August 19, 2010

YA GONNA LISTEN TO THE GUYS WHO WON THREE ELECTIONS IN A ROW, OR THE GUYS WHO LOST US THE LAST TWO?:

Ex-Bush advisers urge Republicans to soften criticism of mosque near Ground Zero (Perry Bacon Jr., 8/19/10, Washington Post)

Bush famously called Islam a "religion of peace" during his presidency, a phrase few in the party have invoked in discussing the current controversy.

"I think it's important even -- and perhaps especially -- for those who oppose the mosque being built near Ground Zero to make clear they are not conflating all of Islam, and certainly not all American Muslims, with wahhabism and bin Ladenism," Peter Wehner, who ran what was akin to an in-house think tank in the Bush White House, wrote in an e-mail message. "This debate -- because it touches on such sensitive issues -- needs to be done in a manner that is careful, precise, and that even includes a measure of grace. I think some of the comments by the former speaker [Gingrich] fall short of that."

Michael Gerson, who was Bush's chief speechwriter, and Mark McKinnon, who produced ads for both of Bush's presidential campaigns, have defended the mosque being built and suggested Obama's initial statement emphasizing the right to have a mosque near Ground Zero was correct.

Ed Gillespie, who was a top counselor to Bush, emphasized the party should not overplay the controversy for political reasons. James K. Glassman, who was undersecretary of state for diplomacy under Bush and now heads the ex-president's think thank, the George W. Bush Institute, in recent days has emphasized the importance of the U.S. communicating a message of tolerance to most Muslims while highlighting opposition to figures such as Osama Bin Laden.


Changing the 14th amendment won't solve our immigration crisis (Alberto R. Gonzales, August 22, 2010, Washington Post)
President George W. Bush pushed for comprehensive immigration reform, but Republican members of Congress refused to join him. Although President Obama and the present congressional leadership have used their majority to enact sweeping health-care and financial reform, they seem to lack the will to try to pass comprehensive immigration legislation. Even my apolitical and saintly 78-year-old mother wonders whether the Democrats are keeping this issue on the table for political reasons, hoping that Republicans will propose enforcement measures that alienate Hispanic voters.

Most recently, some politicians and concerned citizens have expressed a desire to amend the 14th Amendment of our Constitution, which says in Section 1, "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside." Proponents want to discourage undocumented mothers from crossing our borders to give birth to children derogatorily referred to as "anchor babies," who by law are American citizens. Such a change is difficult to carry out, as it should be, requiring a new amendment ratified by three-quarters of the states.

I do not support such an amendment. Based on principles from my tenure as a judge, I think constitutional amendments should be reserved for extraordinary circumstances that we cannot address effectively through legislation or regulation. Because most undocumented workers come here to provide for themselves and their families, a constitutional amendment will not solve our immigration crisis. People will certainly continue to cross our borders to find a better life, irrespective of the possibilities of U.S. citizenship.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at August 19, 2010 6:02 PM
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