A conservatory of Ldotter blogs.

Monday, April 21, 2008

With Tancredo unshackled. . .

. . .from the bonds of public approbation, we're starting to get a glimpse behind the Halcion-induced smiling visage that the anti-immigration movement has used to conceal the contorted snarls at its lunatic core. The first hint came back in late February, when Mark Krikorian went after Catholic Bishops, accusing them of having nefarious motives for their support of immigrants, both legal and illegal, rather than any altruistic sense of compassion.

To this day, I have trouble understanding how so many conservatives didn't see this coming. The signs were clearly there all along. All one had to do was to look at the origins of the groups most responsible for the ratcheting up of anti-immigrant sentiment and the histories of some of their more prominent members and boosters.

Throughout all the rancor of the past few years, Kathryn Jean Lopez has been exceedingly tolerant of the rhetorical excesses of Tancredo, Krikorian and others, but it seems she has finally had it up to here. Ramesh Ponnuru was pretty charitable in his assessment of Tancredo when he originally pointed out the idiocy he's currently foisting on the public. I suspect he'll be less so in days ahead, though I've never been very good at predicting which side he's going to come down on with regard to any given issue. Nevertheless, unless something as changed in recent months, he has taken a tack on illegal immigration that is pretty similar to my own: that following the monomaniacs on the matter would be absolutely disastrous.

(Oddly enough, one of those monomaniacs surfaced in the Washington Post's page-1 hit piece on McCain, yesterday. These people are frighteningly angry, and the fact that McCain is going to be the nominee of the Republican Party -- which they feel they own lock, stock and barrel -- is absolutely maddening to them.)

But, what's more frightening than these people's ideas is the fact that they so recently held such sway over mainstream politicians. You couldn't hear the Washington D.C. traffic over the sound of the knocking knees in the Senate when they organized their blast-fax campaign to kill immigration reform.

It ought to be clear now to every senator on Capitol Hill that these people were punching way over their weight class, given the fact that enough Republican primary voters saw through the disguise to hold Tom Tancredo to a pathetic one percent of popular support. And, thanks to Tancredo's recent antics, this passel of eccentrics is going to cast a much smaller shadow from now on.

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