The Website Is Up And Running

Welcome to American Rattlesnake. 

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Coming Attraction

Hopefully, by the end-if not the middle-of this coming week I’ll have a new website up, thanks to my partner in crime. It’ll address many of the same issues, but in a much different forum. The time for discussion has ended, and the time for sustained political action and participation has begun.

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R.I.P. McInnes For Governor

It’s really unfortunate that it should come to this, but it looks like the self-sabatoge of the Scott McInnes campaign has led Tom Tancredo to consider jumping into the race.

Someone who had a pretty decent record on immigration and border security issues while in Congress, and who has made his support for Governor Jan Brewer and SB 1070 pretty explicit in recent days, McInnes could have ushered in a new era for a state that was chiefly known as a haven for illegal alien fugitives.

Another Mexican national has been charged in the May 8 slaying of a Denver police officer and was arrested after fleeing to Mexico. Raul Gomez-Garcia is also accused of wounding a second police officer in the same shooting. The Denver District Attorney’s Office is attempting to extradite Gomez-Garcia to face trial in Colorado.

It looks like the result of this internecine warfare will be the victory of current Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper,  who is not that expansive on the subject, to say the least.

To that, Merritt jotted the following note: “Mike, we’re on the on the front page of The Postsaying we would veto the law. Period.”

I then asked if that was his only response to the passel of questions I’d sent. He replied, “That and our statement. Tx.”

So we have him on record as opposing SB 1070. In other words, his current position is much worse than the presumptive Republican nominee, whose campaign appears to be going down in flames. Whether Mr. Tancredo will be able to, or is inclined to, take advantage of this situation remains to be seen, but I think the end-result will be a loss for Colorado taxpayers and American citizens.

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Obama Administration Defies Public Opinion

A headline I’m sure that you’re likely to encounter many times in the ensuing weeks, although perhaps not as bluntly limned. It turns out that most Americans support the right of states to maintain law and order within their boundaries, absent any federal effort to control our Southern border.

Big surprise:

Most American voters oppose the U.S. Justice Department’s challenge of Arizona’s new immigration law. A slim majority, moreover, favors passage of similar laws in their own states.

A Fox News poll released Thursday finds that by a wide 59-29 percent margin, voters oppose the federal government suing the state of Arizona over its immigration law.

Democrats are more likely to favor the government’s lawsuit by a 12 percentage-point margin (50-38 percent). Independents are more likely to oppose it by a substantial 30-point margin (58-28 percent), while Republicans overwhelmingly oppose the lawsuit by a striking 71-point margin (80-9 percent).

However, there is a certain inexorable logic to President Obama’s and the DOJ’s stance if you believe-as many do-that their intent is not so much to garner favor with American voters, but to replace those voters with future Democrats who are not only amenable to a pro-amnesty agenda, but whose presence in the United States demands its implementation. You can look at it as a political quid-pro-quo. Illegal aliens are granted amnesty, fast-tracked to citizenship, granted the right to vote in federal elections, and reward Democrats-including President Obama-in return.

In terms of short-term political attrition, Obama is willing to let Democrats be sacrificed if the end-goal is his ultimate re-election and the expansion of a governing Democratic majority. But according to John Heilmann, even these projections might be off-base.

Yet the history of immigration politics suggests that Republicans who see Obama’s move as a boon and Democrats who see it as a disaster need to take a pill. “In the past three elections, Republicans have predicted that immigration would be the silver bullet that would kill the Democratic werewolf, but it never works,” says Rosenberg. “Republicans can’t point to a single race where immigration was the issue that allowed one of their candidates to beat a Democrat. In fact, there is much more evidence of moderate Democrats taking out anti-immigrant Republicans in swing districts than there is of the inverse.”

The prime example of this counterintuitive political dynamic-according to the open-borders faction in American politics-is the congressional defeat of Representative J.D. Hayworth, who is now running against Senator John McCain-a recent, if somewhat disingenuous, convert to the “secure the borders” camp. The only problem with the scenario sketched out by the pro-amnesty political analysts is that Hayworth’s Democratic opponent defeated him by emphasizing his strength on border issues. Granted, there was his implicit promise to vote for a “pathway to citizenship” once elected to Congress, but that part of his platform was consigned to the shadows-to borrow a phrase from Presidents Bush and Obama, and Senator Lindsay Graham-while his espousal of many of Hayworth’s long-held positions on immigration matters were pushed to the front of his ultimately successful challenge to the congressional incumbent.

