Squaring the Burkle.

A mostly political Weblog.
April 17 2006 4:54 AM

kf Tries to Square the Burkle!

Why I'm flummoxed by the Page Six scandal.

(Continued from Page 6)

After days of painstaking negotiations, Senate leaders today hammered out a broad, bipartisan compromise that would put the vast majority of the nation's 11 million illegal immigrants on a path to citizenship.

Actually ... not!

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**-The differential-intensity theory of mid-terms doesn't always work. It failed in the 1998 elections, when the prospect of Clinton's impeachment was supposed to galvanize the GOP's base voters but Republicans actually lost seats. 11:48 P.M.

This Land Is ...  Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez is a "bestselling American author ... named one of the nation's 25 most influential Hispanics by Time magazine," it says on her blog. She's written a 16-point "open letter to CNN and other mainstream US media outlets." Here are points 1 and 6:

1. The vast majority of Hispanics/Latinos in the U.S. (75 percent of us) were born and raised here, including many of us who have roots here that predate the arrival of the pilgrims. ...

6. You can be a Mexican American and never have had an ancestor come over the US border; vast portions of the United States of today USED TO BE MEXICO or SPAIN. If you failed to learn this in high school, your teachers should be fired.

She also asks why someone waving a Mexican flag is "different than someone waving an Irish flag in Southie or an Italian flag on Columbus Day." But the answer to that question is points 1 and 6. Vast portions of the Unites States of today didn't used to be Ireland or Italy. ... Her Point 13:

Tell us in concrete terms what the risks and dangers are being brought to the US by "illegal" immigrants. Now tell us how these problems, if any, differ from the problems caused by U.S. citizens of all other backgrounds. Be precise. Control for economics and educational background. Can't find any? Thought so.

Again, part of the answer is points 1 and 6. U.S. citizens of "other backgrounds" do not have any colorable claim that they are living in the land of their "roots," land then taken by the U.S.. There's no danger that Koreans on Vermont Avenue will think they have a special pre-1789 entitlement to Koreatown, or desire to reconnect it to its ancient, original status as part of Korea. The more historically valid the Mexican claim that "vast portions" of the Southwest constitute their "homeland," the more dicey it is to allow such a large chunk of immigration to come from Mexico. True, the fabled "reconquista" is hardly a real threat now. But who can guarantee what future generations will think? Irredentism is the source of conflict and killing around the globe. Why should the U.S. be permanently immune? Simple prudence might tell Americans it's best if there's a mix of immigrants and if the vast majority of them can't possibly think they're coming back to their own former land. ... 12:40 A.M. link

S is for Snob! William Kristol sneering at the "demagoguery" of the "Know-Nothing" and "yahoo" opponents of his elaborate legalize-the-illegals strategy reminds me of nothing so much as HHS Secretary Joseph Califano in the Carter years, sneering at the crude--probably racist--demagogues who thought welfare recipients actually should work! Welfare reform had its share of fools--Rep. Mica once notoriously compared recipients to "alligators." That didn't discredit the argument, as Kristol knows. .... P.S.: Who will Kristol blame when this latest grand, risky plan of his--to ensure a Republican majority for generations--goes awry? Donald Rumsfeld?  ... P.P.S.: Thomas Frank has argued that the key to the Republicans' victories has actually been their ability to convince voters that they are the unpretentious average Americans while liberal Democrats are the elitist snobs. Looks like there's now an opening for the Dems to turn that one around! Intellectual condescension doesn't seem to be much of a strain for Kristol, does it? It's more convincing than the populism. ... 11:45 P.M.

TODAY IN SLATE

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