Protect and Defend

Welcome to my blog, Protect and Defend. You don’t have to understand me. You only have to agree with me. I can live with losing the good fight, but I can not live with not fighting that good fight at all. - Publius

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The November Mid-term Election

This isn’t good for Democrats.

Yesterday, former Republican Rep. Brian Bilbray defeated Democrat candidate Francine Busby, a school board member, in the race to serve out the term of former GOP Rep. Randy ''Duke'' Cunningham (R-CA).

Brian Bilbray won with 49 percent of the vote in the traditionally Republican California of San Diego. Democrat Francine Busby's 45 percent total barely improved on John F. Kerry's showing there in the 2004 presidential election. In 2004, Bush received 55% of the vote in the district, but in this special election, a third candidate ran for the office who was originally backed by the San Diego Minutemen which took away votes from Bilbray.

The election is significant because the campaign centered on Republican incompetence and corruption vs. immigration. The special election was held after disgraced Republican Congressman Randy ''Duke'' Cunningham resigned after admitting to taking bribes from lobbyists.

Bilbray, a former lobbyist, was painted by Busby as another political insider and campaigned against Republican corruption while the media hinted at Cunningham’s past of taking bribes from lobbyists and Bilbray’s former career as a lobbyist. Bilbray ran a campaign as being the anti-illegal immigration candidate, and even in Southern California, immigration trumped corruption.

Illegal immigration is the issue of the year and those Senators who voted in favor of S. 2611 better be prepared.

14 Comments:

Anonymous Alec said...

You are kidding yourself. The Republicans spent in excess of five million dollars, and in 2004 Cunningham won the district with 58% of the vote, in what was considered a safe district. In November, Bilbray will not enjoy the same support from the national party apparatus, which will be dealing with far more competitive seats. In the meantime, the Montana senate primary went swell for Democrats, which is bad news when the Republican senator is tangled with ties to Abramoff. We will definitely see what happens in November, but also note that the total number of voters was just over 125K in the special election; in 2004, it was over 289K. Bilbray was put in the unfortunate position of having to placate both the business side of the immigration debate and the nativist side, and he chose the nativists. That worked when you had a radically nativist anti-immigrant turnout in the special election, but if votes to kill the reform bill he will lose the business community, and if he votes to advance it he loses the nativists.
It is ironic that you note immigration is one of America's top issues, and yet which party does it split the most? In the meantime, the GOP thinks it can placate religious conservatives with the newly rediscovered marriage amendment. As a social conservative, are you not the least bit insulted by this obvious use of the social conservative vote?

Wed Jun 07, 11:29:00 PM  
Blogger Publius said...

Alec, I know the sky is blue and the grass is green but I don’t think about it. I know the Senate is going to come back to gay marriage, but I don’t think about it either. You are right, the Republicans did put more money into the campaign than the Democrats, but the same is true in almost every election.
But, there is a tremendous distrust for Congress and the President right now, both of which are controlled by the Republican Party, and there is a great distrust of lobbyists right now too. And yet, Bilbray still won virtually only on the immigration issue. But, as for which Party does it split the most, I don’t think it is the Republican Party. Remember 92% of House republicans voted for HR 4437. The split is between Republican Senators and the President vs. the Republican House and Republican voters. But, as I am in a Catholic family that votes mostly Democrat and Independent with only 4 exceptions, me being one, I can tell you that my family is on my side on immigration.

Wed Jun 07, 11:45:00 PM  
Anonymous ron said...

Of course, the REPS put big bucks into this election. What did you expect? The third party candidate did not help Bilbray but the DEM advocating illegals to vote demonstrates a total lack of competence. her quote will be played again and again come november.

Thu Jun 08, 10:45:00 AM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

Just notifying you of a posting I just put up here. I found the comment from Cubed at your site and have now put it front and center.

Thu Jun 08, 09:59:00 PM  
Blogger Publius said...

