That noisy flutter above the rooftops is the sound of chickens coming home, trying to find a place on the crowded Democratic roost.
Chaos on the border grows noisier, with a backlash in unexpected places: The governor of Connecticut, a Democrat and a fully credentialed liberal, tells President Obama to keep his children’s crusade out of liberal, nice, compassionate Connecticut. The ambitious governor of Maryland tells the president, his great friend, that enough is enough, he agrees it’s sad what’s happening with the children, but the solution is not in his backyard.
Hundreds of rallies are scheduled across the nation this weekend. William Gheen, president of the Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, one of the 11 sponsoring organizations, says he expects more than 300 rallies of various sizes at state capitols, Mexican consulates, drop-off points for illegal immigrants, overpasses and highway intersections that lend themselves to public displays of indignation and outrage.
Even Hillary Clinton, chastened by the imploding liberal verities, is talking tough enough to sound a lot like a Tea Party Democrat. She says that “the children should be sent back as soon as it can be determined who responsible adults in their families are.” This is the infamous “clinton clause” that Bubba always made sure to attach to big talk, giving him a loophole to render meaningless whatever became inconvenient later.
Hillary is trying to sound firm and resolute, even if the record says she rarely acts either firm or resolute. “We have to send a clear message,” she told CNN not long ago. “‘Just because your child gets across the border, that doesn’t mean the child gets to stay.’ So we don’t want to send a message that is contrary to our laws or will encourage more children to make that dangerous journey.”
Some Democrats, like Nancy Pelosi, are foolishly doubling down on what got them in trouble with America in the first place. Mzz Pelosi says she would rather pass amnesty for the illegals than become the speaker of the House again, which is easy for her to say since she’s not likely to be the speaker again, anyway. Rep. John Lewis of Georgia offers his idea of an inspiring inscription he might add to the Statue of Liberty: “We are all connected … This is America. Our doors are open.” (Emma Lazarus was a better poet.)
Other Democrats, like the president, see the chaos on the border as an opportunity too good to waste. They prescribe not only amnesty, but spending $3.7 billion for a bigger bureaucracy to deal with the chaos. Two California congressmen think the solution demands more lawyers. One of them says “every” illegal-immigrant child — 57,000 have arrived since last October and an additional 150,000 are expected next year — should have a lawyer. This will guarantee full employment for lawyers. That’s not likely to win friends for the politicians.
And some Democrats are eager to deal with the chaos with denial. Rep. Steny H. Hoyer, the whip of the Democratic minority in the House, insists there’s “extensive border security” already, and Harry Reid, the leader of the Democratic majority in the Senate, says that “the border is secure.” Poor Harry’s grip on reality slips a little bit more every day.
Nobody has the perfect solution to the immigration bomb, or even a solution at all. The Europeans have a similar crisis, too. Everybody in the Southern Hemisphere wants to come to the Northern Hemisphere. Life in many places is nasty, brutish and short, and the gringos must fix it, because nobody else can. (Maybe colonialism wasn’t all bad.)
President Juan Hernandez of Honduras, the source of the grief on the border, says, “one has to recognize that our countries can’t do it alone.” His foreign minister, Mireya Aguero, wants the United States to forget about the border and just send money to Central America. “It’s much more practical for the United States to launch a mini-Marshall Plan, as they did after World War II,” he says, “to create opportunities and really get to the root of the problem in Central American countries that is fueling migration.”
This is the kind of solution the president and the Democrats yearn to embrace, to throw money and hope that some of it gets through the bureaucracy and reaches the problem. But the business at hand is the invasion that Mr. Obama, whether by design or by stunning incompetence, invited to ford the Rio Grande.
Mr. Obama wanted a legacy, and now he’s got one. It’s just now dawning on the Democratic politicians that they’re stuck with the check, and it’s a whopper.
Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times.