Wednesday, June 11, 2014

With due respect given to Elizabeth Scalia...

No deal.

Scalia's take here, as near as I can tell, is this: the democrats looooooove it when the GOP opposes amnesty! They get to paint the GOP as racists! The SMART thing to do would be to pass amnesty - then the democrats can't call the conservatives racists anymore! Silly conservatives, how long are you going to let yourselves be fooled?

You know what, Elizabeth? If the price of opposing amnesty is being called a racist, then alright - I'll pay that price. If running the risk of an election loss and being painted in a poor light by the media is enough to cow you into obedience, a bit of advice: ditch your pro-life views, any criticism of same-sex marriage or even premarital sex, and look into getting ordained while you're at it - but be sure to mention you don't actually believe in all that 'God' stuff. Because ridicule is the order of the day when it comes to most of those things, at least in sizable portions of the culture.

What's that, you say? The price is too high? You're going to stand for what you believe is right, and to hell with the people who attack you or call you names?

If that's the response, congratulations - you now understand why the demand is 'secure the border first - discuss immigration reform later'. And if the cost of that demand is that we cripple the GOP due to their refusal to ever pursue the desires of their constituents on this issue, well then - so be it. Maybe it's time for you to sacrifice your principles and say 'Okay, maybe securing the border first is the way to go after all.'

9 comments:

Acatus Bensley said...

People knowingly submitting to views that are wrong because it's socially acceptable to have such views are the reason politics is no longer treated as a serious matter. Hell it's the reason people value comforting lies over inconvenient truths in general. Take the debate about gay marriage for example. There never was a debate in the first place, just people trying to make it COOL to white knight for gays. Just make up words and yell loud to get what you want regardless of the unintended consequences.

That's not the message we want to send. If you allow them to believe that social engineering and feeling strongly is all it takes then you sacrifice real discussion. Make them tell you why they want this or that passed. Make them know better than assuming calling people whatever phrase is in these days(racist, homophobic) suffices as legitimate criticism.

I'll even go deeper than that. Let's say congressman lardass has the best policies, but doesn't like me because I'm brown. You're kidding yourself if you think I'm still not going to support congressman Lardass for something that trivial. If congressman Lardass is competent enough to know what it takes to run the country then he's certainly competent enough to not actually let his disdain of a skin color influence is views concerning legislation. Who cares if he's racist. As a matter of fact congressman Lardass is a lot better than some moron who deliberately turns a blind eye to people breaking the law because he knows they'll vote for him. Of course no competent president would be racist in the first place. I'm just speaking hypothetically. Can you imagine the one greatest president we've had in decades being racist?

Crude said...

What really irritates me about Scalia's piece is that she makes the move of, 'People are going to keep calling you racist for not passing law X. Sure, you're not racist, but that doesn't matter - you better change your opinion about law X now!' And if Scalia really believes that, then as I said - she can drop her faith and all of her socially conservative inclinations now, because she just gave the recipe for their abandonment.

Now, Scalia did say 'the immigration opponent methods don't work!' But here 'don't work' doesn't mean 'your policies won't work' but 'you can't even get your policies passed because the people in power refuse to do as you say'. Instead of recognizing that as a big problem, the reply is to just give up. In which case, Scalia should give up too.

Acatus Bensley said...

She's a conservative?

Crude said...

I believe she's a socially conservative Catholic, but Catholics are often wired into a few politically leftist sympathies. Immigration is one.

Mr. Green said...

Things like abortion and same-sex "marriage" are intrinsically wrong; immigration policy is negotiable. So I don't see anything wrong with saying, this isn't working, let's trade this off against something else. Now perhaps you think that her proposed trade-off won't actually work; that's fine. But then it's an argument about practicalities rather than principles, no?

Crude said...

Green,

No, if she simply came out and said 'Look, we should grant amnesty, I think it's the best option on the table because...' that would be a different argument, and I'd merely disagree with her.

My problem with her here is that her "argument" has this flavor: as long as you oppose amnesty, your opponents will cast you as a racist. Silly person! The SMART thing to do is to not oppose amnesty - because otherwise you're walking right into their trap!

Not to mention, the claim of 'this isn't working' isn't straightforward here. It's not as if we've tried securing our border, we've tried enforcing immigration laws, and darn it, it turned out to be hard. It's that those very things have been blocked at each and every angle. But if we say 'Well, we're repeatedly blocked, let's give up' - and keep in mind, that's a matter of principle as well - then it's inescapable to realize that we've been blocked in way after way on abortion as well. In fact, even moreso - immigration is not recognized by the SCOTUS as a fundamental right.

If the response of 'When you're blocked at every angle and your opponents make fun of you for having your position, it's time to sacrifice your position' is valid, then here's the proper avenue for pro-lifers: drop all campaigns, get down on our knees, and say 'We give up. Kill them.'

Crude said...

There's another thing to consider here.

