April 12, 2006


Kennedy Tactics on Immigration Vex Democrats (CARL HULSE, 4/12/06, NY Times)

Decades later, Mr. Kennedy, the liberal leader and descendant of Irish immigrants, is back in the thick of another immigration fight, pushing strongly for a bipartisan compromise that would toughen border security while providing a route to legal status for millions of illegal residents. And some of the fight is with his own Democratic colleagues.

Mr. Kennedy's drive to strike a deal with Republicans is making some in his party nervous. They worry that the senator, in his desire to bring about changes in immigration law, will cede too much to Republicans and that the end product will fall short on the guest worker and citizenship provisions favored by most Democrats. They believe Mr. Kennedy made similar miscalculations when he cut initial deals with Republicans on Medicare drug coverage and education policy.

Sad to say that Ted Kennedy is one of the few remaining Democrats who understands the proper role of a senator in a republic. In exchange for Education and Medicare money he gave the President vouchers and HSAs. Give him amnesty and he'll toss the Right their "border protection." Too few of his colleagues are capable of such compromise.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 12, 2006 8:22 AM

If we are talking about the original way the Senate does business, then yes, Ted Kennedy (along with McCain) is one of the few remaining practitioners of the art form.

However, just try explaining that to the average John or Jane raised on believing majority rule is the way everything is done.

Posted by: Brad S at April 12, 2006 8:41 AM

"Mr. Storing makes the point that it is the very nature of a political process like the one that produced the Constitution for give and take and compromise to occur. The Anti-Federalists may not have "won" the debate, but their ideas would still have played an important role in shaping the final text. In much the way, a negotiation between a Corporation and its unions may be "won" by one side, but it will still not have gotten everything it started out demanding. Were you to look only at the final agreement and only through the lens of one side having "won", you could deceive yourself into believing that the agreement was solely their product. This is obviously false but it is somewhat the approach that has traditionally been taken to the Constitution."
From Orrin Judd's review of Herbert J. Storing's What the Anti-Federalists Were For, 7/4/1992.

Posted by: Genecis at April 12, 2006 9:07 AM

Not all senators enjoy Kennedy's senator-for-life status, so they can't afford to be quite as artful.

Posted by: erp at April 12, 2006 10:16 AM


Note that the ones who do are the ones who pass legislation--Domenici, Stevens, Inouye, Byrd, etc....

Posted by: oj at April 12, 2006 10:22 AM


Too bad most of it is bad legislation.

As for the "Security fence" compromise, the devil is in the details. Any compromise that puts "normalization" ahead of a visible wall will be viewed as a capitulation to Kennedy...and rightfully so.

Posted by: Bruno at April 12, 2006 10:45 AM


Yes, many of the President's most imprtant achievements have been misunderstood as capitulations--he lost on the tax cut, Trade, NCLB, Medicare, going to the UN on Iraq, etc. Losing on immigration will be one of his most important legacies.

Posted by: oj at April 12, 2006 10:50 AM

The illegal immigration issue is a bilateral coalition-buster. It sets up not just cross-cleavages but counter-cleavages within both parties.

This matter is toxic to both parties, but more to the Republicans, not the least because the MSM running-dogs of the other side will spin everything to our disadvantage.

Here is why. First, there is no way that sneaking and cheating can be sold to the Republican base. The unfairness of line-jumping is just too irregular to be accepted by the square and the straight.

Then too, the other-ness of the illegal alien, holding alien citizenship, speakiing alien language, dreaming of "la Raza" and "Aztlan," strikes more at the party of home and hearth, than at the party of minorities and factions.

It is not good news for the other side, either. Labor and traditional minorities are not exactly open borders people.

In sum, illegal immigration could split both parties the way slavery did in 1860. We have more to lose, I think, and a three-party scenario, not a four, is more likely. The other side can duck the split just because they do not have to govern, and can better talk from both sides of their mouths.

This is going to be very bad, and we shall be lucky to come out out it with our guns, our live babies and the GWOT intact.

Posted by: Lou Gots at April 12, 2006 12:09 PM

Well done Lou, a great analysis ... but I hope you're wrong about the finale.

