Mexican President Slanders AZ; Republicans React Pretty Much How You’d Expect

Here is Republican Senator Orrin Hatch’s response to Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s condemnation of Arizona’s new immigration law:

The state of Arizona is stepping in where the federal government has failed. It is trying to stop waves of illegal immigrants, many of whom are dangerous gang members and drug and human traffickers, from crossing into its communities. It’s inappropriate for a head of state to question our laws, especially when the state of Arizona only acted in the best interest of its citizens and with the support of seventy percent of its people.

Boy, don’t strain yourself, Senator.

Hatch could have mentioned that Calderon’s characterization of the law as “introduc[ing] racial profiling as a basis for law enforcement” and a “human rights” violation which “opens the door to intolerance, hate, discrimination and abuse in law enforcement” is, as Byron York’s reporting on the law reveals, so dishonest as to border on slander.  For instance:

Obama ignored the law’s specific stipulation that any check on a person’s immigration status can only come after a “lawful stop, detention or arrest” when a person is suspected of breaking some law — that is, as Arizona lawmakers explained in a footnote to the bill, it must come “during the enforcement of any other law or ordinance of a county, city or town or this state.”

And even after meeting that standard, the law directs that police meet a “reasonable suspicion” standard before “a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person…” The phrase “reasonable suspicion” means that there must be a number of specific factors that an officer can cite before taking action, and the law specifically says that prosecutors “shall not investigate complaints that are based solely on race, color or national origin.”

And even with those safeguards, the law specifies that if the person involved produces a valid Arizona driver’s license, or other forms of identification specified in the law, then that person is immediately presumed to be in the country legally. In other words, the whole question of legal or not legal becomes moot once the person produces a driver’s license — a common experience for nearly every American, regardless of his or her race or ethnicity.

He could also have mentioned that, not only is Calderon partially responsible for the hardships Arizona is trying to address, but that Mexico’s own immigration laws are far more draconian and “intolerant”:

– The Mexican government will bar foreigners if they upset “the equilibrium of the national demographics.” How’s that for racial and ethnic profiling?

– If outsiders do not enhance the country’s “economic or national interests” or are “not found to be physically or mentally healthy,” they are not welcome. Neither are those who show “contempt against national sovereignty or security.” They must not be economic burdens on society and must have clean criminal histories. Those seeking to obtain Mexican citizenship must show a birth certificate, provide a bank statement proving economic independence, pass an exam and prove they can provide their own health care.

– Illegal entry into the country is equivalent to a felony punishable by two years’ imprisonment. Document fraud is subject to fine and imprisonment; so is alien marriage fraud. Evading deportation is a serious crime; illegal re-entry after deportation is punishable by ten years’ imprisonment. Foreigners may be kicked out of the country without due process and the endless bites at the litigation apple that illegal aliens are afforded in our country (see, for example, President Obama’s illegal alien aunt — a fugitive from deportation for eight years who is awaiting a second decision on her previously rejected asylum claim).

– Law enforcement officials at all levels — by national mandate — must cooperate to enforce immigration laws, including illegal alien arrests and deportations. The Mexican military is also required to assist in immigration enforcement operations. Native-born Mexicans are empowered to make citizens’ arrests of illegal aliens and turn them in to authorities.

– Ready to show your papers? Mexico’s National Catalog of Foreigners tracks all outside tourists and foreign nationals. A National Population Registry tracks and verifies the identity of every member of the population, who must carry a citizens’ identity card. Visitors who do not possess proper documents and identification are subject to arrest as illegal aliens.

A foreign head of state hypocritically slanders American citizens before our own legislature – to the applause of one of America’s two major political parties – and the best the other party can muster is “inappropriate” (maybe an “unfortunate” if we’re lucky).  As usual.  Looks like the GOP’s not about to kick its habit of pulling defeat from the jaws of victory any time soon.

Rand Wins, America Loses

I’ve put a lot of effort here and on NewsReal into defending Sarah Palin from various attacks.

Tonight, I regret every word of it.

Thanks in no small part to her endorsement (as well as that of James Dobson, Jim DeMint, & Erick Erickson), the deranged Rand Paul won the Kentucky GOP’s Senate nomination (more on Paul’s hideous record here and here).

