Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Power Line's Blind Spot

It is significant that bloggers as sharp and deep as the Power Line writers share with other, less perceptive conservative commentators, a blind spot on illegal immigration: They think the American people agree with them. The latest evidence:

The Associated Press reports that the effort to pass a compromise immigration bill this year is "all but doomed." The AP blames "election-year concerns in the House" and "conservatives' implacable opposition to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants." Translated, this means that the House leadership knows that the American people do not support a guest worker program or a path to citizenship for illegals, not to mention the more objectionable features of the Senate bill that are not yet widely known to the public. [Emphasis added.]
I'll agree that the Senate bill is full of provisions that should be stripped out, but that's what conference committees are for. As for public opinion, I'm aware of no credible polling that has shown anything other than what this Pew Research Center poll revealed. As I noted then:
42%, a plurality-- and almost a majority-- of Republicans think illegals should be given some kind of temporary status. Conservative Republicans are more in favor of temporary status, with 46% in that category-- more than any other subset of the party.
Read the poll. Remember, we're talking Republicans only here. 22% think illegals should be allowed to stay. The 42% who think illegals should get temorary status are the vast middle of the party. Only 29% of Republicans think illegals should be sent home. That 29% is the slice of the party to which congressional Republicans are now kow-towing. Power Line and Laura Ingraham keep referring to that 29% of one political party as "the American people." Sometimes I think conservative blogs and talk radio hosts with large audiences believe their audience is representative of the entire nation.

What's going on here is that Republican members of Congress are terrified that their base supporters will stay home on election day unless an "enforcement only" approach is adopted. That narrow approach won't fly politically, so nothing will happen this year on immigration. Those are the political realities, and with the Republican margin in the House as razor-thin as it is, I completely understand the GOP's relucance to act.

But let's not attribute that reluctance to the GOP leadership being in touch with "the American people." They're really in touch with less that one-third of the GOP-- about 29% of hard-core Republican voters.

Update: Harold Hutchison at Called As Seen has more on the charming tactics of that hard-core opposition group within the GOP. These are difficult people to get next to.

Update 2: Harold's at it again, here. Read the whole thing -- it is passionate and persuasive.

5 Comments:

Blogger Harold C. Hutchison said...

Just like they ignored the USA Today poll. Just like they seem to ignore other inconvenient facts.

Who would have thought that conservatives would sink to the level of Bill Clinton during Mediscare? I would not have imagined it a year ago. Now, I'm no longer surprised. 

Posted by Harold C. Hutchison

Tuesday, June 20, 2006 8:08:00 PM  
Anonymous nash said...

And I provided a link to a group that did a take-down of that poll and showed that it was a sham and you poo-pooed it because you didn't like the group that took it apart.

You can't win an election with only 42% of the Republican party.  

Posted by nash

Wednesday, June 21, 2006 12:10:00 AM  
Blogger The Hedgehog said...

Nash, there are credible polling organizations like Pew, and there are groups with an agenda, like the one who did the "take-down" you refer to. 

Posted by The Hedgehog

Wednesday, June 21, 2006 8:27:00 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

Please read this story  and then tell me again how serious the President is about enforcing our borders:

Illegal Immigrants Free To Go
"Local police said they intercepted 20 illegal Mexican immigrants, but were ordered by immigration officials to let them go free.

Belmont County Sheriff Fred Thompson said his officers were instructed by federal immigration services to let all 20 illegal immigrants go free, and said his department has no choice but to follow the orders from immigration officials."

Enforcement has nothing to do with your oft-citedc straw man that we can't deport them all...it has everything to do with not making any effort to deport even the ones we catch. Your hypocrisy on this issue continues to be revealed by events. 

Posted by Watchman

Wednesday, June 21, 2006 2:55:00 PM  
Blogger SkyePuppy said...

I'll agree that the Senate bill is full of provisions that should be stripped out, but that's what conference committees are for. 

Oh my goodness! Call me a cynic, but conference committees seem to be notorious for throwing out the good parts and keeping the bad ones. Your faith in our Representatives and Senators is way higher than mine. 

Posted by SkyePuppy

Thursday, June 22, 2006 5:48:00 PM  

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