The ever changing face of political positions

Aaron David

A fourth generation Californian, befuddled.

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98 Responses

  1. Christopher Carr says:

    I bet a lot of the about-face has to do with the ever increasing importance of the hispanic vote.Report

    • North in reply to Christopher Carr says:

      The decrease of crime (unfairly blamed on Hispanics) as a political issue also probably weighs into that.Report

      • Kolohe in reply to North says:

        “The decrease of crime” do you mean increase? The decades long decrease in crime people attribute either to lead removal, abortion, or the incarceration state.

        To the extent that crime has upticked recently, (which is barely, and not uniformly), most people trying to make political hay over that are blaming the so-called ‘war on cops’, not immigration. (except for waving the bloody shirt about that one woman in San Francisco).Report

        • North in reply to Kolohe says:

          That’s kind of my point actually, crime has declined for the last couple decades so precipitously (for whatever reason) that it’s just not as enormously a potent anti-immigrant/anti Hispanic line as it used to be. It makes it a lot easier for Dems to be pro immigrant and not worry about being portrayed as soft on crime.Report

          • Kolohe in reply to North says:

            Was there ever a nexus between the politics of immigration policy and the politics of the perception that Dems were ‘soft on crime’? ‘Soft on crime’ came from the idea that Democrats put librul namby pamby judges on the bench who let criminals off on technicalities. And of course, Willie Horton.

            edit- to the extent that Dems used to be immigration skeptics* I believe it’s all from old school racismn in union support. Who have now either literally died off or just declined in numbers due to the overall decline in unions. (and replacement by unions in the service sector which *are* Hispanic (and others) friendly).

            *and Bernie still is.Report

          • Gaelen in reply to notme says:

            Not accurate or reliable data, but I guess that’s too much to expect.Report

            • notme in reply to Gaelen says:

              The article acknowledges up front that official data isn’t kept so you have to use other sources. Maybe the fed gov should keep this kind of data but I doubt they will. Your snark would imply that they are making this up which isn’t true at all. Try coming up with a valid criticism next time if you can.Report

              • Gaelen in reply to notme says:

                My snark implies that they can’t even be bothered to accurately cite the few sources they explicitly identify and use. To say nothing about actually looking at the methodology or underlying data used to compile those sources. To give one example, Fox says,

                “In the most recent figures available, a Government Accountability Office report titled, “Criminal Alien Statistics,” found there were 55,000 illegal immigrants in federal prison and 296,000 in state and local lockups in 2011.”

                So, the actual report dealt with all non-citizens in federal, state, and local prisons and jails, not just ‘illegal immigrants.’ It also deals with 2010 for federal numbers and 2009 for state and local, not 2011.

                Another, because I can’t resist. “The report [from the Texas Department of Public Safety], showed that between 2008 and 2014, noncitizens in Texas — a group that includes illegal and legal immigrants — committed 611,234 crimes, including nearly 3,000 homicides.”

                Which implies if not outright states that they committed those crimes during the time period quoted, when the actual report gets those numbers from any arrest for crimes committed at any time in the persons life. It basically says, we have booked this many non-citizens for crimes during that time period, and those people have, over the course of their lives, committed the following numbers of crimes.

                So Fox either had an egregious reading fail, or is disingenuous with its use of these reports. Either way, its doesn’t lead me trust assertions such as “Statistics show the estimated 11.7 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. account for 13.6 percent of all offenders sentenced for crimes committed in the U.S. Twelve percent of murder sentences, 20 percent of kidnapping sentences and 16 percent of drug trafficking sentences are meted out to illegal immigrants..” Assertions which are not backed up by specific cites, and which I have no way of checking.

                Try to post something worthwhile next time, if you can.Report

              • Gaelen in reply to Gaelen says:

                I’m going to leave the last line up because I said it, but I want to apologize for the tone.Report

      • Christopher Carr in reply to Damon says:

        I do, and I also think at the same time the realization was coming in that the white male nativists who didn’t vote with their union were rolling over the to Republicans in a big way so it was time to court new demographics. Really, politically, one of the great, sweeping changes that took place in the nineties was the advent of identity politics.Report

        • Christopher Carr in reply to Christopher Carr says:

          Likewise, it used to be that the Republican Party supported immigration to help out business interest. This also has declined as team red has pandered more and more to the aforementioned nativists.Report

          • Christopher Carr in reply to Christopher Carr says:

            George Bush was probably the most pro-immigrant President we’ve had in a long time, although his position was somewhat constrained by 9-11. This was possibly his only redeeming quality as a President.Report

          • Damon in reply to Christopher Carr says:

            My initial comment was in agreement with your first post. But I disagree with your last post. NOONE is talking about how to fix immigration. The last republican debate for Obama’s second term, there was hardly a mention. Republicans support the status quote to support business who want the illegals for cheap labor. The Dems want them for the votes. Nothing has changed. Any meat thrown to the nativist is purely for individual campaign reelections.Report

            • Joe Sal in reply to Damon says:

              Hell it’s not just cheap labor. New peeps are going to need housing, clothes, food, electricity, running water, maybe a car then fuel. They usually have little money, so they will need a loan etc.etc.etc. So there is the corporate side.

