One Ate Seven

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He's tanned, rested, and ready: Pete Wilson in '08! David Broder checks in on the man whose anti-immigration proposition slaughtered the California Republican Party so completely that "187" became a police code for murder:

The old Marine, as unyielding now at 72 as he was during his eight years as governor, may not be the spokesman the embattled House Republicans would choose for their fight with the White House and the Senate over the immigration reform bill now headed for conference committee. Wilson is blamed by many Republicans, including those around President Bush, for so alienating the growing Hispanic vote in California that the state's hoard of electoral votes has moved permanently into the Democratic column.

But Wilson, a former senator, rejected that charge at a Hudson Institute talk in Washington. And, despite being a Bush appointee (to the Defense Policy Board, a Pentagon advisory panel), he called on his former colleagues to resist White House pressure on the House and Senate to pass a compromise bill that preserves elements of the president's more generous approach and that includes a path to citizenship for the millions of illegal immigrants already here. He said the only reason the Senate voted for a more generous bill was that many senators had been "intimidated."

Wilson said House Republicans are right in insisting that the Mexican border be closed before any thought is given to a guest worker program or anything resembling amnesty. That was also the message the winner of last week's House special election in the San Diego area, Republican Brian Bilbray, said voters were sending when they chose him.

Build a wall the entire 2,000-mile length of the border, and do it first, Wilson said, or else "you'll have 20 million, 35 million, 50 million" illegal immigrants in the country.

I don't know that Pete Wilson is important enough to be considered a colossal failure; he's always reminded me of Charles Palantine, the cypher Presidential candidate in Taxi Driver. But from a pro-immigration point of view, I'd be interested in seeing somebody revisit Proposition 187, the ballot initiative that denied social services, health care and public schooling to illegal immigrants. The idea that illegals are a crushing drain on social services is largely fiction, but it's a powerful fiction: A new version of 187, written so that it has a better chance of withstanding a legal challenge, would at least get that argument off the table. (Real reform, of course, won't come until we pass Prop 188, denying social services to everybody.)

NEXT: LSD: Let the State Disintegrate

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  1. FindLaw : FindLaw California : Codes and Statutes : California Code : Penal Code

    * California Codes
    o California Penal Code
    + PENAL CODE SECTION 187-199

    187. (a) Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being, or a
    fetus, with malice aforethought.

  2. That’s funny. I thought 187 was code for homicide. Murder is the charge as decided by the prosecuter, no?

  3. One Ate Seven

    And you don’t stop!

  4. Well, Sage, regardless of that, murder was the case that they gave me. And, let us not forget, it was also 1-8-7 on a motherfucking cop.

  5. Tim,

    That’s great and all, but if you take away that argument, they’ll just latch harder onto ye olde “theytukurjrrrbbbssss!!!”

  6. Evan: They are simulateously takin’ rrrrr jaaaoooorrrrbbbbss and leeching off of welfare, duh!

  7. hehe, totally off-topic, but I’m listening to Morning Edition, and this is the 2nd day in a row the news-in-brief headlines have included a rather serious, grave reading of a story about a couple of Siamese twins being separated.

    It’s funny, because Maddox, in his new book, notes how our society still is enamored by siamese twins…that we haven’t moved past that early-1900’s carnival freakshow fascination. Idiotic. This is “news”? Ah, I so love Sploid…

  8. Timothy,

    was that a “southpark angry mob” or a “coach Z”? Sounded more like coach Z to me.

  9. Evan, how is Maddox’s new book? I read a little of it at B&N last weekend but not enough to tell, one way or the other.

  10. Pro,

    My face was permanently rocked by it.

    Sometimes he dwells on shit that isn’t very amusing (at least to me), but on the whole, it’s a big fat pile of hatred-filled, juvenile fun!

  11. Maddox’s site is really funny, and fairly consistently so. For some reason, I kind of expected the book to be a little less good, especially given the topic. I do have to say that when I first ran across The Best Page in the Universe, I ended up reading every danged page on the site. Laughing my fool head off the whole time. Of course, that was back when he posted more than once a quarter. He’s definitely not for the easily offended, though–that’s for sure.

  12. Rabble! Rabble! Rabble!

  13. Evan,

    They said it was for the black man, and for the Mexi-can, and not for the white man; but if you look at the street, it wasn’t about Rodney King…

  14. Libertate,

    Same here. Every stinkin’ page. TIME. SUCK.

    I think the book is largely a success, because, due to the structure of the book (one “manly” word for each letter of the alphabet), he is forced to change subjects completely every so often. 25 times, to be exact. So it keeps the book spry.

