Speaking in Irvine, California this morning, Bush II wanted to discuss two issues: the War in the Iraq and Immigration Reform.(This isn't online yet; I watched it on C-SPAN.)
The President began his remarks by sharing an exchange he had with former California State Senator Jim Brulte. Senator Brulte asked why he would come to Orange County to discuss immigration?
The President said "Because that's what a leader does."
The question he was asked (and did not answer) was why Orange County?
There is a simple answer here: Orange County is the GOP Mecca—the heart and soul of conservative grass roots activism. The faction of the party most disenchented with the Bush administration for its failure to properly address illegal immigration.
Yeah...the faction of the party that could cost the GOP their majority in Congress simply by staying home and not voting this year.
Why is he in Orange County? Why is he trying to sell Orange County Republicans on his amnesty deal?
Because he needs to...if the Republicans are to survive, he has to.
His remarks ranged from the obviously nauseating to the absolutely nonsensensical...although there was feisty bite to his tone when he touched on the issue of citizenship that I have never heard before. Here are a few quotes...
Immigrants have "reinvigorated the soul of America."
Gag...that would fall into the "nauseating" category...
"We have a problem with non-Mexican illegal immigrants being released into America."
Did you catch that? Non-Mexican illegal aliens...actually Mr. President, we have a bigger problem with Mexican illegal immigrants being released into America, ok?
This was the picture painted by the President:
A Mexican is stopped after illegally crossing the border where he is given a citation and told to "check back in 45 days."
(Then Bush made a few jokes about how illegal aliens never show up to immigration court...you know, because that's so funny.)
I wonder if I could use that excuse for my next speeding ticket...or jury duty!
Your Honor, I was not present at jury duty because I was busy working, putting food on the table for my family—I was just not interested in showing up. Oh, and the same goes for that unpaid traffic ticket from last month. Thanks Judge!
First of all, I would be writing that letter from jail which after reading, the judge would probably order a competency hearing.
The President did mention (briefly) that employers should be punished for hiring illegal aliens although he did throw out his new cop-out mantra:
"Our business owners are not document checkers."
So really, the whole crack down on employers thing is pretty much a sham but it sounds real tough.
He also touched on the smugglers..the coyotes.
Bush II repeated his desire to increase the penalties for immigrant smuggling (and rightly so) because "smugglers...they are stuffing human beings in the back of trucks just because they are coming to do jobs that Americans won't do."
Just a second...I agree that immigrant smugglers are basically walking, talking piles of sewage but illegal aliens are not exactly victims in this scenario.
Seriously, the whole situation is sad and pitiable, but illegal aliens choose to get in those trucks...they line up and throw money at these guys before they willingly climb into the backs of these trucks.
BB Side Note to the Prez: We must be careful not to bestow upon a willing participant a victim's pity—consequences can be painful but they are also a great deterrent.
Time will tell if the President got through to Orange County conservatives...I should say, election results will tell if the President got his message through...
In the meantime, Congress is back in session after a two week vacation and the Senate is scheduled to resume the immigration debate.
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