By associating the anti-McCain view with not only deportation but immediate deportation, polls like the one cited by Nagourney reinforce the idea that massive deportation of millions of illegals is the only alternative to McCain's "comprehensive" approach. In fact, the most intense opponents of McCain's plan--such as Tancredo or Mark Krikorian of Center for Immigration Studies--favor a slow strategy of "attrition," not mass deportation. And it's quite possible to envision a less harsh alternative to McCain-Kennedy that involves no additional deportation--like the alternative of simply not passing McCain-Kennedy (and living with the status quo). Or just building a border fence, which would keep illegal immigrants from entering the country but do nothing to kick out those who are already here. Or requiring U.S. employers to actually check (as opposed to pretend to check) the immigration status of new hires but not of their existing workers.
Differences of opinion on deportation may be a good proxy for differences of opinion on the McCain-Kennedy bill. But opinions on the McCain-Kennedy bill are also a good proxy for opinions on the McCain-Kennedy bill. Why not just poll on that? Because it wouldn't ... [fit the hegemonic MSM agenda of demonization?--ed make the bill's supporters look reasonable.] 2:10 A.M. link
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
When asked last month why he was voting for a nonbinding bipartisan resolution opposing the surge, he said he was in favor of a "political solution," whereby Iraq was divided into three ethnic provinces under a loose federal government. He had spoken with Iraqi leaders and General Petraeus, who, at least when he headed Fort Leavenworth in Mr. Brownback's home state, had never told the senator that he favored more soldiers. The general commanding the rescue of Baghdad, the senator seemed to be suggesting, was against it before he was for it.
So is Mr. Brownback.
Lake offers both unprincipled and principled reasons for Brownback's un-backslide. Unprincipled: He's running for president and "[t]he people who will show up in New Hampshire and Iowa to pick the Republican nominee are victory voters." Principled:
What happened last week is that the senator abandoned his flirtation with the notion that a retreat from Baghdad would spur Iraqi leaders who had encouraged the city's ethnic cleansing to seek the political solution. On the floor of the Senate when it counted, he conceded that Iraq's reconciliation is impossible without a military presence to counter the sectarian murderers.
P.S.: Regarding the surge, Omar of ITM's latest report from Baghdad seems almost implausibly hopeful:
You look around in Baghdad now and see hundreds of men working in the streets to pick up garbage; to plant flowers and paint the blast walls in joyful colors. Many of Baghdad's squares are becoming green and clean. The picture isn't perfect, but it's a clear attempt to beat violence and ease pain through giving the spring a chance to shine.
Nights in Baghdad now are far from quiet, but the sounds cause less anxiety for me than they did before. I recognize the rumble of armor and thump of guns and they assure me that the gangs and militias do not dominate the night as they once did.
More surprisingly, Simon Jenkins, a persistent war critic writing on HuffPo, also says of the surge:
The "surge" programme initiated last month by General Petraeus in Baghdad is the first intelligent thing the Americans have done in four years. By swamping neighbourhoods, monitoring entry, patrolling streets and giving personal protection to residents and tradesmen troops are able to restore some order to portions of the city. Petraeus is replacing vigilantes, militias and corrupt police with his own soldiers. He cannot reverse the ethnic cleansing that is fast partitioning Baghdad into Sunni and Shia quarters, but he can stabilise what has occurred. He can fortify the ghettos.