by Heidi and Kit at Euphoric Reality
Tonight, the President will address the nation on his plans for illegal immigration. Unfortunately, he's already given his word to Vicente Fox on Sunday that his plan to put a few National Guard troops on the border is just a temporary formality, of sorts, and not meant to intimidate anyone. Right. Heaven forbid we intimidate anyone to deter them from breaking our laws!
The question then arises, who does Bush feel more compelled to explain himself to - us Americans or the Mexicans? He owes the American people everything , and the Mexican government nothing! So why is he assuring Fox of anything concerning our internal national policies?!
I have no illusions about what we'll hear from President Bush tonight. But before he tries to lull anyone into complacency tonight, let's look at the reality of the Goode Amendment, which Bush will no doubt reference in his speech tonight. Troops on the border to bolster security? It's not what it sounds like:
OK, here are the dirty little secrets.
“(d) Conditions of Use- (1) Whenever a member who is assigned under subsection (a) to assist the Bureau of Border Security or the United States Customs Service is performing duties at a border location pursuant to the assignment, a civilian law enforcement officer from the agency concerned shall accompany the member.”
So, each military member will simply now be a buddy for a Border Patrol guy.
Now look at this;
“(2) Nothing in this section shall be construed to–
(A) authorize a member assigned under subsection (a) to conduct a search, seizure, or other similar law enforcement activity or to make an arrest;”
So, the military has nada authority.
BUT it gets better;
“(h) Termination of Authority- No assignment may be made or continued under subsection (a) after September 30, 2007.’”
This is a ONE YEAR DEAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Bush's speech tonight seems to be a weak bid to stem the hemorrhage of voters from the Republican Party. As the party's leader, Bush has a responsibility to lead and direct his party, and he may just be leading it to a crushing defeat in the upcoming elections. People who voted for Bush not once, but twice, are abandoning the Republican Party in droves. On a recent news radio poll, 80% of the callers who had voted for Bush twice, now heartily disapprove of him. Of that 80%, 90% of them said it was due to his mishandling of our border security. But Democrats shouldn’t celebrate any victories yet, because it’s not just Republicans - what it's doing to the two-party system is even worse.
This issue is splitting the American people into a majority who demand border security and immigration enforcement and a small, but vocal minority who demand amnesty. There are now two schools of thought coalescing around the faltering Republican Party and its bumbling missteps. The debate is happening now and we need to be a part of it. So let’s debate!
Kit and I dove into this a little deeper and have each represented a school of thought concerning the future of the Party, and by extension, our two party-system. In the interest of full disclosure, Kit is an increasingly-reluctant Republican and I am a furious Independent (formerly Republican who split from the party over a year ago).
by Kit Jarrell
Immigration is about as hot an issue as this country has seen in a while. Die-hard conservatives who once proudly pasted Bush/Cheney stickers on the backs of their cars are suddenly screaming for the President's head on a platter in the wake of his seemingly deliberate ignorance of the will of the American people, who in a new poll overwhelmingly call for border security and lower immigration numbers. A low rumbling has been heard in the blogosphere as some call for a conservative boycott of the 2006 elections in an effort to "show those GOP folks who's boss."
In the last few days, several conservative bloggers have stepped back a bit, asking if perhaps we're not being too hasty. Captain Ed says we're shooting ourselves in the foot if we simply sit home on Election Day.
...we still have to vote in November. If our preferred candidate does not win in the primaries, we still have to act responsibly and choose between the two major party candidates in the general election. Not only will abdication result in a loss of control over our own representation, the failure of GOP candidates has national implications that will wind up hamstringing the politicians that really have worked on our behalf -- the Tom Coburns, the John Boehners, the Jon Cornyns. And by sitting on our hands, we will have proven too inflexible to be dependable -- which will only encourage Republican candidates to reach out to the center-left more than ever before.
He's right. Here's how I see it:
The time for us to be acting is now, before the elections. We need to be seeking out and supporting candidates that we know will act with integrity and fortitude, who will understand and respect the rule of law, and who will do the job they were elected to do: represent the will of those who voted them in.
However, if Election Day rolls around and our candidate didn't make it, that is no excuse for us to sit home and do nothing. What happens if we throw a temper tantrum and refuse to vote? Democrats win. And let's face it: As much disillusion as we may feel right now, it's nothing compared to what this country will sink to if a liberal is elected back into the White House.
Stop the ACLU agrees, and quotes the Anchoress:
I just have to ask all of you people - on every side - who have decided that immigration is one man’s burden, and that every good thing President Bush has done is to be negated because he hasn’t snapped his fingers and done what YOU think is the solution to the immigration problem…what did Clinton do about immigration, what did Bush 41 do? What did St. Reagan do? What did Carter do? What has any president, congressperson or senator done about immigration for the last 30 years, except kick the issue down the road for someone else to deal with?
As hard as it may be to hear, she's got a point. The responsibility for the scope and breadth of the current immigration problem lies on all of our shoulders. Illegals didn't suddenly start showing up in the last year. Politicians have been ignoring the problem for decades...and so have we.
