Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Big Lizards (or, the Big Elite)

Dafydd at Big Lizards responded to one of my comments, and I think how he said what he said was more revealing than...what he said. His attitude is representative of most everyone "on our side" who supports this bill -- and this dim view of the opposition has become endemic in the elites on both sides of the aisle.

Update: Owen, among others, is noticing a similar trend.

To go for a few snippets:

K2, honest to goodness, everybody reading this blog knows this -- and knew it long before you toddled over here to tell us. You're not revealing some new wisdom here.

The problem with your argument isn't that it's false; the problems is that it is naïve. It is juvenile, based upon a "high-school civics" level of understanding of how government actually works.

I don't find naiveté cute, wholesome, or admirable in any way; I find it annoying as hell. And counterproductive.

Why don't you know this? What about the point do you not understand?

You seem more interested in standing on your principles and finding someone to blame for their failure than actually putting on your manly gown, girding your loins, and pulling up your socks to actually solve the problem as best you can.

Now, I like Dafydd. I like his blog, I like his posts -- and in this case, I like disagreeing heartily with him. I posted a short rebuttal on his blog, but it was late and I don't necessarily think it was my best work.

I think these pieces of his whole argument really kick the legs out from under the rest of it. Its similar to Bush's claim that using the word "amnesty" amounts to "empty political rhetoric" thats "bad for America".

If you ask me, we need more people in this country that are more interested in standing on their principles and finding someone to blame for the way things are than supposedly "solving the problem". What has not been sufficiently shown to me is how this bill, this behemoth 380 page document, is better for me, or any other average American citizen than the do-nothing alternative.

Where is the benefit? Why should I be glad to receive the verbal pummeling from Bush, Kennedy, Graham and Dafydd? My life now isn't so bad; the illegal situation isn't good, but its not killing me. What about this bill drastically improves the situation for me, or the average Joe going to work this morning?

Granted, this bill will make life great for the illegals here -- citizenship can now be bought for the paltry sum of $5,000. It will also make life better for some foreigners who have been trying to get in but have failed. But where's the gain for us, the consumer of Washington's legislation? Congress says "hey, this is the best we can do!". Our response? That isn't going to cut it -- its not worth it. Back to the drawing board.

But now, suddenly, "success" and "solving the problem" is defined as passing this bill. Was this bill divinely inspired that it is suddenly the cure-all for our immigration woes? Why this particular bill? By all accounts its not a great piece of legislation. Newt Gingrich (who has a significant edge on congressional experience over even Dafydd) says its a mess; all the politicos that typically have their ear to the ground on this sort of thing say its a mess; Dan Patrick, a Texas senator says its a mess...remind me, again, why I should listen to Dafydd, Michael Medved, and Ted Kennedy on this? Or Bush, whose immigration stance I opposed even when he was governor of Texas?

American's don't like be told they're idiots or naifs or fools. They also don't like being told to sit down and shut up. This elitist attitude is bad for business. The Bush administration's baffled response to the grass roots outrage is indicative of how foolish it is to tell people "this is how its going to be". Elitism is typically the calling card for liberalism, as it protects the poor stupid naifs from themselves. However, it should be noted that Elitism is not a philosophy exclusive to the left; it has its supporters on the right as well. This bill is a perfect time to note who believes in the intelligence and ability of the American people and who wants to patronize them and tell them their political notions are "juvenile, based upon a 'high-school civics' level of understanding of how government actually works". Well, it may be true. But we do know this -- we vote, and that gives us power.

Finally, one thing he said stuck out glaringly to me:
Appealed, appealed, appealed, on grounds that the judge is not properly applying the law and precedent. Rehearing, rehearing. Democratic House impeaches judge. Judge narrowly survives in the Senate... but has a suddenly come-to-Jesus conversion, since he does have some desire eventually to move up to the circuit bench.
Alright. Some hyperbole. It was warranted; I was using it myself in the post he was responding to. But its the last bit that counts. We have federal judges entrenched in the system who are by Dafydd's admission more concerned with their own selfish well-being than with the fair and consistent application of justice. That's why there's no one getting deported now -- and what part of this new bill will have people getting deported later? Whats to keep this same morally fat and selfish judge, who is more concerned about the circuit bench than standing on his principles, from acquitting illegals brought in for deportation under these shiny new laws?

Standing on one's principles has become a tasteless thing in recent years. Its also a textbook response to make your opponent seem unreasonable:
I'm working hard to come to the middle but you're over there standing on your principles.
Well, then. So be it. I, for one, think more people should follow my lead.