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April 12, 2008

Comments

Jane

I want them to speak English too.

Apparently, I don't get it.

Barney Frank

Brilliant.
Demonstrate Obama's cluelessness about small town America by pointing out one of the rare times McCain sounds like he gets it.

Anon1

Hmm, reading other comments around here I see someone else uses Anon already, so....Anon1 it is.

First, my immigrant parents, who live in Iowa, have made comments about how different some towns are and how rowdy some of the inhabitants of said towns are (meat-packing places). They are actually okay with the immigrants being there (being immigrants, well, legal immigrants themselves), but they too have noticed the rapid change.

Anyway, in one instance McCain is reporting what people are telling him. In the other instance Obama is telling a third party what he *thinks* small town people feel. If he had said, 'hey, lots of people came up to me in town hall meetings and tell me they are going to church because of NAFTA and how they can't find jobs,", then, well, that would be the same as McCain. I seriously doubt Obama has had anyone say something like that to him.

Just pointing out the (obvious) difference. You know, in case it isn't obvious for some.

Pofarmer

Sounds about right to me.

What's the problem?

Danube of Thought

These dolts have no moral compass whatsoever, so they don't have any idea what is or is not moral equivalence. Let them babble on like this. Come November, the good common sense of the American electorate will prevail, and this race-exploiting huckster will be sent packing. By that time most people will be quite sick of him, and ready to treat him to the boot-tip.

SteveMG

This is an absolute classic blog posting. Completely, utterly destroys the proposition that, somehow, McCain is expressing nativist or xenophobic views.

With not a single expletive either. Let the netroots try that.

BTD is SOL.


Tom Maguire

With not a single expletive either. Let the netroots try that.

This one was pretty easy -

Read. Copy. Paste. Vanquish.

Well, Big Tent Democrat is the Kos front-pager formerly known as Armando, who I have always thought was useless.

Anon

He's Armando?

What is Jeralyn doing?

I use to read the comments at Kos don't ask me why-and he was absolutely evil to other commenters-nasty and arrogant as hell-made me think he had to be a lawyer.

In that context his new moniker "Big Tent Democrat" seems ironic as hell.

Man maybe I am mixing him up with some other A'hole.

bgates

I've got to give McCain credit - he wants to turn the United States into Mexico out of deeply held principles of some kind. As a bonus, he's such a foul-tempered old guy that it's entirely possible he will alienate too much of Congress to get his America-killing immigration plan passed.

Which I guess leaves us with the open border status quo. Never mind.

bgates

I use to read the comments at Kos don't ask me why-and he was absolutely evil to other commenters-nasty and arrogant as hell-made me think he had to be a lawyer.
Not necessarily. He could be the Republican nominee.

AST

I dislike McCain somewhat less than I dislike and fear either Obama or Billary, but he seems to be making the same point as Obama, sans guns and religion. People aren't being ignorant and immoral because they want to see our laws enforced instead of passing another amnesty. The government lost the trust of most of the people on this issue, and it's not their fault that it hasn't earned it back. McCain's remarks sound like there's something wrong with Americans who want immigrants to be legal. I think that most people would say we just want to know who is in this country, when they came and, if they're not citizens, where they are.

bgates

No point in explaining McCain's stance to anybody.

We don't need no information.
We don't need no border control.
Just dark sarcasm for the voters
Minutemen leave that fence alone....

Ann

OT,
I received this week a thank you from Mitt Romney. I am posting this because I have never received a thank you from a candidate without asking for something in return.

Mitt Romney has class. He thanked me for my support and that was it. There was no enclosed envelope to send money. Surprise..NO. Mitt Romney is a good person. I hope McCain figures out who we want as his V.P.

Charlie (Colorado)

I should add that I don't know whether Mr. Montaner is a liberal or a conservative, so I can't say whether he is delivering an informed, cosmopolitan view of the Great Unwashed or a deplorable racist diatribe endorsing disembowelment; no doubt the Big Tent will have a view.