Palin’s celebration of Paul’s victory on tonight’s “Hannity” consisted entirely of empty blather straight out of the Paul camp’s press releases: the grassroots are rising up, the establishment better take notice, blah blah blah.  Does she know anything about Paul’s record?  About how he’s diametrically opposed to her own views on national security?

Some of you who don’t share Paul’s affinity for appeasement or his tolerance of bigotry might nevertheless think Paul’s win is no big deal, because he only has one vote and most foreign policy will be set by the executive branch.  But first, consider that Democrats campaign for keeps – we all know the lengths to which Democrats will go to falsely smear conservatives as extremists; just imagine the field day they’ll have with all of the real dirt in Rand’s closet.  I predict a Democrat victory in the general election.

Second, odds are that more than a few mushy Republican pols and would-be candidates will interpret Paul’s win, and his legitimization by other mainstream “true” conservatives, as an indication that it’s okay and/or smart politics to tack left on defense issues.  Do we really want two pro-appeasement political parties?

I hope Jim DeMint is rewarded with the primary challenge of his life.  And Sarah Palin has proven that she does not deserve the presidency.

Republicans Fiddle While Democracy Burns

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Enshrined in the First Amendment to the US Constitution, free speech is one of America’s cornerstones.  All sides sing its praises, and no politician can expect to safely voice disrespect or opposition towards it.

The underlings of politicians, on the other hand…

Cass Sunstein, appointed by Barack Obama to head the White House Office of Information & Regulatory Affairs, isn’t a big fan of free & unregulated political expression.  In the past, he’s argued for new laws that would make bloggers and web-hosting services potentially liable for what their commenters say, as well as make it easier to sue people who “spread rumors” for libel.

For obvious reasons, these proposals would be logistical nightmares to implement, forcing bloggers to spend less time expressing their own ideas and more time policing their audiences, lest they risk liability for the words of others.  The end result is a stifling of free speech, and make no mistake: that’s exactly what Barack Obama and Cass Sunstein intend.

Now, Sunstein has been caught proposing more regulation of the blogosphere, in the form of new federal mandates forcing websites to “provide links to sites of the other point of view…Or maybe a popup on your screen that would show you an advertisement or maybe even a quick argument for a competing view.”  An Internet Fairness Doctrine, if you will.

What do the Left’s premier guardians of free speech at the ACLU have to say about all this?  Nothing.

Of course, I expect the Democrats to pull this garbage, and their foot soldiers on the Left and in the media to quietly go along.  The real scandal here is the lack of strong, vocal Republican opposition.  If they aren’t finally corrected, and fast, the cowardice and inability to lead that dominate the GOP are going to be the death of this country.

Why Do People Pay Andrew Sullivan to Talk, Again?

Andrew Sullivan, leading contender for Most Deranged Blogger in America, has apparently decided conspiracy-mongering over the sex lives of conservative women wasn’t interesting enough, so now he’s taken it upon himself to uncover the truth behind rumors that Obama Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan might be a lesbian, and what the White House’s reaction to the rumors means for the struggle for gay rights:

Apparently unsatisfied with what seemed to be a clear denial from the White House that Kagan was gay, Sullivan asked, “Is Obama actually going to use a Supreme Court nominee to advance the cause of the closet (as well as kill any court imposition of marriage equality)? And can we have a clear, factual statement as to the truth?”

But they did give a clear, factual statement. And Sullivan’s Atlantic colleague Marc Ambinder has reported that close friends of Kagan say she’s straight; Ambinder tells The Daily Beast he has since received a similarly definitive answer from White House officials. Sullivan offers no new evidence to suggest the White House answer is wrong. In his first post on the issue, Sullivan wrote that further questions are fair game because “we have been told by many that she is gay”—without ever disclosing who the “many” might be and whether or not they are credible sources.”

When pressed, Serious Andrew’s line changes to:

Sullivan said that as a blogger, “my job is to think out loud. It is not my job to report stories.” As for information on Kagan’s orientation, “one need have no ‘evidence’ beside the fact that she is single and seems to be lacking in any emotional or relationship history to ask a question not about her private life but about her public identity.”

But Todd Gitlin, a professor of journalism at Columbia University, told The Daily Beast that Sullivan’s failure to provide any clear evidence that Kagan’s sexuality was in question raised major ethical concerns by pushing unsourced rumors into the mainstream press.

