Corker to Reid

Sell out gays and immigrants, or we’ll blow up the planet.

Sell out gays and immigrants, or we’ll blow up the planet.

Gee, I wonder why people compare Republican office-holders to hostage-takers and terrorists.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

35 thoughts on “Corker to Reid”

  1. I agree, a bit. When you give them things, they just want more. One could argue that saving unemployed people (except 99rs) from starvation was important enough, just this once. But the president is creating a problem for himself.

    Not sure he sees it as a problem though. Honestly. It's hard to tell.

  2. Bruce, NCG: You're wrong. Your entire thesis, that negotiating with the Republicans merely emboldens them in the next round of negotiations, is built upon a false premise: that the Republicans have any interest in reaching a compromise that doesn't meet their maximum goals. They don't care about reaching an agreement. This isn't going to make them harder to negotiate with, because they've already become as hard as possible. The question isn't whether we can get them to give up some of what they want so long as we give up some of what we want, and meet somewhere in the middle. At no point in the last two, perhaps four, years have they ever had any interest in doing that. There aren't any traditional negotiations to be had, and there never were.

    The only question is whether or not we can get them to go along with enough of what we want by agreeing to everything they want to be worth it. The only way to get anything passed is to accept that we can get enough and let the GOP have what it wants. The alternative is for nothing to pass. There's no middle ground.

    Your beef with Obama isn't that he gives up too easily. It's that he believes that it is important enough to pass some legislation that you let the whiners have their way. As far as I can tell, your preference is for a complete Congressional shutdown, with nothing going on. I can see some merit in that, but not enough. There really are things that we need to pass.

  3. Under no circumstances should the Democratic party sell out immigrants.

    Illegal immigrants? An entirely different matter.

  4. I think there are things Republicans want, and that they will compromise when we force them to. So I'm not sure you and I do disagree. Unless you were saying they didn't have to give anything up for this tax bill? You could be right about that. Was that what you were trying to say? He did basically give them everything.

    And I can see why the president thought this particular compromise was worth making. I'm just not sure I agree with him. It's a very close case, about 50-50 really.

    My problem with him is I don't get a sense from him that he's that upset about it. And that's a problem because it means he's going to keep doing this. Having nothing happen for the next two years is starting to look like the best we can expect. Shutdowns are not the worst thing in the world. Letting the GOP drag us even further right is worse. Very much so.

  5. I don't understand the immigrants reference though. What are you guys talking about? The link just goes to something about DADT.

  6. "I don’t understand the immigrants reference though."

    The Dream Act, being considered along with the repeal of DADT, provides a path to citizenship for immigrants serving in the US military.

  7. J. Michael Neal, I think Obama got the tax cut bill Obama wanted. NCG says, Obama doesn't seem upset about having to make such a capitulation, but I don't think the "compromise" is a capitulation for Obama. Obama is a Reaganite conservative, pursuing the agenda of the plutocrats. His function in American politics is to render the Left, completely impotent, while the pillaging continues.

  8. The immigrants that would be eligible for citizenship under the Dream Act are undocumented, not illegal, unless, of course, all children are responsible for the crimes of their parents.

  9. "Obama doesn’t seem upset about having to make such a capitulation…"

    You are right.

    He had a big smile on his face at the signing ceremony.

    But why wasn't the table surrounded by gleeful billionaires to cheer him on and get a free pen too?

    All I see is a bunch of grinning millionaire senators (whose prime business is obviously to serve the country's billionaires).

    Here is a snap.

    Or you can head over to McClatchy…

    They've a nice picture of the happy crowd: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/

  10. Note that, even if you were so morally twisted as to support punishing children for their parents' long-ago behavior by deporting them to countries they've never seen, that still wouldn't be an adequate excuse for threatening to block a treaty that will help keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists as a way of forcing the rest of us to respect your morally twisted beliefs.

  11. "The immigrants that would be eligible for citizenship under the Dream Act are undocumented, not illegal, unless, of course, all children are responsible for the crimes of their parents."

    The immigrants that would be eligible for citizenship under the Nightmare act are illegal, not undocumented, which is just a euphemism used by people who don't want our immigration laws enforced. And I don't want the children "punished", refusing to give American citizenship to people who aren't supposed to be here isn't a punishment. It's just not giving them something they're not entitled to in the first place.

    And if you think this is just about the children, let me ask: While these children are in those schools, you planning on deporting the parents? No, you're planning on having them stay, and have more children to get birthright citizenship. And then using those anchor babies as an excuse not to deport them.

    Hell, how can it be about "the children", at all? We using child soldiers? I'm pretty sure that they count as "adults" by the time they're actually serving in the military.

    This is about two things, really:

    1. Maximizing the increase in ethnic groups which tend to vote Democratic, even if you have to give something like 70% of the actual citizens the finger to do it.

    2. Bringing in as many unskilled workers as possible in the middle of double digit unemployment, because businesses like workers who have to worry about deportation if they complain about working conditions, and you don't care how much you harm the actual citizenry of the country to please business.

    If a legislative majority that just got the boot can ram down the throats of the American people a policy that's had super-majority levels of public opposition for decades, democracy is essentially dead in this country.

    Here's a proposal; Let those people leave. Once they're out of the country, we'll pretend they were never here illegally, and if those children want to enlist in our military from abroad, once they're adults they can join some kind of "American foreign legion", and have an accelerated path to citizenship once their tour of duty is over.

    Until then, they can stay in their OWN countries. Not take jobs here in the middle of some of the worst unemployment since the Great Depression.

    Oh, and the treaty? I don't want to block it. It should certainly be brought to a vote. In a few weeks.

  12. "Nightmare act"? Wow.

    I say let 'em all in. What right does have to say they can't? I guess I love people more than I love my country.