That, I think, summarizes the point perfectly: if a Republican said it, it's Evil; if not, it's okay. Cf, for example, the WMD thing.

On the other hand, at least this is just a quote out of context. That's a step ahead of just making shit up.

Charlie (Colorado)

On the "learn English" question, well, I'm going to reveal that I'm not a True Conservative here. You know what? I don't care if people learn English. Go to my home town, and you'll find a good lot of folks who really are only comfortable speaking Spanish, and their families have been in those valleys since before the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, when it really was Mexico. No, they're not immigrants. And you know what? It really didn't matter. My family had a ¡Se habla Español! sign in the store, because, well, we did. Even though we were gringos. If we needed more Español than we had, one of the folks who worked in the store would help; or the old folks would bring in a family friend who was more bilingual.

They encouraged me to learn Spanish, too --- in fact, I went to a Spanish speaking kindergarten. Why? because it was good business, and because learning Spanish meant we had more tools for life later.

Somehow, even with gringos and Hispanos speaking Spanish for a hundred and fifty years, southern Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona have managed to avoid social collapse or reverting to Mexico.

So get a clue: if it didn't happen in New Mexico, it's not gonna happen to Iowa.

Then we moved from Alamosa to Pueblo, where damn near the whole population were at most second generation (my Dad) or third generation (me), and most of the working population were still first generation immigrants from Hungary, Poland, Yugoslavia (remember Yugoslavia?), Germany, and southern Italy. Depending on where you were, you'd see "Se parla Italiano". Or "Wir Shprechen Deutsch". Or "Mi beszél Magyar!" (Okay, I admit, I had to crib that one.)

There were some old folks who didn't like speaking English, even then. It didn't much matter; even if my grandparents' generation didn't, my parents' generation spoke English fine. No social collapse, no move to make Pueblo part of Hungary.

Then I moved to San Francisco, where I could have spoken Italian in North Beach (if I spoke Italian) or Portuguese down the coast in Pescadero and Half Moon Bay. (Read Steinbeck.) Or I could go to Chinatown, where everyone, immigrants and native-born alike, speak Cantonese.

Go down to LA and visit East LA. Somehow, even with the Spanish-speaking culture there, and even after the Zoot Suit Riots, society hasn't collapsed down there too.

So you all may think that society can't sustain multiple languages and cultures, but the evidence is bloody well against it.

What's more, having descended both from natives -- Native American native americans, as I like to say --- and recent immigrants, I got interested in the history of immigration. And you know what? The arguments now are indistinguishable from the arguments of the Know-Nothings about the Irish in the 8150s. They're damn hard to tell --- "taking jobs", "won't learn English" --- from the arguments that led to the Chinese Exclusion Act.

I'm unclear on why it's suddenly a good argument now.

So maybe I just don't get it, but given the actual history, I'm not clear I think there's anything to get. Sure, it helps when people speak English --- but then, there are great advantages to speaking English. And to speaking Spanish. Why do we want to limit ourselves? Immigrants learn enough English to get a long --- and their kids will be fluent. You can bet on that. Even with "bilingual" education.

Elliott

Hmm...

Perhaps BTD/Armando is trying to follow in the footsteps of The Bald One?

After all, to refute his post, TM dug up some of McCain's full of sound and sanctimony moments, also known as those moments which I am trying hardest to forget ever happened.

Well played, BTD, but we have clothespins aplenty.

GMax

Charlie

You and I agree. The Mexicans and first generation immigrants that I know, all desperately want to learn English. Its a ticket to a better life.

Hard working, family oriented folks are what built this country. There is always room for more of those, if necessary we should ship the whiners and America haters out to make more room.

The fact that we did little to nothing to enforce our immigrations laws, is not a reason to slam folks who saw this as a great place and came here to make a better life for themselves.

Thomas Jackson

I won't comment on Osama's clinging to a racist churchfor 20 years, nor his dependency on Marxism, or belief in pre emptive surrent except when waging endless class warfare but regarding McCain's positions I will.

