Comprehensive Immigration reform, and warning to Tea Party grassroots folks

Update September 27th:   Urrrgh!  Talk about timing!   Here is the Washington Post this morning with a piece suggesting that Dick Armey is the driving force behind the Tea Parties with Grover Norquist weighing in about how they need to be careful not to look like any one person is driving the movment.    This is what Norquist says:

Armey had a prominent speaking role at the Sept. 12 rally, but he said he much prefers “being in a smaller setting” talking about policy. He and his aides don’t want too much credit for organizing the event, either. “The press and the Obama guys — they keep looking for the guy who pushes the button behind the curtain,” said Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform. “This really is a bottom-up operation. Everybody at the national level has been very careful. Because we support local activism, we shouldn’t pretend we created it.”

This time I agree with Norquist—this is bottom-up grassroots.  I came into DC with 400 people from Western Maryland and only a tiny fraction would know who Armey and Norquist are!  “Armey’s army,” my foot!   In fact, this article is scary because it shows the mainstream media working hard to demonstrate that Armey, and to a lesser extent Norquist, are the leaders.  (This is Alinsky’s Rule 13 on display!*)  They aren’t the leaders and when the average Tea Partier learns that both are supporting Open Borders any pretension to leadership will vanish.

My warning to Tea Party folks below (yesterday) is more important than ever now!


I’ve been sitting on a post for a few days that I wasn’t sure how to mention.  It involves Grover Norquist (Americans for Tax Reform), Dick Armey(Freedom Works), Tea Parties and Obama’s sure-to-come push for amnesty for illegal aliens.  Now, giving me a reason and as a lead in, see this AP interview published yesterday with a leader of the Open Borders movement—Thomas Saenz.

WASHINGTON — The head of the nation’s leading Latino legal advocacy group said if comprehensive immigration legislation seems unlikely in 2010, Congress should make down payments by passing smaller-scale reforms.

In an interview with The Associated Press Friday, Thomas Saenz, president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), said he fully expects work on rewriting immigration law to begin in Congress next year.

But if Democratic leaders delay, because of elections and a hostile political climate for immigrants, Congress should take up the issue gradually and in smaller ways, Saenz said. Lawmakers could address the need for foreign agricultural workers, provide legal status to high school graduates brought to the country illegally as children, and create equity for same sex partners who want to come to the U.S. or get green cards.

Previously, immigration advocates have been reluctant to address immigration reform piecemeal to keep the various interest groups united on difficult issues, such as legalizing millions of people who are in the country illegally.

Saenz acknowledged that immigration reform is meeting fierce opposition. He also agreed that President Barack Obama may face a tougher road trying to tackle it than former President George W. Bush, whose conservative credentials made his stance on the issue more palatable to some. Obama is under pressure from Latinos to succeed, he said.

So, they expect immigration reform next year.  So, they are willing to try to get pieces in advance.  So, they didn’t do it in pieces before because they needed all the interest groups in a coalition; once one got what it wanted it would naturally go away thus diminishing the coalition.  And finally, so, they were helped in the past by the Open Borders friends of George Bush and aren’t sure they will have them this time. 

Enter Grover Norquist and Dick Armey who have insinuated themselves in the grassroots Tea Party Movement which I am betting is 90 percent against comprehensive immigration reform that would make citizenship available to millions who have entered the country illegally.

What follows is an old post from a website called 24Ahead which I had never heard of until a friend sent it the other day.   I don’t agree with most of what the blogger says (I hope he/she has rethought his criticism of Tea Partiers since last spring) because I’ve been involved with our local one from the beginning and know how spontaneously they sprang up and how independent they are.  And, until very recently most Tea Partiers didn’t even know about Norquist’s and Armey’s involvement—most still don’t!   My view is that long-time Washington, DC insiders, like Norquist and Armey, jumped on a grassroots bandwagon that was already moving. 

Here is what 24Ahead says with obvious disrespect for us Tea Party grassroots, but nonetheless he/she makes an important point about a too close alignment between the Tea Party Movement and Bush Open Borders advocates Norquist and Armey.

Dick Armey of Freedom Works, Grover Norquist, and the Kochtopus are all involved in the tea parties in one way or another. And, all of them support massive immigration and would probably support new amnesty plans. (For past support, see Norquist and Armey links at 24Ahead).

How exactly would that work out? Would those tea party backers try to convince the tea party base – which presumably is strongly opposed to amnesty – to give in? Would they play fun games, such as by trying to fool the obviously gullible supporters of the tea parties into supporting amnesty in some way? Would they try to keep their support for amnesty hidden from the useful idiots at the tea parties? Or, would they melt down and decide to go their own way? Would the tea partiers end up feeling the same way about the leaders behind the parties as they do of the leaders of the GOP?

That should be interesting to watch at least. And, it will also serve as a good learning experience for those who trust those who’ve promoted the parties.

I didn’t know about Dick Armey’s open borders position until I read this, but Norquist first came to our attention when he was promoting a bill two years ago to increase the number of Iraqis that would be admitted to the US.  I was frankly stunned that a so-called conservative concerned with taxes no less should be for increasing the American tax burden with more needy immigrants.  And, here he is recently attending a Washington DC insiders strategy meeting on how to legalize millions of illegals.

Note to the Tea Party Movement: You are a powerful grassroots force now and there will be people looking to bring you to their side on myriad issues. Maintain your independence from the Beltway insiders on both sides of the aisle and scrutinize very carefully the alliances you forge.

* The Obama Adminstration and obviously the mainstream media, like the WaPo, are masters of Saul Alinsky’s Rule 13.   Here is a post I wrote about Obama unsuccessfully attempting to employ Rule 13 against Rush Limbaugh back in January.   In the bible for community organizing, “Rules for Radicals,” Alinsky says to: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”  If they can make Armey the leader of the Tea Party movement, it is only one tiny step to discrediting the whole movement as they discredit Armey himself.

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