Sunday, February 17, 2008
I read through Obama's website and his position paper on immigration. The problem is that it all sounds more centrist than he does in his speeches--and in things like his advocacy for driver's licenses for illegal aliens, which didn't appear anywhere on his website. Nor did his website convey how dismmisive he acts in person towards those who oppose illegal immigration.
In the past political candidates have routinely pandered to special interest groups in person while saying something else in public. That's what tripped up George Allen when he made his "macaca" gaffe, having no idea how that would emerge on the Internet and torpedo his campaign.
Looks like Obama hasn't quite realized that you can't do this any more. Now you have to say the same thing to everyone, in person and in print, or the other side will pillory you for being two-faced. And the more you present yourself as being extra-virtuous the more consistent you have to be.
Besides, even if you take his website statements at face value, his moderate remarks completely ignore several crucial facts:
1. The moneyed class has used illegal immigrants to drive down the wages of working class American--black, white, brown and yellow--approximately 12-25%, depending on region and job category.
That means anyone who supports amnesty for illegal immigrants is effectively supporting the impoverishment of working class Americans. You can't have it both ways. Which means both Obama and Clinton are betraying those Americans who can least defend themselves, and siding with the greed of the moneyed classes and the ivory tower idealisms of limousine liberals.
2. Our immigration policy is currently being determined by the government of Mexico, the Catholic Church, and America's wealthiest 1%. That policy is this: bring in as many uneducated, unskilled laborers as possible, mostly from Mexico. Use them to bust unions and drive down wages. Put the profits from their labor into the pockets of the moneyed while outsourcing nearly all of their immense social costs (medical, educational, infrastructural, and criminal) to middle class taxpayers. Help them send most of the money the immigrants make (both legal and illegal)
back to their home villages in Mexico, ensuring that America's economy won't even benefit from their spending.
If America's immigration policy was oriented towards benefitting America, we'd streamline procedures for bringing in educated, middle class professionals and their families from all over the world. We don't need a single more unskilled laborer. If we did, wages for unskilled work would be going up instead of falling by 15-25%. They're going down because we have a surplus. This is not rocket science!
3. The amount of illegal immigration is at least twice that of government estimates, which fail to take into account that housing for one American family typically accommodates three or more Mexican families. This means there are around 20 million illegals here.
4. Obama in his speeches--and not on his website--has repeated the false choice that we have to either give illegals citizenship or become a police state to round them up and deport them. Not one reputable opponent of illegal immigration--including Tom Tancredo and Jess Sessions--has said this. What they've proposed is making it impossible for illegals to earn money here through far tighter control of citizenship verification for employees and requiring ICE, the IRS, and the social security administration to cooperate to do this. Obama knows this, and in making this false choice he knows he'd being deceitful. And again he's advocating things in speeches to special interest groups that he isn't putting on his website.
5. He completely ignores the impact of illegal immigrants on the communities they've concentrated in across the Southwest and Florida.
The Pew Research Center (which is anything but right wing) says that by 2050 the US population will rise 48% from 2005--to 438 million people. The overwhelming majority—82% of the increase—will be immigrants, both legal and illegal. The Hispanic population will triple in size from 2005 to 2050 to 29% of the total population, at which time the white population will be a minority at 47% of the population.
And since the Mexican citizens living here are concentrating in the Southwest, we're seeing them displace American society with Mexican society wherever they become a majority--which they will be in California by 2050. And the first thing Mexicans with American citizenship demand is more Mexicans--no surprise there.
This is unlike any previous immigration wave.
6. Mexicans are moving here not primarily because of an American job magnet, but because Mexico's population exploded from 20M to over 100M from 1940 to 2005--due to the Catholic Church's ferocious opposition to all forms of birth control--even condoms.
The GOP is notorious for sweeping serious problems under the rug. Too bad Obama's no better.
Posted by Ehkzu at 5:07 PM
Sunday, February 3, 2008
What's a centrist to do? It seems like none of the real presidential contenders are running for President of the United States. Instead each is running for a slice of the job. McCain is running for Commander in Chief; Romney for Our Nation's CEO; Obama for Chief Social Worker; and Clinton for Chief Administrator. Each of this is a valid, important role--but it's far from the whole enchilada.
And each seems to be seriously flawed from a centrist viewpoint. McCain simply isn't as smart as the rest, and his apparently higher integrity compared to the rest is coupled to him being very far to the right on abortion, yet kind of a left winger on illegal immigration, and certain to nominate more right wing judges than a Democrat, in the context of a Supreme Court that's mainly divided between hard right Republicans and more moderate Republicans.
Romney is sharp, but he has taken hard right positions on everything across the board, including the environment, abortion, and Supreme Court nominations. And he consistently uses uncompromisingly hard right language and nasty tropes in his campaigning. He cannot unite the country when he represents himself as purely and solely representing the ideas and prejudices of no more than a third of the country. Despite his opposition to illegal immigration--his saving grace--Romney offers the prospect of four more years of acrimonious gridlock in Washington. Like Bush, he treats those who disagree with him contemptuously.
Obama is the only candidate promoting driver's licenses for illegal aliens. He has adopted the illegal aliens' marching chant "Si se puede" as his own, both in Spanish and English ("Yes we can"). Meanwhile he has nothing to say about how employers have exploited abundant illegal alien labor to drive down blue-collar wages 10-25% and bust unions. And he has certainly not pledged to veto spending bills stuffed with pork and earmarks. So he presents the prospect of an out of control spending spree comparable to what Bush and a same-party Congress did for six years.
The same can be said of Clinton--she hasn't pledged to veto porky spending either, and she's vying with Obama to see how much she can pander to identity politics such as treating Latin Americans as Latinos first and foremost and Americans only as an afterthought. But because she hasn't been quite as spineless as Obama in the regard, I find her preferable. Which is too bad, because a president Obama--just the fact of it--would be a great start in repairing the damage Bush did to us internationally.
Fortunately we won't have to choose between four candidates this September--just between two. That will make choosing slightly less painful.