December 15, 2004


God bless Hillary Clinton?! (Tony Blankley, December 15, 2004, Townhall)

What I suspect may be a gathering storm on President Bush's horizon in 2005 is a confluence of factors that will force on Washington a fundamental immigration reform -- one that will seek to genuinely secure our borders. [...]

Adding piquancy to this legislative challenge for President Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress is the entrance from stage right of Hillary R. Clinton, 2008 Democratic Presidential Nominee, presumptive.

In the last few weeks, the ever cold-blooded Miss Hillary has started to stake out a position to the right of the Republican Party. Just listen to her Pat Buchananesque defiance:

[I do] not think that we have protected our borders or our ports ... we can do more and we can do better ... I am, you know, adamantly against illegal immigrants ... Clearly we have to make some tough decisions as a country, and one of them ought to be coming up with a much better entry-and-exit system so that if we are going to let people in for ... work … let's have a system that keeps track of them ... People have to stop employing illegal immigrants.

These are hardly idle pensees coming from The Iron Maiden of Chappaqua. Rather, it is a part, and a big part, of her calculated strategy to shed her liberal image and seize the White House from the Republicans in 2008 by attacking them on the most vulnerable part of their right flank: open borders, illegal immigration and lax anti-terrorist security.

I never thought I would write the following words, but: God bless Hillary Clinton. Though her motives are cynical, their effects may well be vital both to our national security and to our sovereign responsibility to control our borders.

Nevermind the simple political problems involved in being seen as the anti-immigrant party--a strategy which Pete Wilson used to win one election and in the process destroy the GOP in CA--there are two practical reasons that the canard about "securing the borders" will fail:

(1) Cost: even the nativists plan for building some kind of wall on the Mexican border would cost more than the American people are willing to pay, but when those who are genuinely concerned about security join with those who are tryin g to kill the reform altogether and insist on truly patrolling all our borders and beefing up port security and the like the costs will be so prohibitive as to sink the whole deal.

(2) Manpower: Suppose, just for the sake of argument, that a plan to "secure the borders" did pass. Such a massive undertaking would require more men than we currently have in our regular armed forces. The only way for the government to secure that number of warm bodies would be to reinstitute the draft. The 2004 election demonstrated the political damage that just being associated with such an idea can cause. An exquisite irony though is that if we took several hundred thousand or millions of young people out of the private sector and put them in uniform, in a country that already faces a shortage of workers, we'd have to vastly increase immigratrion to fill out the workforce. Try to sell that to the "secure borders" gang and you'll quickly find out how little they actually care about security.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 15, 2004 8:46 AM

Agree. Bush needs to try and strike a balance between controlling legal immigration and homeland defense issues without alienating political groups heavily connected to immigration (i.e hispanics). Perhaps a few common sense or basic reforms (better documentation, no driver's licenses for illegals, etc) will satisfy the nativists without alienating the political groups.

OJ's point is valid - NRO and others rip into the Bush admin daily on immigration issues but never seem to address the huge manpower or finance issues it would cause.

As for Hillary, Tony Blankley is right - she is trying to get to Bush's right on this issue. She will probably use the same playbook Bill used against Bush I in '92 - get to the right on a few issues and ride a compliant press past the GOP nominee. As for addressing the cost/manpower issue Hillary is a strong enough pol that with cover from the MSM she will be able to get away with generic statements like the above without providing details.

Posted by: AWW at December 15, 2004 10:10 AM


The ethnic lobbies won't let her get away with it and she needs them to get a nomination. She doesn't want a primary challenge, and there will be someone running against her. She can't handle anything other than a coronation.

Posted by: Bart at December 15, 2004 10:59 AM

I hope I remember to have the recordable DVD player running for the press conference in 2008 when Pat Buchanan endorses Hillary Clinton for president. Should be a laugh riot.

Posted by: John at December 15, 2004 11:50 AM


That's less outlandish than it sounds--trade protectionism, anti-immigration, isolationism, and hostility to capitalism in general unite the Left and Far Right.

Posted by: oj at December 15, 2004 12:00 PM

Buchanan is not a conservative, he is a fascist, not unlike Franco or Peron.

Posted by: Bart at December 15, 2004 12:17 PM

Protecting the borders is more important than Iraq. For what it's worth, I support the Iraq initiative; but a nuclear bomb smuggled easily from Mexico and detonated in Houston would, I am sure, prove the importance of the border protection that OJ et al. pooh-pooh so throatily.

Hell, if our boy Bush had considered Iraq's border protection 18 months ago, I daresay Iraq's democracy project would be an order of magnitude closer to realtiy than it is today.

Borders now matter; it's 9/10 thinking, not political savvy, that disregards border security.

Posted by: JimGooding at December 15, 2004 12:52 PM


great, but you live in a country where people think minimal airline security too burdensome and expensive--now you think we'll close the borders down?

Posted by: oj at December 15, 2004 2:27 PM


Like Franco, but not Peron. He was part of the generation on the Right that saved America. His problem is that the Left has lost and a reliably conservative democracy has been restorted but he can't accept victory.

Posted by: oj at December 15, 2004 2:32 PM

People who aren't slaves complain; think of it as echolocating their rights status. Complaining about airline security does not mean people don't want it. It's the elite who reject the need for profiling who, in fact, don't want airline security.

Americans would complain about cumbersome border crossings but relish the increase in safety. Let's don't hand this issue to Hillary on a silver platter.

Posted by: JimGooding at December 15, 2004 3:11 PM


Ever been to the Canadian border? Ever been on a boat in the Atlantic or Pacific or St.Lawrence? Ever read about the volume of container shipping that comes into the U.S. and how little security it has?

No one is proposing border security, just stopping Mexicans.

Posted by: oj at December 15, 2004 3:40 PM

Buchanan had nothing to do with saving America and was and is an agent of those who would destroy it. His vision of America, economically sclerotic, intolerant and priest-ridden, is more evil than Chomsky's.

Posted by: Bart at December 15, 2004 5:51 PM

Pat Buchanan was a staunch Cold and Culture Warrior while you were dribbling in your high chair. That he's subsequently lurched into dubious territory can't diminish his key role in the conservative revival.

Posted by: oj at December 15, 2004 6:01 PM