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An average American that has some thoughts on politics, culture, and society with a conservative and Catholic twist.

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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Immigration, Tancredo loses it, and how far we have fallen

I have a family emergency that calls me out of state tommorow. This shall be my last post but feel free to drop a email. I will be on the net tonight. My grandfather is having a operation and your prayers would be appreciated. This is a long post but I wish you would read it. I feel it is important. Also most of it is in the words of others, so you will not have to deal with clumsy engagement of the King's English. There are two post I am highlighting. One is current and shows how far we have fallen in political discourse among us conservatives. The Second is a trip down memory lane by a blogger that pegged the problem way back in May. I think both are revelant and perhaps are benefical to look at so we can save ourselves and make something good come out of this mess.

The first is a Called as Seen post on the immigration issue and ever present Congressman Tancredo. I am not just highlighting his post because he linked to me lol. I think his post is aptly titled. It sums up the whole way many of us "conservatives" have felt we have been treated by this self proclaimed "base". The Title of the Post is Shut up, Tom Tancredo explains. Basically Called as Seen is talking about Tancredo's Press release. Go to his blog and read it. It is quite a press release. I urge you to read the whole thing. Tancredo bascially tells Our President the we all voted on to stay in the White House and shut up. You see the President of the United States feelss he has something still to say. In fact he is coming to us to speak to us. Tancredo says "We’re trying to brand this as a fight between the Reid-Kennedy bill and the Republican bill. Nothing will do more to destroy our progress with voters than to have the Republican President follow us hearing-to-hearing arguing for the Reid-Kennedy approach.” Congreesman Tancredo from Colorado, this Louisiana boy respectfully says put a sock in it. If the President of United States that we voted on and the leader of the Free World wants to come to the towns where you are speaking to have his voice heard well more power to him. Called as Seen said exactly what I have been thinking but can't put into words:
"That said, it is not so much Tancredo's agenda that makes me see red. I have my disagreements with other people, like Internet Esquire (over Iraq). My partner on this blog and I first came across each other in a disagreement over reactivation of the Iowa-class battleships. But these disagreements have had a quality that has been in very short supply from the Tancredo-Malkin crowd: Respect.I'm sorry, but when your response to a person's disagreement with you is to tell them to shut up, it means you do not have much of an argument.

Why does Tancredo fear the Administration making its case for a comprehensive bill? Is it because recent events (and polling) have shown that the President's approach might be passed into law if it is explained?Tancredo has not only revealed that he lacks class or respect for those who disagree with him and wants to be able to freely demagouge a serious issue, he's also revealed that he doesn't have the guts to have a fair debate with the President of the United States. That says a lot more about Tancredo than it does President Bush."

Exactly. So well said if you ask me. Respect is the thing that has largely been missing from this debate. I have been voting Republican all my life for the most part. How people that dare question the extreme hardline approach in this debate have been treated is awful and unexcuseable. We have been told that we are part of some mythical open border lobby. We have been called trolls on internet forums, called spineless, and traitors. Well, I suppose if Bush can handle it as well as carrying on the weight of the World on his shoulders I can take a few barbs. There have been other Republicans that have been brave under these barbs. Governor Huckabee, Senator Grahmn , and Senator Brownback just to name a few. But what has happened has been unexuseable. Respect is the key. I and other conservatives I feel are still in a tad of shock that we are being called RINOS. Let me give you a tad of a warning. Many of us are taking names right now and we have long memories. That is not some threat. But why should you be trusted when you have turned on so many of your fellow conservatives like a pack of rabid dogs.The important factor is not where you are at on this immigration issue but how you have conducted yourself. That goes for officials, bloggers, media, and other people in the public square.

This has been noticed by other bloggers. I have never met the Anchoress but I have been in politics long enough to realize that the way she views things is very much the way vast numbers of people view political things. The exception being that the Anchoress is tuned into the political scene more than most are. Her post on immigration here is the best I have seen and shows what I am struggling with and this nation has to struggle with. She was quite honest about this problem we have allowed to ferment for years. Just a part of her wonderful post:
John Paul II used to say that. In encouraging Solidarity, in evangelizing, he would say, “you have to deal with the world as it is, not as you would ideally like it to be.” He was right. And the world right now - as it is - is in flux, due to a systemic lack of interest in addressing this problem for decades. Point the finger at the government - every part of it. Point the finger at ourselves, too, for tuning this problem out for too long.

That also means we can't blame it all on the illegals either. We have used their talents and labor too for decades. You just can't break up families en mass without giving consideration to them or respecting their humanity. There is culpulbility on our part too. Sorry to say that. Americans hate blaming themselves. But justice demands it. It also needs to be considered when coming up with a solution and dealing out punishiment.