“It’s slimy locution here in that he writes ‘We have been told by many that she is gay,'” Gitlin said. “And what would constitute evidence? If someone shows up and says ‘I slept with Elena Kagan when we were in college,’ so what? I see nothing but slime down the slippery slope because accusers are a dime a dozen.”

Sullivan’s response?

“Gitlin’s remarks are so baldly homophobic, I’m a little taken aback.” (Gitlin stressed that rumors surrounding Kagan should not be viewed as a negative if true.)

“Since when is it ‘slime’ to ask someone a simple positive question about his or her orientation?” Sullivan added. “Since when is asking someone about her orientation an ‘accusation’? Is being gay something one is ‘accused’ of? And Gitlin’s blanket assumption that being gay means who you ‘sleep with’ is reductionist bigotry. Being gay is a core part of someone’s emotional identity and personal biography.”

Valiant though Greg Gutfeld’s above attempt may be, it’s no longer possible to truly parody Andrew Sullivan.  The man does it himself.

I don’t much care whether or not Kagan is gay; I care about the fact that, as a leftist, she’d be the antithesis of everything a good justice should be.

Food for Thought: Prager on Ethical Monotheism

Longtime readers know I’m a huge Dennis Prager fan.  Years ago, he wrote a thought-provoking essay called “Ethical Monotheism.”  Here’s a snippet:

Ethical monotheism means two things:

1. There is one God from whom emanates one morality for all humanity.

2. God’s primary demand of people is that they act decently toward one another.

If all people subscribed to this simple belief—which does not entail leaving, or joining, any specific religion, or giving up any national identity—the world would experience far less evil.

Let me explain the components of ethical monotheism.

God

Monotheism means belief in “one God.” Before discussing the importance of the “mono,” or God’s oneness, we need a basic understanding of the nature of God.

The God of ethical monotheism is the God first revealed to the world in the Hebrew Bible. Through it, we can establish God’s four primary characteristics:

  • 1. God is supranatural.
  • 2. God is personal.
  • 3. God is good.
  • 4. God is holy.

Dropping any one of the first three attributes invalidates ethical monotheism (it is possible, though difficult, to ignore holiness and still lead an ethical life).

God is supranatural, meaning “above nature” (I do not use the more common term “supernatural” because it is less precise and conjures up irrationality). This is why Genesis, the Bible’s first book, opens with, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” in a world in which nearly all people worshipped nature, the Bible’s intention was to emphasize that nature is utterly subservient to God who made it. Obviously, therefore, God is not a part of nature, and nature is not God.

It is not possible for God to be part of nature for two reasons.

First, nature is finite and God is infinite. If God were within nature, He would be limited, and God, who is not physical, has no limits (I use the pronoun “He”” not because I believe God is a male, but because the neuter pronoun “It” depersonalizes God. You cannot talk to, relate to, love, or obey an “It.”).

Second, and more important, nature is amoral. Nature knows nothing of good and evil. In nature there is one rule—survival of the fittest. There is no right, only might. If a creature is weak, kill it. Only human beings could have moral rules such as, “If it is weak, protect it.” Only human beings can feel themselves ethically obligated to strangers.

Read the rest here when you have the chance.

I Know Why the Caged Fetus Cries

It’s debatable whether or not author & poet Maya Angelou was ever much of a role model – her autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, holds powerful lessons about overcoming childhood racism and being raped by her mother’s boyfriend, but it also concludes with her having a child out of wedlock in her teens, after having sex with a near-total stranger for the express purpose of figuring out whether or not she’s a lesbian, with (as I recall) no commentary on the morality, maturity, wisdom, or responsibility of her actions.  Heckuva message!

Whatever the answer to that question may be, she’s certainly not someone to look up to any more.  Via ALL, Angelou recently spoke at a big Planned Parenthood luncheon.  Lending your support to the cause of murdering innocents in the name of personal gratification is nothing to emulate.

Will Amnesty Torpedo the GOP’s Comeback?

Now that healthcare reform has passed, there’s been chatter about a possible amnesty encore.  Some speculate that “immigration reform could KO health care.”  On the surface, that seems to make sense – the public hates ObamaCare and everything the Democrats did to pass it, and given how much they hated amnesty when President Bush pushed it, trying again could backfire spectacularly on the Democrats.