  13. Yes, that's the conclusion I've been coming to. The president is like Clinton- basically a northeast Republican. Still much, much better than the *real* ones of course!

  14. Of course, it was obvious during the campaign that the president was a flaming moderate, and at first I didn't understand so-called liberals' disappointment.

    But he's turning out to be much further right even than that! I'm not even sure he's a centrist now. I was a little facetious calling him a Rep, but it may actually be true. Not to beat a dead horse or anything.

    Still, much much preferable to the *average* GOP pol. It's important to be fair.

  15. Brett, what law, specifically, have those youngsters violated? Please cite statute or section of US Code. Or, you know, STFU.

  16. I would rather know what 'entitles' Brett to be a citizen, other than the accident of being born in the US.

  17. Brett Bellmore, obfuscate much?

    I wasn't talking about children. I was talking about people who were brought into this country as children through no fault of their own and who are now actively contributing to society as adults. But you knew this, of course. By any meaningful definition, the United States is their own country. Seventy percent of actual citizens opposed the Dream Act? Really?. And your concern for the welfare of the unemployed is quite touching. Nevertheless, I'd be willing to bet it only runs skin deep, so to speak.

    For the record, I'm not a Democrat. In fact I look forward to the demise of the present Democratic Party. Most of them just happen to be right about the realities of immigration.

  18. The fact is, the DREAM act ought to have been a no-brainer to pass, about as controversial as a resolution designating Mothers' Day. That it wasn't says some sad things about its opponents and their supporters.

  19. J. Michael Neal:

    We don't want a shutdown. We just know that thanks to Orange Julius, one is coming. After all, do you really thank the GOP gives a crap about lower taxes for the plebes and UI benefits? Of course they don't. They want lower taxes for the wealthy. Their benefactors. And they got it.

  20. By any meaningful definition except that they were born someplace else, are citizens of a different country, and have never legally immigrated here? Look, I suppose on SOME level, the fact that people born in Canada are Canadians, rather than Venezuelans, is "arbitrary". But the fact is that there's pretty much no country that lets you walk in without asking permission, or over-stay your welcome, and considers you a citizen on that basis alone.

    And the US is not the exception, and every poll demonstrates that the citizenry of this country don't WANT us to be the exception.

    "The fact is, the DREAM act ought to have been a no-brainer to pass, about as controversial as a resolution designating Mothers’ Day. That it wasn’t says some sad things about its opponents and their supporters."

    And about 60-70% of Americans, including a majority of Democrats.

    I'll repeat this: You're lucky it didn't pass. An immigration amnesty when we have double digit unemployment would not be the sort of thing the voters would forget in a couple of years.

  21. Mark, you've got a rouge INS open tag messing up the comments and later posts on the front page. It's in this post right after "terrorists.":

    terrorists.<ins datetime="2010-12-17T22:19:37+00:00">

  22. Brett,

    And about 60-70% of Americans, including a majority of Democrats.

    I recently resolved not to respond to you any more, but I'm going to break down. Your statement is false. And since jm provided you a link I have to say it's not an honest error.

    Gallup shows that over half the population supports the act, including about 2/3 of Democrats, but only 1/3 of Republicans. The bill passed the House and got 55 votes in the Senate, where the Ayes represent about 60% of the population.

  23. Brett, you forgot to answer the question: please cite the law you believe these young people violated and/or are violating.

  24. JMG, does this help? As I am married to a legal immigrant, I'm fairly well acquainted with the legal routes by which one can become a legal resident alien, and "illegal" immigrant is the term most people use to describe people who are here in violation of the law. "Undocumented alien" is a euphemism, unless applied to somebody who just lost their green card to a pick pocket.

    Bernard, I will grant you that, in polls where the Dream act was described in very vague terms, it had some degree of support. In polls where people were told in somewhat more detail what was in it, that support dropped off rather steeply. This is quite common of bills which Congress drafts knowing they're defying public opinion, and so go to some lengths to misrepresent.

  25. No, Brett, it does not help since it does not answer the question any more than if you pointed at a computer and said "It's on the Interwebs somewhere."

    Please cite the specific statute or section of code you believe that young persons, now over 18, who were brought into the country by their parents as minors have violated. Thank you.

  26. Riiight. I point you straight to the relevant law, and you pretend it's the same as directing you to google it.

    I've seen this sort of behavior before: In tax protesters, who just flat out refuse to admit that the income tax applies to them. You're no better. Well, they still get hauled off to jail, and your undocumented aliens still get deported.

    They're illegal aliens, live with it. Nobody is impressed with your feigned incomprehension.

  27. Bzzzzt. Sorry, wrong answer. You pointed at _a_ law, one that any child who can use The Google could find. Now you just have to use your superhuman reasoning powers to show dumb old us what particular section applies to the young people who would have been helped by the DREAM Act. Take your time, I've got tons of it.

  28. Yes, that's right, I pointed to law any child with google could find. (Though I found it as part of studying so that I could get my wife through immigration, since we couldn't afford an immigration lawyer.) So why did you keep asking for it? Your google fu worse than a child's?

    The part that applies is the glaring absence of a part that LETS them be here. If their presence were legal, they wouldn't NEED a "Dream" act.

    If you're not here legally, you're here illegally. That's the way it works, like it or not. "Illegal alien" is universally understood to mean somebody whose presence here isn't legal. "Undocumented alien" is, similarly, universally understood to indicate that the person using the term doesn't want our immigration laws enforced.

    I'm dropping the subject, arguing with the "gold fringers" isn't any more pointless.

  29. OK, the recap for those following at home, Brett has just announced that he believes that the absence of statutory language defining a person's conduct or status as illegal is sufficient to make that person's conduct or status illegal.

    Good work Brett, always knew you had it in you.

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