  15. Excellent, Tim.

    You get the game ball for: “I don’t know that Pete Wilson is important enough to be considered a colossal failure”

    Here’s a thought:
    “Real reform, of course, won’t come until we pass Prop 188, denying social services to everybody”

    Does this get passed before or after the execution of order 66?

  16. Real reform, of course, won’t come until we pass Prop 188, denying social services to everybody.

    And Amen to that

  17. What I never understood about California propositions is the numbering system. How is it that 187 was passed in 1994, but when I voted in 2004 the numbers were in the 50’s? Do they recycle the numbers? If so then why?

  18. Thoreau: it’s their commitment to environmentalism. Recycling, you know.

    Last year’s shit is next year’s initiative!

    🙂

  19. “The idea that illegals are a crushing drain on social services is largely fiction, but it’s a powerful fiction.”
    BULL SHIT.

    Last September I had to go to the emergency room at Kaiser Permeante. I went there because it is my HMO.
    The doctor told me at 6:00pm Monday that she wanted me to stay overnight for observation.
    I got the room at 8:50 pm TUESDAY NIGHT.
    26 HOURS AND 50 MINUTES LATER. This is my HMO too.
    I asked the nurse why.
    “When you close 7 or 8 emergency rooms, things backup.”

    Get your head out of your ass Cavanaugh.

  20. Terry, I think your problem lies more with Kaiser than I.I.’s.

  21. Another popular fiction is that 187 was overturned in the courts. Neee, not quite.

    A California court declared it unconstitutional, with the case working its way up the appeals ladder when the Davis administration came to power — when they promptly dropped it like it was hot.

  22. Terry, wtf does your tale of woe have to do with immigration?

    Other than as a pure case of scapegoating, I mean…

  23. Broder’s article is one small step up from a hit piece and doesn’t offer a real analysis of 187. Needless to say, all Cavanaugh can chime in with is cutesy snark.

    For those who want the truth about 187:

    http://immref.com/spin/proposition-187-prop-200/

    The proposition was passed by a large majority of Californians and, up until two months before the vote it was supported by a majority of Hispanics.

    And, after it was blocked, LA’s current mayor congratulated Mexican presidentZedillo on helping to block it. They even started the ChicanoPower hand clap on the floor of the CaliforniaAssembly.

    Many more links here:

    americanpatrol.com/REFERENCE/187-Links.html

    More myth busting here:

    isteve.blogspot.com/2006/03/prop-187-destroyed-california-gop-myth.html

  24. “up until two months before the vote it was supported by a majority of Hispanics.”

    This remark deserves its own wing in the Metropolitian Museum of Meaningless Statistics.

    “And, after it was blocked, LA’s current mayor congratulated Mexican presidentZedillo on helping to block it.”

    Aaaaaaaaa!!!!!

    “They even started the ChicanoPower hand clap on the floor of the CaliforniaAssembly.”

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Save me from the scary Mexicans.

  25. “The proposition was passed by a large majority of Californians and, up until two months before the vote it was supported by a majority of Hispanics.”

    John Kerry also voted for the war funding bill before he voted against it.

  26. Clean Hands posted, “Terry, wtf does your tale of woe have to do with immigration?”

    Its illegal immigration, so wtf do you know how to read.

    Poco posted “Terry, I think your problem lies more with Kaiser than I.I.’s.”

    No, it doesn’t. BTW POCO, are you an illegal alien, i.e. criminal?
    At least you acknowledge that illegal aliens are part of the problem, unlike Clean hands,(wiped clean brian).

  27. Terry, WTF are you talking about?

    What does closing emergency rooms have to do with any kind of immigration?

  28. The suggestion that Prop. 187 was popular up until it passed completely misses the point.

    Few would admit to having voted for it once it passed. It remains an embarrassment to the Republican Party. That pit the GOP dug for itself was so steep, they even got Gray Davis elected! Gray Davis, who mixed all the cuddliness of a Dick Cheney with all the photogenic qualities of a hairy, flabby ass.

    …The only Governor the Republicans could get elected post-187 was an immigrant!