However, it could also end up killing all the momentum and goodwill the GOP’s built up with the public over health care.  The GOP will have enough trouble maintaining momentum on healthcare going into 2010 and keeping it all the way to 2012, and unlike healthcare, a fair number of prominent Republicans can be expected to defect to the Left on immigration, casting fresh doubts in voters’ minds as to their judgment, responsibility, values, and trustworthiness.

RNC Chair Michael Steele needs to get in front of this as soon as possible by committing to support only anti-amnesty candidates and opposing any pro-amnesty ones.  If the GOP is to regain the public’s trust, it has to make it crystal clear that its defectors – even leaders such as McCain, Kyl, Graham, and McConnell, are just that: defectors.

ObamaCare Truth & Consequences

Via Power Line, here’s a list of 20 Ways ObamaCare Will Take Away Our Freedoms, and an op-ed on The Real Arithmetic of Health Care Reform (also, here’s a handy summary of what’s in the bill, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal, and for you masochists out there, the bill’s full text, courtesy of Open Congress).  Read ’em, print ’em out, and have ’em ready for the next time your lefty friends spout disinformation from the White House or MSNBC.  This recap of the states’ experiences with government meddling in healthcare is required reading, too.

Also, check out my latest NewsReal post for where we go from here.  The short version: we can, and must repeal this bill, but the GOP is really gonna have to bring their A-game.  And for a great explanation of what should actually be done to improve American healthcare, Ann Coulter’s got you covered.

How Not to Argue Abortion (Updated)

I initially figured Capper was a shoe-in for the “Most Embarrassingly Self-Defeating Blogger in Wisconsin” Award—misattributing comments to people based on nothing but a first name, then digging in your heels when called on it seems pretty hard to top.  But we have a new contender for the crown: our old pal Scott Feldstein.

Veterans of Wisconsin blog debates know Scott well as a foul-mouthed, hypocritical leftist who would rather conjure up dishonest, unconvincing reasons for ignoring & dismissing opponents’ views rather than actually debating them.  In December, this charade devolved into an even more pitiful form: not only rationalizing why he shouldn’t believe his opponents’ claims, but fabricating reasons to suspect that his opponents don’t even believe their own beliefs!

His “reasoning” was—you’re gonna love this—pro-lifers don’t really see abortion as a human rights issue, because if they did, they’d all oppose abortion in rape/incest/life-of-mother cases, too, and they’d also support the sex-ed and condom distribution policies Scott likes; but because they don’t, it’s really all about controlling people’s sex lives.

Of course, Scott was confronted (by me and others) with credible arguments against all of this (by the way, here’s the latest counter-example to his anti-abstinence studies), but remained “skeptical.”  Mind you, he couldn’t offer any good reasons for his skepticism, but proceeded to flaunt the nonsense anyway, as if he’d done…well, something to prove any of it or refute his opponents’ objections.  As Allahpundit once said of Dingy Harry Reid, “like a two-year-old who’s just crapped on the carpet, he’s curiously proud of it.”

(Oh, and he also demanded to know what Planned Parenthood lied about, then when I told him exactly what Planned Parenthood lied about in painstaking detail, he ignored it for a hundred-something comments.  ‘Cuz he’s such a stickler for the truth.)

But it gets better, my friends.  Oh, does it get better.

This week, abortion came up once more on Boots & Sabers.  Allow me to quote verbatim, so we can all revel in the majesty that is Scott’s madness:

If you believe—as you say you do—that a 3 month fetus is the legal and moral equivalent of a toddler, then you would either a) be storming the abortion clinic like Rambo to kill the murderous individuals who work there, or b) you’re a pathetic coward who wouldn’t risk his life to save roomfuls of innocent children from death. Of course there is a third explanation: You do know that 3 month old fetuses are not the moral and legal equivalent of you and me.

So, lemme get this straight: unless you also believe in abandoning the political process and the rule of law and killing abortion doctors, you don’t really believe in an unborn baby’s right to life.

There’s really only one way to respond to that:

Make no mistake: These aren’t sincere questions that Scott would stop asking if only someone would give him a good answer.  He’s simply displaying a common tactic of left-wing hyper-partisanship: the need to attribute the beliefs of one’s opponents, no matter how sincere or well-argued, to any sort of ulterior motive other than the stated motivation, no matter how specious the evidence.

