"Press 1 For English"
Do you get as irritated as I do when you call a company -- your bank, a credit card company, the cable company -- and the first thing you have to do with the robot on the phone is press 1 for English? I don't want to have to press 1 for English in the English speaking United States of America!
But yesterday many people in Virginia probably wished they did have that button to push. In fact, I suspect many would have preferred a "mute" button when Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) went to the Senate floor and delivered his speech in support of the comprehensive immigration reform bill entirely in Spanish.
Kaine no doubt thought he was being really clever. But I am hard pressed to come up with a worse way to support this bill, which I don't. In fact, Kaine's stunt was even at odds with White House rhetoric.
This past weekend President Obama used his weekly radio address to promote the Senate's quasi-amnesty bill, citing among other things the requirement that illegal immigrants must learn English.
Yes, ironically enough, the immigration reform bill has such a provision. But many of us suspect that it will be widely ignored, just as the current English speaking requirement for citizenship is widely ignored. Why else would we be printing voting ballots in foreign languages?
Central to the broader immigration debate is the question of whether America is becoming balkanized. In some parts of the U.S.A. it is possible to grow up, go to school, do business, go home, watch TV and rarely hear English spoken.
Liberals like Tim Kaine evidently do not see this as a problem. But learning English is a great unifying factor in the process of assimilation -- of making immigrants Americans. And isn't that what we really want -- to welcome those who truly desire to become Americans?
Opponents of the immigration bill are probably in a stronger position as a result of Kaine's theatrics on the Senate floor. Eighty-four percent of Americans support making English our official language.
I would urge Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and others who support the bill to go to the Senate floor and make it clear that Kaine's "historic speech" was needlessly divisive and counterproductive, and that it sets a bad example for immigrants seeking to succeed in a country where English is, and must remain, the national language.
About That Bill…
Senate liberals have claimed all year long that their goal was to draft a comprehensive immigration reform bill that would attract broad, bi-partisan support, even getting 70 votes or more. That was a laudable goal and one that would require a significant amount of conservative support.
But according to Politico, Democrat leaders Harry Reid (D-NV) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) are now abandoning that strategy. Why? Because Reid and Durbin "don't believe they should make major concessions to conservatives -- mainly on issues such as border security."
In other words, when it comes to securing the border and preventing another wave of mass illegal immigration, this is a weak bill. Senate liberals know it and they are unwilling to fix it.
Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) is warning that the "Gang of 8" amnesty is repeating the same mistakes of the 1986 amnesty bill. Grassley should know. "I voted for it and I acknowledge that what we did in 1986, we got it wrong. We can't afford to make the same mistakes," Grassley said to his Senate colleagues this week. "So don't repeat 1986. See that the borders are absolutely secure -- no excuses on that point, no exceptions on that point."
And on that point the American people are absolutely clear: They want the border secured first. A recent Fox News poll found that 73% of voters want tougher border security measures in place "before other changes to immigration policy go into effect." Even two-thirds of self-identified Democrats supported that position.
But what are the priorities of Senate liberals? Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), chairman of the Judiciary Committee, is using the immigration reform bill to promote the radical concept of same-sex "marriage."It is difficult to imagine how such misplaced priorities could attract broad, bi-partisan support in the Senate.
Americans Oppose Government Snooping
CBS released a poll yesterday asking Americans their views on the government's massive data mining and collection efforts. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of Americans (75%) approved of the government collecting phone records of Americans suspected of terrorist activity.
But 58% opposed the mass seizure of phone records related to "ordinary Americans." Just 38% supported that practice. Republicans and independents were strongly opposed (66% and 62% respectively) to the collection of everybody's records, whereas Democrats were evenly divided.
"Tear Down This Wall"
Twenty-six years ago today, President Ronald Reagan delivered one of the defining speeches of his presidency. He traveled to Berlin, Germany, which at that time was divided by one of Soviet Communism's most visibly oppressive symbols -- the Berlin Wall.
Rather than seeking accommodation with the Soviets or rationalizing away the evil that wall represented, Ronald Reagan took a stand for freedom and boldly declared, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"
That was the beginning of the end of the "evil empire." Two years later, the Berlin Wall came down, and two years after that the Soviet Union collapsed as well. That is leadership. And the West desperately needs such bold leadership today as it confronts the evil of Islamofascism.
Click here to watch that historic speech by one of America's greatest leaders.
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