The immigration debate: room for middle ground?

I’ve not commented a great deal about the President’s speech on immigration because I’ve learned from last year’s experience over the Harriet Miers brouhaha and this year’s experience over the UAE port deal that sometimes you have to step back and take a breather before commenting on certain hot button issues. I was as frustrated as many conservatives were after reading/hearing the speech, but wanted to reserve further comment until I’d had the chance to read what others were saying about it.

While the debate over illegal immigration rages on, there are two great posts up today about trying to find middle ground on the issue – the first comes from Lorie Byrd, who posts an excerpt from her guest column at, and Rick Moran at Right Wing Nuthouse – I recommend you read them both, and if you’re one of those who thinks W failed miserably with his speech on Monday, perhaps you’ll see it in a different light once you read them.

There are no quick and easy solutions for the problem. It’s gone on for far too long and the administration, unfortunately, has done little about it even in the aftermath of 9-11. I think the admin is making a good faith effort at this point to try and come up with a solution that is good for this country, but the Prez not going to please everyone on every detail.

I’m with John Podhoretz at NRO on this one:

As for dealing with the illegals already here, there’s a sense in which this debate has been radicalized to such an extent that the Right won’t be satisfied with a policy that does not explicitly advocate expulsion — all other policies being dubbed “amnesty” and therefore illegitimate — while the Left refuses to consider any policy other than special-treatment affirmative-action line-jumping legalization. In other words, there is nothing our politicians can do, absolutely nothing, to satisfy the activists — because neither extreme will be reflected in any kind of law or policy that emerges even from a Washington energized to deal with them.

If a more sober reckoning of political reality does not intrude here, the Right will hurtle headlong toward schism, division, a third party and all sorts of other “pox on all your houses” actions. The cost of this is what I detail in the direst parts of my book Can She Be Stopped? — the easy transfer of power on Capitol Hill and the White House to the Democrats, and particularly to Hillary Clinton.

It’s doubtful the policies she will follow as president on immigration will please anyone on the Right. It’s certain that the policies she will follow on courts, on social issues, on foreign policy, on taxes, on regulation and on almost everything else you can think of will be deeply displeasing to people on the Right. And then, as a result of the pursuit of an impossible policy of purity on immigration, the country and the world will suffer the consequences.

The potential for self-destruction is terrifying. The potential for grave national harm is worse. Please, you guys, pull back from the edge.

He’s right. We’ve got a better chance of getting something done with a GOP Congress and president than we do with a Democratic congress and potential future liberal president. We can’t and should not destroy ourselves with the ‘all or nothing’ demands people have placed on the admin to resolve the issue. It’s not going to be resolved overnight and it’s certainly not going to be resolved with a Democratic Congress and president.

Just a little food for thought.

Sidenote: If you don’t already have Lorie Byrd’s blog bookmarked and/or blogrolled, please consider doing it now. She’s no longer guest blogging at Polipundit (nor are the other people who were guest blogging there). Here’s why:

The fact is that I believe this is the last time I will be blogging at Polipundit.

I received a lengthy email from Polipundit tonight alerting us to an editorial policy change that included the following: “From now on, every blogger at will either agree with me completely on the immigration issue, or not blog at” I would provide additional context, but Polipundit has asked that the contents of our emails not be disclosed publicly and I think that is a fair request. There has been plenty written in the posts over the past week alone to let readers figure out what happened. Polipundit ended a later email with this: “It’s over. The group-blogging experiment was nice while it lasted, but we have different priorities now. It’s time to go our own separate ways.”

I posted that for two reasons, and not to get in the middle of the dispute Polipundit’s guest bloggers are having with him. The two reasons are: 1) to notify people who are fans (of which I am one) of Lorie’s writing where she will be blogging now so they can update their bookmarks/blogrolls and 2) to show how deeply the issue of illegal immigation is dividing conservatives.

For more on the conservative blogosphere’s reaction to the President’s proposals on immigration, check out the followig blogs: Anchoress, All Things Beautiful, AJ Strata, Varifrank, Dafydd at Big Lizards

More: Tony Blankley writes about ‘The price of secure borders

Update I: A victory for conservatives and America – the Senate votes in favor of a border fence (hat tip: Stop The ACLU)

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