Way back on July 20, 2001, in the first VDARE.com article I ever wrote about the Bush Administration's immigration obsession, I predicted:
"Even in the short run, however, opening the floodgates ever wider is likely to be a losing strategy because the Democrats can always out-pander the Republicans. They're experts at it. Republicans are amateurs.
"The sheer shamelessness of Bush's sucking up to the Fox-Castaneda administration and their plans to dump more of their poor people on us may have temporarily caught the Democrats flat-footed. But the Democratic Party has not yet begun to pander!"
Now, right on cue, the Democrats have begun to pander. The Congressional party, led by Ted Kennedy, celebrated Cinco de Mayo by unveiling its rejoinder to George W. Bush's open borders proposal, known here at VDARE.COM as "The Bush Betrayal"—the SOLVE Act ("Safe, Orderly, Legal Visas and Enforcement ").
I wish I were as accurate at prophesying stock prices and winning lottery numbers as I am at foretelling the inevitable foul-ups of this Bush bugaboo!
As I explained on August 14, 2001:
"My prediction: rather than a political masterstroke, [Bush's immigration trial balloon] will be a disaster. It will fall apart in Congress because the Democrats want to put more immigrants on the road to being voters, confident that the majority will vote Democratic. The more intelligent Republicans understand that and don't want it."
By early September of 2001, Bush's amnesty had indeed fallen apart in Congress. But by making amnesty for illegal aliens look so absurd that Bush had to shelve his plans for years, the immigrant terrorists of 9/11 paradoxically saved him from an embarrassing and decisive defeat.
So, like the Bourbons in the French Revolution, Bush learned nothing and forgot nothing. He dusted amnesty off again in January of this year.
Well, maybe the President did learn one thing: that Congressional Republicans hated the idea of millions of illegal aliens becoming voters. So, in his politically disastrous January 7th proposal, he took the absurd course of making clear that these immigrants were to be disenfranchised helots—and then (supposedly) kicked out of the country after some unspecified number of years.
As I commented on Feb. 1 of 2004:
"But Bush's new Machiavellianism automatically cedes the rhetorical high ground to the Democrats, who are already pushing for 'earned legalization' (i.e., giving illegals the vote). Bush is left contradictorily sputtering about how wonderful immigrants are and how we don't want them to become our fellow citizens."
And, as I forecast, the Democrats have duly offered to not only give all illegal aliens amnesty, but also to put them on the road to citizenship…and, thus, to being good little Democrats.
The whole thing offers the Dems some slam-dunk soundbites. For example, Rep. Bob Menendez, one of the bill's sponsors, said Bush's proposal "is a pathway to deportation. This is a pathway to the American dream."
Compared to Bush's self-hoisting petard, the Democrat's plan is a modern smart bomb, accurately targeted to appeal to what immigrant voters actually care about. That's not too surprising. Top Democrats simply know more Latinos than do top Republicans. The vast majority of Hispanic politicians are Democrats (24 of the 27 Latino members of the California legislature, for example).
Unlike Bush, the Democrats understand that Hispanic voters don't want more random immigrants from more random countries. (As Harvard economist George Borjas' important new study documents, mass immigration drives down the wages of Latinos more than those of any other ethnic group.)
Which is why, as I've argued before, the Pew-Kaiser poll of registered Hispanic voters in 2002 found that 48% thought there were too many immigrants in this country, vs. only 7% who thought there were too few.
But Hispanics do tend to like legal immigration, because it gives them control over which of their relatives get to come here.
Accordingly, the Democrat's SOLVE plan will dramatically speed up "family reunification." And that offers another rhetorical victory over Bush, because who could possibly not put a high value on family unity?
Needless to say, these relatives have other relatives, who will then become eligible to move here, and so forth and so on…spawning more Democratic voters every step of the way.
The most radical element of Bush's plan: opening up the American labor market to anyone in the world who has a minimum wage job offer from an American employer. In that regard, the Democrats are more moderate, a.k.a. sane.
Michael Riley of the Denver Post reported:
"While Democrats say they want a plan that provides immigrant workers who have lived and worked here for years a chance to stay permanently, they also proposed tighter restrictions on the entry of new, employer-sponsored workers. The number of those workers would be capped at 250,000 a year, and employers would have to pay a prevailing wage based on Department of Labor data." [Dems have plan for illegal residents| Ideas woo key Hispanic voters By Michael Riley, Denver Post May 04, 2004]
Only one thing was missing from the Democrats' carefully-orchestrated rollout of the SOLVE Act (demonstrations in 30 cities!): their biggest name, presidential nominee John F. Kerry.
Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Ronald Brownstein of the LA Times headlined [May 5, 2004]:
"Kerry Hesitates as Democrats Promote Immigration Plan."
"His campaign is said to be wary of backing bills that could be 'picked apart' by the GOP."
Both Kennedy's and Bush's amnesty plan would do wonders for the Democratic Party in the long run. But Kerry needs to win this year. He evidently wants to signal to Latinos that he favors amnesty while hoping that nobody else notices.
Pretty sleazy—but at least Kerry shows a better grasp than Bush of the simple fact underlying what VDARE.COM insists on calling "the Sailer Strategy"—that in 2000, whites outvoted Hispanics by 15 to 1.
Amnesty is clearly a net vote loser in 2004. Why does Bush insist on shooting himself in the ballot box?
Perhaps because he can't quite make himself believe that we still have a one man-one vote system. Perhaps he's internalized the media's message that all voters are equal, but some voters (minorities) are more equal—meritorious—than others (whites).
Whatever he's smoking, put your money on the professional panderers.