But it would have been amnesty! Amnesty! Amnesty!

During the immigration debate, the Republican netroots would say “amnesty!” as if that ends the discussion.

TM Lutas was a voice in the wilderness, however, shouting the real points that the Sean Hannitys of America were ducking:

  • The point below which you are being inhumane by splitting up families or preventing their formation
  • The point below which you are impeding economic growth by favoring labor over capital so high wages choke growth
  • The point below which you start to get cultural stagnation due to cultural insularity
  • The point below which you are turning away great political assets to the nation
  • The point above which you are favoring capital over labor by crashing wages and destroying bargaining power
  • The point above which you lose cultural solidarity and cohesion
  • The point above which you lose political stability
  • The point above which you lose military control and eventually territorial control

Talk radio and the netroot bloggers would have done better if they would have addressed the real questions, instead of shouting “amnesty.” But why should we expect anything but their usual brilliance when it comes to families who will take generations to assimilate (you know, just like everyone else)?

5 thoughts on “But it would have been amnesty! Amnesty! Amnesty!”

  1. I remember reading primary source stuff in history class from the 1900s about how the Swedes and Germans were a bunch of lazy drunks who refused to integrate and were destroying American culture.

    Ah yes, history doesn't repeat, but it rhymes (Mark Twain?).

  2. Interesting, the comment worked that time. I tried 3 times in Firefox and it didn't work (blogspirit gave me an error message) but I switched to IE (in a FireFox tab) and it posted.

  3. “Talk radio and the netroot bloggers would have done better if they would have addressed the real questions”… you didn't get your hopes up, did you?

  4. Adrian,

    Indeed. I remember writing for national history day of Woodrow Wilson's campaign against “hyphenated Americans” (German-Americans, etc.). And in my home state, the Klan was largely organized to keep those strange immigrations from north-central Europe out (mostly Scandanavians and Germans)… How times have changed — even the racist-supremecists become more integrated over time!

    (What happened in Firefox after you clicked submit? I can submit an error report for you.)


    Yeah, I did. Through Rush Limbaugh, talk radio was my first exposure to conservatism as an ideology as opposed to a reflex. Sean Hannity has always been light compared to Rush, and the different ways they handled their opposition to this bill made that clear again.

  5. Assuming we're talking about increased immigration of poor people….

    One problem with the above “level” argument is that they're different for different people.

  6. “done better” means what?

    The bill was a hot steaming pile but both sides were primarily arguing for “yes” or “no” as it was. Find me the majority – not the rare rational voice in the wilderness – on either side that was open to honest and wide-ranging debate and we could have gotten somewhere.

    This is what happens when your bills are drafted by interest groups. Citizen wiki-draft a reasoned, rational mock bill and see who salutes. Then you'll have identified the people who aren't bought and paid for or who are willing to put aside their ideological sunglasses.

  7. Steve,

    Indeed, and thus this caboose-breaking [1] during the immigration debate.

    That said, the idea that America should have a protected class of low-skilled workers is a ghettoizing [2] philosophy.


    I submitted an error report for you and Adrian. Hopefully it will be resolved soon.


    As I mentioned before [3], I'm not sure if I'm weakly opposed or weakly supportive of the Bush-McCain-Kennedy compromise. However, it was consistent with how the government passed globalizing reforms throughout the 1990s (NAFTA, WTO, etc): through elite cooperation.

    Whether or not the public would actually support globalization on its merits is open to question, and the benefits of it may make it too important to risk a true public discussion. Globalization may indeed be a case where we “think Christian but speak Victorian” [4]

    [1] http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/2006/03/caboose_braking_in_india_and_c.html
    [2] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2007/06/28/against-the-racial-gap.html
    [3] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2007/06/28/brilliant-baby.html
    [4] http://cominganarchy.com/2007/07/01/how-to-you-say-speak-victorian-in-japanese/

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