May 30, 2006

AFTER THE FOX (via Tom Morin):

Is the tide finally turning in Mexico? (GEORGIE ANNE GEYER, May 30, 2006, San Diego Union-Tribune)

[M]exico is so corrupt, so oligopolistic, so rotting inside with the privilege of the rich that it has to send its poor and its potential political activists to another country. And on top of that, it tries to blame the United States for its own failures.

When I was in Mexico last fall, after dozens of visits over the years, people on every political and social level confirmed these accusations, complaining to me of Fox's failures. Forty families still own 60 percent of Mexico. There are no voluntary organizations, no civic involvement, no family foundations – and thus, no accountability, allowing corruption to flourish. Mexico gains $28 billion from oil revenue and $20 billion from immigrant remittances. There is virtually no industrialization, no small business, no real chance at individual entrepreneurship. Under Fox, it has created only one-tenth of the 1 million jobs needed.

Ah, but there are new voices of change, of reason, of self-awareness in Mexico, in place of the hoary anti-gringo rants: the beginnings of a transformation of the debate.

The same week of the Fox visit, for instance, The New York Times ran a stunning article headlined “Some in Mexico See Border Wall as Opportunity.” It quotes men such as Jorge Santibanez, president of the College of the Northern Border, saying: “For too long, Mexico has boasted about immigrants leaving, calling them national heroes, instead of describing them as actors in a national tragedy; and it has boasted about the growth in remittances as an indicator of success, when it is really an indicator of failure.”

Other prominent Mexicans were quoted as saying, for instance, the formerly unthinkable: that a wall would be the “best thing that could happen for Mexico”; the “porous border” allowed “elected officials to avoid creating jobs.” And former Foreign Minister Jorge G. Castañeda, who always took a tough line toward the United States, writes in the Mexican newspaper Reforma that Mexico needed “a series of incentives” to keep Mexicans from migrating, including welfare benefits to mothers whose husbands remained in Mexico, scholarships, and the loss of land rights for people who were absent too long from their property.

This is European social democracy, this is American New Deal, this is real development talk, in place of the tiresome historical Mexican attitude that everything is the gringos' fault and they should pay for it. This is a real revolution of the mind! It also may indicate that, while President Fox failed in carrying through such basic modern reforms, he did lay the basis for them.

Two important points here. The fact that the free enterprise candidate for July's presidential election, Felipe Calderon of the National Action Party (PAN), is suddenly and unexpectedly surging ahead on his slogan of “My job will be to make sure you have a job” may show that the Mexican people are fed up. In addition, the fact that only 50,000 of the 400,000 Mexicans in the United States who were available to vote in the July Mexican elections have bothered to register can only indicate a generalized disgust with Mexican corruption and hopelessness, and perhaps even a turn toward American ways.

Policy follows rhetoric.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 30, 2006 10:48 AM

What's funny is the litany of problems she has with Mexico is what she and her fellow leftists have tried to give America. No wonder they hate the U.S. so much.

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at May 30, 2006 11:15 AM

Policy follows rhetoric? Does that mean you think Mexico might beat us to erecting the wall?

Posted by: J at May 30, 2006 12:01 PM

Of course, J. Walls are built on borders to keep people in, not out.

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at May 30, 2006 12:04 PM

Could it be that the average Jose Bracero who sends money back home isn't a conejito mudo. He's been looking around and learning that wealth isn't created by the government, but by the hard work of individuals like himself.

Mexican illegals may be more of force for freedom and prosperity than we could have imagined only a short time ago. The corrupt establishment should take their cue from a previous posted article by MIchelle Goldberg and keep their bags packed and their passports up-to-date. They know they'll always be welcome in Cuba.

Rbt. is of course correct. Open societies don't build walls.

Posted by: erp at May 30, 2006 12:17 PM

What about a vaguely defined fence, the eventual implementation of which may eventually stand 7, 8, or 9 inches higher then two feet tall?

Posted by: Jay at May 30, 2006 12:25 PM

. . . the fact that only 50,000 of the 400,000 Mexicans in the United States who were available to vote in the July Mexican elections have bothered to register can only indicate a generalized disgust with Mexican corruption and hopelessness, and perhaps even a turn toward American ways.

Guess that whole reconquista project isn't working out like La Raza imagined.

Posted by: Mike Morley at May 30, 2006 1:16 PM


Their rhetoric has a ways to go to catch up, but their side is more likely to be patrolled than ours in a few years.

Posted by: oj at May 30, 2006 1:22 PM

"Guess that whole reconquista project isn't working out like La Raza imagined"

"reconquista project" doesn't require voting in Mexican elections, but in US elections

Posted by: h-man at May 30, 2006 2:09 PM

Especially if a Mexican immigrant strikes it big here and decides to return and run for el presidente on a reformist platform.

Posted by: Dreadnought at May 30, 2006 2:10 PM

"Guess that whole reconquista project isn't working out like La Raza imagined."

Because unlike University Leftists, a Mexican peon is smart enought to know that there won't be any work for him in Aztlan, and that Guatemala and Honduras won't be taking up the slack.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at May 30, 2006 2:11 PM

for George Bush and the GOP.

If the Reconquista moves all of America as far Right as it has FL, GA, TX, NM, AZ, & recently even CA let them have the whole place.

Posted by: oj at May 30, 2006 2:20 PM

California, New Mexico have moved left, not right. Kerry of all people lost in 04 by a mere 6000 votes. New Mexico used to be automatic Republican.

