Just One Minute discusses a New York Times article on Mike Pence.
While this is unrelated to what he was discussing, I think it is instructive to note the reaction of the self-appointed zampolits that have labeled Pence's plan amnesty, much as they have with the comprehensive plan offered by Congressman Chris Cannon, and the President's proposals on immigration. I'm not quite sold on Pence's plan. It relies too much on the notion of "self-deportation", and it calls for a fence that is really no good, considering people are already digging tunnels. Still, it is preferable to any enforcement-only bill. The Cannon and Bush proposals are much better, but sadly stand little chance in the House.
But since Congressmen Pence and Cannon do not go on a strict enforcement-only basis, they are deemed to support "amnesty" - which has been re-defined by their critics for the purposes of distorting good-faith efforts to find a compromise on this issue. Neither Pence, Cannon, nor President Bush have proposed anything that allows a person to evade punishment. The punishment, though, often is not what the hard-liners like Tom Tancredo want. Thus, their problem. If they were saying, "We don't think they are being punished enough," then they would have to explain just what punishment is appropriate for a given situation (particularly when they are otherwise decent people whose only legal problem is stuff akin to a traffic ticket or non-violent misdemeanor).
Bill Clinton faced somewhat of the same problem in 1995 over Medicare spending. The Republicans wanted to prevent the bankruptcy of Medicare by reducing the rate of growth. However, saying, "I don't think the Republicans are increasing Medicare spending enough," wasn't a winning message in the face of a budget deficit and reports of a potential bankruptcy. So he claimed that the Republicans wanted "Medicare cuts" to pay for "tax cuts for the rich". It was a lie, and it worked well enough for Clinton to get a second term.
In the same way, hard-liners on immigration, by claiming the Pence, Cannon, and Bush proposals are "amnesty", are telling a lie to preserve their political fortunes. They have no desire to deal with the underlying issues, including a badly broken system (which Big Lizards Blog has covered in detail). They just want to demagogue the issue and enact even more draconian laws that will not solve the problem. Much of this comes from the paleo-conservative movement, which seems to be a hospitable place for bigots like Jared Taylor, the late (and unlamented) Sam Francis, and others. Many of them hide behind warmed-over theories of eugenics to justify their proposals. Others, like Pat Buchanan, claim that America is defined by "blood, soil, history, and heroes" - and seek a restrictive policy that rules out others, many of whom are only guilty of not being from Europe.
I reject all of those arguments. Our country was founded on certain principles - which were outlined in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Federalist Papers. The arguments of the paleo-conservatives and the methods they espouse are, at least in my opinion, in direct opposition to some of these principles. They are as un-American as the KKK, the Communist Party, and the Nazi party were.
And it's time that other Republicans who feel the same way speak out.