Look, we made this bed, so we have to lie in it now. We can’t take away “birth-right” citizenship to those who already received it. And I would go so far as to say those who did receive it should not only get to stay but their parents as well. This is an amnesty I am 100% willing to accept regardless of how many new immigrants this adds. I am not a supporter of taking the parents away from their children. If this were the only amnesty deal on the table and if the government changed their policies of birth-right citizenship to children born to illegal immigrants, this would be acceptable to those against illegal immigration who have any heart at all. But, the practice must come to and end. This is fair and it is acceptable and it would split the pro-illegal immigration collation in two. If someone could somehow put all this into words with the correct explanation on why and how it should be done and addressed it to Congressmen and Senators, I will post it on my blog and I will send it to my Congressman as well. I am passionate just not eloquent enough to put it into a convincing argument.

Thu Jun 08, 10:16:00 PM  
Blogger Alec said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Thu Jun 08, 11:25:00 PM  
Blogger Alec said...

Well, if you really care about illegal immigration, you know what kind of constitutional amendment to support. And believe me, the language of the 14th amendment is very clear, despite what radicals might like to think. I am of course 100% against any change to the status quo; this is an immigrant nation and the constitution (as written) reflects that adequately. If you want to discourage illegal immigration, I suggest you push for development aid to Mexico; whatever Fox has been doing is clearly inadequate.

Thu Jun 08, 11:27:00 PM  
Blogger Publius said...

Alec, I am sorry, but both wording and the intent, the 14th Amendment did not allow for children born to illegal immigrants to become citizens of this country. Illegal immigrants are not subject to the jurisdiction of the country or state in which they reside otherwise they would have to pay taxes, register for the draft, and be able to vote, in addition they can refuse citizenship because their parents are citizens of another country.
As far as encouraging aid to Mexico, the U.S. already sends a great deal of aid to Mexico and Mexicans living in the U.S. now send back over 20 billion dollars a year becoming Mexico’s second largest industry. As long as the drug cartels continue to rule Mexico because they can bring their product across our porous border, and as long as poor Mexicans can cross into the U.S. to find work rather than working in Mexico while Mexico allows Guatemalan guest workers to do the jobs that Mexicans won’t do, this problem is only going to get worse.
As for being against any change to the status quo, does that go back through history or only the current status quo? The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments went against the status quo, or were they wrong too? And as gay marriage is against the status quo, would you also be opposed to changing this as well?

Fri Jun 09, 12:11:00 AM  
Blogger Alec said...

Quaint, but no cigar. While I know social conservatives dislike evolution, you cannot stop it, and it happens in your own backyard. The Constitution is no exception. So you can talk about "meaning" and "intent" until you are blue; it was so-called "liberals" that brought us desegregation, the commerce clause and modern life (for good or ill), not the "original intent" of the 14th amendment or the Founders.
Worried about the drug cartels? Then why oppose decriminalization of user amounts and spend that money on large suppliers, or decriminalize it altogether and end this failed social experiment? Worried about illegal immigration? Build a fence (but careful, it puts you in questionable company...at least one of the major efforts ended with the death of the state involved).
As for gay marriage...different topic. The status quo is currently "states decide," and I am not very interested in upsetting that general balance unless principles of personal autonomy are involved. Since I genuinely do not care about social approval of homosexuality any more than I care about social approval of any particular facet of the human condition. Am I opposed to the notion that homosexuality is some random fetish? Yes. Am I opposed to attempts to eliminate the scraps of domestic partnership benefits? Yes. Am I opposed to the reservation of the term "marriage" to heterosexual couples? No. Quite different position, I might add, from those seeking to amend the Constitution. With the exception of two fringe suits in CA and FL, no gay activists have attempted to federalize this issue.

Fri Jun 09, 02:56:00 AM  
Blogger Publius said...

