A Flea in the Fur of the Beast

“Death, fire, and burglary make all men equals.” —Dickens

We Don’t Need More Border Security Because We Don’t Have An Illegal Immigration Problem

by evanmcmurry

Suzy Khimm points out the bloody obvious: we actually have drastically increased border security in the last decade, especially under Obama. Combine this with the fact that illegal immigration has slowed to a complete halt—a decrease related to said increased security, but in no way explained by it—and the border security part of immigration reform announced this morning is pretty much all noise. The illegal immigration “crisis” has nothing to do with actual border crossing, and everything to do with caring for and assimilating the people who are already here.

Republicans To Stop Beating Themselves In Head With Immigration Stick

by evanmcmurry

Jennifer Rubin’s column on immigration reform was the most reasonable set of sequential words she’s ever written, and while that may be one of the lowest bars in contemporary journalism history, neither does this blog hand out compliments to Jennifer Rubin very often, so take note.

Still, enough of this, please:

As for the White House and Democrats, they will have to give up the prospect of using immigration as a club.

As a club? Republicans sabotaged their own immigration reform during Bush’s term, passed SB 1070 with blood in their mouths, heckled Rick Perry* for his comparatively moderate immigration stance, and forced that guy who ran on the 2012 GOP ticket—Mutt Rommins?—to tack so far to the right that he ceded states like Nevada he had no business losing. Republicans bought the rope, tied the noose, and hung themselves. Democrats merely pointed out that they were doing so.

* It is always acceptable to heckle Rick Perry.

Is Paul Clement Secretly A Dumb-Dumb?

by evanmcmurry

We’re all having a great time (and rightfully so!) over the new DOMA briefs from the anti-gay marriage groups arguing…something pertaining to marriage, unintended procreation, and the state’s interest in enforcing shotgun marriages (see Gin and Tacos and Wonkette for funnies).

But lost in all this: it’s Paul Clement making these arguments.* Clement is one of the most renowned constitutional litigators out there!

Or at least he’s supposed to be. Clement had a moment last spring when he seemed to knock both the Obamacare and SB 1070 arguments out of the park for the conservatives. Especially after Donald Verrilli whiffed both oral arguments (I still want to bring Verrilli a glass of water), Clement arose as the superior rhetorician, single-handedly plucking Obamacare from constitutional inevitability and Arizona’s immigration law from certain defeat, mounting a successful last stand against Obama’s overreach not via vitriol but calm, cool logic. He was crowned King Orator before the decisions were even handed down.

But then those decisions were handed down, and the rest is history. The world was so consumed by the drama of the Court’s rulings—Roberts is a librul! Obama bullied SCOTUS!—nobody bothered to revise the judgment of Clement’s abilities; he snuck out the back with his provisional crown still on.

That Clement is slinging some embarrassing slop in the DOMA case is probably just a sign that no good arguments against gay marriage remain. (As djw points out, one of the unintended benefits of deciding these matters in the court is making bigots actually construct logical arguments to support their prejudices, with the predictably absurd consequences you see before you.) But at some point, we need to start wondering whether Clement actually is the inestimable constitutional warrior we’ve made him out to be.

* And we’re paying him to do it!