The problem with McCain is he can't understand why a gang banger with a rap sheet as long as Clinton's nose deserves to be denied amnesty and deported. But then again I'm not as compassionate as McCain is, just endowed with a hell of alot more common sense. JD might have lost but I wonder McCain will afre against two of the most unattractive individuals the Democrats have ever had the gall to present as candidates. I guess they couldn't recruit Spitzer.

clarice

The major difference is that when the know-nothings said it, it was understood immigrants were on their own once they landed here. If they didn't care to learn English, they might starve but that was their business. Now, if they don't learn useful skills like speaking English you may find yourself supporting them.

clarice

Further, Charlie, there was little thought among the earlier immigrants of banding together to FORCE the govt to provide services for them in their language in cas e they chose not to --or could not--learn English. The idea of the Chinese railaroad workers demanding ballots and education in Chinese never really materialized. Now voters are paying big bucks to provide services for non-English speaking immigrants.

narciso

Unfortunately, Mr. Maguire. Montaner's comments about Puerto Ricans in a similar light; he's Cuban American; led to boycott
attempts against the network that employed him as a commentator.

reliapundit

Mccain wasn't pandering.

Neither was obama.

Mccain was being honest.In full daylight. As usual.

obama's masked slipped - when he thought he was wink-wink talking amid "friends", and that's why he exposed his inner marxist.

The sad thing is that the billionaires he was speaking to weren't outraged.

But then, they see themselves as "progressives" trying to wrest America away from neanderthals like me and those bible thumpin gun totin rednecks in PA.

Well, hicks like us do most of the working and living and dying and policing and soldiering and nursing and farming and trucking in this great and good land.

Without us there is no prosperity, no American culture - and no US Armed forces to defend the free world.

And though we might not be quite as clever as obama and axelrod, we're just smart enough to know an anti-American leftist when we see him.

And we won't vote for him.

bour3

You actually read that poop?

tom swift

It's weird that people insist on conflating some questions about basic criminal law with immigration policy.

Immigrants and illegals are entirely different matters.

HitNRun

Acid test:

Read McCain's statement to a Republican, a centrist, and a Democrat, and only the Democrat will find the statement offensive.

Read Obama's statement to a Republican, a centrist, and a Democrat, and all three will find it offensive, if the Democrat happens to be a small town.

bgates

remember Yugoslavia?
Sure. That's the country in Europe where people of diverse languages and cultures and competing claims to the same plot of land are living together in friendship and harmony, right?

Charlie (Colorado)

Further, Charlie, there was little thought among the earlier immigrants of banding together to FORCE the govt to provide services for them in their language in case they chose not to --or could not--learn English. The idea of the Chinese railaroad workers demanding ballots and education in Chinese never really materialized. Now voters are paying big bucks to provide services for non-English speaking immigrants.

Which US are you talking about here, Clarice? Wouldn't be this one: if you didn't speak Spanish you didn't get elected in parts of Colorado, New Maxico, and Texas 50 years ago. And we had Spanish speakers in courts and government offices when I was a kid, long before the "bilingual education" thing started.

As to "banding together", isn't that what we call "an election"? I didn't like it when Democrats "banded together" to stuff Jimmy Carter down our throats, but there wasn't anything illicit about it.

I don't think the notion that illegal immigrants are getting lots of special extra services can be supported, either. Most illegals pay FICA and both federal and state income tax withholding --- and since, pretty much by definition, an illegal can't have a valid SSAN, that whole 15 percent goes into the general fund, never to be seen again. If they own property --- God knows how they do it, but they do --- they pay property taxes. If they don't, they pay rent and the landlord is paying property taxes; that's why we don't claim that renters get a free ride on schools. If they buy things, which we assume they do since they're eating, they pay sales taxes. It's not like Hispanics are exactly noted (at least by people who know them, instead of media stereotypes) for being lazy. Illegals, in particular, are people who are willing to walk across the Sonora desert to get a minimum wage job: this isn't something a lazy man would do.