Reporters such as Heilmann like to employ the narrative that any Republican who decries illegal immigration, while initially successful in exploiting the issue for political benefit, ultimately experiences a political backlash due to the increasing disenchantment with the Republican Party label by Hispanic voters. The previous poster-boy for this meme was former California Governor Pete Wilson, who spearheaded Proposition 187,  state initiative that aimed to deny illegal aliens living in the state publicly-funded social services such as non-emergency health care and public eduction.

The dominant view held by elite, open borders opinion-makers is that, while overwhelmingly popular among Californian voters, Proposition 187 ultimately backfired on the state Republican Party, as it energized heretofore unaligned Hispanic voters who would go on to punish the GOP in subsequent elections. Most proponents of this perspective casually neglect to mention the fact that Pete Wilson’s would-be successors in the California Republican Party, who stridently denounced Prop. 187, were lopsidedly defeated by their Democratic counterparts. On the other hand, the man whom they ascribe the GOP’s demise to, i.e. Mr. Wilson, never lost an election during the course of his long political career. In fact, his political protege, Arnold Schwarzeneggar, won election largely on the promise that he would deny driver’s licenses to illegal aliens, a preferred policy of his opponent, then Governor Gray Davis.

A post on Red State provides a link to a fascinating deconstruction of the Pete Wilson/Prop. 187=GOP implosion mythos, which is not born out by any empirical evidence, despite its superficial allure among the pundit class.

According to the presidential exit polls, the Hispanic vote has been fairly stable in California over the last 20 years.  The only exception was in 2004, when George W. Bush managed to carry one out of three Hispanics. This stability in this demographic is even more surprising when you consider that the national vote in this time period ranged from an 8-point GOP win (1988) to an 8-point Democratic win (1996).

California has moved away from the Republicans at the presidential level in the last 20 years, but it is not really because of shifts in the Hispanic vote. Instead, it’s based on two dynamics.  First, the California white vote has moved toward the Democrats. Second, the share of the white vote in California has declined.  In 1988 whites accounted for 82% of California voters.  In 2008, they were just 63% of the electorate.

Moreover, as we can see from the chart below, Prop 187 actually enjoyed a cross-racial voting coalition that even included 30% of Hispanic voters.  Support for Prop 209, which barred affirmative action, was also cross-racial. While we don’t have official exit poll results available for Prop 227, there are contemporaneous accounts that state that the CNN/LA Times exit poll suggested that 37% of Latinos supported the English-only initiative, as did a near-majority of blacks. Whites supported these conservative ballot initiatives in all three instances, yet still continued moving toward the Democrats on the presidential level.

In conclusion,

1. The backlash against initiatives/laws that target illegal aliens is exaggerated, and often used as shorthand for underlying political movements that are much more complicated, and often unrelated to, the immigration debate.

2. Many Hispanics are not monolithically pro-illegal alien, and to assume that the Latino community will give its blanket to support to those parties/candidates who reflexively denounce laws such as SB 1070 is foolish and shortsighted.

3. A large part of the political projections that foretell the demise of the Arizona state Republican Party-predictions that are based to a large extent on the faulty analysis of the post-Prop. 187 political environment in California-assumes that the illegal aliens being targeted by the law will eventually be granted amnesty, and subsequently vote against the current political establishment. The fact is, if SB 1070 is effectively implemented this will be a moot point, since those individuals will not be able to exact political revenge on their alleged tormentors.

Overall, I think we need to sit back and re-examine some of the core assumptions at the heart of this debate, many of which have been implanted in our collective consciousness by people who, to be frank, don’t know what they’re talking about.

Posted in amnesty, Arizona, Barack Obama, Immigration, Pete Wilson, politicians, Prop. 187, SB1070 | 2 Comments

Celebrities Behaving Stupidly

In other words, par for the course.

Marxist, open-borders musicians strike out against SB 1070:

Rage Against the Machine, a chart-topping foursome known for its leftist politics and anti-corporate tirades, reunited in 2007 after a seven-year hiatus, in time to poke jabs at the administration of President George W. Bush.