But I digress. It was amazing to see how this Catholic lady from up north was treated. Really it is not shocking in retrospect because we were getting the same treatment. And this was the good ole days. It is far worse now. I think her observations are important to look back on. On May 12 2006 she posted in part of a great post:There is a terrible toxicity to our political and social exchanges - there is little real thought and lots of shrieking going on, lots of noise, little real discourse and precious little honesty. There is no way to debate because - no matter which side tries to get serious - a well-thought-out discourse is immediately shot down by the other side with a one-line-sneer, usually a specious one, that distorts or misdirects and never allows a thought to go forward. The disrespect between “sides” is staggering, and completely unproductive. But non-productivity seems to be what people like. It’s “safe.” If you don’t do anything, you can’t get blamed, right? More kicking things down the road. Let the guy who actually wants to take some action bear the brunt of your fear, your insecurity, your anger, your scorn, your impotence. If he doesn’t do it all perfectly, he’s a bum. That was May 12th!!!! The good ole days really. I wasn't being accuse of being a part of a plot back then. She also said in that post :The roiling hate that is the driving force behind the MSM and some parts of the blogosphere and so much more cannot produce anything good. All of these negatives cannot create a positive. I can’t be the only one who is feeling increasingly ill - not ill-at-ease, but physically ill.
Well thank God, The Anchoress didn't pack in talking about politics as she was announcing she was going to do. She like the rest of us took a deep breath and dared to state our views. On May 15th the Anchoress when refering to a opinion piece on a "conservative" internet site that equated the ease of deportation of the Mexicans to Hitler's final solution said:Sadly, I’ve read similar sentiments on conservative forums all day. That’s where this unhinged, over-emotional rage-train is headed, folks. If this is representative of the current conservative fever-swamp, then I guess I will have to say pardon me, I guess I’m not a conservative, after all, and take one step leftward. Sadly it has gotten worse. If people don't want to be called racist then quit associating and giving approval to people that make such statements. Has anyone seen what Mexicans are described as lately. There is countless talk of how dirty they are and the diesases they carry. There are cartoons that describe them as parasites and leeches on the system. There is talk about how they are part of a plot to take over the Government and talk of their morality. Take a deep step back people. Look at your history that for all that is holy. That is freakin 1936 except it was a German man saying those things. It is has become unhinged.

On May 17th in a post entitled Blog meltdowns, egos and echo chambers:The fascist is whoever is trying to shut you up, shut you down, dis-employ you, silence you, cripple you or marginalize you for the crime of daring to fall out of step with the party and the conventional wisdom. Beware of them.
I also paraphrased St. Paul, who wrote, “all that I hate I am become…”
It seems that “all that some conservatives hate they are becoming…” thanks to the spitting emotionalism that has attended the issue of immigration for the past month or so. The issue, of couse, has been growing for 30 years, but now some want their solutions applied right now, this very instant, and you’d better not disagree, or you will be dismissed, de-linked or otherwise cast-aside
. Of course it has gotten much worse since then. ON the echo chamber effect and also what is somewhat related to how people use the concept of astroturfing on the net:the internet has a capability of enlarging, the truth is most people surfing the blogs and sites find the ones they like and linger there, in the echo chambers of a few favorite spots, and thus they shrink their worlds. They begin to believe the illusion that because 80 or 800 or 8,000 people frequent the same site and jaw the same sentiments, that there are a whole lot more people agreeing than disagreeing with them. That, in fact, a breathtaking number of people - MOST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD, even - believe what they believe. I see this all the time. I go into these forums and people tell me "that my GOD Deport them all build a wall deport large and small". Well, it seems when you sit down over a beer or dinner with people and this subject comes up, I don't exactly hear those extreme sentiments. However the Anchoress was on to something. This applies not only to the net but to talk rdio and cable news. On blogs she said:The thing is, and I’m being serious, here…that sort of ongoing harangue, completely devoid of respect, of a willingness to take half-a-loaf and call it a win…that’s the stuff that could in the end WEAKEN the influence of the blogs. Stomp your feet and find any solution but yours to be insufficient, and eventually you look like a crank, and people stop paying attention....Imagine being president and having to hear from an advisor that one-issue people, with one-issue perspectives are demanding a perfect (and probably undoable) action on their one-issue, or they’ll toss you overboard, because the other thousand things you got right no longer matter. That they’ll commit electoral suicide rather than accept a compromise. Hasn't that prediction come true. Look how an arch conservative like Cannon was treated. The Pence bill, in which I think is too extreme but I am willing to take and agree on as a compromise is derided. All its supporters and those who wish to bring it into the public sphere are told to shut up and be quiet.