Alec, put down the Kool-Aid for a bit and come join us in reality; besides all that sugar will rot your teeth.
None of the Founders came up with the 14th Amendment because they were all dead by then, and as it granted citizenship to freed slaves, so I doubt the Founders would have been for it anyhow.
And decriminalize drugs? I assume you mean legalize drugs here, although you term is a lot bigger. The last thing we need is more drugs. I don’t care how many people are in jail for possession, they are still guilty of breaking the law, and legalizing drugs or allowing possession of small amounts of drugs is not going to work either. There is no country in the world that has legalized drugs and even those that have legalized some drugs like marijuana don’t legalize crack or meth. Or are you for legalizing some and not others? And now that smoking is not allowed in NYC or the state of Georgia, would we have to take back those laws to allow people to then legally smoke marijuana? And, even if we did legalize drugs, the drug cartels in Mexico would still make money off them and they would still corrupt the Mexican government because they would not be in small possession of drugs but de dealers, or do you think Mexico would then legalize all drugs too and let the drug cartels keep going? No, the only was to hurt the drug cartels is to cut off their users. I know you are a law student, but this is simple economics, if you cut off the supply from the demand, the business becomes less profitable, and the less money the drug cartels have the less power and influence.
Next, security fences, walls, and barbed wire along the U.S.-Mexico border are not some new concept. There are already hundreds of miles of fencing and walls already in place, and there are National Guardsmen right now along the border building more. The Chief of the National Guard was on C-Span tonight being interviewed where he said that the walls and fencing work to keep out illegals and drugs. As for your Berlin Wall comment, that was built to keep people in as much as it was to keep people out; there are not millions of Americans trying to sneak into Mexico.
And gay marriage is a state issue like the death penalty. But, you have to live under that state’s laws. If I kill someone in a death penalty state but I am from a state that does not have the death penalty, I can’t have my trial in my home state because I don’t want to die. If someone has a gay marriage in a state that allows it, it does not mean that you can go to a state that does not allow it and expect the government to recognize it.

Fri Jun 09, 10:50:00 PM  
Blogger Alec said...

No Kool Aid for me, thanks. But I will be happy to assist you in your struggle for clarity:

1) Retake basic microeconomics. I have the equivalent of a minor in economics from my undergraduate studies, and one of my papers for an advanced micro class was on drug decriminalization. The position of many (if not most) economists is that the criminalization of drugs is inefficient. This is a position that is only radical in suburbia; many economists, policy analysts and field workers support decriminalization. Others advocate full legalization, regulation and taxation. Criminalizing an activity like drug-use creates a "tax" on the activity, which increases the cost of consumption. With illicit drugs, however, as with cigarettes, you are dealing with potentially addictive substances, so the ability to manipulate consumption by targeting supply is quite limited. Most of the horrors surrounding drug use (theft, poverty, etc.) are the result of the price of the drugs involved; meth users might very well be more efficient in the workplace if the cost of the drug was not so high (and it is so high because the penalty of being caught is imprisonment).

2) Read case law. You mischaracterized what I said about the 14th amendment and the Founders; I was making a point about what determines the meaning of the Constitution, and laws generally. Here's a hint: judicial "activism" as defined by the radical Right is called "doing the work of the judiciary" in legal circles. While people like Scalia pander to the religious right, the idea that judges do not make law is erroneous; if you want to live in a system like that, move to France or, better yet, Mexico. It is closer, after all.

3) No, security fences are not a new concept. But even if you managed to build an effective security fence (ha!), you will not end illegal immigration or the drug trade; you'll reroute them.

4) Supply is driven by demand. This is a fundamental concept in economics.

5) Did I say anything about recognizing gay marriage in say, Alabama? Nope. We have the Defense of Marriage Act, which allows states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions. But it is still bigotry, even if you sugarcoat it with tradition and religion. Interracial marriages were prohibited by turning to tradition and religion, the public was solidly opposed to them through the 1970s, and now? But I note that conservatives are states rightists of convenience; it all goes out the window when it comes to gays, abortion, Terri Schiavo and religious indoctrination.