              More taxes run into coffers to destabilize regions and create more movement to stablish urban profit centers. Urban Federalism marches on.

              For the profit seekers and state, these are cash cows and votes.

              Many natives are playing the game of hunker down and build defense against manufactured scarcity. Profit margins can be either starved or regulated to death, but not when the field is flooded with a constant stream of cash cows.

              The foot kicks the can further down the road, the debt climbs and the natives are restless. The thing that doesn’t change is scarcity. It exists today, as it did 20 years ago, as it did in some forms 10,000 years ago.

              How do you disassemble scarcity?Report

              • Damon in reply to Joe Sal says:

                Indeed. I’m not expecting “mr. fusion” running on garbage to power all of our needs any time soon. But I do expect that attitude of FYIGM or FYWGO (we got ours) to play an increasingly greater role in societies. That means keeping out “new users of resources” unless needed for other purposes and more resource brush fires.Report

              • notme in reply to Damon says:

                Don’t worry, we can always raise taxes to provide for these newcomers.Report

              • Joe Sal in reply to notme says:

                If taxes were voluntary would you still have an objection?Report

              • notme in reply to Joe Sal says:

                No, if some bleeding heart liberal wanted to give their money to the gov’t to waste then they should be allowed to.Report

              • Joe Sal in reply to notme says:

                So your only objection to immigration is taxes? Nothin’ else?Report

              • notme in reply to Joe Sal says:

                No, don’t think we should reward illegals by letting them stay, school their kids, etc. Legal immigration is one thing as long as it is controlled. We clearly can’t take everyone that wants to live here.Report

              • Joe Sal in reply to notme says:

                What if they bought land by their own labor, built their own homes/schools and the only reward came from them working their own job? Add to that, their culture isn’t aggressive towards yours?

                (Not being snarky here, just wondering where you set your boundries at.)Report

              • notme in reply to Joe Sal says:


                Are you talking about legals or illegals?Report

              • Joe Sal in reply to notme says:

                If you could please seperate each and describe what you think is goodish or badish.


                point1: good or badish because x
                point2: something acceptable or not

                point1: good or badish because a
                point2: something acceptable or notReport

              • Christopher Carr in reply to notme says:

                Do you feel like we’re overwhelmed by immigrants right now?Report

              • Kazzy in reply to notme says:

                Muslims = immigrants now?Report

              • notme in reply to Kazzy says:

                Have you been watching the news? If not obama and kerry promised that the us would take a bunch of muslims. Thats just one example. Obama hasnt done anything to secure our southern border yet so more illegals will be on the way.Report

              • North in reply to Joe Sal says:

                Doesn’t immigration address scarcity rather than intensify it? With birth rates the way they are in the first world someone’s going to need to be looking after all those old people.Report

              • notme in reply to North says:

                Sure they may need “more people” but how many more? Milllions more like number of illegals and other folks the obam admin is importing? What makes you think that these folks even want to act as home health care wokers? This is a tired and worn out argument and sadly not even that good.Report

              • North in reply to notme says:

                Well since as illegal immigrants they don’t qualify for safety nets programs like unemployment or food stamps it’s a ‘you don’t work, you don’t eat” situation. Whether they wish to work as health care workers or not is utterly irrelevant; labor is fungible. If the illegal immigrant fills one position then it frees someone else up to provide healthcare services. It’s called specialization.

                Also, hasn’t Obama has overseen lower rates of immigration, legal and illegal, than his predecessor (not that I think it particularly matters to the GOP’s “thinking” on the subject right now)?Report

              • Joe Sal in reply to North says:

                It is one thing to talk of specialization in direct relation to the means of production in general of which there can be no scarcity. It is quite another to mention specialization as a layer of corporations or state. Which as the economy is built there are limited positions, even more limited as the licensed guilds expand barriers to entry for base workers.Report

              • North in reply to Joe Sal says:

                Even granting your point my point remains. Though you seem to be making a strong case for deregulation.Report

              • Joe Sal in reply to North says:

                Does America have a shortage of well paying jobs outside a corporation/state guildish system?Report

              • Joe Sal in reply to North says:

                Humor switch on:

                Ha, and who’s going to look after those people when they get old?

