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Bush hit the right notes in his immigration speech (Dick Morris Op-Ed)
The Hill ^ | May 17, 2006 | Dick Morris

Posted on 05/17/2006 5:21:18 AM PDT by RWR8189

President Bush got it just right for once. His immigration speech had all the key moves he needs to keep his base in order and to reach out to the Latino voters who are the political future of the Republican Party.

He began with the wall — the border fence. Whether made of concrete or of high-tech instrumentation, he has finally embraced the reality that border agents, no matter how numerous, cannot police a 2,000-mile border. And Americans have no reason to have faith that they can. Only a fence can control the massive flow of immigrants across our borders and give Americans some sense of control over our own country.

By addressing the problem as one of sovereignty, Bush said it just right. A country that can’t control who comes in is not sovereign.

Bush resisted the crazier appeals the frustrated elements of his core support would have urged on him. He did not require that we round up millions of Mexicans, Gestapo style, and force them to go back over the border. He conceded that there is a difference between those who have been here for years and recent arrivals, and he did not require illegals to go home and touch go in order to come back again.

This is not a children’s game, and the massive migrations such a requirement would have imposed would have made us into a totalitarian state, rooting out residents, albeit illegal ones, by knocks on their doors late at night. Nor did he take the demagogic approach and further criminalize illegal immigration by making it a felony.

He also satisfied the core demands and needs of the Hispanic community, assuring that the Republican Party will have a future as their ranks in our voter population swell. He set out a path by which Latinos can come here legally, matched with jobs and willing employers. If illegal immigrants disappeared, so would much of our economy, and Bush realized this in his guest-worker program.

His attempts to differentiate between legal paths to citizenship and amnesty were a bit strained and will undoubtedly attract much-deserved criticism, but his attempt was a good one. The fact is that those who do learn English, resist drugs, remain arrest-free, pay taxes, contribute to FICA and remain employed should become citizens after the passage of a certain time if they wish to do so. These are the sort of citizens we want and need, regardless of their accents or their skin colors.

And by emphasizing English, Bush repeats the fundamental credo of the melting pot or of our national motto: “Out of many, one.”

Congress would be doing itself a favor by passing the Bush plan just as he spelled it out. He has co-opted the middle ground, as any president must in order to govern. Those who would seek harsher or more exclusionary policies or who would inveigh against “walls” and border barriers would do so at their own political peril. There is only one middle ground, and Bush has claimed it and left the others to the extremes.

After the enactment of the Bush program, if it is passed, the nation will see solutions happening. The media will cover it as border guards take up their jobs and the National Guard assumes its positions. The nation will follow the construction of the border fence and will see guest workers come in to take jobs that need doing. They will see a problem being solved before their eyes. It will be good for their sense of confidence in government and for the Bush administration to have gotten at least one thing right.

But, as Churchill said, wars are not won by evacuations. Immigration was never going to be a comeback issue for Bush. At best he could escape damage to his base and to his prospects with America’s Latinos. It is over oil and energy that he must come back and resume his ratings and his power. It is only by laying out a broad and comprehensive national plan that shows everyone how we can solve our oil dependency in years not in decades that he can stop from becoming the lamest of ducks.

Morris, a former political adviser to Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and President Bill Clinton, is the author of Condi vs. Hillary: The Next Great Presidential Race.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: bordercontrol; borderfence; bush43; bushspeech; mexicanborder
I didn't see the speech, but the fact that I use Dick Morris as a reliable contra-indicator is troubling.
1 posted on 05/17/2006 5:21:20 AM PDT by RWR8189
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To: RWR8189

Moi, aussi!


2 posted on 05/17/2006 5:22:37 AM PDT by maica ( We have a destination in mind, and that is a freer world. -- G W Bush)
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To: RWR8189

Would Bush have said the same thing if it was a million Chinese who came into our country illegally?


3 posted on 05/17/2006 5:23:47 AM PDT by GOPJ (By definition, "connecting the dots" involves getting to see the dots... -- Mark Steyn)
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To: RWR8189

I didn't see it, either, but I must say that this piece makes the speech sound reasonable.

At the end of the day, for today's purposes, there is only one issue to address: securing the border. After that, then we can talk about exceptions, etc. But prior to that, there is no point in talking about anything.

If GWB has really pledged to secure the border (which is news to me...and will be bigger news if he does it), then, I think that's all we can ask for...for now, that is.


4 posted on 05/17/2006 5:29:17 AM PDT by ConservativeDude
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To: ConservativeDude
It is a sad day when Morris and I agree on anything, but it has happened.

The President needs our prayers more than ever.
5 posted on 05/17/2006 5:31:47 AM PDT by Coldwater Creek ("Over there, over there, We won't be back 'til it's over Over there.")
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To: mariabush

I pray daily for him to come to his senses.
susie


6 posted on 05/17/2006 5:33:05 AM PDT by brytlea (amnesty--an act of clemency by an authority by which pardon is granted esp. to a group of individual)
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To: RWR8189
He conceded that there is a difference between those who have been here for years and recent arrivals, and he did not require illegals to go home and touch go in order to come back again.

Big mitake. We have no infrastructure to properly register 12M in-country ILLEGALS at once, and then all their relatives soon afterwards. Better to have them register on the way home and line up to get their card on the way back in.

7 posted on 05/17/2006 5:33:38 AM PDT by DTogo (I haven't left the GOP, the GOP left me.)
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To: RWR8189

I'm shedding tears for our country and the generations to follow.


