Despite what certain talk show hosts might lead us to believe, compromise is not a dirty word. I watched Brit Hume yesterday evening and they talked about the Rasmussen telephone survey concerning the issue of immigration. Needless to say more people opposed the bill than supported it. Now Dafydd at Big Lizards gives us the rest of the story:
A flurry of anti-immigration-bill conservative pundits are about to start quoting (selectively) from the new Rasmussen poll on immigration. Most will only tell you about two of the questions:
* "From what you know about the agreement, do you favor or oppose the immigration reform proposal agreed to last Week?" Favor: 26%; Oppose: 48%; Not sure: 26%.
* "How Important is it to improve border enforcement and reduce illegal immigration?" Very important: 72%; Somewhat important: 16%; Not very important: 8%; Not at all important: 2%.
And from this, the opinion-makers will conclude that the very idea of a comprehensive immigration bill should be dropped, and we should move to the enforcement-only approach, which "everybody wants."
This leaves aside the political dilemma: Since we live in a country that has a political government, not a military dictatorship, how can we simply ignore the majority in Congress -- which overwhelmingly wants regularization? Is the president supposed to issue an executive order dissolving the legislative branch?
But the conclusion that Americans oppose any regularization also pretends not to notice a much more proximate point: Those were not the only two questions asked; and among the other questions is one that utterly upends the first question, transforming it instead into a pop quiz on current events:
Still, 65% of voters would be willing to support a compromise including a “very long path to citizenship” provided that “the proposal required the aliens to pay fines and learn English” and that the compromise “would truly reduce the number of illegal aliens entering the country.” The proposal, specifically described as a compromise, was said to include “strict employer penalties for hiring illegal aliens, building a barrier along the Mexican border and other steps to significantly reduce the number of illegal aliens entering the United States.”
That would be 2/3rds of Americans willing to support such a compromise; but only 26% willing to support this particular compromise.
Putting these two answers together, we find that a minimum of 39% of Americans (but probably much more) do not read Big Lizards... because, in fact, every single one of those provisions is in the current compromise legislation.
So, who are you going to believe? Your government or talk show hosts fighting for market shares and political oppurtunists demagogueing the issue?
Tough call, but one we have to make.