- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Maryland lawmakers are forever trying to resolve the vexing issue of illegal aliens seeking driver’s licenses, which would be almost funny if their moral flaccidity did not show how vulnerable we are to another terrorist strike.

The obtuse thought process is hardly limited to Maryland’s windbags. Nothing provokes doublespeak or total capitulation in a politician like the seemingly clear-cut issue of illegal aliens. They are here illegally, so send them back, right? That old-school thinking apparently has no place in these enlightened times of feeling pain and emoting on Oprah’s couch. We are obligated to embrace the desperate plight of illegal aliens and be a good civic friend, no matter how counterproductive this proposition is to our long-term health.

There are destined to be a whole lot of questions and inquiries and finger-pointing anew after Osama bin Laden and his gang of head-removing vermin hit us again. All too many national security experts say the question of another terrorist strike is not if but when.

All the running for political cover will be so much show, because we already know of the virtual open-door policy along the U.S.-Mexico border. We already know that anyone can slip into the U.S. under the cover of darkness, and not everyone who does so is necessarily coming here to wait tables at a neighborhood restaurant.

This is not complex stuff. A good defense in the war on terror does not begin with a porous border. You probably would not be too happy if your favorite hockey or soccer team competed without a goalie in the net.

The political wrangling regarding illegal aliens in Maryland and elsewhere is symptomatic of a nation that no longer respects its sovereignty and no longer expects to be taken seriously.

Incredible as it is, all too many of our lawmakers have taken to coddling those whose first act in this land is an illegal one.

We are supposed to be a nation of laws. We are not supposed to be selective in enforcing those laws. If so, there are any number of tax-paying Americans who would love to receive a free pass from the federal government this tax season.

But there is no chance of that happening. It is against the law not to file a tax return with state and federal authorities. And our lawmakers would not respond favorably to anyone who decided not to file a tax return in protest. Taxes, after all, are the sustenance of political life.

Yet someone who blows off a tax bill is no threat to our civic well-being, unlike the illegal aliens who may mean us harm.

It is mind-boggling, is what it is, and this city, in particular, should be outraged by the lack of political coherence in its midst. We live, work and play in a city of monuments and symbols that qualify as targets to the virgin-seeking terrorists.

So much political energy has been spent on what amounts to an elementary issue. Various locales in Northern Virginia have grappled with the problem of day laborers spending their days loitering on the properties of viable businesses.

And now Maryland’s lawmakers are seeking a measure that would allow its estimated 100,000 illegal aliens to drive legally. Their endeavor is hopelessly out of touch and an insult to U.S. citizens and those immigrants who came here legally.

It is hard to imagine why any foreigner would attempt to follow the immigration laws of the U.S. We are only kidding about those particular laws. We have neither the resolve nor the clarity to protect our basic interests.

Instead, our lawmakers aid and abet the lawbreakers.

In a way, they are no different from the coyotes leading a party of illegal aliens into the U.S. Both act as facilitators to the unlawful act.

This abdication is no trivial matter, in case anyone has forgotten the horror of September 11, 2001.

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