Wednesday, May 17, 2006

OK, back to politics: Immigration meltdown!

It seems the right wing in this country is driving itself into a xenophobic frenzy. This guy claims in this post that mass deportations of 12 million people are in fact workable, because the Germans were able to do something similar to 6 million jews in WWII:
Not only will it work, but one can easily estimate how long it would take. If it took the Germans less than four years to rid themselves of 6 million Jews, many of whom spoke German and were fully integrated into German society, it couldn't possibly take more than eight years to deport 12 million illegal aliens, many of whom don't speak English and are not integrated into American society.
Andrew Sullivan nominated this guy for his Malkin Award ("named after blogger, Michelle Malkin - is for shrill, hyperbolic, divisive and intemperate right-wing rhetoric. Ann Coulter is ineligible - to give others a chance.")
One right wing blog, Polipundit, apparently kicked all of his guest bloggers off for disagreeing with him on this one issue. There's even a movement on the wacko right to impeach Bush for being too soft on immigration! If you don't believe me, take a look at Michael Savage. Glenn Greenwald has more analysis on this subject.
I think the nativist rhetoric is getting way too intense. I just don't get it. I don't feel threatened by people coming here looking for work. (Maybe that's because few of them are actors.) Yes, there's all the blather about "those people" taxing our social services etc. But I think this is much exaggerated. And the amount of money involved is peanuts compared to our unnecessary war, tax cuts (or rather tax deferments--someone's gonna have to pay sometime) for the already stupendously wealthy, and the increasing costs of the main fedral entitlement programs. Some people are just apoplectic that someonee might get away with living here after having come here illegally. I'm like, well, uh, maybe we should have made it easier for them to come here in the first place. If you're contributing positively to society or are on your way to doing so, come on in. And vote Democratic.
The fun thing about this issue is that it is ripping the Republican party apart. The Republican base, whose rascist and xenophobic tendencies have been deliberately whipped up by this administration (to gain support for the ridiculously named "War on Terror"), has now turned this fury against the administration and the business wing of the Republican party. The base wants a huge wall, massive deportations, troops on the border, etc. The Republican business community either wants reform, so more labor can come into the country legally, or it wants to maintain the broken status quo, so labor can come into the country illegally and be more easily exploited. Either way, those who pay the bills of the Republican party are in direct opposition to those whose votes keep it in power. Poor Karl Rove is in a bind (even if he isn't indicted this week): if he caters to the xenophobes, the Hispanic vote is lost to the Republicans. Given the demographic trends in this country, that would be very bad and doom Republicans in the not too distant future. But if he doesn't toe the hard line and get tough (i.e. get cruel and stupid), the angry base will give them no end of trouble, and sit out the 2006 midterm elections. Also very bad for the Republicans. And people say that the Democrats are a circular firing squad. Back atcha, suckas!

Update: Darksyde makes a very similar argument on this front page post on DailyKos.


Anonymous Justin said...

The thing is, it has our party divided too. I'm amazed at how poorly the division of opinion over this issue follows party lines. Normally in this country ALL issues largely follow party lines, but this one doesn't quite seem to.

And I see you've turned off the blogger-only feature on your comments. HA-ha! Brendan set up a blog in vane! Now he's condemned to blog natural disasters for all eternity. Cause, you know, he REALLY hates doing that.

9:13 PM, May 17, 2006  
Blogger Zachary Drake said...

Yes, I agree. Some of the most vehement anti-immigrant sentiment I have been hearing has been from staunch Democrats. My theory is that immigration sentiment is breaking down along class lines: those who identify as working class having more "get tough" reactions and those who identify with wealthier or more educated groups having a more pragmatic approach. Since the political parties in our country do not break down along class lines (indeed people in this country are in denial that class exists, for fear of being accused of Marxism), it makes sense that any "class issue" will divide both Republicans and Democrats. From my observations in the blogosphere though, it seems that Republicans are far angrier about this and are tearing each other down with greater viciousness than are Democrats.

9:29 PM, May 17, 2006  

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