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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Go Mark Go! Steyn On Immigration, RINOs, and Michael Ware ...

One day ahead of his normal showing on the Hugh Hewitt Show, Mark Steyn popped up to give his usual unusual idea regarding some hot button topics.

HH: And joining us on Wednesday as opposed to his normal date on Thursday because of my travel schedule, columnist to the world, Mark Steyn. Mark, welcome to the Hugh Hewitt Show.

MS: Good to be with you, Hugh.

HH: Mark, let's start with the issue that is raging in Washington, D.C., the McCain-Kennedy bill, the immigration issue, and the meltdown among Republican over it. What's your assessment of what's going on there?

MS: Well, you know, I think there is a big problem with immigration. I'm personally always reluctant to speak about it, because I belong to that very, very tiny, tiny, tiny demographic of documented immigrants. And judging from that parade in Los Angeles the other day, there's far fewer of us than there are of the other kind.

HH: Yes, that's true.

MS: And if you talk to legal immigrants, they're the ones who are the most resentful of this whole illegal business, because we're the ones, we pay the huge fees to immigration lawyers, we filled in all the paperwork. I've stood in line at these dreary government offices to get these stupid cards and these stupid government numbers, to go through the whole process officially. And everyone whose done that is resentful to the idea that somehow if you just make it across the border, and you get here, you can stay here, and half the state governments in this country will do what they can to make your situation as painless as possible, and the public schools...I'll give you a small example of schools. If you're a legal immigrant, and you enroll your children in a local grade school, they want to know whether they've had all the shots, you know, for this and that.

HH: Sure. Vaccinations.

MS: If you're a legal immigrant, you have to then, you're faced with then getting the documentation out of whatever country you happen to have come from. And sometimes, that can be difficult, because they give them different things at different times, and the school nurse will give you a lot of harrassment. If you actually just say okay, scrub that, they're not legal immigrants, I want them redesignated as illegal immigrants, then you won't be asked for any paperwork. It's a lot easier. The problem at the moment is that it's a rational decision, coming into this country, to be an illegal immigrant. And that is the problem.

HH: Mark Steyn, I don't know what year you emigrated, but you ought to go back and get a refund if this thing passes, that's for sure. My question is, though, we've got 11 to 15 million illegals. It's a complicated problem. We're not going to throw them out of the country. But given that, is the first thing we should do secure the border? Or is the first thing we should do legalize or regularize, or use any euphemismize that you want, the 11 to 15 million?

MS: Well, no. I think if you're going...as you say, there is a problem. You've got a population that is basically four times the size of the average European Union nation...

HH: Right.

MS: ...living in the United States illegally. Four times the size of the population of Ireland, say. Two or three times the size of the population of Denmark or Norway. So I think the first thing you have to do is say well, that is a problem, but before we deal with that, before we come up with some way of finessing that, we will secure our borders. I mean, I do think this is a national security issue, because when I hear this sort of pseudo-isolationist talk that comes out from many people on the right particularly, I say well look. You've got a country here that can't even secure its borders against two relatively benign states, yet now you're saying you'll be able to tell the whole world to go to hell, and that Iran and Iraq and Afghanistan doesn't matter, and the whole place can go to hell. You can't even enforce your border against some sleepy Mexicans and wily Canadians. And America has to be able to demonstrate...sovereignty begins at the border. You don't have a nation if the nation doesn't have borders.

HH: Now Mark Steyn, I understand why Ted Kennedy and liberal Democrats want to naturalize and legalize, and then get voting, the 11 to 15 million whom they perceive as their voters. I understand that. They might be as wrong as Gladstone was about the enfranchisement of the late 1870's, but I do not understand why John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Arlen Specter, and Mike DeWine want to go out of order, leaving the border unsecure, but getting to naturalization or amnesty first. How do you explain McCain?

MS: Well, I think a lot of Republicans on this issue have, are operating between what they see as two pincers. One is that if you come out strongly against immigration, illegal immigration, you're seen as somehow being quasi-racist by the media. So you lose a lot of your good...if you're an anti-immigration Republican, you lose a lot of whatever good press you won. And we've seen, particularly in the case of Lindsey Graham, that that's very important to him. And at the same time, there is no doubt that there is a constituency in the Republican Party that thinks that somehow the economy is dependent on this huge flow of illegal immigrants. Again, that's something that is, i think, repugnant to legal immigrants, because if it's an economic issue, then certainly this country should be capable of devising swift, efficient, safe, secure legal immigration to get them in here. But the idea that somehow letting people annex different industries, stage by stage, in order to artificially depress the cost of operating those industries as a conservative position, I think is ludicrous.

