Did you hear about the last-minute amendment the Senate slipped into its mammoth immigration "reform" bill? The Senate voted something like 99 to Jeff Sessions to relocate the Statue of Liberty to the U.S.-Mexican border. And why not? If you won't fence 'em, join 'em -- or, rather, let 'em join you. Isn't that what Bugs Bunny always said, or is that Bill Frist? I get them confused.
Not that it's fair to single out the Senate Majority Leader as the only joke who can't get a grip on the dangerous chaos of U.S. immigration. There's every other American politician, up to and including George W. Bush, who supports the contents of the Dissolve America Now bill -- oops, I mean the Senate's "comprehensive" immigration reform legislation.
The bill's crazy provisions for allowing 66 million new legal immigrants into the United States by 2026 aside (twice the population of Canada), the Senate bill grants citizenship rights to 10 to 20 million mainly Mexican illegal aliens who have sneaked into the country since the last U.S. amnesty for illegal aliens in 1986. It also waives any penalties for employers who have been illegally employing them. Such provisions only create conditions for ever greater, ever denser waves of new illegal immigration. Which isn't exactly what a rational being would call fixing the problem. And don't even ask about the multi-billion-dollar price tag on ballooning social services; the Senate hasn't.
What we're left with is not a nation, but a honey trap. If a body can just make it across the border, the U.S. Senate guarantees amnesty will always be the light at the end of the tunnel. And who knows? Maybe next time around, such as in 2026, the amnesty bill will be written in Spanish. After all, with 10 percent of Mexico already here, what's to stop 20 or 40 or 60 percent of Mexico from following? Not a law. Not a fence. Certainly not a border. Who needs a border, anyway? This, I'm afraid, is the rhetorical question driving too many of our public servants to abdicate their duty.
But why? Why does the American political establishment -- with few genuinely patriotic exceptions -- want to destabilize the American nation? If this were a Democratic era -- a Kerry presidency, a Reid Senate, a Pelosi House -- I would understand. I wouldn't like it any better, but the eradication of U.S. borders and, ultimately, the nation's core European identity is the sort of policy that follows from the West-corroding multiculturalism once uniquely associated with the Left.
But this is a rock-ribbed Republican moment. Plus, it's a time of war. Sad to say, it's also time for a national shrink, someone to answer the question: Why are we killing ourselves?
The first patient, of course, would be the president himself. The Wall Street Journal's Peggy Noonan has pegged the president's obvious disinterest in securing the border either to a crass effort to placate the Hispanic vote, or to "being lost in some geopolitical-globalist abstract-athon" that disconnects the administration from "the low concerns of normal Americans."
This bubble comes to mind on reading reader e-mail from Arizona, for instance, about home invasions and other illegal alien crime the president seems callous to, even as he seems to view immigration law enforcement as gratuitously brutish -- or, as the Center for Immigration Studies' Mark Krikorian puts it, as "uncompassionate and un-Christian." This is particularly the case, Krikorian writes at National Review Online, when it comes to Mexico, which he believes Bush regards as a "cousin" nation like Britain or Israel.
Familial feelings for seemingly corrupt and non-cooperative Mexico may seem puzzling until one reads Newsweek's contribution to the couch session -- a story highlighting Bush's affection for the Mexican-born women who have always tended him and his family. OK: So Bush regards housekeeper Paula Rendon as his "second mother." That's nice. But does that mean the rest of us have to regard 100 million Mexicans as fellow citizens?
Of course, the end of America as a national idea is being promulgated by forces greater than any one man. From the anti-American Left to bottom-line Big Business, from global elites to media elites, there is less and less any notion of a nation.
Such amnesia may be fine for them. But then there's the rest of us. Is America something we can just forget?