Immigration and the fear-and-greed coalition

It’s coming apart. Bush’s crack about people who “don’t want to do what’s right for America” was a bad, bad mistake.

Isn’t it wonderful to watch the Karl Rove fear-and-greed coalition fall apart over immigration? As an extra-special bonus, we get to see all the people who laughed and cheered as Bush and his buddies denigrated the patriotism of Democrats whine and squirm when he instead denigrates the patriotism of the nativists.

Turns out they’re not people who seriously disagree with him on an important issue: they’re people who “don’t want to do what’s right for America.” They “want to frighten people.” (I think GWB believes that anyone who tries to frighten voters for political advantage is infringing his patent on “A Method for Getting Elected.”)

Welcome to the club, fellas. [See under “Gander, sauce for.”]

I’ve been skeptical that any of the remaining Bush dead-enders would desert him on the war question. But now I’m not so sure. Once someone has noticed that the Beloved Leader tells absurd lies about immigration and then questions the patriotism of anyone who refuses to believe those lies, it’s going to be easier for that person to experience a Gestalt-shift on the question of who’s telling the truth about how things are going in Iraq. He lost previous tranches of support on Schiavo and Katrina, and many of those folks, once shaken out of their respect for Bush, also turned on Bush’s war.

As an extra-special bonus, for the first time in recorded history Mickey Kaus is doing things that help rather than hurt the cause of the Democratic Party. The bigger the nativist fuss about immigration, the worse for the Republicans. Surely Mickey knows that. But he’s doing his best to keep the pot boiling.

Footnote Kaus has even done the unthinkable: criticizing one of the GOP’s tame publicity outlets instead of bashing the “mainstream media.” It seems Fox News is reflecting the views of its greedy owner rather than its fearful viewers, backing Bush rather than siding with Limbaugh, and Mickey is shocked &#8212 shocked! &#8212 to discover that Fox News isn’t doing honest journalism. It’s It’s “Pravda-like.” [See May 26.]

Yes, Mickey, Fox News is like Pravda: they don’t do journalism, they merely propagandize for the ruling party. If youda ast me, I coulda toldja. That’s why some of us are grateful for the admittedly imperfect performance of all the legitimate journalistic outfits whose demise you tirelessly predict and try to bring about.

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: