Plucking the Pluckers
Do liberals still care about low-wage workers?
[E.A.] P.S.: If Republicans really favor McCain's legalization plan, as the LAT claims, why is he tanking again? [You almost had a nice little non-immigration item there--ed A gradual withdrawal is all you can hope for. During the recent weeks of kf's ... let's call it kf's "special focus" on immigration, the stats have held up. Until yesterday. Yesterday, they collapsed. I suspect this means readers think the debate is over and the immigration bill is dead. But it's not, and "the next few weeks are critical."] ... 12:22 A.M.
Reminder: Here's the argument that applies to the LAT poll showing (as do other polls) that majorities approve of allowing illegal immigrants to "start on a path to citizenship" if they pay fines, etc.. (Note also the Times' skillful use of gratuitous, comprehensivist-approved softening words "start" and "path.") ... Rasmussen's argument against LAT-type questions is different, but not incompatible: he thinks the public is in fact willing to accept "paths to citizenship" as part of a compromise that would also secure the borders. But the public thinks the Senate bill won't secure the borders. ... In any case, the Senate bill itself was opposed 50-23% in last week's Rasmussen poll, a finding reinforced this week. The LAT could have countered Rasmussen by asking voters what they thought about the actual bill. They didn't. Why take chances? ... 12:12 A.M.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Don't Calm Down, Part XVIII: The latest from Roll Call [$]--
Senate conservatives have been warned by Republican leaders that they must either accept a series of largely symbolic floor votes on a handful of amendments to the immigration reform legislation or see themselves shut out of the process altogether when the chamber resumes work on the bill later this year, GOP lawmakers and aides said Tuesday.
What's so terrible about being "shut out of the process," if you oppose the bill? After all, if you make it better it might pass more easily. And if you can only offer "symbolic" amendments you can't even make it better. ... Also see Kate O'Beirne on the Establishment's Drive to Revive:
There is Senate speculation that there will be a resurrection of the immigration reform bill during the last week of June to increase pressure on dissenting Senators who would risk the wrath of colleagues by delaying the July 4th recess.
P.S.: Why the huge business push for legalization when the economy and the stock market are going great guns under the status quo? Here's a disturbing theory from one of Rich Lowry's readers:
Chertoff and Kyl both seem to have answered that question recently, Kyl in his Wall Street Journal interview and Chertoff on Fox News yesterday: because businesses are starting to worry about efforts to enforce immigration laws at the local level. One state in the vanguard of that effort is Kyl's (and McCain's) home state of Arizona, where the legislature has passed numerous laws (usually vetoed) on the issue, and where the public voted for Prop 200 back in 2004.
To me that says something far more ominous than that Congress is being disingenuous or naïve on the matter. Far from simple being empty promises, this amnesty bill is actually a blatant attempt to head off any attempts at enforcement at all.
It also means the current immigration debate isn't as important as obsessive bloggers have been making it seem. It's more important! And it's not important to the GOPs so much as the Dems--because it means business is acting now to avoid what it perceives as a coming labor shortage in which it will have to substantially raise wages at the bottom, altering the economic contours of the economy in favor of unskilled workers and their families. You wouldn't think that--whatever Republicans do--a Democrat like Harry Reid would really want to move a bill that would prevent such a dramatic, progressive shift, would you? ...
P.S.: You get paid less but you get a union card. Rep. Barney Frank acknowledges that the influx of immigrant workers is "bad for blue-collars," according to National Journal [via Corner]. But, hey, Dems will compensate by increasing union power!
Photograph of Ann Coulter on Slate's home page by Brad Barket/Getty. Photograph of a wedding cake with two grooms on Slate's home page by Hector Mata/AFP Photo. Photograph of Princess Diana on Slate's home page by Georges De Keerle/Getty Images.