Posted by: Genecis at April 12, 2006 12:17 PM

Labor has decided that their future lies in all representing all those low paid "guest workers" in California, and not with the overweight and high benefits white guys in Pontiac.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at April 12, 2006 12:20 PM


Latinos can easily be sold to the party because they're hard-working, Christian, family-oriented, etc. The two keys are getting the GOP share of their vote over 50%, so that they're winning us elections, and getting a few Hispanic leaders out front on a couple of social issues--education vouchers and abortion would be good.

Posted by: oj at April 12, 2006 12:22 PM

No, they haven't. Labor opposes immigration -- as do blacks -- which is why the far Right will join the Democrats over time.

Posted by: oj at April 12, 2006 12:24 PM

i see this as similar to the game of hearts, for the gop. if they can shoot the moon then they win big, otherwise they crash and burn. it's our hand to play, and luckily we have a top player sitting in front of our chips.

Posted by: toe at April 12, 2006 12:32 PM

Lou: Only a few whackjobs in California go for the La Raza nonsense. The Republican base knows you can't deport 12 million people. President Bush is from TX, which has plenty of illegals but no problems that CA does. There are lots of reasons why, but the main ones are social resentments caused by the unaffordability of life in CA, and the domination of CA politics by leftist public worker unions--neither of these are a factor in TX.

Posted by: b at April 12, 2006 12:48 PM

It is not that immigration is bad or that immigrants are bad people: after all, they had enough sense to come here, didn't they.

Rather it is that we can't sell this one, not even to our own people. This has lose-lose written all over it. Worse, it is going to be spun as a sop to the rich, a benefit to corporate giants and employers of household servants.

Just watch: whatever compromise may be worked out will make no one happy; it will be too much for some, too little for others, and just right for nobody.

This business loses us Reagan Republicans and that loses us everything.

Posted by: Lou Gots at April 12, 2006 2:34 PM

Reagan extended an identical amnesty and the Revolution has just gone from strength to strength.

Posted by: oj at April 12, 2006 2:39 PM


If you had seen some of the pictures from the rallys on various sites, you will have found organizers from the Service Employees Intl. Union (SEIU) trying to organize whatever illegals they could find.

However, SEIU is the only union trying to do this, and broke off from AFL-CIO last year due mainly to this very issue.

Posted by: Brad S at April 12, 2006 2:49 PM

Yes, and you've got the Left beating the drum for immigration, but it's only because they don't realize yet that we're importing conservatives.

Posted by: oj at April 12, 2006 2:53 PM

As long as they become American, they'll be conservative. Another reason why public teacher unions must be broken, since they don't seem to care much about the only job of the public school system--producing good, loyal citizens of the Republic.

Posted by: b at April 12, 2006 3:48 PM

b. Teachers unions want to make sure they produce quite the opposite of good and loyal citizens.

Posted by: erp at April 12, 2006 3:56 PM

If the Immigration issue is what it takes to scrap our miserable two-party system, then I say let's keep trumpeting the immigration issue.

Whatever it takes.

Posted by: Robert at April 12, 2006 6:55 PM

Government employee unions will differ from traditional unions on immigration, as more immigrants mean more jobs for teachers, social workers, DMV workers, etc.

Posted by: David Cohen at April 12, 2006 7:30 PM

Putting this issue of give and take aside, I think Ted Kennedy is a greatly underrated American leader. If Ronald Reagan had had a 'Chappaquiddick' in his past, would the right now say he was a horrible president because of that?

The right has the problem, in most cases, that they simply turn to hate over politics.

It reminds me of the few fringe republicans who were happy when JFK was killed - most republicans then were not so radical. Times have changed, sadly, to the point that a great liberal leader is distorted by the right.

Indeed, for all the disagreement over the Iraq war between Cindy Sheehan and the right wing, a right-wing thread listed close to this one in the "Daou Report" has language calling her a 'whore' (albeit media whore) and 'bitch'.

Any sense of respect for her as a mother who lost a son for the military despite the disagreements is trashed by this all too common behavior.

Posted by: Craig at April 13, 2006 12:17 PM


He's a great legislator who's been terrible for his country.

Cindy Sheehan probably isn't a whore, but she does whore for Saddam and other dictators when she argues we should leave them in place, which is worse. We respect her son, not her.

