McCain To Opponents: Put Up Or Shut Up On Immigration
In a conference call a few minutes ago, John McCain challenged his Republican presidential primary opponents to propose their own immigration reform plan or else support his, and said he’s going to make a speech on the issue in Miami June 4.
“If you reject this proposal, as the other nine [opponents] have, then what’s your proposal and what have you got that will get the support of the president and a majority of the Senate, rather than have the status quo, which is totally unacceptable?” McCain said in a conference call with reporters.
He said immigration reform “is a national security issue, so the status quo is unacceptable,” noting that some of those arrested in the alleged Fort Dix, N.J. terrorist plot recently were illegal immigrants.
Reminded me of this:
It is both illogical–as the above South Park clip amusingly illustrates–and, I would argue, thoroughly unconservative to make an argument like the one Senator McCain is making (and the MSM is gleefully parroting) on immigration. I don’t disagree with him that “the status quo…is totally unacceptable.” But that doesn’t mean that any given response is a good one, or even that any given approach is better than the status quo. We conservatives are supposed to understand that.
Here’s an example. Suppose I come home and find someone is robbing my house. That is unacceptable. And I want to do something to stop it. So I bar the door and burn my house down. Problem solved–burglar unsuccessful. But…I destroyed my house.
Or another response–a more reasonable one. Say I tell the burglar that if he agrees to leave and not take anything from the house, I’ll give him my wallet and won’t call the cops. So he leaves and I lose less money than I would have had he had his way with my belongings, but I still lose a bunch of money (and the guy’s on the loose to pillage the rest of the neighborhood).
Clearly, both of those responses are inferior to, say, calling the cops or (hey, this is a conservative blog) pulling out my .357 and telling the guy to freeze. And if the choices are limited to burning the place down or doing nothing, obviously doing nothing is less destructive–even if they guy empties my house, I’ll still have a house. As for the second response, while it will make me feel better (since I did something) it’s not clearly better than doing nothing. The guy got my wallet, but he can hit my neighbors with impunity, and who’s to say he won’t be back at my place tomorrow?
I agree with David that it’s courageous of Senator McCain to do what he’s doing. But that doesn’t make it right, and his new line of argument–that if you don’t have your own several-hundred-page long bill, obviously supporting mine is the only credible course of action–is totally wrongheaded. I know illegal immigration makes a lot of people’s blood boil (see the video), the understandable desire to “Do something!” doesn’t mean that doing just anything will make it better.
Meanwhile, as I look at Governor Romney’s three principles, which the MSM is happily ignoring, they seem to make infinitely more sense than what the “sages” of the Senate have come up with. And the mere fact that they’re relatively simple rather than “comprehensive” doesn’t make them inferior–as Ronald Reagan put it in 1964, “There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers.”