Sat Jun 10, 12:15:00 AM  
Blogger Publius said...

Alec, the problem with economics is that it involves abstract concepts that do not hold in the real world. According to economics, capitalist businesses would care more about the people and product to ensure more demand from a loyal customer base and that there would be no government control or regulation because the businesses themselves would self-regulate in a fair and free market. But, that is not possible in the modern age were only a few companies control the oil, a handful of companies make the cars, and one computer company makes virtually all the software, etc. In addition, modern economics would be in favor of out-sourcing and finding cheaper means of production. This is bad for any country and bad for the environment. Big business is one of the big problems with this country and not a solution. And decriminalizing drugs does not make them safer or guarantee government control. Are cigarettes safe even though the government can control prices though taxation and hasn’t the mafia moved from many of their previous activities to being cigarette smugglers from states like NC and VA to New York? Even though the government controls alcohol distribution with ABC stores and taxation, does this mean there are no problems with alcoholics or drinking and driving? And how do explain the making of moonshine? And how can the government decide to not criminalize drugs like crack and meth? Or maybe the government will decriminalize all the other drugs but these two, because people are still going to use them, and considering I can make meth in my bathtub with one stop at the grocery store, why wouldn’t people continue to make it and sell it cheaper than the government would? This is really a bad argument here for decriminalizing drugs on your part.
I still haven’t figure out your second point. The reason why children born to illegals in this country become citizens is exactly because of judicial activism. They were not intended to become citizens and they should not be. This is exactly what those on the Right complain about when they complain about judicial activism.
No, building more security fences and walls would not stop illegal immigration all together. But with more than 8,200 illegals coming across the U.S.-Mexico border everyday, more walls and fences would cut down this number. The Border patrol has reported that the new fencing recently built in San Diego has cut down on people and drug smuggling by 80% into San Diego. That is the facts, and abstract concepts once again can’t argue with facts.
And I am for state’s rights on gay marriage because then the decision is not left to politicians or judges but to the people instead. The majority of people in this country are against gay marriage. When politicians and judges decide they get it wrong. And I wonder how many black people would compare interracial marriage to gay marriage?

Sun Jun 11, 09:24:00 PM  
Blogger Alec said...

1) Economics may be abstract, and I certainly agree that there are problems with decriminalizing currently illicit drugs and/or legalizing them. But there are plenty of drugs that are legal now and abused; teenagers across the country throw parties where they exchange pschiatric and other medications (Vicodin, morphine, and oxycodone come to mind). Alcohol is widely abused. The current war on drugs exists only to feed the federal government. Even social conservatives like Buckley have recognized this; as I said, it is not a radical idea. And btw, the government has made it very difficult to synthesize crystal methamphetamine. Try purchasing pseudophedrine in bulk; it is certainly not possible in California or Michigan.

2) I am curious what sources you go to for data on immigration (perhaps the Heritage Foundation?). But the first case to establish that children of noncitizens were citizens if born in the United States was U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark, where the Court held that a Chinese-American born to noncitizens was an American citizen. To reach their decision, they turned to English common law (yes, our laws are based on foreign law...go figure) that established citizenship at birth unless one of the following was true: 1) the child was born to foreign diplomats and/or 2) the child was born to hostile enemy forces occupying the country. Additionally, citizenship was unavailable to Native Americans, because the U.S. lacked jurisdiction over them. This is further supported by the Naturalization Act of 1790. In 1982 the Supreme Court ruled that it encompassed children born of illegal immigrants. The reason why is pretty obvious: the three exceptions do not apply to those children. The best argument (if you can call it that) is that the U.S. does not have jurisdiction over them, but that is belied by the fact that physical presence within a polity is enough to confer jurisdiction.

