The conventional wisdom on immigration crumbles.

A mostly political Weblog.
May 30 2006 5:42 AM

Special Premature Gloating Edition

The bogus CW on immigration crumbles.

(Continued from Page 17)

Because immigration cuts across the typical partisan and ideological lines, it may have more potential to shake up political status quo than other issues.

Which makes a certain amount of sense, doesn't it? The "third party" candidate Rasmussen sketched was really a super-Democrat, fighting for the votes on the left side of the spectrum. His party would either supplant the Dems or be absorbed by them. (In the meantime, it might elect Republicans.) A pro-enforcement immigration candidate, in contrast, could seize the center and at least potentially dominate politics until a Downs-approved 50-50 equilibrium was somehow restored. ... Suggestion: To measure the specific power of the immigration enforcement issue, test it against another potential centrist issue, like deficit-reduction, or trade restriction. I bet an anti-illegal immigration third party does better than an anti-trade third party.  ...

P.S.: Does Rasmussen's result mean an immigration enforcement/universal health care third party would win big? I'd vote for it! True, the number of Republicans alienated from the "immigration" party by "universal health care" might outnumber Dems attracted by that idea. But it might not--there are obviously a whole lot of Democrats attracted by universal health care. ...Update: See Thibaud's comments here. ...  12:40 A.M.

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Today on television! I interview Newsweek's Jonathan Alter on the octopus-like bloggingheads.tvnetwork about his lively  new FDR book. ... The interview is mainly a Bush vs. Roosevelt grudge match, but I do  get around to asking Alterwhy we should be exalting the New Deal when the whole point of neoliberalism was that the New Deal isn't working anymore. Didn't Dem rethinkers proclaim "The New Deal is dead" after the 1972 demolition of the Pruitt-Igoe housing project in St. Louis? Alter's response surprised me, but it's clarifying. ... P.S.: I'd still argue the biggest problem with the New Deal's legacy wasn't the Democrats' rigid adherence to FDR's means but an inherent and ultimately short-circuiting ambiguity about ends (specifically, was the Democratic goal social equality or "more" income equality). 12:09 P.M. link

I Wouldn't Have Put It That Harshly Dept.: Former New York Times "public editor" Daniel Okrent, interviewed in New York Magazine,  on the NYT's emailin' machine  (and author of incomprehensibly angry and misguided  award-winning pieces about the auditing of the Earned Income Tax Credit)

The only person you really single out in the intro is business reporter David Cay Johnston, who started a campaign against you for being on a corporate board.
Yeah, he was very single-out-able. I didn't mention this in the book, but when I had my troubles with Johnston, one of the senior editors said to me, "There are three things you must understand about Johnston: He's a Pulitzer Prize winner, he's a unique talent, and he's an asshole." I'm convinced that at least two of those are correct.

Note to Johnston: If you have a reply of the same length, I'll print it. All responses on the record. Special rule for you! If you aren't willing to see it published, don't send it. ... 10:51 A.M. link

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