If Scott truly believes what he’s saying, then his ideology has so fully warped his mind that his capacity for rational, objective thought is completely gone.  But I suspect he does know better.  I think it’s all propaganda: he’s supporting a heinous practice, recognizes somewhat the odiousness of his position, and will throw out whatever he can to deflect moral judgment and make the other side the villains.  Indeed, he deployed this gem of a point as a way of not answering The Family Guy, who noticed he described abortion as “sad and distasteful,” and asked the obvious follow-up: “If it’s nothing more than a lump of tissue, then why is it sad? Are you sad when you have a wart removed? It too was alive.”

Either way…pitiful.

UPDATE: As if we needed another indicator of how messed up the left-wing, pro-abortion mind is, consider the following: Scott says that because humans develop incrementally, meaning that in the period between just-conceived zygote and just-delivered newborn, increasing moral consideration should go along with increasing complexity (he also voted for a guy who had a a problem with those just-delivered newborns, but I digress).  He also says that “a 12 week pregnancy can be terminated for any reason at all.”

Okay, so at 12 weeks, it must not be very developed or person-like, huh?  I mean, it’s not like it would have any of the biggies, like a heartbeat, a fully-formed brain, or the capacity to feel pain.

Oh, wait.  It has all of those things.

Something seems to have failed rather significantly in Scott’s efforts at drawing “reasonable” distinctions.  How do you think he’d respond to that?  If you guessed “dodge & deflect,” give yourself a cookie.

Pitiful.  And monstrous.

“Conservative Progressivism”? Get Real

In Hot Air’s Greenroom, CK MacLeod argues that the Left has unduly hijacked the mantle of “progressive,” and that there can actually be such a thing as “conservative progressivism.”  Needless to say, I don’t find his argument very compelling.

The main problem seems to be the definition of progressivism he seems to accept as his starting point:

Progressivism simply stood for the determination on the part of countless people, most of whose names have been forgotten, to address the great ills of the age – conditions of life, work, and political affairs that few reading this essay can realistically imagine.

He attempts to enlist Sarah Palin and Rep. Paul Ryan as such progressive conservatives—the former based on little more than the fact that she campaigned as a reformer and uses the word “progress” a lot; the latter because he sees Ryan’s healthcare proposals as progressive, and, um…he’s from Wisconsin, isn’t he?

All this really shows is that CK’s definition of “progressive” is so vague as to be useless. What he calls “progressive” basically boils down to the word’s most common usage of reform or “improving stuff.”  Well, who isn’t for improving stuff? Who wouldn’t reform something that isn’t working? But that’s not what political progressivism means.

His characterization of Ryan’s healthcare goals—“bring government, including a longstanding societal commitment to care for the elderly and vulnerable, closer to the people, for the sake of greater efficiency and effectiveness, alongside the destruction of undemocratic and corrupting concentrations of power”—is a little closer, but still misses the mark.

“Bringing government closer to the people” is a value progressives sometimes advanced, via direct referenda, recalls, and such, but this was mostly a strategic calculation, not a political value—as they deemed certain levels & branches of government to be roadblocks to their vision, they experimented with different ways of getting around them.  Regarding “greater efficiency and effectiveness,” we again should ask: who’s against efficiency and effectiveness?  To present either as a defining trait of any one ideology is absurd.

He’s most wrong when he says “the destruction of undemocratic and corrupting concentrations of power” is a “foundationally, capital-‘P’ Progressive goal.” Progressivism certainly styles itself as movement of and for the people, but its conception of democracy—government actualizing the universal will—is not the same as the Founding Fathers’—government by consent.  For one thing, they explicitly rejected the Founders’ belief in clearly-defined limits on government power and dismissed the principles of the Declaration of Independence as applicable only to the Revolutionary era, from which history has since progressed.  For another, their idea of democracy granted the people a say in what goals government should pursue, but they emphatically denied that the people were fit to figure out how to achieve them—better to leave the actual details of policymaking to the unelected, unaccountable “experts” of the bureaucracy. As President Wilson said, “I believe in the people: in their honesty and sincerity and sagacity; but I do not believe in them as my governors.”

Blogger JE Dyer is doing a good job dismantling CK’s assumptions in the comments, and it’s extremely telling that CK’s already been reduced to little more than griping about semantics.

Glenn Beck ain’t perfect, but he does deserve credit for working to educate the country about the American Left’s progressive foundations. Heaven knows our schools and Republican Parties aren’t doing their job in that department…