Strange New Respect for Newt
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"The Good Newt" by recently retired NYT supremo Bill Keller is a classic example of how immigration has become the central issue for the mainstream media dividing Good from Evil. Keller's conclusion:

There are plenty of reasons the thought of President Newt Gingrich makes me shudder. But on this hard, defining American issue, he’s shown a combination of brains, heart and guts that puts the rest of his party to shame.

Here's the opening:

Immigration is a subject that brings out the best and the worst in Americans. 

As taught to my fourth-grade daughter this semester, the story of the peopling of America encourages us to celebrate our identity as the land of e pluribus unum. It reminds us of the tolerance required to coexist in a culture of many cultures. It honors the courage to uproot your life so your children can have a better one. 


Thank God that the brain trust of the New York Times takes its guidance on this complex issue not from intellectually unsophisticated sources, but from textbooks for fourth graders. And bonus points for the historically accurate usage of e pluribus unum.

As it is practiced in our politics, the subject often dredges up darker feelings: tribalism, xenophobia, envy, a pull-up-the-ladder stinginess. This is not new. The English and Dutch colonists resented the immigrant waves of Irish and Germans, who resented the later waves of Italians and Poles and Jews. 

If mass immigration was good enough for the Mark Hanna and the other Robber Barons, it should be good enough for us! You know what would also be good for the economy: the 12-Hour Day. Hey, isn't Newt in favor of Child Labor, too? What a state-of-the-art thinker!

But wait. Why are we even talking about this? 

Right. Why doesn't everybody shut up about immigration? How can we have the needed national conversation on immigration if people insist on talking about it instead of listening to me explain what my fourth grader thinks? How come everybody doesn't dummy up and listen to the New York Times like they're supposed to? What's wrong with people these days?

I hate to distract you with actual facts, but here are a few that have been overlooked in the din of alarm: illegal immigration is falling ...

Similarly, have you noticed how over the last few weeks, global warming isn't anything to worry about anymore? The weather has been distinctly nippy this month, so why are we even talking about global warming?

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