Coolness Under Fire: Six Points To Remember About The 2013 “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” a.k.a. Amnesty War
Print Friendly and PDF

It seems to generally agreed that if “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” a.k.a. Amnesty does not go through by the summer, it will not go through at all—itself evidence of how politically precarious the thing is. Until then, the pressure will be intense and immigration patriots will need coolness under fire. Six points to remember:

1] We’ve been here before—several times

And by “here” I mean not just the current offensive, but the Main Stream Media ululations, the blizzard of baloney about bipartisan breakthroughs and Things Being Different This Time, the authoritative assertions of inevitability etc. etc.

Thus one of the very earliest articles carried (August 14, 2001!!!!) was No Surrender, No Compromise, Only Victory! by Steve Sailer about George W. Bush’s initial, long-forgotten amnesty drive. Contrary to the then-conventional wisdom (same as the now-conventional wisdom), Steve boldly predicted the drive would fail. And it did, being finally finished off by 9/11. He quoted blogger Mickey Kaus:

The enthusiasm for amnesty (except as a business-class plot to attract more illegals and hold down wages, or a crass Rovian "compassion" bank shot aimed at prosperous suburban women) baffles me. It's dumb policy. It hurts low-wage American workers. Even from Bush's crude political point of view, it's semi-deluded…Even if the program is wildly successful at attracting the new citizens to the GOP —and say, 40 percent of them become Republicans—that still means Bush has created three new Democrats for every two new members of his party...Why can't it be stopped? Like Nixon's unexpectedly liberal "guaranteed income" plan, it intrigues the media elite but is likely to enrage a majority of voters…It creates a huge political opening for the candidate willing to say "no"—as Ronald Reagan said "no" to Nixon's welfare plan.

(My emphasis). Kaus could have said exactly the same thing in 2013.

Oh, wait, he has.

See also 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and during the Obama/Romney debates of 2012.

2] This Amnesty Offensive would still have been launched if Mitt Romney had been elected

The MSM/ Democratic narrative (n.b. really the same thing) has hapless GOP nominee Romney cast as an immigration hawk. But the truth is that he was always an Immigration Wimp, especially after the primaries. And in the October 16 Hofstra University debate he explicitly said of “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” a.k.a. amnesty:

I’ll get it done. I’ll get it done. First year...

Apparently no-one except picked this up—it didn’t fit the MSM/ Democratic narrative; and for the GOP faithful, as also with George W. Bush’s literally incredible espousal of massive immigration increases in early 2004, it simply Did Not Compute.

In addition, Romney was fundamentally a coward. It is inconceivable that he would have stood up to the monolithic Establishment enthusiasm.

Quite obviously, the Treason Lobby was all ready to go with this Amnesty drive.

Of course, if Romney had been elected, the rationale would have been different. Had he done (relatively) well with Hispanics, it would have been that he had to capitalize on this “breakthrough” cf. Dubya after 2004. (Nixon goes to China!!)

Had he done poorly, it would have been that he needed to Do Something!!—while he still had time!!!

But, after more than twenty years in the immigration debate, I can say with confidence: whatever the problem, the immigration enthusiasts’ answer is always: more immigration!

The only difference: a Romney White House would have been able to count on even more support from brain-dead loyalist Republicans.

In that sense, immigration patriots would have been even worse off had he won.

3] No matter what you hear, this Amnesty Offensive may well fail—again

Perhaps surprisingly to readers dependent on the MSM, immigration patriots inside the Beltway (there are some) remain quietly confident that Amnesty can be stopped—again.

This will be a stunning shock to the MSM. As far as I know only Howard Kurtz has shown any premonition of an upset:

The mainstream media—you know who you are—are rooting for immigration reform….

But is that enthusiasm causing media organizations to overestimate the prospects for reform?

Be a little skeptical on immigration reform, CNN, January 31, 2013

But it has happened before. (See above).

4] In fact, the whole thing may be a charade

There is a Secret History to American politics. Thus the 2012 Romney campaign was not really about electing a president, but, in the words of RedState’s Ben Howe, “a consultant con job” focused on maximizing campaign contributions even at the cost of votes.

