Home
In this issue
December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

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 Nov. 3, 2006 / 12 Mar-Cheshvan, 5767

A border bonfire smolders

By Jonah Goldberg


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | There are two obvious ways to save the bankrupt liberal talk-radio network Air America: Get Al Franken some new, funny material, and hire a Lou Dobbs. I say "a Lou Dobbs" because the CNN host himself is probably too expensive, but his limousine populism is pretty easy to rip off: "Blah, blah, blah. Corporations are out to get you, Washington has sold you out, the fat cats have declared war on the little guy," and so on.


The only hitch for liberals is that the "and so on" deals with illegal immigration, the issue that serves as the glue for American populist anger today. But liberals and Democrats won't say anything serious on the topic. And in fairness, conservative Republicans have a hitch of their own: The leadership of their own party doesn't want them to do anything about it.


This weird logjam, as the word implies, has a lot of logs to it. The first log is corporations, which like illegal immigrants. Corporations generally support Republicans and centrist Democrats, and that makes the pols wary of tackling the issue head-on.


Then there's a whole set of logs on the left. Identity-politics fanatics have welcomed the undocumented to the Coalition of the Oppressed. Major universities, editorial pages of leading newspapers, some Christian denominations, Latino activists and various allied groups have bought into the idea that there's something fundamentally icky about trying to stem the tide of immigrants who come here illegally.


There are other random logs. Libertarians believe in free trade of workers and wheat alike. Many neoconservatives of Jewish or Irish Catholic descent fear that the heroic narrative of America as a nation of immigrants will be desecrated if the U.S. performs one of the minimal requirements of a modern nation-state: control its own borders.


Jam all the logs together and you have campus leftists aligned with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Nancy Pelosi with George W. Bush, and MoveOn.org with the Wall Street Journal, all standing shoulder-to-shoulder to block serious immigration reform.


With the important exception of working-class Latinos (legal and illegal), one thing that unites all of these people is that they are members of the economic and social elite. It doesn't matter that most of them can't stand each other on most issues. When it comes to immigration, they're joined at the hip.


The worry is that this leaves a lot of room for populists, rabble-rousers and opportunists to exploit immigration. Dobbs gets good ratings, so CNN - normally home to lily-livered moderate liberalism — gives him free rein to do his blow-dried populist act. A politician with a similar act can't be far off.


That's why I hope the GOP will succeed at heading off the slide into demagoguery. The political incentive is clearly there. Already, most congressional Republicans are running essentially on the motto coined by David Frum: "Stop the Bush amnesty plan — vote Republican." And just this week, Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., an immigration hard-liner who co-authored the 700-mile border fence bill, announced that he's running for president. If immigration weren't such a huge issue, it's inconceivable that the idea would have even occurred to him.


Hunter is dismissed by liberal critics, but a responsible political class would recognize the danger that the kindling of immigration could become a bonfire if ignored.


That's one reason why I reluctantly came out in favor of a fence on the border. Sure, the symbolism to the world is bad. But it would send Americans the message that elites are serious about an issue millions of Americans care about, and justifiably so.


The conservative argument against illegal immigration is grounded mostly in civics: What kind of nation should we be? Who gets to be a citizen, and how do we decide such things? The liberal argument is enmeshed largely in statist and egalitarian economics. As with Dobbs' rants, it's of a piece with protectionism and economic populism. If the GOP takes the issue off the table, conservative economics is less likely to be poisoned by such thinking. If the Democrats seize the issue, populist economic policies will be the price Americans pay for border security.


For example, my own views on illegal immigration don't at all conflict with my desire for continued robust legal immigration. Left-leaning economic populists can't make this case because their argument hinges on immigration's alleged negative effects on wages. Air America liberals and Democrats are jealous of right-wing populism. They'd be politically smart to steal conservative thunder by tackling illegal immigration, but if they succeeded the result would be a Dobbsian nightmare.

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


To comment on JWR contributor Jonah Goldberg's column click here.

Jonah Goldberg Archives

© 2006 TMS

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles