Mindful of the timeless advice our mothers gave us, that if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all, I have this comment about California Senator Dianne Feinstein: "She's great for my job security!"
After considering Feinstein for several hours (a profoundly unpleasant task), that's the best I can come up with.
Of course, if you don't write immigration reform columns for a living (as I do) then you most assuredly can't think of a good thing about Feinstein.
Now that I've fulfilled my obligation to my mother, I can proceed to the matter at hand: Feinstein and her perverse dedication to guest worker programs and the temporary (ha!) legal status she wants to include in them.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, no day at the beach either, shot Feinstein down when he stripped Feinstein's ag worker provision from the Senate Iraq spending bill. Score another big win for our side!
But Feinstein's duplicity left an unusually bad stench behind that deserves a close look.
But Feinstein reduced herself to stealth measures when she attached late in the evening of May 16th a100 page-illegal alien farm worker amnesty for approximately 3 million illegal aliens to a Senate Appropriations Committee Iraq spending measure.
Feinstein's passion for guest worker programs, in light of massive evidence that none are necessary, is truly breathtaking. She is not embarrassed or ashamed to boldly lie about what is really going on in the fields and farms.
Here, according to a San Francisco Chronicle story written by Carolyn Lochhead, is what Feinstein hopes she can get you to believe:
"It's an emergency. If you can't get people to prune, to plant, to pick, to pack, you can't run a farm." [Feinstein, Lofgren push for immigrant workers, May 16, 2008]
I count five lies in two short sentences.
Or, if you prefer to look at it another way, in a twenty-one-word statement, Feinstein lied five times.
First lie, no "emergency" exists because, second and third lies, workers finished pruning and planting months ago. Lies number four and five: picking and packing are in progress.
I am literally surrounded by orchards with substantial acreage located directly to my north, south, east and west.
What I see—all day, every day—are workers hard at the task of picking fruit in the middle of what promises to be a banner harvest. (If you want, you can come to Lodi and pick some yourself at a local farm.)
If Feinstein were to offer an opinion about conditions in California's fields that we may not agree with, that's one thing.
But to stand up on the Senate floor and deliver a series of completely transparent lies (transparent, that is, to anyone who makes the slightest effort to learn the truth) is an altogether different—and disgusting—matter.
You can be sure that if Feinstein had tangible evidence that "an emergency" existed, we'd see photographs of the proverbial "rotting crops."
Let her send one of her eager staffers from any of those cities—plenty of agriculture in and around all of them—into the fields to produce the "shocking photos" that she could then wave around to her Senate colleagues.
But on-the-scene pictures would hurt Feinstein's cause so don't expect to see any.
What more can I say about Feinstein that I haven't written before?
I could speculate that Feinstein is a born liar.
Read my complete accounting of the 2007 cherry crop here. And if you don't believe me, then read this report from the USDA confirming that in 2007 California cherry growers produced 92,000 tons, a 119 percent increase over 2006.
Or I could say that a millionaire like Feinstein who is married to the billionaire Richard C. Blum shouldn't be spending her golden years in the back pocket of the grower's lobby in exchange for campaign chump change.[Richard Blum, the Man Behind URS, Next to Sen. Feinstein, By Tom Abate, San Francisco Chronicle, May 13, 2008]
That sort of behavior strikes me as unseemly, to say the least.
I suppose that I could summarize Feinstein by observing that at 75 she's an old witch who is long past her retirement age and may be losing her marbles.
But since some readers may consider those remarks harsh, unkind and therefore unworthy of me, I'll simply return to providing you with more facts.
Simply put, there's no excuse for hiring illegal aliens or importing more foreign-born workers.
North Carolina growers have recently set up an association that meets all its ag labor needs through local workers and legal foreign workers brought through the existing H-2A visa, the provisions of which ensure—or try to— that the seasonal guest workers go home.
Why shouldn't California growers play by the same rules as law-abiding farmers in other states like North Carolina?
Finally, this important point made to me during an exchange by California rancher Cindy Woods:
"There are no emergency or any crops rotting. Millions of legal immigrants work in our nation's fields.
"Feinstein should think for a moment about our California children who are getting ready for our state fairs right now.
"They are America's future farmers. Our children have worked their hearts out to show their animals and their ag produce. They deserve a chance.
"Shame on Feinstein!"
The program is a prominent and exciting part of many California high school curriculums.
What, after all, what can young Californians do for Feinstein?
Joe Guzzardi [e-mail him] is the Editor of VDARE.COM Letters to the Editor. In addition, he is an English teacher at the Lodi Adult School and has been writing a weekly newspaper column since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.