I've personally run into the following kind of situation over and over again: Person X shows up and counsels regarding issue A, 'Look, I know you'd really like to win on issue A. But let's face it - the public is against you. In fact, just taking the position you do makes you look bad. Here, how about this: you give up for now. Temporarily! You're thinking strategically! And maybe, you know... in 50, 100 years, we can revisit this issue again and do what's right. But it doesn't make sense to throw time and energy at a lost cause, you know?'

Then I press or I dig, and I find something out. Person X? They're absolutely against my view on issue A anyway. They're making it sound as if they're on 'our side' trying to be the voice of wisdom, but really - what's going on is they're presenting a dishonest front, trying to appear sympathetic when what they're really after is demoralization.

When I sense that - when I suspect it - my patience runs incredibly short, and if I find out someone is playing that game, they're intellectually dead to me. And my sense is going off like crazy with the Anchoress. 'Oh my goodness gracious, look at those democrats! They're so afraid of losing, they're taking advantage of your oh-so-silly support for lost cause X! You're not going to let your enemies fool you, are you? Tsk, tsk. Smart people would capitulate here! You're smart, aren't you?'

That absolutely reeks of bullshit. I don't mean 'she has a bad idea' bullshit, but 'Cut the fucking act' bullshit. I'm not blind - I know that there are Catholics who see the flow of immigration from a largely Catholic south as vital for the American church's pragmatic interests, since it's bleeding members. A self-inflicted wound of sorts, in part, given its experiment with modernism. I value my church, but those pragmatic interests are no excuse for amnesty.

Mr. Green said...

Crude: It's that those very things have been blocked at each and every angle. But if we say 'Well, we're repeatedly blocked, let's give up' - and keep in mind, that's a matter of principle as well - then it's inescapable to realize that we've been blocked in way after way on abortion as well.

True (and yes, everything is ultimately a matter of principle — one reason why I could never get much into politics per se... I'm more interested in the philosophical principles, where you can draw definite lines). But then if you truly are blocked (such as, sticking to your position ensures Republicans can't get elected and Democrats will never pass such laws themselves), then is that an acceptable strategy?

I'm not sure where you stand on that kind of question — of course it may not be the right strategy, but assume for the sake of argument there is no reasonable expectation of getting the good guys elected. It's generally agreed that given a choice between, e.g. someone who'll vote for allowing all abortions vs. someone who will vote for only allowing some, it is morally permissible to vote for the lesser of two evils. But what if you are the politician? Would you ever "compromise" for the sake of preventing some abortions? (Again, buckling on principles can backfire, but assuming that to the best of your ability, you expect that it would save some lives.)

Then I press or I dig, and I find something out. Person X? They're absolutely against my view on issue A anyway.

OK, in that context I understand your point better. I dunno if that's the case here — if I do disagree about A, I can still argue that even though you're against it, you ought to go along with it for the sake of a better outcome overall. Modern politics probably doesn't allow for much of anything without trade-offs. (Hence my general distaste.) But I don't know where Elizabeth is coming from on this issue, or even whether she's discussed it before. It would be nice to know what her position is, though.

Crude said...

Green,

But then if you truly are blocked (such as, sticking to your position ensures Republicans can't get elected and Democrats will never pass such laws themselves), then is that an acceptable strategy?

I am no longer willing to play the game of 'Okay, sure, this Republican is pro-abortion, pro-gay-marriage, anti-gun, pro-immigration... oh but look he's at least in favor of low taxes (particularly on large businesses)! And that makes him technically a bit better than the Democrat alternative!' I am entirely in favor of compromise, reasonable compromise. But most of the time that's not what's on offer. When's the last time the GOP said 'Okay, this guy is in favor of increased welfare spending, raising taxes on large businesses, and forcing investment bankers who invest poorly to eat their losses... but he's pro-gun-rights, anti-abortion, anti-immigration, and that's good enough?' Conveniently, this is a scenario that never takes place. The compromises always take place on one particular side of the conservative aisle.

Immigration is really the last straw, because this is a compromise that already took place in the past. But it didn't floor the prices for workers nearly as much as some businesses would like, so here we go again. At this point, I'm all in favor of raising the minimum wage to 14 an hour, with no corporate exclusions allowed. There is my compromise, and it would probably suffice to kill the immigration demand dead in the water. And if I hear 'but the GOP would never go for it', then we've put the situation in great relief.

It's generally agreed that given a choice between, e.g. someone who'll vote for allowing all abortions vs. someone who will vote for only allowing some, it is morally permissible to vote for the lesser of two evils.

And I understand that. But in this case, with immigration, what we actually have are two parties who are in favor of amnesty. The compromise on the table is 'secure the border first, then let's talk'. That's actually quite a popular view too. But instead we hear, no, no, no - we need amnesty first, then we can talk about the border. In other words, total capitulation.

Modern politics probably doesn't allow for much of anything without trade-offs. (Hence my general distaste.)

What tradeoffs do we get for amnesty? 'Hey, act now and maybe, just maybe, we'll exclude people with more than 5 DUIs or wifebeating charges, unless they have children, because we can't break up families'? What do we get? Scalia won't even talk about that, because there's nothing to get. There's just capitulation.