Rubio Doubles Down by Lying about Border Security
Something unusually awful happened Thursday in the circus of lies that is comprehensive immigration reform.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) offered an amendment to the bill, making border security a trigger for granting temporary legal status to illegal aliens.
Of course, border security was supposed to be the trigger for legal status all along. Yet, a Senator had to propose an amendment to transform the bill into what it was originally sold as. This is a sure sign that we are being lied to- but that's not the worst of what occurred on Thursday.
Each Republican in the Gang of Eight -Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), John McCain (Ariz.) and Jeff Flake (Ariz.)- voted to kill Grassley's amendment. They were joined by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).
To appreciate the magnitude of deception on the part of these Republicans, consider Rubio's promise in April:
"If, in fact, this bill does not have real triggers in there, if there is not language in this bill that guarantees that nothing else will happen unless these enforcement mechanisms are in place, I won't support it."
There were evidently not real triggers in the bill, Sen. Grassley proposed the exact triggers that Rubio promised in April, but yesterday Rubio voted against those triggers.
Some may feel betrayed by Rubio's most recent outburst of blatant hypocrisy, but many conservatives have known that Rubio was a liar from the moment he supported amnesty:
This is the man who said in 2010, "I will never support -never have and never will support - any effort to grant blanket, legalization, amnesty to folks who have entered or stayed in this country illegally."
Also on Thursday, Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) did his part to confirm the suspicions of amnesty critics by saying, "We have de-linked the pathway to citizenship and border enforcement. You could be on a path to a million people reaching citizenship and have one bad week on the border, at which point you stop, and that's just unacceptable."
Durbin is a Gang of Eight member from the party largely responsible for drafting and passing the bill. When someone with his power so overtly disregards the principle of enforcement, conservatives have been placed on notice that enforcement is a ruse- as if we didn't already know.
No one should have expected an amnesty in-exchange-for enforcement agreement to work. The border is too porous, and enforcement has been so lax for so long that any exchange would amount to amnesty now, enforcement whenever. Speaking of securing the border, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), another Gang of Eight member, said, "Now, we all know that that will take years and years and years."
This is a simple statement of fact, and based on that premise Schumer is refusing to put enforcement before amnesty. He is at least honest enough to discuss the factual basis of the amnesty proposal.
Meanwhile, Republican Sen. John Cornyn (TX) is engaging in political fraud, pretending that he's offering a sensible alternative to outright amnesty. Cornyn's sham has been blasted apart by Mickey Kaus, Conn Carroll, and even Erick Erickson.
There are still those who will say in Rubio or Cornyn's favor that they are trying to "do something" to "fix the broken system."
Any conservative who utters either of those clichés would do well to stop and consider one of the first principles of conservatism: the urge to "do something" is a shallow impulse unless that "something" is based on experience or sound principles.
The late Professor Edward Banfield, in his classic, "The Unheavenly City" wrote that the "altruistic bias" of the educated, upper classes influences public opinion and results in "the perversity that characterizes the choice of measures for dealing with" social problems.
As Banfield observed, this perversity is reflected in two rules, "DON'T JUST SIT THERE: DO SOMETHING! and second: DO GOOD!"
Banfield wrote what every conservative should realize: "In reality, the doing of good is not so much for the benefit of those to whom the good is done as it is for that of the doers whose moral faculties are activated and invigorated by the doing of it..."
Every destructive social experiment, every expansion of the welfare state, every taxpayer rip-off- they've all been propelled by a blind, thoughtless desire to "do something."
John T. Bennett, Esq. (MA, University of Chicago, Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences '07; J.D., Emory University School of Law '12) is a former Army officer with tours of duty in Iraq, Afghanistan and Djibouti. His writing has appeared in Townhall.com, World Net Daily, and The Chicago Tribune, among others.