Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Personal Asides: The Immigration Issue Aside—Won’t it be the Death Knell for the Republican Party?...Tony Blair, the Complete Wilsonian—but Abject Political Correctionist as Well.…Terry Przybylski’s Latest Presidential Trivia.


The Republican Party.

I presume that by writing this I shall be regarded as hopelessly shallow, parochial and partisan…but, friends, I am a national Republican, have always been…and given the lamentable state of the Democratic party and its likely effect on the national polity…will always be. Therefore let me share with you my central concern. Don’t be so naïve as to imagine that political consequences have always been at the heart of any major federal program. I frankly don’t think President Bush has any lasting concern about the consequences for the Republican party, so bound up is he in a religious ethos of “compassionate idealism.” In the immediate post-Civil War Republicans wisely saw that an influx of new immigrants could…not absolutely sure but could…help the voting populace of the Republican party.

But then conservative Republicans passed the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, a combination racist and economic blockade against a flood of low-income workers whose employment could throw U. S. workers out of jobs. Interestingly enough, liberal environmentalists who are concerned with undue population growth see widespread immigration as counterbalancing the lower population growth rate, fearing projections showing that largely through immigration U.S. population will reach 400 million by 2050.

The see-saw battle goes on. A Rice University economist, Donald Huddle, has reported that in 1994, legal and illegal immigration drained $51 billion more in social welfare and job displacement costs than immigrants paid in taxes. But the Urban Institute, a liberal think-tank, says immigrants contribute from $25 billion to $30 billion more in taxes than they receive in services.

I cannot imagine that opening the floodgates to legalize Hispanic Americans—given their strong Democratic voting ID—would do anything but solidify this country into a one-party nation. And since the destiny of the West depends on a strong conservative…neo-conservative, if you choose…attitude, I am not exactly thrilled at this prospect. None other than Winston Churchill told Franklin Roosevelt as they discussed the postwar world: “I did not become the King’s first minister to preside over the liquidation of the British empire.” The fact that the empire faded away came as result of many factors, but not Sir Winston’s intransigence. Few people exceed me in my support of George W. Bush—but I believe his idealism could well stand a corrective.

The political battle over immigration blurs distinctions. Free marketers seem to merge with ethnic advocacy groups; trade protectionists and many labor groups converge. Corporate interests that profit from low wage-earners, supply side economists cite the fact that the U. S. economy would shrink seriously without illegals; Catholic Church leaders support freer immigration on supposedly humanitarian grounds but also to swell their ranks. The polarization has radicalized many; Lou Dobbs on CNN has built a wide following as active critic of permissive immigration. Democratic party activists see a groundswell of voters among Hispanics if they get through the mesh and get legalized. Some neo-conservatives who fear a recurrence of terrorism here link the possibility with wide-open immigration; people active in trying to control illegal drugs see widespread immigration as a serious threat.

So with that said, let me open this up to a plebiscite. As a Wall Street Journal reader, I can well appreciate the good effects loosened immigration will have on business and the economy. What effect will it have on the party that I firmly believe must prosper if the nation is to survive? Living in a one-party city and county…and remembering what it was only a few years ago when Illinois was a swing state…I am not interested in being carried away by non-sectarian idealism. Please: the line is open for your comments.

Tony Blair.

Probably because Tony Blair is a consummately articulate practitioner of the English language, unlike George Bush, we can view his views with a clearer focus than we can the president’s. Conventional wisdom has it that Blair has been a great British leader whose career was diminished by Iraq. But those who say this don’t know much about Blair. It’s like saying Churchill was an empire-builder whose goal was shattered by World War II. Churchill was indeed an fervent empire-builder and his empire was reduced by World War II and its immediate aftereffects but World War II “made” Churchill…and were he alive today would not fret about the dissolution of much of the Commonwealth because it would be his belief…and a correct one…that by reacting properly to the challenges of World War II he saved the West.

Blair is the consummate Wilsonian. He passionately believes in globalization; thus the venture in Iraq was as natural for him to support as participation in World War II was for Churchill. It was here in Chicago in 1999, at the Council on Foreign Relations, where he brilliantly listed all the unifying aspects of globalism that have the potential to weld humanity into one. If any speech was idealistic, it was that one. He listed trade, communications, fighting disease, financial markets, human rights and immigration, declaring, “Globalization begets interdependence and interdependence begets the necessity of a common value system to make it work.” Blair, as an intellectual, should be seen as the great rival of Harvard’s Samuel Huntington. Huntington, author of “The Clash of Civilizations,” sees possible disaster in the clash. Blair on the contrary sees not a clash of civilization but, rightly, I think, a clash of civilization…ours…versus the barbarism of an Islam whose religion was never hijacked but is, when fervently observed, an enormous threat to the peace of the world.

George Bush believes that, too, but is not as eloquent…or perhaps as thoughtful…as Blair. Having said something good about Blair the world leader, I am appalled that his domestic policies in Britain have embraced a kind of neo-fascism that punishes freedom of speech. The stupid “political correctness” law threatens the freedom of the British peoples.

A complex man, Blair.

Terry’s Trivia.

He’s b-a-a-a-k! Terry Przybylski has a presidential trivia for us. If you’re not as old as I or Frank Nofsinger (who’s not as old as I either) you may have trouble with this one.

Who is the last president to smoke cigarettes in the White House?

For added credit, name three presidents who used to smoke cigarettes but kicked the habit before they got to the White House?


  1. Mexico has the fourteenth largest national economy in the world. The second wealthiest man on the planet lives in Mexico. Isn't it high time that all of the social engineering specialists redirect their energies towards reforming the gross inequities in income distribution in Mexico? A nation without borders is not a nation according to Ronald Reagan. Conservatives must oppose any amnesty plan for illegal aliens and demand border enforcement and interior enforcement (i.e. deportations) of illegal aliens. The Democratic Party is so out of step with Middle America that they need to import a new class of impoverished voters to replenish their sorry ranks.

