February 7, 2005


Bush shows highest ratings in a year (Jill Lawrence, 2/07/05, USA TODAY)

Americans give President Bush his highest job-approval rating in more than a year and show cautious optimism about Iraq in a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll taken shortly after historic Iraqi elections.

In reversals from a month ago, majorities now say that going to war in Iraq was not a mistake, that things are going well there and that it's likely democracy will be established in Iraq.

Bush's approval rating of 57% is his highest since he reached 59% in January 2004, shortly after U.S. troops captured Saddam Hussein.

When Americans have just elected a guy president they're inclined to cut him some slack even if he doesn't thrill them, but some other numbers here are astonishing:
G. Howard Dean



H. House Republican Leader, Tom DeLay



I. The Republican Party



J. The Democratic Party



That's just brutal.

And the other Third Way party is doing just as well, Labour rises to post-Iraq war high as Lib Dems slip (Peter Riddell, Philip Webster and Richard Ford, 2/08/05, Times of London)

LABOUR’S confidence about its election prospects was strengthened last night as it recorded its highest rating since the fall of Baghdad in the latest Populus poll for The Times.

The party has risen above 40 per cent for the first time since April 2003, after a month in which Iraq took its first steps towards democracy.

The poll gives Labour 41 per cent, three percentage points higher than a month ago. Conservative support remains flat, with a one-point fall to 32 per cent. The Liberal Democrats are down two at 18 per cent.

On a day when stringent curbs to stop immigrants and asylum-seekers “abusing British hospitality” were promised, the poll showed immigration to be the area where Labour is most vulnerable to the Tories.

As Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, announced restrictions on low-skilled overseas workers and failed asylum-seekers, the poll showed that immigration is the only one of 12 key policy issues where the Tories are well ahead of Labour.

Meanwhile, Mr. Blair moves Labour to the Right on immigration and prepares to quash the possibility of EU membership.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 7, 2005 10:45 PM

Tony Blair proposes to restrict the number of immigrants and asylum-seekers that Britain will welcome, and to get serious about enforcement. This is "moving Labour to the Right on immigration" and a wise policy.

Tom Tancredo proposes to enforce the existing restrictions on the number of immigrants that America will welcome. This is an unwise policy and may derive from sinister motives.

George Bush proposes to continue not to enforce existing restrictions on the number of immigrants America will welcome, and indeed to increase vastly the number of immigrants (guest workers, call them what you will) that America will welcome. This is "importing Christians from Latin America" and a wise policy.

What am I missing? Is it that a higher proportion of immigrants to America than to Britain are Christian?

Posted by: Random Lawyer at February 7, 2005 11:53 PM

Let me preface by saying that I am not an 'open borders' advocate but I think you miss the point.

1. Britain is not America. Britain has double digit unemployment and is, as Helmut Kohl said famously about Germany, not an 'immigration country.' America OTOH is an 'immigration country.' We are not founded on some shared ethnicity, the ancestors of the vast majority of Americans were not running around the forests of Franconia chasing wildlife and worshipping tree spirits nor were they like 'nos ancetres les gaulois' all blond-haired and blue eyed. Instead we are and have always been an ethnic and racial hodgepodge united by a common world view, not a common bloodline.

2. The 'immigration story' is an integral part of our history. When most Americans see people crossing the Rio Grande looking for opportunity or standing on a streetcorner waiting for a subcontractor to hire them for day work, we see our grandparents and greatgrandparents, people who make enormous sacrifices so their kids and grandkids can have a better life.

3. Immigration exists to benefit the nation to which the immigrants come, it is not some social service for the benefit of the immigrants. The reality is that in America there are lots of jobs that pay minimum wage or less which native-born Americans do not wish to do. If we were to close the borders to the illegals, our vegetables, our restaurant meals, our home repairs, and our landscaping bills would go through the roof. That is certainly the case in NJ.

4. Some immigrants are better than others. We should be encouraging people to come who want to work and/or have skills the economy needs. A point system like Australia and New Zealand is a good idea, as is a 'yacht people' program to get rich people from abroad to come here and invest. The guy who cleans my suits and the guy who sells me my eggs, Asian spices and produce are both Korean immigrants. So what? We have a right as a nation to pick and choose among immigrants and a policy which favors Christians over non-Christians is not a terrible idea for a country that is 90+% Christian. An immigration policy that would provide a virtual open door to Jewish engineers from Russia and Hindu software designers isn't a bad idea because they would add to the nation's wealth and enhance its defense capacity. I would also hasten to remind you that, according to Michael Barone, the three congressional districts with the highest rate of military enlistment are three majority Hispanic ones around LA.

5. Bringing in immigrants does not mean you have to take in every Tom, Dick and Mohammed. You make choices. Some countries export terrorists like Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and the so-called 'Palestine.' We can and should reasonably bar immigrants from these countries unless their admittance meets the 'damn good reason' standard. A Chinese or Hindu fleeing Muslim persecution in Indonesia or a Christian fleeing the Middle East certainly meet the 'damn good reason' standard.

Posted by: Bart at February 8, 2005 7:07 AM


And that the Brits have stopped breeding. A dying people can't afford immigration.

Posted by: oj at February 8, 2005 7:56 AM


Yes, that's the point. They're doomed.

Posted by: oj at February 8, 2005 10:27 AM

"Britain has double digit unemployment.."
It was 4.8 percent last time I looked in The Economist. But perhaps you've seen more recent figures.

Posted by: Jay Burn at February 8, 2005 11:19 AM