Anchoress goes on:
[On] immigration…one man is to blame, one man is at fault, one man must find the Solomonic solution. And if he doesn’t, he’s a bum no matter what else he’s done. Meanwhile, the press can’t get over the president who smiled and cried his way through two terms, and they still work on his legacy. Can you ever recall a time in history where 6 years after an administration ends, the ex-president is still breathlessly being polled-on, still being given (on most days) as much press as the current president? I can’t.
Is Bush wrong on this issue? Absolutely. Am I angry about it? You're damn right I am. But he's what we've got for another two years. I'm not asking everyone to go to Bush rallies and cheer. I am, however, telling you that being a conservative isn't like being a liberal. We don't get to take our toys and go home simply because someone's not playing fair. We don't get to scream for the nanny because we're not getting what we want. We're not part of that tribe. We don't get the luxury of tantrums and whining and petulance. Let's leave that for the cowards who'd rather hold up a sign than pay their dues as freemen.
As conservatives, we are the ones who see the big picture. We have to. Yes, immigration is one of the biggest issues facing this country. Yes, we need to act now. Yes, we need to hold our politicians accountable for their actions (or lack thereof). But sitting at home or boycotting the elections will only show everyone that we're just as spineless as the liberals we deride.
Liberals run when things don't work out. We don't. We stay until they're finished, until they're done, until the problem is taken care of. Don't throw up your hands yet. There's still work to be done.
I see the point made above. There is no doubt that we cannot sit back and do nothing. If we do - we deserve worse than we get. But can the Republican Party be reformed by simply finding new candidates? I know Democrats that are vastly disappointed with the direction of their party, too. Personally, I figure the system is broken. I think our Founding Fathers would be heartsick to see the extent of corruption within our two party system - it's like a grandiose house that has rotted from the foundation up. It would be best to tear it down and build something new and rock-solid on the foundation our forefathers built.
I am not prepared to give Bush a free pass by comparing him to our previous do-nothing Presidents. Never has there been a time in history when we have faced the sheer glut of problems rooted in the invasion of illegals - we're at 20 million or more - twice what the government will admit to. Never have we faced the crises of a foreign government managing our internal domestic policies, or our own government actively undermining our own laws, hamstringing our law enforcement, and refusing to listen to the majority of the American people. The American people have spoken - but nobody is listening!
Bush is the leader of the Republican Party. If he did the right thing, our majority-Republican Congress would follow. End of story - mission accomplished. Since he WON'T do the right thing, he puts those elected officials in the vulnerable and dangerous place of having to go against the entire executive branch in order to do what their people demand. As we've already seen, there's few of them that are man enough to do that. And that's what Bush is banking on! He's the one risking his own party, not those who abandon the Republican Party because it no longer speaks for them!
I think the Anchoress' defensive position is much more dangerous to the Republican Party than anything else: "How is one man supposed to do what countless others haven't?" That alone is a losing proposition! She asks what all the other presidents did about illegal immigration. Well, here are several extenuating points to ponder about that:
1) we've never had 20-28 MILLION illegals before
2) we never had a 9/11 before
3) we were not at war
4) those Presidents didn't promise the entire country that nothing mattered to them as much as our national security. Bush did.
The Republicans know that conservatives can't go anywhere else without risking the liberals taking control. I think Republicans count on the fact that conservatives are trapped, and they abuse it. Republicans caution rebellious conservatives by reminding them of how twelve years ago, disaffected voters split the vote between Bush 41 and Perot. "Look what happened," they mourn, "we got eight years of Clinton." Republicans paint those independents as having sabotaged the election. Yet, what was the best candidate they could field against an incumbent Clinton in 1996? Bob Dole? C'mon - that's the best they could do? Losing two elections to the likes of Bubba Clinton is not the fault of the Independent voter - it's the result of a weak-willed Republican Party. They handed those elections to Clinton with a big red bow on top! That alone tells me they don't have what it takes to survive a reformation - they play it way too safe.
Today, we can't elect third-rate leaders just because we're voting against a floridly silly Al Gore or a treasonous John Kerry - who feels good about that?! Voting for the lesser of two evils, to vote against the worse candidate, is not the way any Republican or Democrat can hope to win an election. Neither party is any longer representing the American people, but rather big money interests and powerful small interest lobbies. Elections are a big money game. Though an Independent Perot couldn't win with his millions 14 years ago, he may have just been well ahead of his time. Here we are a decade and a half later, and millions of us are actively looking for a candidate with a spine of steel and an unswerving loyalty to the American people and the sovereignty of our homeland! I don't know about you, but I'm ready! There needs to be a radical overthrow of the rotten parties currently in control.
There's a confluence of circumstances that may make possible today what was impossible 14 years ago - field a powerful Independent that truly represents the American people. I've heard people caution that we can't afford to be single-issue voters. I beg to differ - when it comes to our national sovereignty, nothing is more important. Illegal immigration and Mexico's meddling in our domestic affairs are the greatest threat to our national sovereignty that our generation has ever seen. Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats can handle the gravity of the problem - they've already proven that to their everlasting shame.
It's time to throw them all out - the spirit of the American Revolution burns deeps inside many of us. It's time to ignite that fire and accomplish what lesser men and women have deemed impossible.