Monday, July 2, 2007
Personal Asides: The Reinvigorating Immigration Issue on Republicans The Next Unifying Issue for the Right.
Dont pay attention to Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard who laments that the defeat of the immigration reform bill will hobble the Republican party and stunt its growth with Hispanics. I agree with neo-conservatives on some things but not on this. The immigration reform bill was Ted Kennedys supposed triumph, suckering a group of Republican senators to push passage in the Senate without allowing much time for debate. The effrontery of it and the cooperation of President Bush, a good man who is nevertheless misled by his compassionate side alienated conservatives and produced talk radios finest hour since it engineered the defeat of Harriet Miers. Now Fred, who is almost slavishly close to the Bush White House, predicts a future of doom and gloom for conservatives. Not so. Dont believe it.
We can walk and chew gum at the same time can support George W. Bush for the good things he has done and still disagree with some of the dumb things ala Miers and immigration reform. The blunt fact is that since the administration is unwilling to enforce border control, we must await another Republican in the White House to get this done. And the fierceness of the debate has enlivened Republicans and has stimulated conservatives from coast to coast. The magic thing it has done is also cause the Democrats to waver as Barnes himself records. Even Harry Reid was getting nervous that this thing would be, if it passed, a solemn bell tolling against his party. On the Republican side, a brilliant Mitch McConnell knew it was toxic.
The fierce debate hurled a javelin at the heart of the Republican wusses the redoubtable Trent Lott who had weakened on impeachment when the bill came over from the House the so-called Lindsay Grammesty, the impertinent little side car on John McCains now all but derailed presidential express. They should be in purgatory for quite a while after this. Canny liberal Republican Susan Collins of Maine, knowing she would face hostility in her own party in reelection next year, disagreed with her liberal colleague Olympia Snowe.
Dont kid yourself. The immigration reform debate was just what the sagging Republican party needed.
The Next Unifying Issue
Usually after a battle like this, there is postpartum blues and activists dont know what to do to keep busy. Ah but thanks to our liberal friends, there is no let-up. The battle to end conservative talk radio with the misnamed Fairness Doctrine which is anything but fair, is a thrilling opportunity to keep the fires burning. What better than Ted Kennedy and Harry Reid and Trent Lott and Lindsay Gramnesty all saying conservative talk radio should be taught a lesson?
How lucky can we be?