The Cut and Run Crowd

Is now almost a super majority:

A CBS News poll shows Americans are increasingly dissatisfied with the Iraq war, President Bush and the Congress, as well as the overall direction of the country.

More Americans than ever before, 77 percent, say the war is going badly, up from 66 percent just two months ago. Nearly half, 47 percent, say it’s going very badly.

While the springtime surge in U.S. troops to Iraq is now complete, more Americans than ever are calling for U.S. forces to withdraw. Sixty-six percent say the number of U.S. troops in Iraq should be decreased, including 40 percent who want all U.S. troops removed. That’s a 7-point increase since April.

Why does America hate America?

All Your Speech Are Belong To US

Good thing that school decision last week isn’t going to have an impact on political speech:

Putting its recent ruling on student speech into practice, the Supreme Court on Friday rejected a school district’s appeal of a ruling that it violated a student’s rights by censoring his anti-Bush T-shirt.
A seventh-grader from Vermont was suspended for wearing a shirt that bore images of cocaine and a martini glass—but also had messages calling President Bush a lying drunk driver who abused cocaine and marijuana, and the “chicken-hawk-in-chief” who was engaged in a “world domination tour.”

After his suspension, Zachary Guiles returned to school with duct tape covering the offending images.

Williamstown Middle School Principal Kathleen Morris-Kortz said the images violated the school dress code, which prohibits clothing that promotes the use of drugs or alcohol.

An appeals court said the school had no right to censor any part of the shirt.

On Monday, the court said schools could regulate student expression if it advocated illegal drug use. Justice Samuel Alito cautioned that schools could not censor political speech.

Because calling your President a drunken coked up loser is advocating drugs.

Queue the 50 ‘liberals’ who cheered the decision last week in the comments section of this thread as ‘the right thing for the kids.’

I am a total idiot- I read the post wrong- the Supremes protected this speech, so maybe I should just shut up and calm down already.

BTW- for long-time readers who might be keeping track, this keeps me at about a perfect 0 for 692 in interpreting court decisions.

My View On The Immigration Bill

Sometimes the world is better off when malformed product of an unwise mating dies in utero. We probably can go on living as a country for the two years it will take for Dems to have almost total control over the legislative process, then Dems can craft a bill that at least has a coherent point to it. Maybe the crazy insane bill that nativists warn about will wreck the country, if so Dems will pay for it in the next election. In the meantime, given politicial and demographic trends, it would have made good sense for Republicans to settle for whatever compromises they could negotiate while they still had any influence at all.

Wonkery aside, the delicious politics of this bill strike me more than anything else. Like most people who support the Democrats I don’t have much passion one way or the other. Having to speak Spanish to get a decent wet burrito doesn’t bother me, I like cinco de Mayo and it strikes me as vaguely fair that our policy should help families stay together. America survived the Irish invasion, the Italian invasion, the Nordic/Germanic invasion, the slavic invasion, the (involuntary) African invasion and the Chinese invasion so it seems ludicrously insecure to think that one more will kill us. Whichever way they went on the issue the worst heat most Democrats are likely to face will come from David Broder.

But lord, what a tough spot for Republicans. At its heart the GOP has two basic camps* – business conservatives who bankroll the party and the social conservatives/theocons who staff it. In that light one could say the towering achievement of Bush’s term as POTUS was that he defied the centrifugal forces of majority power and held the GOP’s unlikely coalition together as firmly and as long as he did. If so, his towering failure will undoubtedly be his adamant support of this immigration bill.

I have tried for days to think of something that could wedge the social cons apart from the business cons than immigration but I just can’t do it. The Chamber of Commerce loves our current system because one can pay illegals practically nothing and they will thank you for it. In their view any fix to the current system has to keep bringing in large numbers of people with poor language skills (can’t have them reading those OSHA flyers on the wall) and a weak bargaining position, e.g. guest workers. Otherwise Americans had better get ready to start paying more for hotel beds, restaurant meals and packed meats.

The key problem is that the thing that the business cons need more than anything is exactly what the social cons desperately want to end. This issue has no conceivable middle ground because the social cons want less of precisely the same thing that business cons need more of. The historical calm between these two camps lasted and could only last as long as party leaders had the good sense to keep the issue off the front burner altogether. Any move to change the status quo would necessarily set off contrary demands that could easily spiral into open warfare.

Pushing immigration now was a dumb move by Bush, but it was far dumber than I think most people realize. Hilzoy has argued that the immigration is really a convenient outlet for Republicans to vent their deeper disappointment over issues J through Z, and I’m sure that there is plenty of that, but I think that the president’s screwup is more profound than Hilzoy lets on. The president’s party is reeling from Iraq, rudderless and lacking in leadership at any level, facing political losses as bad or worse than 2006, and now his own mulish push on immigration has lit the fuse on a wedge-shaped charge** that could split the party in two.


(*) There are two kind of people in the world, those who see two kinds of people in the world and those who don’t.
(**) Alternatively, a Malkin-shaped charge.

