I have just returned from the largest, most energized demonstration I have ever witnessed in my life. Over 500,000 people filled the streets of downtown Los Angeles to march against HR 4437, a bill authored by Republican Rep. James Sensenbrenner (heir to the Kotex fortune) which would turn 11 million undocumented immigrants into felons, punish anyone guilty of providing them assistance, and construct an iron wall between the US and Mexico.
The rally reached a crescendo as thousands of demonstrators lined the walls and bridges above the 101 freeway waving flags and cheering while an endless parade of cars and trucks blasted their horns in support. It was the sound of a sleeping giant awakening.
In passing HR 4437 and whatever draconian and utterly counter-productive bill emerges from the Senate, the congressional Republicans have become their party’s worst enemy. They have cast their white, Southern base in conflict with the Latino constituency the RNC and the Bush White House realize they must win over if they are ever to achieve a so-called “Republican majority.”
Those of us who live in California remember the damage that former Governor Pete Wilson (thanks Pete!) did to the Republican Party by supporting Proposition 187; just ask the two or three Republicans who hold state-wide office (and, no, Arnold doesn’t count). Prop. 187 passed and it’s possible that another bill that was, for all intents and purposes, anti-Hispanic (which is exactly how it would be interpreted) might even pass again but the Republicans who got behind it would only end up paying… again. Such is the weird dynamic of California voting. So I have to laugh when Mark Krikorian says something like this:
The huge protests over the past few days by illegal aliens and others demanding amnesty are indeed likely to doom an amnesty bill, as Kathryn’s post about Instapundit suggested; see also Mickey Kaus on “Gran Marcha–Gran Backlash!”
The reason is that, even with the staged display of some American flags, the first question an ordinary American watching this on the news is going to ask himself is, “So, if we toughen up enforcement, will they start burning cars?” Of course, the shape of immigrant protest in Europe is a sign of how much more intracable their immigration problem is than ours, and for that we should be grateful. But the phenomenon is the same — unwanted guests in each place are demanding they get their way. Amnesty would thus represent our parallel to Europe’s dhimmification.
Because, you see, they’re brown people and they only respond to adversity by burning cars. Jesus.
The assertion that they are “unwanted guests” is, how should I put it, oh yeah, crap. People may not like the idea of illegal immigrants, but only as long as the illegal immigrants they’re talking about are the ones who aren’t cooking their food and cleaning their houses and cutting their lawns and answering their phones and working in their warehouses and pouring their cement and loading their trucks and, well, you get the idea.
If this weekend’s organizers could get 500,000 people to turn out on Saturday for their march, imagine a one-day work stoppage. If all of my Hispanic employees and the Hispanics who make deliveries to us or provide other services didn’t come into work for a day, I’d be screwed. Now imagine if they all stayed home and didn’t buy anything for a day. They could bring California to its knees and you’d have business owners and factory owners and large contractors and the entire service industry screaming bloody murder. I still have fond memories of the stories of then Senator Pete Wilson getting a pissed-off phone call from a certain well-connected San Diego hotelier when one of her hotels was raided by la migra.
Republicans: meet your new boss.
You better play nice.
(Image courtesy of Max Blumenthal)