As immigration reform makes its way through the Senate this month, The Range will be here to bring you updates and share various perspectives. (BTW: I've got a cover story examining the calls for more border security and the political impact of immigration reform in the print edition that's on the streets today.)
Here's a perspective from the Daily Caller's Mickey Kaus, who says conservatives are getting too distracted to stop immigration reform:
If you are a Republican who worries that a flood of low-skilled immigrants would drive down wages and make America an uglier place, where the rich have cheap servants but even diligent unskilled work doesn’t afford a life of dignity—well, we’re sorry. We’ve booked our Republican for the panel this week—Senator McCain! A member of the famous Gang of 8! He always puts on a good show, don’t you agree? (If you are a Democrat who worries about immigration and low wages, you probably don’t exist, and certainly don’t hold elective office. In 2007, populist Dems like Senator Byron Dorgan still walked the halls. Now they’ve been driven out—or underground—by the lure of ethnic identity politics).
Worst of all are distractions that weren’t around in 2007. Probably through sheer bad luck, a series of dramatic scandals has captured the attention of both the press (which would ordinarily be celebrating the Gang of Eight’s epic achievement) and conservatives, who would ordinarily be kicking up a fuss. The distraction factor applies with special force to right-wing talk radio hosts, who instead of mobilizing opposition are pontificating in a daze of either overconfidence (i.e., ‘Democrats want this bill to fail’) or fatalism.You’d think Rush Limbaugh—a rare non-Fox conservative star, who understands what is at stake— might have a good deal of time to spend on the Gang of 8 bill the day before its first test vote in the Senate. You would be wrong. Rush talked mainly about the NSA.
If the conservative public were paying attention, the flaws and crude deceptions of the Schumer-Rubio bill would be common knowledge. They are so obvious, especially in the border enforcement area, that even Sen. Rubio pretends to be dissatisfied with his own bill. Byron York reports that many conservatives are shocked when they learn that Rubio’s bill doesn’t secure the border before legalization. It doesn’t! ”First comes the legalization,” as Rubio boasted yesterday. That’s been obvious for months, but now it’s news. (The border security requirements, themselves evanescent, would only prevent legalized illegals from moving to upgrade from legal status to getting green cards and citizenship.)
It’s time to wake up! Conservatives—while you are (rightly) excited about NSA snooping and partisan IRS corruption, the Congress is about to change America in a more profound, permanent way right under your noses. In the process it will hand President Obama the major second term achievement that will help him overcome the very scandals that are distracting you—or, rather, make his survival or re-ascendance unimportant. He will have won. Democrats will have shaped the future electorate to their own liking. They’ll have transformed what America is.