On May 17th 2006 the Anchoress said:But what I am seeing from several bloggers, is something more along the lines of (I’m paraphrasing), “these are the sorts of animals George W. Bush and his cultists and want to let stay in our country!” What I am seeing is nothing less than rank demagoguery meant to foment hate and fear and to keep others in a a whipped up state of frenzy. It is needlessly provocative and could end up encouraging some tragic behavior......The right has a disproportionate number of Christians in its tent, and Christians are supposed to know a thing or two about forgiveness and second-chances. By the light of Christ, a whore is not forever a whore and a thief is not forever a thief. Are we conservative Christians going to forget our own second chances - some of them known only to God and ourselves - and declare that while we might not always be wretches, “an illegal is always an illegal and there is no mercy, no chance to be something more…”
I can’t believe that. Can’t accept it. Won’t be part of it. Our Lord demands more from us than a shrill dehumanization of what He has created, some demagoguery and a quick look-away as we shout, “ship ‘em back! Bad! All Bad!”There are no negatives in Christ
. Yep can't agree more. Of course this has just gotten worse and worse. How is this different than sites on the web that keep breathless records of criminal atriocties committed by african americans? I haven't still received a answer to that one. Ditto for her statements on what Christian Conservatives should be feeling. I mentioned the above and it was called liberal Catholic bleeding heart drivel. Unfreaking Believable. On how we are often mischaracterized by our supposed conservative friends:Oh, I can hear lots of howling right about now from the “you bleeding heart RINO, didn’t you see all those Mexicans marching on May 1st?” crowd. Yeah, I saw ‘em. I saw all the A.N.S.W.E.R. folks and rabble-rousers too. And I have no patience for the “storm the gates” mentality. I’ve never said that no one should be “shipped back.” I’ve never said a fence shouldn’t be built.
However, these people we are talking about are in fact, people - created creatures loved into being, just like you and me and your kids and mine. These are not soul-less zombies undeserving of your regard or your humane respect. I am no bleeding heart, but I do believe in
treating human beings like human beings and not like evil, distrustful sub-humans, walking around stealing our breathing air - and I am very disappointed, more than I can express, to see some blogs wave around a terrible story and pronounce breathlessly, fervently, “they’re all like that! And they’re coming here! And George Bush wants them here! And this is all you’re going to get from these people!” Amen. This is nothing to be ashamed about by the way. This isnt liberal or some bleeding heart stuff. Its is at the heart of my Conservative politics. It was at the heart of Ronald Regan's vision. It is my Catholic and Christian faith. If Tancredo and the hysteria crowd don't like it fine. But I am not shutting up. And neither is the President.


A must read post was on May 22 called the The Essential President Bush. I can only quote parts but I urge conservatives to reread this for a major reality check. In talking about the first signs of rebellion among the base as to the Myers nomination:At that point Bush, unchanged in essentials, might have wondered if his conservative “base” had become a bit over-confident and loose-hipped, so cock-sure of their majority (not that congress used it) so certain of their own brilliance that they were beginning to believe they didn’t need him; that he wasn’t conservative enough, after all, and that the next president was going to be the solid, “uncompassionate” conservative they’d really wanted all along.....Then of course, the DPW debacle was launched and once again the far-right, his “base” went beserk, again, for very dubious reasons. Buster was the one who pointed out to me, then, that in this matter President Bush was being entirely consistent with who he had always been and that his defense of the sale was not unsound, nor unprecedented. The right didn’t care! They stomped their feet and went DU again. Even Rush Limbaugh couldn’t control them....And now, the Great Big Immigration Imbroglio of ‘06 has turned “the base” quite vicious. President Bush is no longer simply a moron or an idiot to his base, he is a bad man. He is a bad American. He is a bad president. Everything he does now, is wrong. As yesterday’s WSJ pointed out, Bush is closer to the deified Ronald Reagan on this issue than anyone on the right wants to admit. And they’d never do to Reagan what they are doing to Bush. Let’s look at a few Reagan quotes on the nature of those “far-right” conservatives, mmkay? I am not posting those quotes go to the link and read them. I think the "base" would be quite shocked. Lets continue:Ever stop to think maybe the president feels his base has abandoned him, that uncontent with 75%, they’ve simply moved beyond reason? Ever stop to think that while you’re calling the president every despicable name in the book and demanding his fealty or you’ll “teach him a lesson,” that perhaps there is a lesson you need to learn? Amen again. The "base" seems to me has forgotten how it was to be in the minority. That all compromise is evil. Evil. I have actually heard that term used as to the Bush plan, the Cannon plan and now the Pence plan.

