Over at Power Line John complains that the reason Bush has not had more of a bounce in the polls following the demise of Zarqawi is due to immigration. If only Bush had done as he was told.
This is not the first time conservatives convinced themselves they were on the right side of an issue when in fact the majority of the population did not agree with them. The Left does it routinely but we expect more from the right, they are supposed to be the sensible ones.
The truth is most Americans do not support the hardliner approach to immigration. The consensus seems to be on increased border security, a guest worker program of some sort and a path to citizenship or legal status as tax payers for those with roots in the community. Round em up and ship em out is not something most Americans subscribe to and the hysterical reactions to the president's plan and the Senate bill have not helped to create compromise or consensus. In fact many on the right are promising gridlock rather than compromise. Now, is that why we sent them to Washington?
The reason I brought up Prohibition was that the same arrogance and simplistic sense of moral superiority that one finds on the Tancredo side of the issue was very evident decades ago in the obviously insane attempt to make America dry. As far as they were concerned they were right by God and that was all that mattered.
In an abandoned house long ago I came across pamphlets published by the supporters of Prohibition. There was information [propaganda] of what it costs America in terms of dollars and man hours of labor as well as sickness and social problems to deal with all the drunks. It was very detailed, but of course what was lacking was any notion as to the realistic costs of actually carrying their ambitious plans to clean out the saloons and honky tonks.
Today I was discussing immigration with a friend of mine. His father works in a coal mine. He said the miners are all worked up because they heard that the plan is to import 100 million Mexicans to take all the jobs away from Americans. Now where is this coming from? Talk radio, certain right wing blogs etc.... all of them making it plain that both extremes are not above deliberately spreading misinformation. Who wins? Well the people who do not want to see a solution because a solution ends their little movement for one thing. Never mind if they are creating a situation that puts them at odds with the majority of people.
So no, I do not believe that caving in on immigration will help Bush, because the more he caves, the more they will demand. They do not want a compromise, they want a fight...it makes them feel powerful. But in the long run, it can turn out to be another Prohibition because if they win they may find they are forcing something on people they do not want. And that in and of itself creates failure, especially if you have to take down your own president to do it.
As for Bush's numbers, I think it is too soon to tell and between the dishonest press, the backstabbing base, and the treacherous left he has little hope of ever seeing 50% again.
Unless he nabs Osama.