Posted by: oj at April 13, 2006 12:25 PM

Craig, in what universe would Ronald Reagan have gotten drunk, driven off the end of a dock, gotten himself out of the car and left a live girl in the back seat to drown while he swam to safety and waited until his blood level alcohol was below legal levels before reporting the accident?

Posted by: erp at April 13, 2006 1:00 PM

And where would Reagan (or almost any other political figure) have used family influence to fly the body out of state before an autopsy could be performed, thereby breaking state law?

Posted by: jim hamlen at April 13, 2006 3:39 PM

oj: do you support our going to war, immediately, against China, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Pakistan, Cuba, Russia, and others?

If not, you are as much a 'whore for dictators' as Cindy Sheehan: you support leaving the government of China, which opposes democracy, you support the corrupt clerics in Iran, you support all of those people.

No, you cannot oppose them, and oppose immediate war them, any more than you allow Sheehan to oppose the Iraq war without you calling her a 'whore for Saddam'.

Posted by: Craig at April 13, 2006 5:29 PM

erp and jim:

You dodge the question. If he HAD done that, would you now say he was a terrible president?

No, you would not, because you are cultists, not rational citizens. Great Leader is good.

To answer your question: the same universe where Reagan would illegally sell military weapons to Iran, and use the profits to fund terrorist killers against the civilians who elected the government of Nicaragua.

But one auto accident with a fatality outweighs missiles to iran for terrorist money, right?


Posted by: Craig at April 13, 2006 5:34 PM


Communists. We should have killed more.

Posted by: oj at April 13, 2006 5:46 PM


whose your favorite dictator (living or dead) ?

ted kennedy is a disgraceful human being who never thinks further than whatever base appetite is most conveniently fed. but hey, love's a funny thing, and if human excrement is what you admire then so be it.

Posted by: toe at April 13, 2006 5:48 PM


Yes, I do support regime changing any country that doesn't conform to Judeo-Christian Anglo-American standards of liberal democracy.

Posted by: oj at April 13, 2006 5:50 PM

Craig, I'm confused. I thought we armed Iraq. Now you tell me we armed Iran? We illegally killed civilians in Nicaragua and those same civilians voted our side in as soon as they could. Oh, oh, oh. what's a girl to do I must find a cold compress for my head.

Posted by: erp at April 13, 2006 9:32 PM


For Teddy, Chappaquddick is the zenith of his life (public and private). Intrigue, shame, embarrassment, booze, deceit, prevarication, and plain old banal evil rolled into one. In the backseat of an Oldsmobile.

Would I ever support someone (for President) who had pulled such a stunt? No. Would any Republican who had done such a thing have stayed in the Senate? No.

BTW, do you support war against any of the countries you listed?

Posted by: jim hamlen at April 13, 2006 11:59 PM

"Craig, I'm confused. I thought we armed Iraq. Now you tell me we armed Iran?"

We helped both Itaq and Iran.

I can only speculate as to the motive, but weaker middle-eastern nations may have been our motive.

While they were fighting each other, we encourage it and arm them; when they stop, we go after them.

Consider the time lines: 1953-1979: US installed Shah of Iran, our puppet dictator.

1980's: Shah out, clerics in, US supports massive casualties in Iraq-Iran war.

Early 1990's: US greatly weakens Iraq for invading Kuwait (after giving Saddam a 'go ahead' signal).

Early 2000's: US overthrows Saddam.

Mid 2000's: US poised to go after Iran's government (again).

"We illegally killed civilians in Nicaragua and those same civilians voted our side in as soon as they could. Oh, oh, oh. what's a girl to do I must find a cold compress for my head."

We set up a terrorist force, the contras, who were killing all kinds of civilians in Nicaragua and committing other acts of terrorism with the message that the only way to stop the killing was to vote out the Sandinistas.

The fact that they were voted out proves only that the terrorism worked - and that the right wing were as usual wrong and/or liars when they said that the Sandinistas would never respect the election results and leave the government peacefully if they lost the election.

Posted by: Craig at April 15, 2006 12:09 AM

Of course terrorism worked--ask anyone in 1860s Atlanta or 1945 Hiroshima. We always end wars via terrorizing the populace.

Posted by: oj at April 15, 2006 8:17 AM

how sad that comrade craig has to live in a country he hates. if only there were some place that was actually worthy of his citizenship, he could move there. sigh.

Posted by: toe at April 15, 2006 5:29 PM