Bush’s Immigration Shuck & Jive

Heh. The President is going to give a major primetime address on Monday to try to convince the public that, four and a half years after 9/11, he finally cares about illegal immigration. It’s sorta quaint how the White House still thinks the public likes Bush enough to sit through one of his speeches and respects him enough to believe what he’s saying. It’s been a long, long time since he was a speech away from reversing his political fortunes. Too little, too late, Junior.

The big idea that’s apparently important enough to interrupt 24 to tell us about is a plan to deploy whatever National Guard troops the President can scrape together to help secure the border. This might be a good idea if illegal immigration was a sudden crisis, but the immigration “problem” has been brewing for more than thirty years. It’s not like the President can just pretend this snuck up on him. Besides, we already have an agency that patrols the border….they’re the border patrol. If you’re responding to a semi-permanent security situation on the border, you should devote more resources to that agency, not misuse the National Guard again.

Regardless of the merits of the Presidents proposals or their popularity with the public, as someone who’s firmly opposed to this latest bit of pandering, I see very little to worry about. After all, if we learned anything during Hurricane Katrina, it’s that the President’s promises to deploy National Guardsmen are worthless. Just like his pre-hurricane assurances to Louisiana state and local officials, George Bush just wants to give everyone the impression that he’s on top of things, but he doesn’t want to bother with paying attention to a crisis or taking any responsibility whatsoever. The only “crisis” the President is concerned about is the likelihood of Republicans losing the House. So on Monday night, he might give a cute little speech, but we all know it’s not going to mean a damn thing.