All this comes very much to mind when considering Obamaâ€™s Silence on Immigration Canâ€™t Last Long Commentary by Albert R. Hunt March 2 2009(Bloomberg)
The result is remarkable for a tone of peremptory arrogance:
...the notion that illegal immigration can be finessed is a mirage. The problem will only get worse, and so will the politics. Obama, 47, a Democrat, would have to renege on his campaign promise to push a major immigration overhaul along the lines of the Kennedy-McCain measure in his first yearâ€¦ the president and his politically astute chief of staff are likely to conclude that stalling isnâ€™t an option on immigration.
But it is also an astonishingly shoddy job from a professional point of view. Long-refuted assertions, discredited sources, and simple mis-statements of fact are slapped together with a carelessness which would disgrace a student journalist. But of course, if you are Al Hunt, concerned only with the climate-controlled world of DC political punditry, why bother working harder? No one allowed to confront you will disagree.
Hunt echoes the tired line that immigration restrictionism is politically costly:
Earlier fears that immigration had hurt Democrats â€¦were trumped by several dozen races where immigration-bashing failed and advocates of the Kennedy-McCain- type measure succeeded. Dramatic illustrations came in the heavily Hispanic states of New Mexico and Arizona. Three years ago, nine of the 11 House members from those states were Republicans; today eight of the 11 are Democrats, in large part because of Hispanic voters.
This of course was scrupulously analyzed and comprehensively refuted by Marcus Epstein, with such an effect that even the New York Times reacted: but of course it is not required of an Al Hunt! to keep abreast of the debate and deal with these arguments.
Then there is the inconvenient detail that the country is in the worst recession in decades. Fleetingly Hunt falters:
With joblessness having soaredâ€¦it is tougher to argue that the economy needs these workers.
But he discards the thought by quoting Tamar Jacoby:
â€?Immigration reform may be harder in the middle of a recession, to make the case that we need more workers,â€? Jacoby says. â€?But the only way out of a recession is to grow out of it, and we need workers to do that.â€?
Jacobyâ€™s rigidly fanatical open-borders mania has been crushingly refuted by Larry Auster and it is hard to believe she is still taken seriouslyâ€¦but, perhaps, since Auster is not on the DC cocktail circuit, why should Hunt know about that?
What he certainly should know about is Congressional races. He asserts:
One incumbent Democrat whom House Republicans were confident of defeating last November was Representative Paul Kanjorski of Scranton, Pennsylvania. The Republican candidate was the mayor of Hazleton, whose local crackdown included fining landlords for renting to illegal immigrantsâ€¦Yet on Election Day Kanjorski survived.
It is certainly true that Patriots did hope for a huge upset in Pennsylvaniaâ€™s 11th district. The heroic Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta offered a powerful challenge. But it is difficult to believe that anyone who knew the ground was â€?confidentâ€?. The 11th district has gone Republican three times in the last 78 years (39 elections). That is even before considering a pro Democrat redistricting in 2000. Obama unsurprisingly carried the State 55% - 44%. Even so, Barletta was only defeated 52%-48%.
Al Hunt here is either relying on truly stupid Republican sources (possible, but no credit to him) or is simply misrepresenting the facts.
I have noticed the poor quality of Al Huntâ€™s immigration work before. One possibility is that since absolutely no Inside-the-Beltway person this Media Big Foot would take seriously is interested in Immigration Restriction, he has had no need to grasp the arguments.
But I suspect the cause is closer to home. The entire DC Media Establishment, with its restauranting, cocktail partying, catered-dinner-party culture, totally dependent on domestic help and child care â€“ particularly if one has a working wife - hugely benefits from large supplies of amenable illegal labor. Local DC Black Labor is NOT used â€“ as anyone who moves around Georgetown can see. This is a hugely embarrassing subject, best not thought about, or discussed.
Once again, one realizes: the upper echelons of the MSM commentariat is staffed not with a view to supplying the best and the most incisive â€“ but with a determination to repress such views by blocking them out.
Complain to Al Hunt