Saturday, May 20, 2006

In Dallas as Most Everywhere Else, Immigration Has Split GOP Conservatives

I cut short the Blog yesterday to go to Dallas Thursday night for a speech to business types. I found just as everywhere else, a great number of the CEOs were dovish on immigration, wanting protection at the border but great leniency for the illegals, stressing they are good workers and the difficulty created by hawkish anti-immigration hawks like Tom Tancredo. It tells you something: either that I’ve become country club myself or getting more liberal as I get older that I find myself agreeing with them. These are people who contribute to the campaigns in a very conservative Dallas—although just as everywhere else, the country club is mellowing in polemics: there were people there who shrink from Limbaugh (not me: I pedal my stationery bike each morning listening to Lord Limbaugh). I didn’t notice any great approval for George W. Bush (except a kind of defensiveness since he is a local Texas boy; but no particular support for the dovish stand he has put forth on immigration: an anomaly. At the same time, when you meet the conservative grass-roots they adore Limbaugh, want to canonize Tancredo and others; they support the House bill. Which explains Hastert’s support of a tough immigration stand. I come down on the Gingrich approach which is tougher than Bush’s but not as tough as Tancredo’s.

In support of the House measure, I talked on the phone to a very senior Congressman (who is not from Dallas) who is retiring who tells me when a fissure like this surfaces, the prudent thing to do is to go with the grassroots not the business people. Business people tend to forget and forgive; the grass-roots base tends to do neither. It is important to remember that throughout his conservative career, Ronald Reagan was usually on the side of the grass-roots and not the county club. When he approved amnesty in 1986, popular with business, the issue hadn’t energized the grass-roots as much as it has today. If he were still a practicing politician today, Reagan might very well eschew amnesty, says the House senior.


  1. Tom, when someone as great as Henry Hyde tells you which side of the issue is the right side for Republicans to take, you have to think long and hard about why you are on the other side of the fence.

    He is far more credible than the Neo Cons (who are liberals in conservative clothing) as well as GOP house organ Rush Limbaugh who is on the right side of this issue.

    When Dick Durbin, Ed Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi, Raum Emanuel and Chuck Schumer take a position (as they do supporting this senate amnesty bill), 99 times out of 100 they are on the wrong side of the issue.

    Nothing will affect America's future more than this issue over the next century with the possible exception of the $76 trillion in unfunded senior citizen "entitlement" benefits to be funded by the current children and unborn children lucky enough to escape an abortion death sentence over the next two generations.

    The good news is there are still great conservatives like Henry Hyde in the House who will not permit the United States of America to be destroyed by business lobbyists bearing gifts of 30 pieces of silver.

  2. It takes awhile but the voters always get what they want. If the GOP goes the Senates (and Presidents) directon they will lose the House and most likely the Senate.
    If the house gets a majority of what it wants they will pick up seats and remain the majority for the foreseeable future. I have never seen an issue that shows the disconnect between the elites and the grassroots, thank god Speaker Hastert is listening to the Tancredo side, now lets hope he sticks to his guns and appoints a tough team for conference.
    I can't see how the Democrats can win by running on giving the illegals Social Security and not wanting English to be the offical language, they are showing their true colors. I hope the GOP draws a clear line now between the parties. The Republicans are not known for being able to go for the kill, so we will see.