There is something about Bush's controversial illegal immigrants proposal that bothers me. He wants illegal immigrants to be able to get a work permit, which would allow them to work here and eventually gain citizenship. It is a general pardon, but the president can't say it like that, because of internal party politics.
I've indicated earlier that to save our party, we need to reform it. This issue shows us what's wrong with the Democratic party. This issue illustrates the extent of the crisis in our party.
First of all, we are the party of immigration and immigrants rights. Why is Bush allowed to hijack this issue?
Secondly let me tell you what the president is doing. He is taking away the Hispanic vote from the Democratic party, because a large majority of illegal immigrants is from Mexico and Latin America. In the last election, 44 percent of Latinos voted for George Bush.
The Latino vote is crucial for our party. Why are we allowing the Republicans to take over our base and relegate us to eternal opposition? That is what the president is doing. He is putting together a coalition of voters, which will make the Republican party the dominant party for years to come.
Some Democrats seem to relish the division this proposal is causing in the Republican party. Hardcore Republicans, especially in the House do not want to "reward" illegal aliens with a work permit and eventually citizenship for breaking the law.
We should not be too happy about this division. We should not put our hands in our pockets and watch the coming destruction of the Republican party.
In my opinion, we might be disappointed.
After the election president Bush has earned a lot of political goodwill, which he intends to use. Maybe on getting his proposal accepted.
Secondly, I've been in Washington. I know politics. I hear things. I can't believe the White House's audacity.
The story goes, the president will throw these hardline Republicans and their base some red meat. The proposal will in its appearance tilt towards home security. Regulating illegal residents is good from a law enforcement and home security perspective. How can you be against securing the homeland is the idea here.
More importantly though is the second piece of red meat. What most hardline Republicans and base are afraid of is, you regulate the existing illegal aliens, but new ones will cross the border.
Here the new proposal proposes something I thought was incredible. The proposal will make money available to build a fence on our southern border. I couldn't believe it when I heard it. What I'm telling you is hearsay, not official, just ideas being thrown around in Congressional backrooms.
Expanding on the last point. Most people will say, a fence will never happen. Well, in politics that's not always the point. The point is, you give your hardliners something in return for something else.
The president gets his general pardon, the public gets home security, the hardliners in the Republican party get a fence and can take that to their conservative base, who will love the idea.
Does the president want a fence? No. How will he sign on to a fence knowing that there will never be one?
The ideas, which are thrown around involve the federal government giving state governments the right and the money to build a fence. If they want to. In other words, the problem will be on the plate of states with 30, 40 percent Hispanic populations (and voters).
To make a long story short, there isn't going to be a fence, but by the time the debates in the states come to a conclussion, Bush will have pardonned 8 to 10 million illegal immigrants, brought the Hispanic vote under the Republican wing and created 8 to 10 million very grateful new citizens and Republicans.
George Bush could become one of the most influencial politicians in our country's history. If we Democrats don't pull ourselves together.