More often than not, Digby delivers when a little clarity is badly needed. His comments on Bush’s "immigration distraction" keeps the focus right where it belongs — on politics.
It’s clear that Bush is going to try to change the subject with a big push on the immigration issue.
Having spent a good part of my almost 50 years in California, I have observed that the immigration issue is usually a sign of a weak economy or some other form of discontent. It’s been around forever and rears its head every once in a while as people perceive a "crisis" and then it goes underground again.
It is not a partisan issue; many Democrats are very
exercised about Mexican immigrants overrunning the borders and
allegedly taking away jobs from Americans or at least holding wages
below what they would otherwise be. On the other side are liberals who
see a subtle and no so subtle racism in the border debate and feel that
all this talk of cultural dissonence is a false construct. There are
conflicting values of economics and human rights involved and it’s
My feeling is that this time we are dealing with displaced fear and
frustrating impotence. The terrorist boogeyman has been fully
internalized and people are afraid. But it is an ephemeral and distant
enemy. Another brown hoarde is conveniently available. I think my
theory is borne out by the right’s increasing emphasis on the Mexican
border being a national security threat and the sudden seriousness of
Pat Buchanan’s "fence" concept.
The group advocating the creation of an Israeli-style fence on the U.S.-Mexico border — and leading the media attack — is called Let Freedom Ring. In terms of evoking the boogeyman, these people are true graduates of the Swift Boat school. The organization has developed a couple of ads which are scheduled to run in Washington.
Both ads create a histrionic connection between illegal
immigration and terrorism. Warning of the infiltration of foreign
nationals from countries that "sponsor terror," the first ad (top
image) runs the green filter with the rectangular window over miles of
desert. Although open to interpretation, an obvious association is that
of a bombing target. For comparison sake, the bluish image is an actual
bombing target. With rumors "flying" that Bush plans to justify troop
withdrawals in Iraq by scaling up the air war, the LFR people probably
think regular bombing raids along Arizona’s border might also be
The second ad is even more wild eyed. In this case, the premise
is established that terrorists are blending in with those crossing the
border and leaving us "vulnerable to another attack." In a series of
cockeyed associations, the ad cites the number of "special interest
aliens" that entered the U.S. in ’04 from Axis of Evil members. It then
uses a newspaper article about 2 Iraqis apprehended for trying to enter
the U.S. to presume the Zharkawi’s of the world are on their way.
Finally, you have the suggestion that these Middle Eastern/Iraqi bad
boys could strike at any time, just like they took out the Trade
If these people had been working with Rove and Cheney to sell
the link between Saddam and WMD (or Iraq and al Qaeda), who knows how
much more great stuff Colin Powell could have force-fed the United
We Need A Fence.com website here
(images 1, 3-5 weneedafence.com. image 2: 2001. BELGRADE, Yugoslavia. via Cable News Network)