Bush Betrayal Flushes Out Neocon Nogoodniks
January 15, 2004, 04:00 AM
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What is that John Podhoretz, Jonah Goldberg, David Horowitz, Tamar Jacoby, Suzanne Fields and David Brooks have in common?

They are all neoconservatives, and all—unlike most conservatives of other identities and backgrounds—support President Bush's amnesty plan for illegal immigrants.

What does that tell us?

What it tells I will consider momentarily, but first, let us listen to the harmony of neocon voices warbling happily in contemplation of the coming inundation of the country by amnestied Third World immigrants.

Tamar Jacoby in the Wall Street Journal intones that the president's plan is "a historic beginning, truly not unlike Richard Nixon's trip to China," an analogy that might bear comment in itself.

David Brooks, the New York Times' token neocon, writes that Mr. Bush "has moved the Republicans a long way on this issue [immigration], and he will probably have to move a little more." He praises the "work and drive and creativity" that "millions" of illegal aliens bring us. [Workers in the Shadows, By David Brooks, NYT, January 10, 2004]

Mr. Horowitz sings that the president's plan is "rational, sound and a step in the right direction," while Mr. Goldberg, a bit more tortured in his reasoning, concludes that the plan is "not an ideal solution" but does "deal with reality in a constructive way."

Unlike Mr. Bush, none of these backers of the amnesty plan denies that it is in fact amnesty.

Their arguments for it vary, but in general most seem to share a common assumption—in Mr. Goldberg's words,

"But what's the alternative? Some voices on the far right suggest simply rounding up millions upon millions of illegals and sending them packing. Well, that's simply not going to happen. First of all, most of these folks are already working here. Suddenly yanking them from their jobs isn't a great economic policy. Even less realistic is the expectation that an already overextended government could do it if it wanted to. And even less realistic than that is the notion that any politician would even try."

Leave aside the fact that Mr. Goldberg thinks it is "far right" to demand that laws be enforced and persons illegally in this country deported, a position that also happens to be the legally mandated official (if not systematically enforced) policy of the U.S. government. The common assumption Mr. Goldberg shares with his neocon comrades is that because so many illegals are already here, it's impossible to deport them and keep others out; therefore, let's legalize them. 

By the same argument, it's equally impossible to arrest all murderers, muggers, and rapists; therefore, let's just have amnesty for all the above.

Like many neocon arguments, those marshaled in support of amnesty rest on dubious and inadequately examined assumptions, but the flaws of this particular argument are not of much interest. What is interesting is what the argument tells us.

Ever since the 9/11 attacks, neoconservatives, who had generally supported mass immigration without reservation, have been a bit more muted. The dangers and problems of mass immigration suddenly became clear to many Americans, and the neocons realized they needed to get on board with the new interest in more effective immigration control. They started muttering softly about "responsible" immigration reform and endorsing a few modest reforms and restrictions—"reform lite," as some called it.

They also began to preach to—and smear—those who had been warning about immigration for years.

Mr. Goldberg himself wrote in a column in the Los Angeles Times in 2002 that "paleoconservatives and neo-nativists" who favored "white supremacy" (he named me, Pat Buchanan and Peter Brimelow, founder of the immigration control website VDARE.COM, on which this column appears) had "marginalized the entire debate about immigration at the exact moment that the issue needs all the intelligent discussion it can get."

Quite frankly, I was not aware of any "debate" about immigration with the neoconservatives. How can you have a debate with people who simply call you ugly names?

Nor was I aware of any "discussion" of immigration, intelligent or otherwise, from neoconservatives in general or Mr. Goldberg in particular.

I was willing to be instructed, but upon inquiring I learned that no one else knew of anything he or most other neocons had ever written on the issue, aside from unbridled endorsements of virtual open borders.

But now I am instructed. I know what Mr. Goldberg and his neoconservative buddies mean by "intelligent discussion" of the immigration issue.

They mean amnesty.

And what that tells us is that neoconservatives never had any interest in real immigration reform, control or discussion.

Their pretense that they did was as phony as their whole claim to being conservatives at all, and what they want today—open borders—is exactly what they have always wanted—and what the president's amnesty is designed to give them.

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[Sam Francis [email him] is a nationally syndicated columnist. A selection of his columns, America Extinguished: Mass Immigration And The Disintegration Of American Culture, is now available from Americans For Immigration Control. Click here for Sam Francis' website. Click here to order his monograph, Ethnopolitics: Immigration, Race, and the American Political Future and here for Glynn Custred's review.]