Thursday, November 8, 2007
Voters 'Grow Wary' of Politicians: The poli-sci cliche has been that voters hate politicians but love their own Congressman. Comes now the NBC/WSJ poll finding that "just 39% of respondents believe their OWN member of Congress deserves re-election; 51% say it's time to give someone new a chance." First Read calls the number "staggering"--which is what I thought until I looked at the poll's own historical data, which show that it was worse (51-37) in November of 2005, even worse two months before the 1994 anti-incumbent election (53-20) and still worse months before the 1992 election (62-27). It's only been in positive territory about a fifth of the time. ... 12:24 P.M.
Breaking It To Them Slowly:
"French Crowd Grows Wary of Bastille,," "Romans Wary of Carthage," "Montagues, Capulets, Locked in Cycle of Wariness," etc. ... The news will unfold at the New York Times' orderly pace! ... Thomas Maguire mocks. ... 12:06 P.M.
A Latino Intifada? TheMiami Herald's Andres Oppenheimer says that if the country's anti-"comprehensive" attitude on illegal immigration persists, "a Hispanic intifada that may rock this nation in the not-so-distant future."
Remember the Palestinian intifada of the early 1990s, when thousands of frustrated young Palestinians took to the streets and threw stones at Israeli troops? Remember the French intifada of the summer of 2005, in which disenfranchised Muslim youths burned cars and stores in the suburbs of Paris?
If we are not careful, we may see something similar coming from the estimated 13 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, most of them Hispanic, who are increasingly vilified in the media, forced further into the underground by spineless politicians and not given any chance to legalize their status by a pusillanimous U.S. Congress.
We are creating an underclass of people who won't leave this country and, realistically, can't be deported. They and their children are living with no prospect of earning a legal status, no matter how hard they work for it. Many of them will become increasingly frustrated, angry, and some of them eventually may turn violent.
Krikorian doubts that "Oppenheimer's feared outcome is all that likely, in part because automatic citizenship at birth makes the illegal population a one-generation problem." ... I tend to think violence is a possibility, but not because Congress fails to pass a legalization bill. It's more likely to be sporadic violence of a tiny minority in support some sort of restoration of Aztlan, either as a part of Mexico or a separate entity, on the order of the Basque ETA in Spain. The chance of that sort of violence is probably increased by a comprehensive reform that ratifies an immigrant flow heavily weighted with citizens of Mexico (with its historic claims to much of the U.S. Southwest). ...