3) Politicians and judges decide a great many things that the people are opposed to (thankfully). As for interracial versus gay marriage, 1) blacks do not have a monopoly on interracial marriage and 2) the comparison has been made by people who are in interracial marriages. I would suggest you turn to William Kristol, who compared the two in a 2003 column (he is married to an Asian-American woman). In many ways it is the most honest of comparisons, because the argument would go something like this: Just as I cannot marry outside of my race, you cannot marry outside of your race. Just as I cannot marry outside of my gender, you cannot marry outside of your gender. Legally, there are substantial differences, but you will not find them in the Constitution, only in case law.

4) The security fence is pointless. You may (may) cut down on illegal immigration for a short period. Perhaps repealing NAFTA is a better idea? Or set up detention centers for illegal immigrants caught within the US, perhaps near the border area? History shows, after all, that opposition to free trade and concentration camps are the key to a successful state (this is sarcasm, if you have not caught it).

5) If you do not want to discuss economics, do not blithely assume that I am deficient in that area, then turn around and state that the problem with economics is that it is "abstract."

Mon Jun 12, 07:39:00 AM  
Blogger Publius said...

Oh Alec, you first sentence is “Economics may be abstract” so perhaps you agree that you can not argue for abstract economic concepts in real world matters.
But, you argued my own point, look how legal drugs are already being abused and you want to add more options? Not a good decision. Now, if you are talking about under 21 people, as for some reason there is nothing I can’t do by the age of 20 except to buy a beer, personal experience has shown me that kids have easier access to drugs than they do to beer. I would rather kids drink that do drugs. In Europe you have people ages 16 to 21 who drink but not in the binge drinking forms that exist here in America. When I visited Ireland when I was 20, I tried to explain to my cousins what a beer bong or beer funnel was and they couldn’t understand why anyone would want to do that. As for buying Sudafed, the main ingredient in meth, I know I can go to 7-11 and buy two boxes right now and do it right there at the register. Now, I don’t know how much Sudafed it takes to make meth, but those who make meth are not Harvard Chemists, so I doubt it is too difficult.
My information on immigration comes from NumbersUSA, Lou Dobbs, the AP, The Washington Post, Time, Newsweek, and anywhere else I find information. I have referred to the Heritage Foundation Study a few times because they did an important study that did change the Senate legislation to where the Heritage Foundation had to update their predictions from a minimum of 103 million new immigrants to 66 million new immigrants. The original prediction was made on the Hagel-Martinez Bill and not S. 2611 which was passed.
So, if “the first case to establish that children of noncitizens were citizens if born in the United States was U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark,” then this is a judicial interpretation and not based on the 14th Amendment was it? And weren’t you the one who told me in a previous post that our laws are not based on tradition, or in this case English Common Law?
And physical presence does not mean they are under the jurisdiction of that government because they still can not vote, pay taxes, or have to sing up for the draft. Further proof why people on the Right are against judicial activism.
And interracial marriage and gay marriage are not the same; apples and oranges. You can’t not be black or white or Asian, but you do have the ability to not engage in homosexual sexual activities. This also goes back to your quantitative argument on why polygamy and gay marriage is different, if it is only about numbers that one person can marry one sheep or cow or a brick.
And I have never said that a fence alone will solve the illegal immigration problem because it does not deal with those who come here legally with a visa on vacation and never leave. But, the walls and fences are viable and they work, and they are the first step in solving the illegal immigration problem. We already have detention centers where illegals are housed sometimes up to 60 days before they are deported if their country of origin is not Mexico. This too is not a new concept. And in your discussion of walls and the “bad” countries that use them you forgot Israel which now has in place a 400 mile wall to keep out terrorists. Or is Israel an evil country too?
Don’t get me wrong, I like your arguments because they are well researched just not well thought out. You arguments are like a train going down a track collecting steam. But, this discussion is not about a one-way, straight-line train of thought; this is like a freeway with lots of exits and alternative routes when there is traffic or a roadblock.

Mon Jun 12, 11:19:00 PM  

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