CBS, spinning like a gyroscope, describes the number who support the new law as a “slim majority.” Let’s see:
Fifty-one percent of those surveyed say the law, which critics say essentially mandates racial profiling, takes the right approach, and nine percent say it should go even further.
Thirty-six percent say the law goes too far.
There are plenty of concerns about the law — half say it’s “very likely” to lead to racial profiling (32 percent say “somewhat likely”) and 78 percent think it’ll burden cops — and yet, six in 10 say they’re either in favor of it as is or that it should even go further. Translation: People are tired enough of porous borders that they’re willing to try even those laws about which they have misgivings. Which, actually, is the point of Ross Douthat’s op-ed in the Times today. If you’re pro-immigrant, the best thing you can do is to lobby the feds to get a handle on the border. The more voters are reassured that they can control the number of people admitted, the more likely they’ll be to increase the limit on admissions and to expand it to far-flung countries.
Another new poll, from Bellwether Research, shows 62 percent support for Arizona’s law even though the question overstates how far the statute goes (it doesn’t let cops detain “anyone suspected of being in the country illegally,” only those who have already been detained on suspicion of committing a crime). Given the breadth and depth of media demagoguery on this subject, I can only wonder how high support would be if ill-informed critics weren’t on cable 24/7 screeching about nascent Nazism. 70 percent, maybe? Better yet, how high would support be if the media was covering amnesty-shill violence with the same degree of interest as they do the crank element at tea-party rallies? Mary Katharine Ham has a round-up of incidents over the past week, but if you’re not in the mood for following links, I recommended checking out KFI’s photo gallery of the choicest signs from the rallies instead. My favorite: “We will shoot more police in Arizona until we get free!”
Update: An e-mailer tells me the “we will shoot more police” sign could be fake. Fair enough, and duly noted. Follow the link anyway.