  2. Last Prez to smoke cigarettes in White House: FDR
    Ex-Smoker Presidents: Lyndon Johnson, Ronald Reagan, and (I think) Richard Nixon.

  3. John Thomas MCGeeanMay 23, 2007 at 6:35 AM

    My guess would be FDR. I know that Johnson kicked the habit after his 1955 heart attack (and picked it up after he left the White House and I would guess the other one to kick it before becomming President was Richard Nixon. ( JFK smoked it the White House but he was a Cigar Smoker)

  4. Doesn't it delay the onset of Alzheimers disease? Didn't it work for FDR, or did it actually kill him?

    Could smoking by politicians be considered a form of self-imposed term limits?

  5. One of the biggest worries these days are stolen identity. Illegal aliens who get on employment payrolls do so by submitting fake and stolen social security numbers.

    Why are we rewarding felons with citizenship?

    Immigrants (both legal and illegal) also drain cash from the US economy. One of the largest factors in the Mexican economy is US money sent over by immigrants living in the US. Nothing illegal about that, but immigrants' money earned in the US does not buy goods sold in the US. I think our economy suffers because of illegal immigration.

  6. Oh how tepid your post is! But at least you opened the issue for discussion!


    During the Clinton years and the Bush years the illegal immigration door was swung wide open. Daley made Chicago an "illegal safe zone" with his don't ask the status policy. The Catholic Church provides aid, comfort, and sanctuary. AND the middle class picks up the tab.

    Undocumented Illegals are FAR different than legal immigants. But in recent years the INS especially in large cities like Chicago have done little to enforce the existing laws. Why? It is all spelled out in David Schipper's book "SELLOUT" where demographic shift was used to increase the Democratic voting ranks. You say the illegals can't vote... WHY NOT? Remember in Chicago even the dead can vote! Just look at Orange County in California or Nassau County in New York which both went democratic because of demographic shift. In Illinois DuPage country is on the edge and demographic shift was a big contributing factor to Rep. Bean's win.

    But then there is another big issue that is different with this Illegal Immigration issue. That is the issue of AFFIRMATIVE ACTION AND MINORITY SET ASIDES... The illegals once made legal get pushed to the front of the line because they are automatically deemed an MINORITY and qualify for special treatment in government contract for instance. Just look at the website for Navy Pier. It is Hispanic affirmative action HEAVEN.

    Undocumented means just that UNDOCUMENTED... ie no social security number for paying taxes etc. Many business "cash" them out the back door. AND law enforcement looks the other way. Is this FAIR? Is it fair to allow building code and zoning violations to occur sow as to house to many families in one building? Is it fair for the undocumented to DRIVE without a LICENSE?
    Remember Ryan's troubles go back to a CDL license for an Undocumented driver.

    Then there is the outflow of public funds to the UNDOCUMENTED. While they are not paying the major taxes like income tax, they are taking from the system in terms of health care, eductation, and incarceration, etc. Who pays? The middle class pays.
    And on top of that most of the UNDOCUMENTED send a large portion of their money back to Mexico where it is second only to OIL in money flowing to Mexico.

    But to question the sanity and validity of all of this is to be labeled a XENOPHOBE. AND to be called anti-immigration...

    I have NO problem with legal immigration or old time immigration where the immigrants were sponsored, knew the basics of history and language, and were checked for disease such as TB.

    So you CAN NOT ..... Mr. Roeser compare undocumented illegal immigration to legal immigration. Illegal immigration is just that.... ILLEGAL. If I chose to not pay my taxes I would go to jail but not these people!

    Also we are preached to about HOMELAND SECURITY.... what a bunch of BS when the southern border leaks profusely! We have our library book check out scrutinized under the damnable neo-con patriot act while the southern border is wide open.

    The "MIDDLE CLASS" is tired of picking up the tab for all of this while losing the value of their vote.

  7. I have to add a word to what Lawrence posted above. I am opposed to illegal immigration, but, given the fact that so many government agencies are giving away benefits without requiring proof of citizenship, why should anyone be surprised to find that foreign aliens are entering the USA. If we restricted benefits to citizens, the number of illegal aliens would drop significantly. First, the awful Plyler v. Doe decision written by Associate Justice William Brennan would need to be repealed. This opinion saddled public school districts with the burden of extending K-12 educational benefits to all children without reference to their citizenship or legal status. This opened the floodgates further than the ill advised immigration law of 1965 did. Illinois politicians are no better since they opted to charge illegal aliens claiming to be domiciled in our state resident tuition rates not available to American citizens from other US states. Bureaucrats seeking to enlarge their agencies and acquire more power seldom if ever inquire about who is receiving benefits. The SBA is infamous for allowing immigrants to apply for loans and grants to meet racial quotas when native born minorities do not apply. Stop the give aways and immigration would slow. Why not tax wire transfers of "remittances" to foreign lands to recoup some of the lost tax revenues?

  8. Tom,
    In a time where we have sustained low unemployment and inflation, the howls against immigration "destroying the middle class" "killing the Republican party" don't draw much sympathy. Can't we stand the prosperity that comes with open markets and hard work?


  9. Dan,

    In Illinois, at least, education is paid for by property taxes. Most everyone, regardless of their citizenship status, pays property tax. Shouldn't people playing property tax get something for their money?

    I keep looking at Germany and Poland which have a similar disparity in income as the US and Mexico. Polish workers drive to Germany to work, then drive home when they are done. Two of the oldest enemies on the planet have this figured out.

    What are we missing in the US?


  10. dwight d eisenhower last smoked in white house