If McCain's support for semi-amnesty is killing him, why can't he just drop it? Why does he need a fallback position that includes a promise of amnesty? There are plenty of other fallback positions. McCain could support enforcement with a mere promise of future debate on what to do with current illegal residents. He could call for a national commission! He could say, "The nation is not ready for comprehensive immigration reform," and pledge to educate it slowly, over time. He could declare his earlier position "ill-considered" and retreat into meaningful silence--i.e., shut up. OK, that one's impossible.
In any case, he doesn't have to lose and drag NR (and the immigration debate) down with him.
**--Forgery and false evidence is also a problem with my proposed alternative, which would establish effective border control and then debate a retrospective amnesty. But it's less of a problem if you don't attract millions of illegal immigrants by writing an amnesty promise into the law. Under my suggested deal, if an amnesty is impossible to limit then future debaters could decide not to have an amnesty! In any case, they could adjust the proof-of-residence requirements to fit what they'd learned about the government's ability to catch cheating (and thwart ACLU-like attempts to create truck-sized loopholes in the system).
***--Nor would it "take the issue off the table," as some worried Republicans now want to do. It would start a heated debate on whether the "benchmarks" had been met or should be modified.
****--Ponnuru argues that the "expectation of an amnesty" already exists because "amnesty has been debated for three years." In other words, McCain proposed it, so now we might as well do it. If this argument is right, it doesn't much matter what position McCain takes now--he's done his work. 3:32 A.M. link
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Anti-Gerrymander Watch: Two-thirds of California "likely voters" support a plan to turn over redistricting to "an independent commission of citizens." That seems to be slightly higher than previous polls. [Via Bill Bradley's New West Notes ]. We'll see if Bill Clinton moneybuddy Stephen Bing and Nancy Pelosi can find a way to block reform this time. (They'd have a good chance. Initiatives typically need a huge advance lead to even have a prayer of passing, given the power of anti-initiative TV campaigns.) ... P.S.: One of the non-party-line positions taken by now-ex LAT opinion editor Andres Martinez was support for an anti-gerrymandering initiative in 2005. Too interesting! ... 11:17 A.M.
"Los Angeles Times Continues Editorial Transformation"! The paper has announced "several editorial changes designed to meet the evolving needs of readers." The "Current" section, which used to be called "Opinion," will be called "Opinion" again! And the Times Ed board will have a "blog." It will be "updated throughout the day"! ... They actually put out a press release with this news. Now that their editorial department has more or less melted down in humiliating public warfare with sanctimonious critics in the paper's newsroom, they're seizing the PR initiative! Pathetic. ... [Emphasis added] 1:18 A.M.
Kabuki Watch? Here's a question: If it's
a) in the Congressional Democrats' interest to try but ultimately fail to use their funding power force a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq (it shows the antiwar left Pelosi is trying without giving Dems responsibility for a messy Iraq outcome),
b) in the Bush administration's interest to have Congressional Dems' try but ultimately fail to use their funding power to force a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq (it lets Bush continue the "surge" while giving him the threat of a Dem-forced pullout with which to pressure the Maliki government),
c) isn't it true that what probably will happen is that the Congressional Dems try but ultimately fail to use their funding power to force a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq?