Friday, April 30, 2010

Peggy Noonan Strikes Truth Again

Peggy Noonan has a great column today in the Wall Street Journal. "The Big Alienation." It's one of the best summations of the immigration policy debate I've read in a long while.

There's some great stuff about dysfunctional Washington.
It is not that no one's in control. Washington is full of people who insist they're in control and who go to great lengths to display their power. It's that no one takes responsibility and authority. Washington daily delivers to the people two stark and utterly conflicting messages: "We control everything" and "You're on your own."
She doesn't mention this but it fits the situation in the Gulf right now where it took President Obama nine days to decide to engage the federal apparatus to help British Petroleum with its problem. Obama doesn't want responsibility, just control. And he famously declares that BP "will pay all the costs."

On why Arizona had to act:
Which brings us to Arizona and its much-criticized attempt to institute a law aimed at controlling its own border with Mexico. It is doing this because the federal government won't, and because Arizonans have a crisis on their hands, areas on the border where criminal behavior flourishes, where there have been kidnappings, murders and gang violence. ...

... the larger point is that Arizona is moving forward because the government in Washington has completely abdicated its responsibility. For 10 years—at least—through two administrations, Washington deliberately did nothing to ease the crisis on the borders because politicians calculated that an air of mounting crisis would spur mounting support for what Washington thought was appropriate reform—i.e., reform that would help the Democratic and Republican parties.
And why is that, Peggy?

The American president has the power to control America's borders if he wants to, but George W. Bush and Barack Obama did not and do not want to, and for the same reason, and we all know what it is. The fastest-growing demographic in America is the Hispanic vote, and if either party cracks down on illegal immigration, it risks losing that vote for generations.

But while the Democrats worry about the prospects of the Democrats and the Republicans about the well-being of the Republicans, who worries about America?

Ms. Noonan has a simple prescription for solving the problem. First, fix the border. After that is proven, then do some small things when people have calmed down. But she fears that no one in Washington will do this. Here's why:

Because so many within it are stupid and unimaginative and don't trust the American people. Which of course the American people have noticed.

Do yourself a favor and read the entire article.

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