The most comforting thing about being on the patriotic side of the immigration reform fight is how stupid our opposition is.
Conventional wisdom dictates that you should never underestimate your rivals. But I'm not selling the Hispanic lobby short so much as I am calling it like it is: taken as a whole, they are mind-jarringly, even comically, inept.
This week, we have more good examples from the gang that can't shoot straight.
First, the Associated Press interview with Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund president Thomas Saenz conducted by Suzanne Gamboa. [AP Interview: Leader Has Back Up Immigration Plan, by Suzanne Gamboa, September 25, 2009]
During his interview, Saenz reiterates the same tedious analysis of the battle on the ground. Presented unconvincingly and therefore unsuccessfully hundreds of times by various ethnic identity lobbyists, Saenz claims that high school children should not be denied access to higher education, farmers need more labor and what he perceives as civil rights abuses must end.
This is to laugh out loud!
To begin at the beginning, Saenz is the highest ranking official at the most prominent lobby that promotes the Hispanic perspective on amnesty. Furthermore, he's speaking to a Hispanic reporter for the Associated Press, one of the worst mainstream media offenders regarding honest immigration journalism.
When you factor in the story's source (Saenz) and add to it the bias of the reporter (Gamboa) and her employer (AP) you must conclude that it has no credibility unless you read it, as I did, as MALDEF's open admission of defeat.
Gamboa's breathless suggestion that plan "B" is a new wrinkle that will save the day is staggeringly stupid. If there were such a thing as responsible editing at AP, her story would never have seen print.
The "let's do it one at a time" strategy that would include the DREAM Act, Ag Jobs and more green cards has been tried before, as recently as 2007, and bombed completely. Read a comprehensive list of the "pieces" that were skewered in my February 6, 2008 column here.
So-called "comprehensive immigration reform" is such a political dog that eighteen months ago even Democratic House Leader and illegal immigration enthusiast Nancy Pelosi refused to lift a finger to move "the pieces" into subcommittee, let alone allow a bill to reach the floor.
But what's makes Saenz look even dumber (and that's hard to do!) is that his "piecemeal" plan is already in place!
The DREAM Act has a Senate (S. 729) and House version (H.R. 1751) with an unimpressive 27 and 99 co-sponsors respectively. All the signatories, of course, are the predictable names unfortunately so well known to us.
Not to be outdone by DREAM Act advocates, in May California Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced for the umpteenth time an AgJOBs bill (S.1038) to colossal indifference. A companion bill (H.R. 2414) hasn't drawn broad support either.
Perhaps Saenz is unaware of what's going on around him. His wish could come true if only the idea of amnesty in any form is such a dog that MALDEF, despite its millions and well placed connections on the Hill and in the media, can't sell it.
That brings us to the second failed case:
The unbearably repulsive Illinois Representative Luis Gutierrez.
In a just world, there would be a limit on how many times a one-note Congressman like Gutierrez can waste our money by going back to the well repeatedly to push his tedious Open Borders platform.
But since that's the Congressional way, we're forced to endure more drivel from Gutierrez.
Let's review Gutierrez's recent misadventures.
His 16-city, Five Week "Family Unity Outreach Tour" was a truly nauseating coast-to-coast road show in held in conjunction with evangelical church leaders (amnesty shills in disguise) and promoted by Gutierrez as "an effort to document the harm caused to citizens across our nation in the absence of comprehensive immigration reform."
In retrospect, Gutierrez's cavalcade did not move his amnesty agenda forward one inch. If you doubt me, look at the picture taken during a meeting with President Obama and the Hispanic Caucus after Gutierrez returned. Notice the bored Obama and Gutierrez's sleeping colleagues. (See it here; scroll down)
Even Gutierrez would agree that to date his strategy has gotten him nowhere. Gutierrez himself confirmed it when he announced on September 17th that he will demand more doomed "comprehensive immigration reform" legislation later this month.
While the specifics are not yet clear, analysts expect the legislative details to be similar to the Security Through Regularized Immigration and a Vibrant Economy Act (STRIVE Act) that Gutierrez co-sponsored in 2007 with Arizona Representative Jeff Flake.
Adding an ill-advised threat, Gutierrez and his admiring throngs promise to "go to the streets" on October 10 to highlight their demands during National Hispanic Heritage Month. [Hispanic Activists for Immigration Bill Ready to Take the Streets Again, The Americano, September 30, 2009]
As I wrote earlier, I can't stop laughing at how imbecilic this is. During more than three years of legal and illegal immigrants marching publicly, two things have happened, both good for immigration patriots: fewer agitators show up; and American's resistance to amnesty intensifies.
Gutierrez's amnesty bombast hurts the Democrats at a time when they can't afford to take further body blows in the shape of more poorly-conceived liberal programs they can't deliver on.
What the Democrats should do with Gutierrez is follow the lead set by Karl Rove when Republican Tom Tancredo's immigration enforcement stance undermined President George W. Bush. Rove telephoned Tancredo to order him to "never darken the doorstep of the White House again."
White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel should threaten to muzzle Gutierrez. Since leaning on a fellow party member indicates dissent, a silencing maneuver would be tricky. But an experienced hatchet-man like Emmanuel could pull it off easily, however.
Not only have our opponents come up empty handed on all their amnesty efforts since 2000, they continue to go backward.
In the process, knowingly or not, they hurt their constituents who they falsely claim to represent.
The best plan of attack for the ethnic separatists would be to keep their mouths shut and pray to maintain the status quo.
Whenever angry amnesty rhetoric starts, and especially when it originates with MALDEF or subversives like Gutierrez, American anti-amnesty resolve stiffens. The result is repeated defeats for the other side.
When the lobbyists demand amnesty, they draw negative attention across America to the omnipresence of illegal aliens.
In more than twenty years of teaching English as a second language to California immigrants, mostly illegal, I never heard them insist that they be amnestied. After all, they have it good as it is: free education and medical care, ample job opportunities (pre-melt down), little pressure to assimilate—and their U.S.-born children are automatically citizens.
Of course, as we've learned, the MALDEFs care more about their inflated salaries and self importance than they do about their immigrant brethren.
Otherwise, their message would be: "Mum's the word."
Joe Guzzardi [email him] is a California native who recently fled the state because of over-immigration, over-population and a rapidly deteriorating quality of life. He has moved to Pittsburgh, PA where the air is clean and the growth rate stable. A long-time instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, Guzzardi has been writing a weekly column since 1988. It currently appears in the Lodi News-Sentinel.