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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 15, 2007 / 29 Sivan, 5767

Is ‘decency’ enough for citizenship?

By Diana West


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Now that the president has tried to revive the comatose Senate amnesty bill, at least as big a question as whether he can bring it back to life is why on earth he would want to?


Sure, he wants a win because he hasn't had one lately. Sure, he wants a (gulp) legacy because it's that clock-ticking time in his second term. But why this particular attempted win, which his political base sees only as betrayal? Why this hoped-for legacy, which would eliminate him from any conservative pantheon?


"It's a very emotional issue." That's what the president says by way of describing the acid turmoil his "comprehensive" immigration reform push has caused, particularly among conservatives. He's right on one level, but I get the impression he makes the point to dismiss his opponents' objections as volcanic eruptions of feeling, rather than legitimate and reasonable arguments.


At the same time, immigration reform is a very emotional issue for Bush himself. Too emotional. When it comes to illegal aliens — in particular, illegal aliens from Mexico — the man seems to be governed by his gut. And that, of course, is no way to govern.


I say this having gone back over the immigration file that has piled up during this administration. A strong emotional thread connecting Bush to the issue comes through stories about his beloved Mexican-born housekeeper/nannies, and through stories about his political associates with Mexican roots, such as Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, or campaign aide Israel Hernandez, "whom," Newsweek noted last year, "Bush hired after hearing his family story."


Bush just loves those family stories. No one needs a shrink's couch to imagine the inspiring effect of immigrant success stories on an Establishment scion like Bush, who, while he may have had to struggle for his Texas twang, never had to struggle for much else — at least anything essential. From the big chair on the hacienda porch, with that "sense of Southwestern noblesse" Newsweek's Howard Fineman fancifully attributes to Bush's possible notion of himself as a hacendado (landowner), the president's admiration seems to know few bounds. "When you grow up in Texas like ... I did," Bush recently told McClatchy Newspapers, "you recognize the decency and hard work and humanity of Hispanics."


A lovely testimonial, but hardly a criterion on which to offer amnesty to some 12 to 20 million illegal aliens, even if they are mainly Hispanic. Half the world's population are undoubtedly just as decent, hard-working and humane, but that doesn't qualify the non-Hispanic billions (who haven't broken innumerable U.S. laws) for citizenship — at least not yet.


But the rosy — better, hazy—view from the hacienda porch doesn't take this in. Instead, Bush not only imagines comprehensively reforming the illegal, mainly Hispanic millions into citizens, but also "assimilating" them into Americans. The president doesn't seem to have noticed that the multicultural states of America long ago junked the "assimilation" process as being "Eurocentric," "racist" and worse. Nope, he's still talking about "this system's capacity to assimilate newcomers" as though it's the Statue of Liberty's birthday — her 50th birthday in 1936. This "capacity to assimilate," he says, "has been one of the great, powerful traditions of America. It works, and it will work this time."


It will? Question from McClatchy: "Do you think we assimilate immmigrants as well as in previous waves?"


Bush's answer: "Absolutely."


Obviously, Bush hasn't ridden a rush-hour bus where no English is spoken, or listened to a business office recording asking "oprima el numero dos." But not even the presidential bubble excuses him from failing to notice the cultural transformation this country has undergone over the past half century. From his inviolate state of oblivion, Bush views "a backlash against newcomers" as being the only conceivable threat to the assimilation process — and more. "I am deeply concerned about America losing its soul," he said, bemoaning the country's opposition to illegal — illegal — immigration. "I am worried that a backlash to newcomers could cause our country to lose its great capacity to assimilate newcomers."


America's soul has been gasping for survival for ages. This has nothing to do with Bush's "backlash" bogeyman—which, frankly, sounds like another slap at Americans who want U.S. sovereignty upheld. Maybe Bush is just being emotional. But it's clear where his emotions lie, and it's not with conservatives. And I don't think they stop at the border, either.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


JWR contributor Diana West is a columnist and editorial writer for the Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.

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© 2007, Diana West