McCain Taking Flak, or, The Conservative Crack-Up.
Michelle Malkin really, really dislikes John McCain. Witness the video above, posted to her blog, the second in her series "McCain Gets Booed". This allegedly documents the deep revulsion that "conservatives" have for John McCain. Of course, the most precious ox of Malkin's to be gored by McCain is his alleged softness on the illegal alien problem.
This revulsion toward John McCain, regrettably, does exist. We've encountered it in many blogs and opinion columns, and heard it on many radio talk shows. It is attributed to McCain's heresies against important conservative policy positions. The correct positions appear to have been established by self-appointed protectors of the faith, based on little if any dialogue on these issues by conservatives.
We've previously discussed two of his heresies, immigration and judicial appointments. We will use the immigration issue to demonstrate how the dialogue between different but legitimately conservative points of view has been silenced.
If one is intellectually honest, then one may state that it is more true than not that the Republican candidate's positions on illegal immigration are equivalent. Short of brutal - and, we argue, unAmerican - tactics, we must face the fact of assimilating some millions of people that are here illegally. Not all, certainly. First, there is a border to be "sealed". There are criminals that must be deported, heavy fines to be imposed on businesses knowingly violating the law, penalties to be paid by illegals, reform of identification and documentation bureaucracies, and hardball to be played with Mexico.
The actions described above will lead to millions of illegals to leave, and all of the candidates agree with these initiatives. For those millions of illegals that can and chose to remain, the federal government must choose one of two courses of action. Course One is to rapidly and agressively track down these remaining people and force them to leave regardless of their circumstances. Course Two is to begin naturalization and assimilation for those who step forward for documentation, and deportation of those who refuse and are discovered over time.
The first course of action has appeal to some conservatives; it can swiftly restore the "rule of law" and the essential sense that the federal government is protecting the physical and economic well-being of its citizenry from foreign threats. There are costs, too. It will appear as a police-state action, it will likely trigger an enormous amount of litigation that will choke an already suffocating court system, it will consume an enormous amount of military and law-enforcement resources, and there will be circumstances of true injustice and tragedy where we must measure whether we have lived up to our frequently-proclaimed Judeo-Christian ethics and the conservative tenet of non-interference of government in the lives of its citizens (for some citizens will be caught in this mess).
The second course of action avoids the drawback of the first, and does with time (perhaps too much time) bring normalcy to immigration and border security. However, it does cheat those wanting to become citizens who have followed the rule of law and have waited their turn. Those persons may continue to wait or ultimately be denied naturalization.
There are legitimate points for advocacy and opposition for both options by conservatives. However, the debate between these options was stillborn and the "conservative orthodoxy" became a emphatic call for the Draconian Option One, but with no acknowledgment of its drawbacks nor any real plan to implement it. It seems to have just to felt good take the "angry path". Was this adhering to true conservatism or rather mere populism, with a generous dollup of hyperbole for entertainment?
After much thought and consideration, we at Deaddrifts feel that the most sound conservative approach to solve the illegal alien issue is following Option Two. We mourn the fact that a legitimate discussion of this issue has not taken among conservatives. A loss for our movement, and a symptom of a growing sclerosis within it.