I agree with illegal alien advocates: NY Gov Eliot Spitzer’s illegal alien drivers license “compromise” (DHS approved for your dissatisfaction!) really is a betrayal. We just don’t agree on who and what it betrays.

Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s retreat from his plan to permit illegal immigrants to obtain the same kind of driver’s licenses as other New Yorkers drew angry reactions yesterday from civil liberties advocates and immigrant groups, some of whom described the shift as a stunning betrayal…

“What a huge political flip,” said Chung-Wha Hong, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition.

“He’s now embracing and letting his good name be used to promote something that has been widely known in the immigrant community as one of the most anti-immigrant pieces of legislation to come out of Congress,” Ms. Hong said.

She said having separate licenses would amount to a scarlet letter for illegal immigrants. “I know I’m speaking for millions of immigrants when I say I just feel so thoroughly betrayed.”The separate licenses could also serve as an invitation for law enforcement to arrest anyone carrying one on immigration charges, said Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. She added that the new proposal could send illegal immigrants further into the shadows, compelling them to drive with forged or no licenses and without insurance.

Uh, they’re already doing that without anyone “compelling” them to. They broke the law to get here and they break more laws to stay here. Evidently the meaning of “illegal” hasn’t quite sunk in yet. The NYCLU exec director leaves with a shot at, of all people, Bush:

“This flip-flopping is bowing to the fear-mongering of the Bush administration and turns New York into a poster child for policies based on fear rather than public safety,” she said.

If you go by the evidence, the Bush administration is more concerned with alleviating the shadows to keep the price of lettuce down than with compelling anyone to follow immigration law by “fear-mongering” or any other means. But he’s become so hated on the left that he’s now an all-purpose boogeyman, even when he’s on their side. Change sides often enough and pretty soon both sides hate you equally.

As for who’s being betrayed by Spitzer’s plan, the way I see it, it’s a betrayal of law-abiding citizens and legal resident aliens, since the Spitzer-DHS plan makes the ones living in New York have to pay more to have fully-functional licenses and still gives illegals access to something they ought not have. So far Spitzer et al haven’t commented on whatever Motor Voter implications his plan might have. It’ll be interesting if they ever do. DHS’ involvement suggests that something along the lines of the Spitzer plan may become a national trend. That would be yet another betrayal, and one the Bush administration has shown itself more than capable of attempting.

Bush’s erstwhile allies on the left won’t acknowledged it, of course, and his former allies on the right justifiably won’t forgive him for it. I guess that’s more of that “uniter, not a divider” stuff at work.

(via Daily Pundit)