Back in college, I burned a lot hotter on a variety of political issues. I would argue with about anyone, and often did. The dinner table was almost always the venue for some political fight. During those arguments, I quickly discovered something -- people nominally on my side of the argument were sometimes my biggest problem. I remember any number of times telling some person to shut up and let me argue the point. People email me all the time asking me to ban some idiot commenter trolling in opposition to all my posts. I tell them I am much more likely to ban an idiot commenter nominally supporting my point than the other way around.
Which brings me to Eric Holder:
"I've just expressed concerns on the basis of what I've heard about the law. But I'm not in a position to say at this point, not having read the law, not having had the chance to interact with people are doing the review, exactly what my position is," Mr. Holder told the House Judiciary Committee.
This weekend Mr. Holder told NBC's "Meet the Press" program that the Arizona law "has the possibility of leading to racial profiling." He had earlier called the law's passage "unfortunate," and questioned whether the law was unconstitutional because it tried to assume powers that may be reserved for the federal government.
Rep. Ted Poe, who had questioned Mr. Holder about the law, wondered how he could have those opinions if he hadn't yet read the legislation.
"It's hard for me to understand how you would have concerns about something being unconstitutional if you haven't even read the law," the Texas Republican told the attorney general.
I have never been totally comfortable with the Democratic support of immigration anyway. The party, particularly under this administration, seems to take the position that the government can be as authoritarian as it likes, as long as it does not discriminate racially in doing so. This post hypothesizes that the Democrats' support for immigration is political rather than principled, a desire to create the next new underclass that can be exploited for political points, and I can't really disagree based on past history.
Readers know I support open immigration. I see immigration restrictions as government licensing of who can and can't work (and who can and can't be hired) -- an intrusion Conservatives would likely reject in any other context. Since I am opposed to immigration limits, I am opposed to giving government extra powers in the name of enforcement, in the same way I oppose, say, asset seizure laws originally aimed at enforcement of drug prohibition.
I acknowledged that the law is less onerous in its amended form (because, you see, I actually read the whole thing, here and here for example), but what the law's supporters fail to deal with in claiming the letter of the law will not be enforced in a racist manner is how even existing law is being enforced here in Phoenix by Joe Arpaio in a racist manner. When Joe goes into a business, and handcuffs all the people with brown skin, releasing them only when a relative or friend races to the police station with a birth certificate, it is an ugly, un-American scene (here or here or here). I would take supporters of the bill more at their word as to how the law will actually be used in practice if they were not the same people actively cheer-leading Joe Arpaio at every turn.