BGates: Re Yugoslavia That's the country in Europe where people of diverse languages and cultures and competing claims to the same plot of land are living together in friendship and harmony, right?

Yeah. It happens to be right next to Switzerland. Oh, and the Italian Tyrol.

Nice try, no score.

williamP

I think you're expending way too much effort on the analysis of these shenanigans.

Obama's "Cling-to-gate" got him in pretty big trouble. In response, Big Tent Democrat is just throwing dust in the air.

It may be better not to dignify this "dust" with such a rebuttal.

mrsizer

On the bright side, at least they both realize that many people don't trust the government. Now, if only they would realize it's because we're tired of being lied to.

My favorite two trivial examples: When was the tax financing the Spanish American War (1898) repealed? How is that Rural Electrification thing working out? Done, yet?

Elaine

Not to put too fine a point on it, but there is disdain for 'others' on all sides of this issue. Big city folk think country folk are unsophisticated (and in big city ways many country folk are unsophisticated, they don't know a latte from a gucchi and do not consider such knowledge to be of great value). Country folk think big city folk are incompetent (much laughter at their ignorance of the difference between the cow and the bull). Small town folk find areas to feel superior about with both of the other groups.

Television has eased some of the cultural differences over the past few decades, but the perception of different values and ways of life remain -- and are valid.

Most of us choose our life and within our 'family' express our disdain of 'others'. But most also respect the 'otherness', seek value in the other person areas of agreement to further the conversation and form positive relationships.

Everyone's experience is different. We all have preferences, the choices we make are hopefully the ones that are better for us, and bring no harm to others.

A short story. My uncle spent most of WWII as a Japanese POW. He never fully recovered from the experience, mentally or physically. A generally quiet, gentle man he would occasionally rage in the vilest possible language at the Japanese race and individuals. (Yes, he was our crazy uncle and we loved him despite his very scary times). In the late 60s my aunt and uncle witnessed a auto accident, they stopped to help, stopped another car to ensure the police and ambulance were called, stayed with the injured, my uncle rode to the hospital in the ambulance with one family, and stayed at the hospital with them until a professional translator arrived.

The accident victims were tourists from Japan, a man, a woman and their 3 year old daughter. My uncle remembered sufficient Japanese to be of use to all concerned.

I was a know it all teenager and asked my Uncle why he did it. My aunt said because he is a good person. My uncle, after another long spew of invective about the perfidy of all Japanese, admitted he did not know what he would have done had it been only the two adults, but he could not leave the frightened child.

We are not perfect, but try to do right when called upon.

Senator Obama did not take the high road -- he should have.

Dave E.

I'm pretty sure that if we could hang a couple of magnets on BTD and company and figure out how to hook them up to the grid, the spinning would power a number of small cities.

Beth

Read McCain's statement to a Republican, a centrist, and a Democrat, and only the Democrat will find the statement offensive.

No they won't, if they have no idea that it's a Republican speaking. After all, where was the outrage when Slick Willie said the same thing in '98?

The real acid test:

Have a Republican say ANYTHING. "Kittens are cute." The left will find something to criticize if they know it's a Republican speaking.
Pretend that Republican is a liberal Democrat. Anything he or she says will be excused, no matter how outrageous. They are incapable of self-critique (something I sometimes think we Republicans are TOO good at doing, but I digress).

davod

"Immigrants learn enough English to get a long --- and their kids will be fluent. You can bet on that. Even with "bilingual" education."

It is my understanding that this may have happened in the past but now the kids are being encouraged to remain in their native language. In California they are pressing for the final high school exams to be in Spanish. So much for bi-lingual to get children ready for English.

WRT to Obama PBUH. You know the Dems have screwed up when they use the moral equivelence meme.

Gideon7

"Kittens are cute."

Aha! Everyone knows all evil world leaders have cats (see Blofeld, Dr. Evil, Kim Jong Il), so any Repub who says that must also be a minion of the vast evil world conspiracy.