                “This will never end ’cause I want more…More, give me more, give me more.”

                Humor switch off:Report

              • North in reply to Joe Sal says:

                Presumably some combination of immigrants and children or children of children of immigrants.Report

              • Joe Sal in reply to North says:

                I get you, I was just playing on the exponetial flavor of it. If it takes 2.5 people to care for every old person, the exponential function gets wacky over time.Report

              • North in reply to Joe Sal says:

                Well we’re probably on the eve of a very enlightening era of discovering the ins, outs, complexities and efficiencies of providing for the needs of large numbers of elderly people.Report

              • Joe Sal in reply to North says:

                I take it your assuming these elderly won’t be working to within three days of their death?Report

              • Glyph in reply to North says:

                I figured we’d just do things the Inuit way and push them out on an ice floe…

                …wait, we won’t have ice floes either?! I’m all out of ideas.

                (And here I will just note again that while I’m pretty pro-immigration myself, I do think it a mite odd that the belief that we already have or will soon have too many humans for this planet to reasonably support sans scarcities, is more-or-less CW; yet when an analogous concern is expressed about the smaller, specific unit of the U.S. landmass, it is seen as obviously-reactionary bonkersism.)Report

              • KatherineMW in reply to Glyph says:

                The world as a whole has an increasing population. Most developed countries have, or are on the way to having, a higher number of deaths than births due to an aging population and falling fertility rates.

                Any developed nation trying to restrict immigration while simultaneously worrying about the effects of an aging population on welfare systems/the workforce is pretty clearly displaying bigotry and xenophobia, because immigration is the obvious answer to “our ratio of old people to young people is getting too high”. It’s even cheaper than natural growth: an infant needs to be raised, cared for, sent to primary and elementary school and often to university. Someone immigrating at any age older than infancy removes some of those steps, and some of the associated costs.

                On top of this, US (and Canadian, even more so) population density is a lot lower than the world’s as a whole; overpopulation on a country level is not an issue here. Japan or Europe might have the shadow of an argument, but not us.

                On a global level, if you’re worried about population growth, devote resources to fighting poverty, disease, and income inequality. When people are poor and infant mortality is high, they have more kids. When incomes rise and infant mortality is low, people have fewer kids. It’s an extremely clear trend world-wide. It’s no accident that sub-Saharan Africa, the poorest region of the world, is the only one that still has a fertility rate about 3.

                Empowering women and improving access to birth control so that they can choose whether or not they want to have kids is also a good element, for basic ethical reasons as much as population-related ones.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Glyph says:

                The “have a catch” scene from Field of Dreams always makes my ice flow.Report

              • Joe Sal in reply to Glyph says:

                @ Glyph
                obviously-reactionary bonkersism

                I agree mostly with you here. I do think it’s important to have plenty of freeboard throughout, but who knows how much is enough or to little.

                For populations to be reasonably self sustaining and less prone to manufactured scarcity, I think that person/acre thing gets important. Cut the supply lines to a dense city with ten million people, it gets ugly fast.

                Not that I have a dog in the density fight, other than saying there is no good Scarcity Plan B for the densities that are being created.

                Now using immigration as a political/economic/ideaology weapon, that stuff sucks eggs.Report

              • Glyph in reply to Joe Sal says:

                Yeah, I just hate that the whole debate we have gets centered around who’s being racist/xenophobic and who’s being a selfless saint, when we can obviously look at the planet or Bejing or hell, California’s water crisis and say, “ya know, it IS possible to have too many people in one place.”Report

              • North in reply to Glyph says:

                You mean too many farmers?Report

              • Patrick in reply to North says:

                China will have to figure this out quicker than we will.Report

              • North in reply to Patrick says:

                And considering how fraught the idea of immigration into China would be that should be one hell of an interesting conundrum for them though Japan will be leading the way before anyone methinks.Report

              • Joe Sal in reply to Patrick says:

                China has at least some ratio of population that can/knows how to self sustain off 1 to 2 acres per family.
                Not sure how much it takes in Japan, but many continue working the fields until 70-80 years of age. Long tooth farmers.Report

            • Christopher Carr in reply to Damon says:

              No one is talking about immigration, just as no one is talking about Obamacare, Do you think they stopped having strong opinions on Obamacare?Report

    • I don’t think it’s only about the Hispanic vote. The parties have inverted their positions.

