By Wesley Pruden
Intimidation is the name of the game, and this week we've seen some world-class players at work. A few disc jockeys and an army of high-school kids out for a day of hooky made quick work of several Republican senators. March madness, indeed.
If the Republican majorities in both the House and Senate buckle and enact still another amnesty for the millions of illegal aliens among us, as anyone consulting history should expect them to do, credit must go where credit belongs.
Here's the Associated Press dissecting the Grand March through California on the morning after, when it turned out that the spontaneous demos were not so spontaneous after all: "The marching orders were clear: Carry American flags and pack the kids, pick up your trash and wear white for peace and for effect. Many of the 500,000 people who crammed downtown Los Angeles to protest legislation ... learned where, when and even how to demonstrate from the Spanish language media ... they were organized, promoted or publicized by Spanish-language radio hosts and TV anchors as a demonstration of Hispanic pride and power. ..."
Well, they're entitled. Taking to the streets long ago replaced baseball as our national pastime, and the right to demonstrate how unhappy and oppressed you are in the land of the big PX is what America is all about. Gay caballeros want wives who look exactly like them, feminists usually don't want men but they do want abortions, and they have marched through the streets to say so. The teenagers in the streets of Los Angeles want most of all to show their contempt for the law of the land of good and plenty. Some of them are so oppressed they hardly know where to park their cars, recharge their IPods, mooch a six-pack or download the clanging noise that surrounds them wherever they go. At one California high school they ran the ubiquitous Mexican flag up the flagpole, displaying it above the American flag, which they flew upside down to signal acute distress.
But you might think that members of Congress, bumpkins though many of them are, could figure out just who it is yanking their chains. Some of the Republicans in Congress, perhaps even the new leadership under John Boehner in the House and the old leadership under Bill Frist in the Senate, watch the crowds of kids and see landslides on a Tuesday in a distant November, forgetting that most of those demonstrators either can't vote (tip to the Amnesty Caucus: 16-year-olds aren't eligible even to register) or won't vote (tip to the Caucus: teenagers are notoriously unable to get themselves out of bed and voting gets a low priority when they do).
Nevertheless, frightened old women in Congress see young bodies in the streets and conclude in their panic that pandering in Spanish is the way to go this November. The likes of Sam Brownback and Lindsey Graham, of Arlen Specter and Mike DeWine and the Amnesty Caucus should have no trouble learning the words to the pledge of allegiance to Mexico, the Salvadoran battle cry, and all six verses of the Guatemalan national anthem. But they're forgetting that unless they mollify the voters who sent them here this will be the November of the Republican burial without honors. The Americans who don't count in the Amnesty Caucus calculation are telling the pollsters by margins bumping 80 percent that they want the government to get tough on illegals jumping the line ahead of immigrants who are naive and foolish enough to play by the rules.
The driving force for illegal immigration is a confluence of interests, some worthy and some not. The illegals are mostly good and decent folk seeking a better life—but illegal nonetheless. The unions see compliant fodder to replenish their depleted ranks. Corporate Republicans see a vast and inexhaustible supply of cheap and easily abused labor. Certain Republican strategists think they see an easily manipulated coalition of illegals, resentful Muslims, evangelical Christians and good ol' boys who are poor, uneducated and easy to command. You can't blame the Democrats, who won't have to do anything but watch, for licking their chops.
Wesley Pruden is editor in chief of The Times.
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