That’s a paraphrase, of course, but only a slight one. Dig it:
Some people just don’t like Mexicans — or anyone else from south of the border. They think Latinos are freeloaders and welfare cheats who are too lazy to learn English. They think Latinos have too many babies, and that Latino kids will dumb down our schools. They think Latinos are dirty, diseased, indolent and more prone to criminal behavior. They think Latinos are just too different from us ever to become real Americans.
No amount of hard, empirical evidence to the contrary, and no amount of reasoned argument or appeals to decency and fairness, will convince this small group of Americans — fewer than 10 percent of the general population, at most — otherwise. Unfortunately, among this group is a fair number of Republican members of Congress, almost all influential conservative talk radio hosts, some cable news anchors — most prominently, Lou Dobbs — and a handful of public policy “experts” at organizations such as the Center for Immigration Studies, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, NumbersUSA, in addition to fringe groups like the Minuteman Project.
I don’t have much to add to what See-Dub said, but if you don’t know who Chavez is, please note: she’s not a leftist, no matter how classically leftist this “argument” might be. Not only is she a conservative, she was Bush’s nominee to be Secretary of Labor in 2001 — before she withdrew due to suspicions that she had hired illegal aliens. Most of you know that, of course, but I want to make sure everyone understands where this rhetoric is coming from. First it was Chertoff, then Bush, now Chavez: three Republicans, one of them president, another a cabinet member, the third a would-be cabinet member, all not merely criticizing the base’s position on amnesty but impugning their character for taking that position.
If you’re following the headlines section you’ve already seen this from Rush Limbaugh’s show today, but it bears repeating:
The thing that is most troublesome to me is that the words that he spoke yesterday were a criticism of the people who have stood by him through thick and thin. When everybody’s been trying to destroy him, be it the National Guard story, take your pick, Rumsfeld, the entire war in Iraq, the whole weapons of mass destruction thing, people have stood by him, and because they trust him and believe him on those issues…
I’ve told you what I think the president’s motivations here are on the immigration bill, and I think they’re far loftier motivations than political, frankly. I think they have to do with his desire to help the less fortunate around the world to realize dreams, his belief in this country as a way to get it done. But this criticism of his base is going to be problematic for him because the left is going to keep up their incessant harping on Iraq, and he needs people to support him on this. He needs to have a base of support that will not waver…
I just wish he hadn’t done it because he’s not going to lose me on Iraq, and he’s not going to lose me on national security, he’s not going to lose me on the war on terror, but he might lose some of you, and that might mean losing some of your votes for other Republicans because the president’s not on any ballot anymore, but other Republicans are. The people who have hung with you, you don’t just cast them aside in an even casual sense. That’s the thing about this that troubles me, that’s what’s the saddest aspect of this, to me.
Exit question: How many of us has he already lost?