The band once likened the Bush administration to Nazi war criminals and said its members should be shot, and accused the government of being at war with Hurricane Katrina victims in New Orleans.

I doubt Mr. Morello is aware of the irony of  issuing death threats against someone who, presumably, is in complete agreement with him with respect to this law.

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Defying Expectations…

At least, those of the mainstream media, and various race-baiting, open-borders organizations like the NCLR, MALDEF, and LULAC.

Good news from Arizona:

I’ve never been a particular fan of Larry Klayman in the past, but anyone who’s willing to step up and defend a state that’s doing the right thing is a friend of the movement, IMO. The money quote comes from the only Hispanic member of the Arizona state legislature to vote in favor of SB 1070:

“America is a not a race,” Montenegro told Fox News. “The United States of America is not the color of your skin, it is the way you think, the way you see life.”

On officially becoming a U.S. citizen, Montenegro said, “When you finally reach that day, you understand that being an American is a responsibility, not just an entitlement.”

Words to remember the next time you hear some ignorant blowhard denouncing Governor Jan Brewer, or the state of Arizona, or defending the actions of Eric Holder and Barack Obama.

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Culture Clash

Two news stories that have captured the public’s imagination, and which are interrelated, are the proposed construction of a mosque within sight of Ground Zero and the “burqa ban” which British immigration minister Damien Green has categorically ruled out because it is “un-British,” whatever that phrase implies. Presumably, he means that curtailing the ability to wear anything-even if your choice of apparel is the sartorial equivalent of a burlap sack-goes against some undefined British freedom of choice.

The tradeoff between individual freedoms and collective security-or, as some would argue, comfort-is something that every society has to deal with in its own manner, and achieving a balance is particularly difficult  when the competing forces-in both cases, a resurgent, political Islam and a heavily secularized, modern nation-state-are so manifestly different in nature. Those who argue for this mosque’s construction, and against a prohibition on female veiling, argue that we in the West need to protect individual freedoms-including the freedom to worship enshrined in our Constitution-if we are to remain true to our civilizational values, while their opponents assert that we need to stand up to these forces in order to preserve those very values.

Unfortunately, what not many observers have suggested-and what remains strictly taboo in these discussions-is that we reacquaint ourselves with another value that we in Great Britain and the United States once subscribed to. Namely, sensible, limited immigration policies that are crafted with a nation’s self-interest foremost in mind. Whether or not you think Islam’s injunction to proselytize, its cumbersome restrictions on the women’s freedoms, and its demonization of non-Islamic societies are good things, I think most of us would agree that they are not American or, traditionally speaking, British values.

The United States cherishes those natural rights that we were endowed with from birth, including the right to worship freely and to dispose of  your property in such manner as we see fit. Therefore, it would be hypocritical of us to abridge those freedoms for some people, i.e. Muslims. On the other hand, there comes a point where the exploitation  of these freedoms-not by those who are Americans by birth, but those who were invited here as guests-begins to encroach upon the freedoms of others. And here, I’m not speaking of the freedom to build a mosque, or to wear a patently absurd, all-encompassing shroud over your body-both are obviously protected behaviors-but those cases where the exercise of religion impinges upon our freedom. For example, our right not to be deafened by the screeching call to prayer of a muezzin that uses a loudspeaker many times louder than legally authorized. Or the right of a business owner to fire an insubordinate Muslim employee who won’t handle pork products. Or, for that matter, the right of patients utilizing the National Health Service in Britain not to die from a bacterial infection as a result of encounters with Muslim physicians who refuse to wash their hands before surgery.

These are all real, tangible examples of the conflict between immigrants and the society into which they don’t want to assimilate, but which they want to exploit culturally, financially, and politically. However, they wouldn’t be problems-or at least, not our problems-if we had a reasonable immigration policy that examined such vast ideological differences before accepting hundreds of thousands of refugees and immigrants each and every year who-while perhaps making some valuable contributions to their adoptive lands-do not contribute to maintaining the social fabric, or ensuring the protection of generally accepted customs, norms, and in the case of the United States, constitutional freedoms.

Posted in Immigration, Mosque, Uncategorized, United Kingdom | Tagged | Leave a comment