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Gerald Seib of WSJ misleads about Tea Partiers and immigration

Gerald Seib of the Wall Street Journal offers the misleading "Tea Party Holds Risks for GOP" (link) in which he refers to the "close-the-borders rhetoric common within the Tea Party movement" [1].

In fact, the opposite of what Gerald Seib says is true: the tea parties have almost completely ignored immigration, and some of their leaders strongly support massive or illegal immigration. For instance, their leaders such as Dick Armey from FreedomWorks, Grover Norquist, and groups linked to the Koch family are about as far from "close-the-borders" types as you can get. The "Tea Party Declaration of Independence" completely ignored immigration, as did the "Tea Party Contract From America". And, by ignoring that issue, they're depriving themselves of a perfect way to oppose the corrupt DC establishment and in effect helping the Democrats costs them money and reduce their power. One of the dirty little secrets of the tea parties is how they're a Trojan Horse for libertarianism, an ideology that the vast majority of adherents think must involve a "free movement of people", i.e., open or loose borders. Certainly, some in the tea parties might support border enforcement, but they're very, very quiet about it; no actual leaders of the movement have highlighted that issue despite how fundamental it is. ALIPAC held some anti-illegal immigration "tea parties", but they were never supported by the leaders of the movement.

The only example of tea partiers supporting border enforcement that Gerry Sieb can provide comes from Tom Tancredo, someone who's not only not a leader of their movement, but who's been smeared by those in the tea parties orbit such as Reason Magazine. Tancredo spoke at the National Tea Party Convention, which was covered by PajamasMedia and others in the vanguard of the actual movement, but that doesn't make him a leader of the movement. About the speech, Gerald Sieb says:

Mr. Tancredo declared that if Republican nominee McCain had won last year's presidential election, he and Rep. Luis Gutierrez, an Illinois Democrat, "would have been posing in the Rose Garden with big smiles as they received accolades from (the National Council of La Raza) for having finally passed an amnesty" for illegal immigrants. Moreover, he added, Mr. McCain and Mexican President Felipe Calderon "would be toasting the elimination of those pesky things called borders and major steps taken toward creation of a North American Union." ...That is cringe-producing rhetoric for Republicans who are straining to show they are, simultaneously, tough on illegal immigration yet empathetic with the nation's growing bloc of Hispanic voters.

That rhetoric is certainly hyperbolic, but one wonders why Gerrald Seibe would think that Hispanics would be in favor of a NAU or are fans of a foreign leader? They're Americans, right? If Hispanics respond negatively to criticisms of a far-left fringe character like Gutierrez, where does the problem lie? Clearly, Seibe isn't honest enough to consider whether him cringing is correct or not.

[1] Very few people want to "close the borders", which would involve blocking all traffic both legal and illegal; Seib is just trying to smear his opponents.

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 14:53 · Importance: 4