      Here’s George Bush and Ronald Reagan in 1980.

      • Christopher Carr in reply to Vikram Bath says:

        The Bushes have always extended humanity towards illegal immigrants. There really is no other reasonable position on this issue than that articulated by God and Vice God in that video.Report

        • Chris in reply to Christopher Carr says:

          It’s almost weird to hear Republicans sounds reasonable, not merely because I agree with them, but because they, particularly Bush in that video, actually seemed to think about their answers.

          Our political system is broken.

          Also, Ronnie made it about communism. That might be the one glimmer of the contemporary mindset in that video: yes, there are good positive reasons, but also, eeeevil.Report

          • Stillwater in reply to Chris says:

            Our political system is broken.

            Well, we’re definitely in a period of transition. When I was a young lad, the CW was that the GOP was in favor of illegal immigration to serve the interests of big business and Dems were opposed outa concern for union interests. But something happened on the way to the 21st century: the bases of both parties have more or less flipped that CW on its head. What was once explained by a pretty simple economic analysis isn’t so simplistically explained anymore. CC mentioned identity politics as a cause of this, and I’m not sure what he meant, so he might be right. But something has flipped the conservative base’s light switch to the extent that they’re adopting what was, not too long ago, pretty much the default view of union members and by extension the Democratic party (at least according to an institutional logic). And it could be that they’re expressing a form of protectionism regarding US jobs. Course, applying a similar type of inversion to the Dems doesn’t really make any sense, since Dem voters prolly aren’t in favor of relaxing immigration laws (to the extent they are) outa a concern for Big Business. Forfeind!Report

      • Brandon Berg in reply to Vikram Bath says:

        What happened to that kid’s accent? I hear it all the time in recordings from the 70s, but I never hear it any more.Report

  2. nevermoor says:


    First, I’m proud of the change, so maybe that’s biasing my other reactions.

    Second, why does wanting more of something compel you to still want more of it 20 years later (and after there has been dramatic growth in the interim)?

    Third, even on Rahm’s specific point, Democrats took a shot at that so why is it inconsistent to not want to take more shots?Report

  3. LeeEsq says:

    Cleek’s Law needs to be a faster change than nearly twenty-years.Report

  4. notme says:

    And to top it off the pope has the nerve to call illegals “pilgrims” as if there was something holy about their actions. Once a leftist always a leftist.

    • Mike Schilling in reply to notme says:

      How do you feel about leftists?Report

    • North in reply to notme says:

      Well, in that they are replicating pretty much exactly the choices that all of our collective ancestors made at some point in history or another* there is a certain historical communion to the act of migrating to seek a better life through honest labor.

      *With the exception of first nations peoples I suppose.Report

      • Maribou in reply to North says:

        No need to make the exception, I think. Though the record is muddy, it’s generally agreed by First Nations peoples that they did come to North America by migrating from other parts of the world (Asia and/or Pacific Islands). It was just a realllllllllllllllllllly long time ago.

        People in general, all over, are more likely to have migration in their ancestry than not.Report

        • North in reply to Maribou says:

          True Maribou, but it’s hard to say with any certainty that there was anyone living in the America’s when the First Nations ancestors showed up.Report

          • Patrick in reply to North says:

            Whelp, for a good chunk of the colonial time, colonists from Europe arrived to a relatively depopulated local area.

            Depopulated because the previous inhabitants had been wiped out by imported diseases from some previous colonial European, but still.Report

      • notme in reply to North says:

        Yes many peoples have migrated of time but so what? That doesnt mean they were welcomed by the people that were already there, does it? The issues associated with the movement of people is more complicated in this age despite how simplistic you try to make it.Report

        • Troublesome Frog in reply to notme says:

          Yes many peoples have migrated of time but so what? That doesnt mean they were welcomed by the people that were already there, does it?

          Very true. This time around looks pretty much like all of the others. Remind me, though, are the people who fought tooth and nail against the last waves of immigrants generally regarded as the heroes of those stories when we retell them now?Report

  5. notme says:

    It seems to me that if you have to make up stuff like “historical communion to the act of migrating to seek a better life through honest labor.” then you are really desperate to justify the pope’s BS. Coming here illegally has nothing to do with religion no matter how much you obfuscate in order to justify it. I’m still waiting for the pope act on his talk by taking in some of the muslin refugees. He did take in four as a symbol but they were Christians. I’m curious if the criminal elements are also moved by this so called religious fevor?Report

  6. notme says:

    While telling the US to take all those illegals in, the Vatican has a very restrictive immigration policy. I wonder what happens to illegals there?