William Teach

This is a #2 on the 8 Stages of Progressive/liberal discussion when they know they are busted: 2. Find some sort of moral equivalence or a story from 30 years ago saying a Conservative did something sort of similar.

Sue

And we had Spanish speakers in courts and government offices when I was a kid, long before the "bilingual education" thing started.

In Texas, maybe around the border they had that, but not in the part of Texas I'm from. In the 70s, if a Spanish speaking person was arrested, they would enlist the aid of the local Spanish teacher at our high school. Because it was rare and not worth the expense of paying someone full time.

Dr. Weevil

Gideon7:
When you're listing evil world leaders who owned cats, don't forget who owned Socks.

boris

Socks ... eso si que es

Wog Blogger

Tom, Carlos Alberto Montaner is one of the authoris of a favorite tome for me "The Guide to the Perfect Latin American idiot". He's a conservative, alright. Amd he rocks. So does this website. I think you may be the most cheerful blogger getting round these days. Keep it up - that barack. He hilarious.

Arty

White, English-speaking Americans have every right to defend their culture, religion, language and borders against foreigners.

Why should Mexican or Islamic cultural imperialism be permitted to wash away American culture? The hapless Europeans are finding out what happens when you open your borders and declare a cultural free-for-all, yet Americans are being told they must do the same thing.

MarkO

Gatitos? El Gato? El Pato. La . . . .

M. Simon

Jane,

I have some American friends whose grand parents came from Mexico.

I speak better Spanish than they do and I'm limited to the beans and bus tickets Spanish I learned while traveling in Mexico.

Change takes time.

Arty,

American culture is notorious for assimilating bits of other cultures into its own. Meshugganah I know but there it is.

M. Simon

What is BTD? I'm falling behind on my acronyms.

inmypajamas

The purpose of bilingual education is to teach English while preserving the native language, that language almost exclusively being Spanish. It is simply not designed to produce rapid English proficiency; only immersion does that. My liberal mother-in-law who came to the US from Hungary in the 1940s (and speaks post-immersion flawless English) says she wishes that they had had bilingual ed in place back then so she could have retained more than her now limited command of her native Hungarian. Exactly how that would have been helpful to her she doesn't say but it's just another one of those Lovely Ideas that the utopian left so cherish. With our rapidly growing Hispanic population, I seriously doubt that the preservation of Spanish needs public assistance in our schools. I am a gringa that speaks Spanish sufficiently well that I interpret wherever I work and I certainly don't see the Spanish language threatened with extinction.

Charlie (CO) - I think where your logic falters is the attitude and demands that now characterize the newest generation. The Absolut ad kind of sums it up - "we're here and we're taking over". The Aztlan attitude. The older generations were part of the fabric of America; the new generation wants to tear it apart and remake it. And Reconquista sentiment is everywhere - even to the street artist in San Antonio quien me dice, "Esta tierra era la nuestra y sera de nuevo." (who tells me, "This land was ours and will be ours again.") Of course, the irony that he works here to make money and not in his native Mexico escapes him.

bgates

that whole 15 percent goes into the general fund, never to be seen again.
And if Congress decides those who entered the country illegally should get that 15 percent back because Congress is chasing immigrant votes, well, there wouldn't be anything illicit about that either - but that would mean immigrants get more out of the system on balance than they pay in.

If you didn't like Jimmy Carter, why are you looking forward to bringing tens of millions of people likely to vote Democrat into the country?

No score To support the idea that a multinational state is stable, you can point to Switzerland and part of Italy. I can only point to Yugoslavia, Indonesia, Chechnya, Lebanon, Iraq, Rwanda, South Africa, and Sri Lanka (let's say ethnic separatism in Canada and Belgium is just a minor annoyance, likewise ethnic separatist terrorism among the Basques, and pretend belligerently nationalist immigrant populations in Britain, France, and Holland aren't even there).

