The supposed linkage between increased enforcement and semi-amnesty is not dissimilar to the linkage between deposing Saddam Hussein and fighting Al Qaeda: weak, yet constantly repeated by the Bush Administration as a rhetorical device to sell a preconceived (and misguided) grand plan! It's their M.O.. The difference is that now conservatives are on to them too. ...
P.S.: There's an obvious contradiction lurking here.Powerline agrees that passing immigration reform would help Democrats by countering the 'do-nothing' charge. But the Republicans who are desperate to get the issue 'off the table' seem to feel a bill would help Republicans (largely, I'm told, by ending a divisive intraparty debate in which GOP hardliners inevitably alienate moderate swing voters with their harsh anti-immigrant rhetoric). They can't both be right. Control of Congress and of the White House is a zero sum game. Either a bill helps the GOPs or the Dems. Which is it? That's why I'm nervous, despite Mark Krikorian's assurances. What if Pelosi concludes it's in her interest--even hershort term, win-in-2008 interest--to move a bill even without 70 or 50 Republican votes as cover? ... P.P.S.: It's more obviously in Pelosi's long term interest to pass a semi-amnesty bill, since millions of new Hispanic voters are likely to be mainly Democrats even if the GOPs slightly increase their share. ... 3:28 P.M.
Instapundit and Bob Krumm argue we've seen a breathtaking demonstration of Fred Thompson's campaign potential in this instantly produced and reasonably effective (in the good cheap shot sense) anti-Michael Moore video. ... Krumm is right that it's the sort of thing Hillary's ponderous campaign would have trouble matching. I think a clip like this only has a big tactical impact, though, if it gets picked up by the TV networks and starts driving the whole MSM--proliferation on the Web isn't enough, yet. But it's hard to see how the nets will be able to resist free video from a cigar-chomping Thompson. ... More important, I think: quite apart from its advantages as a campaign tool, the video is itself evidence of Thompson's actual presidential qualifications. You can't make a quickie spot like this unless a) you know what you think (or have a really fast pollster) b) you can react to new situations quickly, and c) you have some sense of theater. Those are all extremely important things for a president to have. (On the significance of (c), see Jon Alter's FDR bio, which stresses Roosevelt's theatrical skill.) ... Also new: The use of Breitbart.tv, potentially a Drudge of video. ... 2:54 P.M.
Vigorous Sucky writing with Gillespie and Cavanaugh. (They know they're being vigorous. It's like watching the creaking John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart pretend they are young cowboys in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Still good!) ... 2:08 P.M.
Today is supposed to be crunch day for the Senate compromise immigration bill being negotiated. Mark Krikorian has an update: "[I]f Jon Kyl makes a deal with Ted Kennedy, then amnesty will pass the Senate; if not, not." ... Meanwhile, "comprehensive" supporter Tamar Jacoby celebrates the spirit of bipartisan compromise by calling 25% of the [Republican] party "these yahoos." ...How come she gets to hurl the epithets? [At least she didn't call them "wusses."--ed. Then we'd have to wait for a ruling from Sullivan.] ..
Note to Associated Press: 'Amnesty' is no longer the word the bill's opponents use to "derisively brand" provisions to give illegal immigrants legal status. It's the Official NYT-Approved Honest Word for even conditional ("earned") legalization provisions. ... 1:12 P.M. link
Obama dares to support public charter schools before an AFL-CIO crowd! ("'I think it's brave of a candidate to come here and say some of those things," says a Communications Worker of America union steward.) ... Do they unions realize how bad they look if a candidate has to be "brave" to tell them something 75% of Americans probably agree with? ... 12:36 P.M.
More sound pre-debate advice for the GOP candidates--especially for Mitt Romney--from Frum. ... 3:38 A.M.
Chrysler: Three unsubtle points--
1) Automobile's Jamie Kitman suggests that the American executives who sold Chrysler to Mercedes--Bob Eaton and Robert Lutz--were somehow motivated by their stock options to make a bad merger in 1998. But the merger was great for shareholders in the old Chrysler, no? They unloaded what was now obviously a turkey of a company on Mercedes for $36 billion! It's the Germans who got taken. Wasn't that a triumph of ... er, salesmanship for Eaton and Lutz?
2) But Kitman rightly points to Mercedes' abject failure to get Chrysler to produce good new cars. The big rear-drive Chrysler 300 sedan was a huge hit, but instead of producing more, similar hits--and maybe distinguishing itself as the rear-drive, performance-oriented member of the Big Three, using all that Mercedes know-how--DaimlerChrysler churned out "a procession of also- and never-rans"--near-pathetic kludges dressed up in Victorian creases and squared-off plastic bulges: the Jeep Compass, Dodge Caliber, the Chrysler Aspen. (Caveat: I actually think the much-derided Hummeresque Commander was good-looking.) The Caliber I rented last year was one of the clumsiest cars I've ever driven. Most of these vehicles use "design language" derived from the seminal Crossfire show car. DaimlerChrysler never seemed to realize that the seminal Crossfire show car was a dud! This is one Detroit automaker whose failure can't be blamed entirely on Wagner Act unionism with its legalistic work rules.