8 posted on 05/17/2006 5:36:07 AM PDT by exnavy (God bless America)
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To: RWR8189
"keep his base in order "
I stopped reading right there.....We are supposed to keep our elected officials in order, not the other way around.
9 posted on 05/17/2006 5:36:12 AM PDT by joe fonebone (Time to bring back tar and feathering.)
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To: brytlea

Wrong prayer!


10 posted on 05/17/2006 5:36:46 AM PDT by Coldwater Creek ("Over there, over there, We won't be back 'til it's over Over there.")
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To: RWR8189

"Bush resisted the crazier appeals the frustrated elements of his core support would have urged on him. He did not require that we round up millions of Mexicans, Gestapo style, and force them to go back over the border. He conceded that there is a difference between those who have been here for years and recent arrivals, and he did not require illegals to go home and touch go in order to come back again."

I listened to the speech. Morris is incorrect if he assumes that the majority of Bush's core support wants the President to round up millions of Mexicans. The people overwhelming want the President to do an adequate job of securing our borders. That is it! Enforce the laws on the books and stop the uncontrolled incursion of illegal aliens. Dealing with the millions of illegal aliens already in this country is NOT urgent. The complex issues associated with how to compassionately deal with the illegals already here will take time to develop and debate the many options that are on the table.


11 posted on 05/17/2006 5:38:55 AM PDT by olezip
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To: All

HOW MANY OF YOU HAVE EMAILED AND PHONED THE WHITE HOUSE TODAY TO EXPRESS YOUR DISAPPOINTMENT ???

NO TO THE HAGEL - MARTINEZ BILL !!!


12 posted on 05/17/2006 5:56:21 AM PDT by Mayflower Sister (DEMOCRAT: The Party of COWARDS, TRAITORS and I almost forgot - BABY KILLERS)
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To: RWR8189

Morris looks at the speech from strictly a political perspective, and from that standpoint it may have been a huge success.

Unfortunately we are dealing with the future of our great nation and Bush and the rest of the political whores in Washington want to turn us into a third world nation.

American citizens are fully aware of what is happening, not because the media or their "leaders" tell them, but because they see it happening in their own neighborhoods, and regardless of how the politician posture on this.........they ain't buying it!


13 posted on 05/17/2006 6:03:24 AM PDT by newcthem (Vote Mexican.......if it is good enough for the Senate .......it is good enough for us.)
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To: mariabush

I don't think so.
susie


14 posted on 05/17/2006 6:03:38 AM PDT by brytlea (amnesty--an act of clemency by an authority by which pardon is granted esp. to a group of individual)
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To: RWR8189
His immigration speech had all the key moves he needs to keep his base in order

Must have listened to a different speech...
15 posted on 05/17/2006 6:04:47 AM PDT by P-40
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To: RWR8189

Dick Morris has only proven himself able to get Democrats elected.


16 posted on 05/17/2006 6:08:16 AM PDT by EricT. (CA conservatives only serve to inflate the number of electoral votes won by the Dems.)
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To: Mayflower Sister; All

HERE IS A SCALE MODEL OF THE FENCE PROPOSAL

This is the 2000 mile border each line is 100 miles. (20 dashes)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

According to senator frist the proposal has 370 miles of new walls. (3.7 dashes, rounding to 4).


- - - -

Thats it.


(this does not include the late night McCain Kenedy amendment which allows illegals to file immigration court appeals to petition to overide the law and stay.)


17 posted on 05/17/2006 6:14:20 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: DTogo
Big mitake. We have no infrastructure to properly register 12M in-country ILLEGALS at once, and then all their relatives soon afterwards. Better to have them register on the way home and line up to get their card on the way back in.

Actually, IMHO, I think the ONLY place they could even register to get their "card" is in their home country.

18 posted on 05/17/2006 6:15:00 AM PDT by Thermalseeker
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To: RWR8189

A lot of liberals are praising the speech. Never a good sign.


19 posted on 05/17/2006 6:15:11 AM PDT by noncommie
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To: mariabush
It is a sad day when Morris and I agree on anything, but it has happened.

And you agree with Kennedy, McCain, Reid, and the rest of the Democrats who are behind Bush on this issue...Isn't something wrong with that picture???

20 posted on 05/17/2006 6:19:16 AM PDT by Iscool (You mess with me, you mess with the whole trailer park...)
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any time i see someone say the conservative base's goal is to round up and deport 11 million illegal immigrants, i know they are clueless and biased.

i agree with tancredo, you don't have to round up 11 million people, just enforce the existing laws....if they can't find work and free govt services, they will have to go back to mexico.


21 posted on 05/17/2006 6:34:07 AM PDT by jer2911tx (john kerry doesn't like rice, or as he calls it 'weapons of ass destruction')
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To: RWR8189

When Dick Morris and Teddy Kennedy are both praising The Speech, you know Bush is way off the right path and is heading the GOP into quicksand!


22 posted on 05/17/2006 7:40:53 AM PDT by Gritty (Illegal aliens are the bird flu of demographic change Bob Lonsberry)
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To: RWR8189
Morris is an open borders guy and the President's plan is nothing but amnesty and open borders. This piece is filled with distortions, for example: Bush said it just right. A country that can’t control who comes in is not sovereign. The plan has caps so high that its supporters are now actually arguing that we shouldn't worry about the numbers being discussed because there are not enough potential immigrants to actually physically fill the slots! That is open borders, perhaps with a little perfunctory and ineffective screening for criminals thrown in.
23 posted on 05/17/2006 12:20:41 PM PDT by jordan8
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