Charlie, when you were growing up in New Mexico, what was the popular perception of America? In entertainment and the news, in the statements of foreign and not a few domestic politicians, in classrooms in the United States and I suspect elsewhere, the message is that America got rich by stealing from Native Americans, blacks, Mexicans, and now Arabs. You want to bring tens of millions of people here from a part of the world prone to revolutions against corrupt governments, where they will be told at every turn that the big houses and big yards they care for were stolen from their ancestors - what do you think will happen?

timekeeper

MSimon--BTD is "Big Tent Democrat"--the TalkLeft commenter who originally posted the poorly articulated disaster Tom demolishes here.

Charlie (Colorado)

It is my understanding that this may have happened in the past but now the kids are being encouraged to remain in their native language. In California they are pressing for the final high school exams to be in Spanish. So much for bi-lingual to get children ready for English.

I think part of what I'm not communicating here is "so freaking what?" I'm making the point that there are parts of the USA that are effectively bilingual and have been for more than a hundred years --- of course, New Mexico has been Spanish-speaking for 450 years, close enough. It's not recent immigration that made the US bilingual in those areas, and being bilingual hasn't caused the world to end.

As far as taking their high-school exams in Spanish, I don't think it's desirable. On the other hand, there's a trick I used to use in France: I'd ask someone in Paris, in bad French, if they spoke German. If they did (since I speak German) that was fine, but almost invariably they're answer me "No, but I speak English." I'd bet $20 that if you ask one of these kids "¿Hablas alemán?" they'd answer "No, but I speak English."

Charlie (CO) - I think where your logic falters is the attitude and demands that now characterize the newest generation. The Absolut ad kind of sums it up - "we're here and we're taking over". The Aztlan attitude.

Are you under the impression this is new? It was popular when I was in high school --- among the self-styled radicals. Forty years later, I don't see much change --- street artists and college students majoring in being offended, maybe.

Bgates: If you didn't like Jimmy Carter, why are you looking forward to bringing tens of millions of people likely to vote Democrat into the country?

If you don't like people voting, why are you worrying about Jimmy Carter?

To support the idea that a multinational state is stable, you can point to Switzerland and part of Italy....

Oh come off it. If you want to head down this road, I'll point to Italy, France, Germany, Hungary, Spain, and the United States, which has certainly three or four major cultural sections. Oh, and China --- if there ever were a people separated by a common language, it's China --- and Japan. That's offhand --- press me, and I'll bet there are dozens more.

Charlie, when you were growing up in New Mexico, --- Colorado, actually, although just barely north of the NM border --- what was the popular perception of America? In entertainment and the news, in the statements of foreign and not a few domestic politicians, in classrooms in the United States and I suspect elsewhere, the message is that America got rich by stealing from Native Americans, blacks, Mexicans, and now Arabs.

And this is caused by illegal immigrants cleaning hotel rooms exactly how? (Are you at all familiar with the term "red herring"?)

You want to bring tens of millions of people here from a part of the world prone to revolutions against corrupt governments, where they will be told at every turn that the big houses and big yards they care for were stolen from their ancestors - what do you think will happen?

Um, more or less what will happen if people who were born here are told that the big houses etc were stolen etc? Some of them will think it's awful.

On the other hand, they might find it a little more difficult when they notice that some of those folks are, well, Hispanic. Ken Salazar is one of my Senators --- born in my home town six months before I was --- and while God knows I have political differences with him, he's a perfect example of the point I'm trying to make. My folks knew his folks, Emma and Enrique, we sold them propane. They spoke Spanish at home, our peculiar mountain Spanish.

Ken's fifth generation US-ican and 12th generation Norteamericano.

xerocky

"From my perspective (the son of Hispanic immigrants), McCain's statement is much worse. Why? Because as I read it, McCain's seems to APPROVE of the anti-immigrant sentiments he is finding."

He seems to have forgotten a word, ILLEGAL. ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS.

That's what they are. And those traditions that they're all talking about? Funding schools and not having over crowded classes. Or like having the low crime that they were once used to. Or having enough money to pay the police force to keep law and order... ect ect ect. See Hazelton PA.

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