On May 26th the Anchoress had a post entitled “Illegals” hysteria & the place I can’t go. She said in part:It’s all a plot and a conspiracy, you see…nothing could possibly simply be about stupid and lackluster career politicians trying to finally, finally, finally do something about an issue no one has wanted to touch for 30 years and doing it haphazardly, fearfully and imperfectly, and with the usual suspects trying to add their own flourishes, which must always be batted down, whether the issue is illegal immigration or almost anything else.
No, no. It’s a plot! It’s a conspiracy, meant to bring down America and put the conservatives in their place! To create a permanent underclass! To enlarge government, create more victims and raise our taxes! (what nonsense…we’re in a freaking war and spending more than ever, yet our revenues are growing thanks to the tax cuts…it’s funny how, when it suits a need, suddenly taxes will have to be raised…)
Maybe I should launch a conspiracy theory of my own…say…oh, something silly, like maybe this hysteria is just the conservatives doing everything they can to foment enough discord and discontent to create the “demand” for a third party candidate
. Anchoress let me say, that perhaps as to that last line you were on to something.Aside from the legal and moral ramifications of trying to “round them all up -” I got out of the car thinking, are they forgetting that we are talking about human beings, here? Many of whom have been here for years, initially through legal means, and who have created lives? People with lives and families who - like how they got here or not - are HERE and are mostly contributing to society in positive ways? Honestly, the folks on the radio sounded extremely narrow and over-the-top. The humanity of the illegals seemed as unmentionable to them as the humanity of a baby-in-utero is to a feminist. Conservatives listen to what she said in May and look at where we are on this August day. We can't talk about right to life issues from the womb to the tomb and treat millions of people as non human. We are creating a climate that will destroy us. The sad fact is it has gotten so much worse. This isn't liberalism, it is basic Western Moral Ethics.I wonder why it is that we do not, today have a well-run, functional immigration program to handle the huge influx of people who wish to live here. Why aren’t we WORKING on creating such a program? Why isn’t that part of any immigration bill - the reform of the INS?
We’re going to need our immigrants as the boomers retire and weigh heavy on our SocSec system and their children barely reproduce at replacement levels. Why can’t we bring back the idea of Ellis Island - create an Ellis Island West, so to speak which would prevent the “illegality” of our immigrants
. Well sadly I think we are a lot more wiser now in August than we were in May. It appears that there sin of crossing the border without proper papers is not the real issue.

Finally one other post I want to highlight that she did. That Can we say “Ellis Island West?”

I have written about some of the illegals who go to my church, who have lived here for many years, established themselves as best they have been able, have learned English, worked hard - they haven’t complied with the broken INS system, but they have become as model citizens as they might be under the circumstances. They come to church each week with mannerly children, impeccably turned out - the father is at daily mass every morning, and every day before he leaves for work he prostrates himself before the Tabernacle. Yeah…he should just be shipped back. Illegal is illegal and that’s all that matters. But what am I saying? I forgot, I’m a Catholic, I can’t be credible on this issue, because all we Catholics care about are asses in the pews and money in the collection basket. The Anchoress mentions the Catholic Bashing that she noticed that was going on. Since I hit it hard with Tancredo the other day, I on purpose didn't highlight a lot of those parts. But the Catholic Bashing has gotten worse. Some done by so called Christian conservatives. I frankly am sick of it and will not stand by and allow it to go unanswered. I have spent countless hours talking about what the Church's position is. I have pointed it out in the Catechism , in Scipture, and numerous Church documents. What do I get in response? Basically stupid anti Catholic slander that bests even the most vile Jack Chick cartoon book. I feel we are living back in the days of the Know Nothing party. It has been a big lesson to me. How quickly the Catholic Church is hailed as a friend and then demonized in the next minute by some. Like I said I am keeping track. This is my faith. A faith if called on hopefully I would die for if needed. I don't take this slander lightly. Again though it has gotten so much worse.No normalization, no reasonable examination of a person and his life and his circumstances…no plea bargaining…“no excuses, illegal is illegal…ship them all back…” might sound pithy, moral and right to some. But it is offering no solutions beyond a fence - it considers no reform. Some of these high-minded moralists betray something in themselves when they write - as some have in the ’sphere, all their principals really demand is the “rounding up and shipping out” of millions of people, the distruption of established families, a wall and a guard standing a post with a loaded rifle.
In some ways the breezy categorizing and dismissing of the human beings involved in all of this sadly brings to mind
these Phelps disasters who see only “fags” and “fag enablers sinning away grace and messing with the wrong God.

Isn't that true. To sum it up we are becoming what we hated. I as a Catholic am a big believer in redemption in grace. I experience everytime I am granted absolution and when take my Lord and Savior into my hand and into my body each time I go to mass. We need to some massive grace now. I know this blog has become quite a attack dog lately. Well, I am sorry if that is unseemly to some. But this Catholic Blogger doesn't mind mixing it up and calling a spade a spade. Many of us have been told to shut up. Just like Tancredo has told the President. Well we are not going away. I love this party and too much is at stake. Much more is at stake than just this immigration issue also. In essence we are not going away.

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