What's the Big Damned Deal?

I know we will have to wait for details of President Bush's proposal tonight, but authorization for the use of our military at the nation's borders is not new. As a matter of fact, it's proposed and approved almost every year as a matter of standard procedure. At least, that's the way it seems.

In 1999 it was called the Traficant Amendment to H.R. 1401, in 2000 it was the Traficant Amendment to H.R. 4205 and in 2005 it was called the House Amendment 206 to H.R. 1816. As a matter of fact, almost identical authorization amendments have passed in the House since 1999. So, Bushie, what's the big damned deal?

More below the fold...

The authorization may be there, but so far neither Clinton nor Bush has chosen to authorize more than a skeleton crew of the National Guard to assist with border patrol. Details haven't been released, but at least one estimate has the number of the military at the border increasing into the tens of thousands.

Show of force or waste of valuable resources? Long-term solution or short-term political band-aid?

The Washington Post gives no further confirmed details in its article today, so we won't know until we hear the President's plan tonight. His credibility is so low, though I think the only people listening are Republicans in Congress. He could further divide the GOP as he frantically searches for a legacy. It looks like he has his hopes pinned to his guest worker program.

Personally, I think he's doing this to increase his popularity within his own party. He's going to act tough at the border to get the votes he needs for the guest worker program. In other words, he will waste millions of dollars and disrupt thousands of lives to play politics.

As if we needed further proof that George W. Bush is the leader that no one wishes to follow.


The fact is...I have no problem with border control

I think it's the first step to a real solution. I just don't think that Bush is calling for this as part of a real solution. It's politics. He just wants to save his ass. Lance made some good points on the poll thread.

I'm not against border control because I think that we have done nothing to help the immigrants that are already here illegally in this country. We have to stem the tide and help those already in the U.S. make progress toward becoming citizens. Mass deportation is not feasible and that's a point we've made before on this site.

I have lost confidence in our President to do anything well. I fear this will simply be another fiasco in his train wreck of a presidency.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Despite our dislike of Bush

You have to hold on to some hope that maybe a good plan will come about from this.

I stated in the other thread that I don't think massive deployment of National Guard troops is the answer. Mainly because they are streched to thin between duties in Iraq and Afhganistan and to their home states to be used effectively on the Mexican border.

I believe this speech is just politics. He needs to kick up his poll numbers, and all quick polling shows a modest 3 point bounce after a evening speech. So there he's back above 30%.

However I have lost all confidence in this Presidency as well. But you have to hope that somebody in DC, sometime soon, will take whatever comes out of the President's mouth tonight and make something positive happen. Whether that be going exactly according to his plan OR making a new one up from its ashes, something smart, long-term, and rational needs to be done.

Be just, and fear not.

Our children need to know that some people fought back, when others collaborated.


Josh Marshall at TPM received this email from one of his readers...

"The White House is now saying the troops would only be temporary. But temporary until when? I guess just until there aren't any more illegals trying to come across the border from Latin America."
In other words, you're suggesting the White House doesn't have an exit strategy from getting the troops out of ... our own country?

No exit strategy to get out of our own country...good one!

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Political Stunt

This move by Bush is a not-so-disguised attempt to appease his rightest of right-wing supporters. It's something he can do without angering his OTHER supporters, big ol' corporate America. If he really wanted to attack the problem of illegal immigration, he would step up enforcement of the laws already in place that make it illegal to employ undocumented workers. But that had the potential of hurting his CEO buddies, so he's going this route. Wonder if he'll don a National Guard uniform and stand by the border and declare "Mission Accomplished" in three months.

Petronius calls it square....

From today's Asheville-Times, a letter from RW Smith calls Bush to rights:

Bush is an empty suit. He can’t manage a 2-car funeral and has failed every job his dad ever got him.

Complete letter http://www.citizen-times.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060515/OPINION02/60512045/1040

Petronius, the Roman satirist, long ago knew the secret that eludes George Bush. He wrote, “We met any new situation by reorganizing. It was a wonderful method for creating the illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency and demoralization.”

Bush is an empty suit. He can’t manage a 2-car funeral and has failed every job his dad ever got him. He’s messed up the presidency beyond recognition. Here’s a short list of his catalogue of swindles: war in Iraq and Afghanistan; a huge increase in our national debt; a sluggish economy; violation of U.S. and international laws on torture; and the heartless transfer of treasure from our middle class to the obscenely wealthy. All of this oiled by corruption.

Bush met the torrent of goofs by reorganizing, the thing Petronius warned about. Don’t analyze. Instead reorganize and the public will get lost in the paper and TV.

Wake up and wise up America.

Military troops patrolling our land

If our leaders really wanted to stop illegal immigrantsion they'd enforce the laws against employing illegal aliens (for little money and no benefits). Those employers are the traitors and they are the ones who need to be rounded up by law enforcement.

There's no need to bring out the national guard. The only reason to do that is to get us suckers, I mean citizens, used to having our own military on traipsing around our homeland with loaded weapons.

Gee. I wonder who wants that and why.

“All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.”
So enjoy the Drama.

I don't mean to be flip

But one of the National Guard's primary functions is traipsing around our homeland with loaded weapons.

Well, okay. Maybe so

But you get my drift . . .
“All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.”
So enjoy the Drama.

Yes, Lance, but they have to be invited

into the states. If you remember correctly after Hurricane Katrina there was this big kerfuffle over whether Governor Kathleen Blanco had used the correct language when telling the President to "send everything you have."

National Guard troops can be sent into a state, but they are limited as to what they can do. They have to be invited into a state by the Governor to keep law and order.

I don't know the exact language/law whatever, but I do know that I have read and heard there are limitations. I've been trying to find out more accurately what they are.

Also...must admit I was wrong about Texas. I just watched Lou Dobbs and there are a lot of lawmakers and lawkeepers on the border very upset about the militarization of the border. Even Bush lapdog, Henry Cuellar(D-TX) seemed a bit miffed at his favorite President.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Thanks DQ

Actually, it helped a lot with what I had been reading. I think the distinction here will be that the Guard will not be carrying out local law enforcement duties per se. They will be carrying out border patrol functions and that would be considered a federal role, I think???? I guess this way they don't technically have to declare martical law. Still...it should get very interesting and very sticky. I still don't think it will accomplish politically what the President wants it to accomplish. Time will tell, I guess.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Props to you for covering this issue

I sure as hell don't want to get into it. Makes my blood boil. I know it has to be part of a bigger plan. While I don't know what the plan is . . . I hope it's just the administration's way of appearing to trying to stem illegal immigration while avoiding alienating all their friends who hire and make tons of money off hiring illegal immigrants for little money and no bennies.
“All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.”
So enjoy the Drama.


You are correct

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.