Joe Guzzardi, OP ED writer and teacher extraordinaire, points out that Bush in nominating yet another open border advocate, Florida Senator Mel Martinez, to head the Republican National Committee, "infuriates the Republican base".
Let's face it, Bush may well have gone round the bend. Example: He went to Vietnam and said to a full house of Vietnamese that the US won the Vietnam War and that Iraq War would be similarly won. Other fairly well known figures such as Tony Blair and Henry Kissinger have publicly admitted, in Blair's case, that Iraq is a disaster, and in Kissinger's case, that we can no longer think in terms of a military victory. Almost 3000 US troops have died and a report by Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore last month claimed that 654,965 Iraqis have died over the last three years, with 200,000 deaths directly attributable to coalition forces.
Hello? Somebody (no one of course in his hermetically sealed inner circle) might show him the pix of the helicopter lift off from the American Embassy in Ho Chi Minh City in 1975! No, don't bother, that would confuse him.
Then on November 17th, in a front page Washington Post story, we learn of Bush's total lack of respect for women's rights when he named "a new chief of family-planning programs at the Department of Health and Human Services who worked at a Christian pregnancy-counseling organization that regards the distribution of contraceptives as 'demeaning to women.'"[Bush Choice for Family-Planning Post Criticized, By Christopher Lee]
Eric Keroack, medical director for A Woman's Concern, a nonprofit group based in Dorchester, Mass., will become Deputy Assistant Secretary For Population Affairs in the next two weeks, department spokeswoman Christina Pearson said yesterday.
Keroack, an obstetrician-gynecologist, will advise Secretary Mike Leavitt on matters such as reproductive health and adolescent pregnancy. He will oversee $283 million in annual family-planning grants that, according to HHS, are "designed to provide access to contraceptive supplies and information to all who want and need them with priority given to low-income persons.""
Cleverly, Bush picked a guy whose appointment does not require Senate confirmation.
So what is his goal? I can only speculate. Like a petulant child, is Bush inconsolably angry over the results of November 7th? Does he figure that, with another two years of his Presidency to go, "What the hell, I will happily screw those Democrats and get even with any Republican that hasn't voted in lock step with my wishes."
Either way, Bush is leading his party, to say nothing of his country, right over a precipice.
It may be, as many have speculated, that he wants his final legacy to be another huge illegal alien amnesty. After all, he has failed at every other initiative of his administration, from the Iraq invasion, to every social welfare and environmental improvement, to leading the country into a fiscal hell. So getting millions more unneeded, unwanted, untutored, largely unskilled illegal aliens now in the US certified as legal US residents will certainly please many in the loyal opposition soon to control Congress. Maybe he thinks in so doing he can silence any incipient Democratic voices calling for his impeachment. If anyone ever deserved impeaching, Bush is your man!
Fortunately, there seem to be quite a few new more sensible voices on the immigration reform issue from both parties coming into both houses in January. Will this at last mean real reform in the new Congress? Not with Pelosi as Speaker and our over-the-precipice President as chief open border boosters. The pressure from us citizens has had a measurable effect, if only to slow down the express train for comprehensive immigration reform (i.e. a major amnesty for illegal aliens now here). We must never give up.
On aspect of this issue which I have not yet seen properly discussed: When and if our Congress enacts border control legislation, will the act include adequate time and testing to ensure the law will actually work?
Introducing something as national in scope and as complex in its administration will likely take several years and constant testing to insure that the product work—just like any company would test any new product. Corporations usually start with several "Beta" sites. This is happening with projects such as getting tamper-free ID cards for frequent flyers. Let's have a central place in the Federal Government which is the "gold standard" for ID, a place where employers can go with confidence the can discover if the numbers they are given by employee applicants are accurate.
Then and only then, can we institute a feature in these laws than would prescribe jail time for errant CEOs.The way it is now, that would be unfair. Once we have a tested border control situation, with back-up confirmations possible, then the CEO's would know they would be caught if they break the law.
Of course, such a sensible approach to mending our broken borders is simply beyond the capability of our Congress, if the past is any guide.
However, if (miracle of miracles) this happens, then and only then should we consider reviewing cases of people who are here illegally. This border closing process will take years. And meantime some illegal aliens may be nervous about waiting (like the illegal aliens in Hazleton, PA—did you see the CBS 60 minutes segment on Sunday, November 19th? [ Watch video.])
Bottom line: the next 2 years promise to be messy. Major concerns such as rational trade policy, real immigration reform, a return to fiscal sanity and attempts to restore our international credibility post Iraq may go aglimmering in the petty fighting over gay marriage and nasty anti social and judicial skirmishes over the likes of the Keroack appointment or Bush's judicial nominees.
Of all the Presidential candidates pointing toward 2008, none to date have articulated a package of policies I could vote for. None seemingly have the public's good in mind.
Frankly, for a Democrat, it is a dismal situation and one not likely to improve soon.
Donald A. Collins [email him], is a freelance writer living in Washington DC and a former long time member of the board of FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform. His views are his own.