Similarly, it’s quite possible that this whole Amnesty agitation is just another raid by the bipartisan political class upon the naïve American capitalist class, designed to shake it down regardless of the result. Amnesty—and the skilled immigration increases that are being, quite absurdly, smuggled in with it—may or may not pass. But, regardless, some people are going to make fortunes—and not small fortunes.

5] Conservatism Inc.’s Nervous Breakdown

Although Romney’s defeat was not especially serious by any objective standard, it does seem to have caused a kind of nervous breakdown in Conservatism Inc., the congerie of consultants, lobbyists, foundation executives, pundits, publicists and politicians who have been profiting for years from the momentum of the Reagan victories and the implicit efforts of the historic American nation to defend itself.

Of course, this is not really surprising. To quote me, fifteen years ago in my (not uncritical) American Spectator review of Pat Buchanan’s trade book The Great Betrayal—Buchanan being the pre-eminent example of a Conservative Movement veteran who attempted to rethink in the post-Cold War age—

other conservative leaders are just blindly repeating the tax-and-crime themes in use for a generation, with ominously decreasing effect.

Finally the effect has decreased completely. And Conservatism Inc. literally does not know what to do.

This elite nervous breakdown is a serious problem. An ominously similar elite collapse occurred in among white South Africans. I remember Enoch Powell—who increasingly must be judged the greatest British political leader of modern time, but whose austere classical liberalism led him to confuse many of his followers by not supporting Rhodesia on the grounds that no British government could devolve power to a minority government—telling me with amazement that South Africans hosting him in the early 1990s utterly refused to hear concerns about the future under black majority rule. They essentially took the traditional show business position that “It’ll be Alright On The Night.” Now, of course, South Africa is obviously going the way of Rhodesia—and, perhaps, the U.S.

Unfortunately, in this new Gilded Age, it is quite possible that what we are witnessing is, in the brilliant phrase of NRO commentator TS1790, a "going out of business sale":

In effect, these "amnesty" and H1-B work visa Republicans are holding a virtual "going out of business sale" using the remaining voting clout of the party to pass such legislation. And the politicians who vote for such legislation will be taken care of, while the Republican Party will eventually fare nationwide as it does now in California.

6] Nevertheless, Amnesty would not be the end. It would be the beginning

I made this argument at greater length in 2006, when another Bush amnesty appeared to have broken through. (But it hadn’t).

Contrary to Sean Hannity’s post-election panic (“We’ve gotta get rid of the immigration issue altogether”), it can’t be done.

Almost unique in public policy, immigration enthusiasm contains within itself what Marxists used to call a "fundamental contradiction." The reason goes to the point that Enoch Powell made in his prophetic 1968 immigration speech: "Numbers are of the essence." By increasing the number of immigrants, the enthusiasts increase the number of problems—their problems.

At VDARE.COM, we exist to provide journalism on these problems because the MSM won't. But in case anyone has forgotten, the problems include: crime; disease; destroyed schools; destroyed neighborhoods; congestion; racial friction; linguistic displacement; wage depression; welfare costs; political displacement; and, last but of course not least, the abolition of America.

Of course, Amnesty and increased immigration would indeed eventually be the end of America as a nation-state—the political expression of a particular people.

But that people would still exist—in an enraged mood. It would find new means of political expression.

Perhaps a new party would be the first sign that this process is getting underway. Perhaps, as some VDARE.COM writers have speculated, this party will be organized along "citizenist" lines; perhaps it will be more explicitly white nationalist, an inevitable and unimpeachable response to the ethnocentrism of its immigration-imported competitors. Maybe it will seek a geographic expression—a Red State secession movement? (See here for a recent proposal). Maybe it will invent some new type of autonomous state/organization-within-a state, a sort of cultural syndicalism.

Or maybe, in a great convulsive effort, the American nation will regain possession of the territory and institutions that it was induced, in a process that merits detailed investigation to surrender after 1965.

To paraphrase Winston Churchill's speech at a not dissimilar moment of peril in British history: America should have fought on the beaches.

But, just as I was confident that the immigration debate was not "over" when Wall Street Journal’s Paul Gigot arrogantly decreed it in 1997, I am equally confident now that, should the worst happen, America will fight in the hills.

Peter Brimelow [email him] is the editor of

Print Friendly and PDF