  29. Prop 187 did not kill Republicans in California. Why is this myth not dead yet? Here are the facts.
    In 1994, Pete Wilson was actually behind in the polls to Kathleen Brown. It wasn?t until he endorsed 187 that his numbers started coming up and he eventually won. So without 187, the Democratic take over of California would?ve happen even sooner.
    In 1998, the immigration issue didn?t really come up, but another racially charged hot button issue did, bi-lingual education. The eventually successful Prop 227 ended it. Republican nominee for Governor Dan Lundgren opposed 227. But despite agreeing with Latino activists did try to paint 227 as anti-Hispanic, Lundgren still lost the race to Gray Davis.
    In 2002, Gray Davis, now running for re-election, actually vetoed a bill granting driver?s licenses to illegal immigration while Bill Simon stayed quiet on the issue. Gray Davis was easily re-elected.
    Now I?m not saying Lundgren or Simon would?ve assured victory if they had only taken a hard stance against illegal immigration, but the burden is not on me to show that. It?s on the other side to show that being seen as ?anti-Hispanic? is what cost the GOP the governorship in California. And that burden clearly isn?t met.
    The 2003 recall should?ve put the last nail in the coffin of the 187 myth. Gray Davis, facing the recall, flip flopped his previous position, and threw a political Hail Mary by granting Driver?s Licenses to Illegal immigrants. This no doubt led to a successful recall, in favor of a candidate who publicly opposed the driver?s license bill.
    So all this goes to show, that despite being left of center on many social issues, California is still very much against illegal immigration. Which in my opinion means it?s the one issue that California Republicans should NOT run away from.

  30. Alan,

    Dan Lundgren? No, I’m sorry, that’s too danged funny. Of course, it was really Dolph Lundgren. What’s up with California and its newfound love of Nordic politicians? Some sort of proto-Nazi thing going on? A return to the Aryan roots?

    What I love about Dolph Lundgren is the assumption 99% of Americans make that he is some sort of idiot, because he has an accent and isn’t a great actor. He has a masters degree in chemical engineering and is a Fulbright scholar. Sure beats my achievements, and I never took time out to be Grace Jones’ bodyguard, either, which I’m sure made unusual demands on his time and stamina.

  31. The preamble of the Constitution of The United States says What?

    NOT we the President
    NOT we the Senate
    NOT we the Congress
    NOT we the Illegal Alien

    I think We the people are sick and tired of the complaints from We the Mexican Illegal Aliens as they use fake ID’s, Stolen ID’s, American Citizens tax dollars for their own growth. They are thiefs! They get their Schooling free, free food using Food Stamps for the American Tax dollars, Get free Medical Care that cost American Citizens because they have to make up for what these people can’t and don’t pay.
    Where do they get the right to use American paid rights and they are ILLEGAL!
    We the people are tired of paying and giving to these people coming here illegally, stealing our Identifications and Stealing from our Tax base then having the nerve to protest!!!!!
    SEMD THEM HOME AND MAKE THEM COME BACK THE RIGHT WAY.

  32. The preamble of the Constitution of The United States says What?

    NOT we the President
    NOT we the Senate
    NOT we the Congress
    NOT we the Illegal Alien

    I think We the people are sick and tired of the complaints from We the Mexican Illegal Aliens as they use fake ID’s, Stolen ID’s, American Citizens tax dollars for their own growth. They are thiefs! They get their Schooling free, free food using Food Stamps for the American Tax dollars, Get free Medical Care that cost American Citizens because they have to make up for what these people can’t and don’t pay.
    Where do they get the right to use American paid rights and they are ILLEGAL!
    We the people are tired of paying and giving to these people coming here illegally, stealing our Identifications and Stealing from our Tax base then having the nerve to protest!!!!!
    SEMD THEM HOME AND MAKE THEM COME BACK THE RIGHT WAY.

  33. Alan, the myth isn’t dead because it’s been said so many times for so long. It’s like Abner Doubleday being considered the inventor of baseball.

  34. Isaac Bartram posted, “What does closing emergency rooms have to do with any kind of immigration?”

    Okay, you see illegal immigrants(aliens) go there to get free medical service because Federal law says all people who go to emergency rooms must be treated regardless of the ability to pay.
    This has caused hospitals to close their emergency rooms because it cost too much money to keep them open.
    UNDERSTAND?
    No, you don’t because you are a shithead.

  35. Terry,

    No, you don’t because you are a shithead.

    Easy. There are people here who are, but Isaac might not be one of them.

    And btw, I live in AZ and I know you’re right (see my post to follow).

    Some around here are willful idiots. Others, I think, just don’t know better. Yet.

    But some of us intend to keep trying.

  36. Wherefore borders? Should we allow any individual into the country? What should the guidelines be and why? Can we complain about the illegal immigrants after the perfect guidelines are in place?

    Wherefore citizenship? Should we confer any special status on someone just because they were born or naturalized here? If someone is here and paying taxes, shouldn’t they get an equal say in our governance?

    And in the end, next time you are stuck on the 405 at 5:30pm look at the cars around you.

    Then imagine what the freeway would look like if there had been a wall from the Atlantic to the Pacific 50 years ago.

    Sweet.

    In the meantime, take the canyon roads.

  37. No, you don’t because you are a shithead.

    Oh, I am so humbled by your obvious intellectual superiority.

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