Posted by: h-man at May 30, 2006 2:44 PM

AZ has moved left as well.

Open societies don't build walls only if you define open socities as those that don't build walls.

Posted by: Pepys at May 30, 2006 3:43 PM

Gore won New Mexico in 2000. Bush won in 2004.

And really, if you brave 110 degree weather in the Sonoran desert or the Rio Grande water hazard, double-dealing coyotes who stuff you 30 at a time in the back of a van, U.S. Border Patrol guards and all the other hazards to come to America because life is so crappy in Mexico, why on Earth would you want to join the reconquista movement to bring Mexico's stlye of government to the southwestern United States?

Posted by: John at May 30, 2006 4:04 PM

Bill Richardson is a conservative Democrat. Arnold won CA after it recalled a Democrat.

Posted by: oj at May 30, 2006 4:19 PM

John, OJ
Forget the "reconquista" bs. Mexican immigrants consistently vote Democratic at a rate of 70-30. Native son Bush didn't even get over 50% of the Mexican vote in Texas in 2004.

Why? Well you tell me why, it would seem the burden of the argument is on the otherside.

My argument is that they've been raised in a socialist system and that it matches their own values. That's why Mexico has the policies it has. Statistics back that up.

Wasn't my characterization of Muhammed accurate in the post above. If not then explain in what way it was inaccurate.

Posted by: h-man at May 30, 2006 4:34 PM

Arnold is a libertarian. California used to be solidly Republican until the demographics changed.

Posted by: h-man at May 30, 2006 4:38 PM

CA was Republican until Pete Wilson made the GOP the enemy of its fastest rising demographic.

W gets 40%+ and Jeb gets over 50%. Latinos are social conservatives and will vote that way once the nativists get out of their way. But how we get even 40% in a party that has cretins like Tom Tancredo in it is a miracle.

Your point above was of the Jews using Christian children to make motzah variety.

Posted by: oj at May 30, 2006 4:40 PM

Wilson won after his little proposition (i can never remember the names of Ca. propositions) passed easily.

Btw your stated position regarding welfare to immigrants is the same as Wilson's, the only difference is that he had the courage of his convictions.

Posted by: h-man at May 30, 2006 4:48 PM

Then I apoligize to Mohammed. (if it's not in the Koran)

Tancredo may disagree with you, but so far I've heard nothing he has said justifies the description "cretin"

Posted by: h-man at May 30, 2006 4:52 PM

Wilson ran a racist campaign which is often good short term politics and never good long term when the demographics are against you.

The danger when you folk actually start to believe that Latinos are all idiots is that you think you can base your politics on hatred but not alienate them. One morning you wake up and wonder why only 9% of blacks vote for the GOP even though many agree with Republicans on the issues.

Posted by: oj at May 30, 2006 4:52 PM

oj. I'm confused. Who is that thinks Latinos are idiots? On what do you base your contention that the GOP is racist?

Posted by: erp at May 30, 2006 5:18 PM

The GOP isn't generically, though we do tend to flirt with it. The Tancredo wing is.

Posted by: oj at May 30, 2006 5:28 PM

Erp, it's not that the GOP is racist, it's that it's easy to be tared as one when the press is againest you and you don't have the cover to ignore the loons. The Democrats, strongest on the Leftist cultist side, are much better about 'the party line'.

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at May 30, 2006 6:06 PM

You can't obsess over Affirmative Action, Mexico, and Islam without playing up racist memes and on racist propensities.

Posted by: oj at May 30, 2006 6:12 PM

Affirmative action is racist not the other way around and it's not Islam that we obsess against, it's their terrorist factions. I know no one who obsesses about Mexicans, or people from any other country, especially on this blog.

Posted by: erp at May 30, 2006 7:40 PM

Mrs. Erp, there are plenty of Republicans in the public square who are obsessing over Islam, and Mexicans. The Republicans are more open to discussion then the Democrats, but it is not cost free.

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at May 30, 2006 7:49 PM


Affirmative Action is certainly racist but has almost no practical effect in the real world. In fact, so little that it's pretty much died as an issue, though next time there's a court case the hysteria will whip back up.

The Right is indeed obsessed with Islam, not factions, as the cult and pedophilia comments here today make clear enough.

The anti-immigrationists are Mexican-obsessed.

Posted by: oj at May 30, 2006 8:37 PM

The crowd at NRO in particular seem to think that GOP stands for Guardians of Palor.

Posted by: Chris B at May 30, 2006 9:21 PM

This is a more complicated issue than short pithy statements can cover.

Islamophobia: Where's the evidence that we're all obsessed with Islam? Prior to Moslems using terrorism as a political tactic, few Americans were aware of Islam other than an exotic way of life in far-off lands pictured in the National Geographic magazine.

Those of us who had Moslem friends or neighbors knew them as ordinary people going about their lives in an unremarkable way, so we had no reason to fear or hate them. When they changed, our attitudes toward them changed from acceptance to apprehension.

Mexicans: There are probably still a lot of people who think Mexicans and other people from south of our border are inferior, but that's not what the immigration issue is about. It's about control and I think those opposing open borders are mostly from the left, not the right even though that may not be the way it's being presented in the media.

We on the right have an unfortunate propensity to believe what the media say about us even though we know their track record for accuracy and honesty leaves a lot to be desired.

Posted by: erp at May 31, 2006 8:32 AM


We aren't all. That's the point.

Posted by: oj at May 31, 2006 8:53 AM