HH: But I go back to McCain, Mark Steyn, because first, there was McCain-Feingold, then there was the Gang of 14, and now we have McCain-Kennedy. And it seems he will never not subjugate the interest of his party to his own perception of political self-interest. Is that fair? Or do you think he's just trying to do the best he can?

MS: No, I don't think that. I mean, my observation of John McCain, and I understand he's very popular with a lot of people in the United States. My observation of him during the 2000 campaign, the 2000 New Hampshire primary season, is that he is one of the most incredible narcissists on the political scene. And that basically, John McCain is very good at talking himself into believing that whatever position he adopts is, by virtue of the fact that he's adopted it, the sensible, sane position. That's certainly true of McCain-Feingold, and I think he'll do a similar job talking himself into it with this view of him on immigration.

HH: Narcissism is a word that came up much in my e-mail overnight in connection with a lengthy interview I did yesterday with Michael Ware, Time Magazine Baghdad bureau chief. Did you have a chance to see that, Mark?

MS: Yes, I did, and I thought it was an incredible interview. And in a way, incredible because I would imagine that nobody, no foreign correspondent for a major Western news organization would regard it as unusual. And that's what's so depressing. The bit where he was talking about yes, he's got contacts in Zarqawi's organization, and he's been taken on these privileged little trips to meet with them and all the rest of it, that's the complete opposite of...I don't know how you feel, Hugh. You probably feel the same way. But I felt gradually exhausted since September 11th, 2001, that it's very dispiriting trying to keep going in this phase of what is a very long conflict. And the reason I do it is because I want us to win. I don't particularly like journalism. I don't particularly like writing newspaper columns. I'm sick of having to make what I think should be an obvious case again and again and again. And I'd much rather pack it in and sit on my porch in New Hampshire and enjoy the view of the mountains. But I do it because I want us to win. And the idea that he has, this diseased sense that somehow just the story, the story is somehow how you demonstrate your journalistic integrity and purity, and might get you nominated for some prize that nobody cares about somewhere down the line, that's not what it's about. I mean, why does he want to be a journalist, if it's not to be on the right side of history. This is ridiculous.

HH: That's...there was a moral vacuum there, and the left is mocking the interview, suggesing that I was arguing that we are front line troops in the information war. I wasn't. I was suggesting that every civilian is invested in this, because of a hole in the ground three miles from here.

MS: Exactly, and that's where your left-wing detractors are missing the point, is that we're all, in a sense, we're all conscripted in this war. Those 3,000 people who died on September 11th, they weren't serving forces, they were just fellows who got up in the morning and went to work, or went to Logan Airport and got on a plane. And that's the thing. We're all conscripted in this war, whether we know it or not.

HH: I think you would rather be writing things like obituaries. I have to get to this obituary of this Telegraph columnist about whom I had never heard, but I read laughing out loud on the airplane East this week. It's in the
Atlantic Monthly. People should run out and get it. Tell people about this guy. What an idiosyncratic writer.

MS: Well, Michael Wharton, who was a colleague of mine at the Telegraph in London, and he died in his 90's a few weeks ago, and he basically wrote this satirical column for fifty years in the Telegraph, in which gradually all the things that he satirized about eventually came true. You know, a lot of things we take for granted now, like bishops who believe, trendy bishops who believe in nothing, insane environmentalists, social workers who say we're all guilty. In a sense, he developed a lot of these features in the modern world as sort of satirical things in the early 60's, and then had the horror, as great satirists often do, of finding that they all came true.

HH: Yeah, he thought be was a humorist, but he turned out to be a prophet. It's a wonderful tribute to your colleague. I hope people pick up the Atlantic Monthly. Mark Steyn, columnist to the world, always a pleasure.

As always, and summed up in a single word, brilliant. Simply brilliant, especially regarding this immigration debate going on. He is correct, and this is one thing the pro-illegal immigration people cannot refute. The bulk of those that came here legally--those who jumped through the hoops, filed the paperwork, started the process, and saw it through--are the most resentful of those looking at this deal. It is positively preposterous for the Senate to push this through, and that disdain runs deep for those Republicans who voted this atrocious bill out of committee. Neither side is going to be happy with this "compromise" on an issue that, according to the law, is already solved. The laws on the book should be enforced, and should have been enforced all this time. The government has opted out of that agreement, which has allowed us one scar this nation will not soon forget. I doubt America wants to see another band-aid on cancer for a "quick-fix." And that quick fix is not even noteworthy because it does little than slap the hands of those who came here illegally. Steyn is correct. Sovereignty, a national identity, starts with borders. Those borders should be held, and those coming here illegally should be prosecuted, and deported. What does it say when a "neighbor" and "ally" continually encourages their people to head into America? How much of an ally are they, really?

The Bunny ;)


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