the Mexican press' lead and adopt the anagram AMLO.

Wed, 01/11/2006 - 00:05
eh

Blah blah.

It might be helpful to know Kondracke's zip code, and then to check on the demography there, as I once saw done -- this gives you an idea of the writer's exposure to the problems "diversity" is bringing via immigration. Often there is none; no exposure, I mean, not problems.

Tue, 01/10/2006 - 13:55
dchamil
dchamil7.blogspot.com/

The Kondracke article is so bad one hardly knows where to begin criticism. He thinks Rush Limbaugh et al. are fervent immigration restrictionists. In reality, Rush like the others is a bushbot who hardly ever mentions immigration, out of deference to Bush.