The hysteria on the far right (is there any other sort any more?) about the immigration bill is remarkable to me. It's not that there aren't obviously good arguments against amnesty; it's the fever-pitch mania that drives these people. I have to say I find it baffling - not the position as such but the anger and rage. The obvious solution - much better border control and some attempt to bring most illegal immigrants out of the shadows - is obscured by emotion. The result, of course, is that the GOP has all but lost the Hispanic vote for a generation, just by the tone of their rhetoric. And they are at one another's throats. Bush, in particular, is now despised - for a policy has always publicly supported. The suicide of the right continues, and perhaps it's for the best. If these people have not asked to be sent into the political wilderness, who has?
But I do want to address David Frum's smear that I am now part of a "Blame America First" crowd, because I think our experience in Iraq and the huge damage we have done to our image in the Arab world requires us to rethink some aspects of our war-policy - like torture and open-ended involvement in the Iraqi civil war. I've been extremely clear that I believe that the US did nothing to "deserve" 9/11. But Frum tries to smear me anyway. Frum then analogizes Ron Paul to the vicious anti-Semite, Charles Lindbergh. On what grounds? I guess the same grounds that Jamie Kirchick and Ryan Sager accuse him of being an anti-Semite. Maybe there's more out there I haven't seen. But the only evidence Sager has offered to support his very grave charge of anti-Semitism is extremely thin. Is any criticism of special interest politics that includes the Israel lobby as a major offender inherently anti-Semitic? I guess that's Sager's view. It isn't mine.
On another smear front, Hugh Hewitt has just accused Peggy Noonan of being a bigot. Heh. Hewitt's faith has long been a mystery to me. His religion isn't of course. He worships power. His church is the Republican Party. I don't think the smears pouring out of the panicked right are completely accidental. Some of us are trying to figure out what has gone wrong with conservatism and what has gone so terribly wrong in the war. Others on the right regard such attempts as deeply dangerous. I hope they're right.