Kevin Carter writes:
This morning, Don Feder, Phyllis Schlafly, Howard Phillips, Alan Keyes and Richard Viguerie held a press conference in order to highlight their Conservative Leadership Declaration Opposing Amnesty/"Guestworker." John O'Sullivan, John Fonte, Bay Buchanan, Mark Krikorian, Chris Simcox and many other conservatives and immigration restrictionists also put their names on the document (though for some reason VDARE.COM's Peter Brimelow was not asked to sign!) making up a grand total of thirty-six signatures.
According to the Declaration: "We dedicate ourselves to defeating any 2008 presidential candidate who supports the Senate bill, the Pence bill, or any other bill that provides legalization for illegal immigrants or substantially increases legal immigration." [Text here]
(Apparently, the original draft also called for deporting illegal aliens, but some prominent restrictionists insisted that be dropped in favor of the "attrition" strategy.)
Don Feder summed up the statement's message quite succinctly. "It's very simple," he said, "if you support amnesty in any form, we will not support you," and emphasized that this would be the case, regardless of how much they might agree with a Republican on any other issue, because, as Feder so eloquently put it, "if we lose America, no other issue matters." Although it appears that at least some conservatives can see the obvious, with the exception of John Fonte, there wasn't a single signatory from any major conservative think tank and no one from National Review.
Perhaps we can be thankful that Alan Keyes has at least pulled his head out of the sand. During the Q/A session, reporters asked how Cannon's victory would impact the debate, and Keyes gave as good an answer as any, quipping that in order to get reelected, Cannon had to at least pretend to be tough on illegal immigration, claiming that he too was against amnesty. "And that," said Keyes, "is a far cry from saying that 'we don't often make the distinction between legal and illegal' immigrants."
The tone of the debate seems to be shifting in our direction.