- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 27, 2006

Political pandering

The politicians have been fiddling long enough while Rome is burning.

Nancy Pelosi is screaming about the “culture of corruption,” while she runs around trying to protect a Democratic congressman who had a stash of cash from bribes in his freezer.

To everyone’s dismay, the Republicans are right there withher. It must be they have too much to hide as well.

The Senate has just passed amnesty legislation, which includes Social Security for illegals, and no real punishment for their employers (“Senate OKs citizenship for illegal aliens,” Page 1, Friday).

It is a hot potato that has been thrown to the house. Hopefully we have some patriots with backbone there who will stand up for the rights of the citizens.

Thank you for publishing, for all to see, the roll call of how each senator voted on this immigration legislation. We have the right to know who stood up for America, and who panders to Mexico.

DAWN ELLIS

Whittier, Calif.

It is very worrisome that 50 senators could defeat the Ensign amendment using a rationale so bizarre as to call their mental faculties into question (“Illegals granted Social Security,” Page 1, May 19). This is especially troubling when John McCain, a serious contender for the White House in 2008, would suggest paying Social Security taxes by illegals are a reason for them to retire at the expense of the American taxpayer.

Mr. McCain’s reasoning, if I can understand it, is that if an illegal alien uses a stolen identity or forged papers to establish his own identity, that something is not terribly wrong. He is telling the American people that wealth obtained through illegal means is perfectly fine. It would seem that Mr. McCain believes sincerely that illegals using forged or stolen documents (which is a felony in itself) is acceptable to him.

Given Mr. McCain’s thought process, all drug dealers or other criminals have to do is pay Social Security taxes to obtain amnesty and retire with their illegal gains. Imagine my surprise to find that I have been wasting my time all these years working hard and living by the rules only to find out that I could do better as a lawbreaker.

I am astonished that Mr. McCain actually used the word illegal in his presentation, since he obviously does not believe that fraud, identity theft, and the possession and use of forged government documents are not. This only goes to prove that wealthy senators, who risk nothing from their actions, have not the least concern for each American citizen. The House of Representatives should not compromise on this bill.

WILSON FARIS

Gaithersburg

While Thomas Sowell once again strikes directly into the heart of an issue with his explanation of why the proposed immigration reform bills before Congress are not what they purport to be (“Bordering on fraud,” Commentary, Thursday), he has not stated what is the simplest method of dealing with the immigration issue: enforcement of existing laws. This method doesn’t do much for politicians, who seem to think they are not accomplishing anything unless they pass a bill to get it sent to the president. This, of course, creates a situation where the politicians can tote out soapboxes and pontificate on their evil opponent’s position.

The reality is that this type of action does nothing. America’s political representatives have ignored the immigration laws that have been on the books for a long, long time, and so there has been no enforcement. No matter what is passed by Congress and signed or vetoed by the president, it all amounts to nothing more than political posturing unless it is actually enforced, and vigorously. Even then, it is unnecessary to pass new laws when the old laws are still in effect and enforceable.

Were our executive branch to actually direct, through executive orders, that the Citizenship and Immigration Services and Border Patrol actually perform their enforcement duties with the diligence their charters empower them with, while making sure they have the resources to do so, we could clean up this mess pretty quickly. The problem is that since Ronald Reagan last addressed this issue in 1986, both the Republicans and the Democrats have been looking at it as a pool containing potential voters who they are loath to anger.

What they are ignorant of is the vastly larger majority of voters who are already mad and ready to throw the whole lot out during the next primaries. I know I am.

I cannot believe that our nation’s political parties, especially the Republicans, have become so corrupt that our security would take a back seat to the parties’ voter pandering efforts.

NORMAN HENDRICKSON

Bowie

Good advice

Sometimes great truths come in small, unpretentious packages. This was dramatically the case in Shelley Widhalm’s interview with Shelby Steele (“The harm in ‘White Guilt’,” Culture, et cetera, Wednesday).

Asked for his ultimate advice on America’s race issue, Mr. Steele said simply: “Stop rewarding group identities. Have single standards for everyone. Reject all public policy that rewards group identity.” In short, forget race and treat everyone justly.

ERNEST W. LEFEVER

Chevy Chase

The amendment process

Bruce Fein’s objections to amending the U.S. Constitution in order to limit marriage to a man and a woman, (“Marriage amendment miscue,” Commentary, Tuesday), treat the amendment process as if it were no different from court usurpations of power, such as Roe v. Wade (the U.S. Supreme Court decision creating the right to abortion) and Goodridge v. Department of Health(in which Massachusetts Supreme Court created the right to same-sex marriage).

Mr. Fein doesn’t object to an amendment banning only courts from creating same-sex marriage. He argues that it violates norms for amendments if it also prohibits Congress and state legislatures from creating it because an amendment “precludes legislative bodies from recognizing same-sex unions irrespective of majority sentiments.” Fein also wants states to experiment before deciding if same-sex marriage is good or bad.

Judging by Mr. Fein’s analysis, you would think that constitutional amendments spring into being apart from support by majorities in legislative bodies. Amendments require passage by two-thirds of Congress and ratification by three-fourths of state legislatures. If that doesn’t constitute “majority sentiments,” what does? How would the amendment process be anything less than the “legislative struggle” Mr. Fein wants? Every vote would be preceded by full debate in Congress and each state legislature. Isn’t that “rule by the majority”?

If an amendment is ratified, it would mean that “public opinion [has] gradually translate• into legislative majorities [that have] determine• the fate of traditional marriage.” And wouldn’t that be “sufficient recognition” that the majority of We the People want marriage limited to a man and a woman? And if we do, why should we be precluded simply because we are the majority? If the minority can muster a majority to repeal it, as happened with the Prohibition Amendment, what’s to stop them? Finally, Mr. Fein is wrong about the California Therapeutic Abortion Act signed into law by then-Gov. Reagan in 1967. It is not “indistinguishable from the constitutional right later proclaimed in Roe v. Wade.” The act created a physicians’ committee to approve abortions in cases where there was a substantial risk that continuance of the pregnancy would gravely impair the physical or mental health of the woman, and in cases of rape and incest or when the woman was under 15 years of age. It required all abortions to be performed in accredited hospitals, and prohibited all abortions after 20 weeks gestation. Roe imposed no such limitations and permits abortion through all nine months of pregnancy.

JAN LARUE

Chief Counsel

Concerned Women for America

Washington


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