Proving What We Already Knew

Sam Brownback provided some evidence today to support what we already know- creationists aren’t very bright:

Say, how come there are 47 yes votes when the roll says there were only 46? Ah, my friends, that’s because Sam Brownback turned out to be the weaseliest “no” vote of all. He voted yes right at the very beginning, during the alphabetical vote, probably thinking that cloture was going to pass. Then, when it died, he switched to a no. I almost wish he was pulling more than 1% in the presidential polls so we could hammer him into oblivion with that.

Did he think that just because he is a neanderthal on social issues and a religious nut that he could betray the 28%ers on immigration? At any rate, the backpedalling is pretty amusing, though:

Sam Brownback offers an additional comment on his voting yes, then no:

“I wanted to signal that I am supportive of comprehensive immigration reform, but that now is not the time and this is not the bill.”

His staff says this was done intentionally, and that he deliberately voted first and loudly.

Bwahaha. Too bad his staff couldn’t find a way to fit the phrase “no controlling legal authority” in there. Let’s all wish Sen. Brownback’s campaign staff good luck with their imminent job hunts.

One last thing- the absolute best thing about this immigration debate being over is that with any luck I will never have to hear the word “shamnesty” again. Easily one of the most fucking-annoying-god-damn-too-cute-by-a-half-I-am-going-to-repeat-it-every-fucking-chance-I-get-because-I think-it-makes-me-seem-clever-watch-me-look-like-a-content-toddler-on-the-pot-when-I-say-it pet names the mass media has ever given to anything.

Oh, wait- that wasn’t the insipid liberal media that gave it that name, was it? Thank goodness for blogs.


Great Moments in Stupid Rhetoric

Mark Krikorian, NRO:

Today’s defeat of the Senate amnesty bill was more than a run-of-the-mill legislative victory, representing as it did a self-organizing public’s defeat of combined force of Big Business, (some of) Big Labor, Big Media, Big Religion, Big Philanthropy, Big Academia, and Big Government. So I looked at what else has happened on June 28 — the closest parallel would appear to be the Battle of Monmouth in 1778, of the only two times when Gen. Washington managed to fight British regulars to a draw in a conventional battle. Because that’s all this is — a draw, because the open-borders folks aren’t going to give up. It’s just that they went from their usual tactics of piecemeal, behind-the-scenes victories, buried in appropriations bills and little-known courtrooms and bureaucratic offices, and tried to get the whole enchilada — trying to emulate something else that happened on June 28, the Turks’ defeat of the Serbs at the Battle of Kosovo in 1389, leading to Ottoman conquest of all southeastern Europe.

Slobodan Krikorian, celebrating the Battle of Kosovo Polje. Maybe we, too, can look forward to 600 years of acrimony, civil war, and politicians using the event to incite mayhem for personal gain.

Now What?

Bush suffers what hopefully will be the beginning of a long series of humilating defeats:

The Senate drove a stake Thursday through President Bush’s plan to legalize millions of unlawful immigrants, likely postponing major action on immigration until after the 2008 elections.
After the stinging political setback, Bush sounded resigned to defeat.

“Legal immigration is one of the top concerns of the American people, and Congress’ failure to act on it is a disappointment,” he said after an appearance in Newport, R.I. “A lot of us worked hard to see if we couldn’t find common ground. It didn’t work.”

The bill’s Senate supporters fell 14 votes short of the 60 needed to limit debate and clear the way for final passage of the legislation, which critics assailed as offering amnesty to illegal immigrants. The vote was 46 to 53 in favor of limiting the debate.

Some senators in both parties said the issue is so volatile that Congress is unlikely to revisit it this fall or next year, when the presidential election will increasingly dominate American politics. t

Bush appeared glum as he spoke. His negotiators had expressed optimism the vote would go their way—or, at least be closer.

“Congress really needs to prove to the American people that it can come together on hard issues,” Bush said. He turned attention to other his other goals in Congress this year, including energy, health care and balanced-budget initiatives.

I don’t know if the bill would have been a good or bad thing for the country- I really don’t. As I stated before, I have mixed feelings- anything Michelle Malkin is that vehemently opposed to can’t be all that bad, anything Bush and Kennedy agree on can’t be all that good.

I guess I will settle for the simple repudiation of Bush’s ideas. That has to count for something.

The Most Important Job In The Bush Administraiton

Unquestionably the Inspectors General for the various federal departments. If the people responsible for oversight took their job the least bit seriously every federal department would grind to a halt, just like the DOJ when since public pressure forced them to care about the attorney firing scandal. Ergo:

Commerce Department Inspector General Johnnie E. Frazier has been formally cited for violating the federal whistle-blower protection law and is about to retire.

Today, he’ll be toasted at a going-away party — on government property and government time. The party is from 3 to 5 p.m. at the department’s Herbert C. Hoover Building headquarters.

The Times phrases its headline (“Official Cited for Violation to Be Feted”) as if there is some contradiction here. But of course that is ridiculous. If Johnnie Frazier had done his job and a corrupt Bush appointee lost his job or went to jail, then he would find his stuff in a cadboard box by the curb. In our modern GOP the most important job skill for any oversight official is looking the other way.