Palin on immigration

(Is Palin a “complete airhead” on immigration? See a reader’s comment and my reply.)

Paul K. writes:

Sarah Palin appeared for a full hour on Glenn Beck’s show tonight. With the Statue of Liberty visible through the window of the downtown restaurant where they were meeting, Beck askeds her about illegal immigration, but for some reason she instead referred to legal immigration.

The following is transcribed exactly from the video:


Let me address legal immigration. We need to continue to be so welcoming and inviting of those who are represented there by our Statue of Liberty. The immigrants, of course, built this country, and I think Republicans, conservatives, are at fault when we allow the other side to capture this immigration issue and try to turn this issue into something negative for Republicans. I think we need to recognize that, again, immigrants built this great country. There are rules to follow if you want to be part of this great country—let’s be sure people are following those rules—but let’s welcome this.

Glenn then talked about his own belief in making it easier for people to come here legally, make the door wider, streamline the system.

Palin answered:

Every part of bureaucracy needs to be streamlined, absolutely. People do need to come in the right way. They cannot take advantage of what this country has to offer, the opportunities, the health that is here [sic]. They need to do this legally.

Palin struggles to express herself coherently, even with a friendly host. She uses words oddly; for example, while talking about the Statue of Liberty, she said, “The French gifted it to us.” She then mentioned that before the show she asked her son Track to Google some facts about the Statue of Liberty and he told her that was timely as he had just gotten it tattooed on his arm. She responded with something like, “Wow, way to let your mom know, Track.”

I hope, with sufficient exposure, her fans will come to understand that she is not presidential timber.

- end of initial entry -

LA writes:

I’ve watched about 15 minutes of the interview so far and it’s rambling and depressing. For one thing, though it’s supposed to be an interview of Palin, Beck doesn’t doesn’t stop talking, and most of what he says is deeply uninteresting, and Palin doesn’t say much that’s interesting either.

They express a simple kind of religiosity and patriotism, which is infinitely better than what we hear from the left. But it’s the same kind of simple religiosity and patriotism that led millions of conservatives to support George W. Bush with his global democratism and open immigration that is changing America into a different country.

I’m reminded of Noemie Emery’s comment:

Obama is president, but he isn’t a good one, and he has long ceased to dazzle. He and the educated classes rose (briefly) together, and his failures and fall are their own.

If Emery is right, then the next wave in America will be represented by the opposite of Emery’s “educated classes”—that is, by Beck and Palin.

A. Zarkov writes:

What more proof do we need that Palin is a complete airhead? She’s essentially a windup doll that spews out platitudes when you push the “talk” button. No depth, no analysis, no strategic vision for the Republican party and for America. She and other conservatives don’t seem to get the concept that most everything has some kind of optimum level. At some point even legal immigration is too much and I think we have passed that point. Would she like to see 600 million people in the U.S. or a billion? What’s the limit? Why does no one ask her this question?

LA replies:

Yes, but most “conservatives,” including many respected opinion makers, address this issue exactly as Palin does. “I’m against illegal immigration. I have no problem with legal immigration. Immigration is what built America, we should have generous policy toward legal immigrants, while enforcing the law.” All these people implicitly endorse infinite legal immigration. They don’t deal with numbers. They don’t place any conceptual limit on the generosity they praise. It doesn’t occur to them that a limit is needed. They don’t go beyond the slogans.

The fact, is, Palin is no more an airhead on this issue than most conservatives.

A. Zarkov replies:

The conservatives who write for Vdare understand the numerical limits to legal immigration, and of course so do the writers for NumbersUSA. But I agree with you, Palin has plenty of company among the mainstream conservatives who are in the public eye—does that make her less of an airhead? The Republicans and conservatives have a lot to learn about immigration, and we have to teach them.

Paul K. writes:

I have to give Beck more credit than Hannity or O’Reilly. He understands that the Republicans as well as the Democrats are infected with progressivism. Unfortunately, none of these commentators can risk speaking about the real sources of our problems, as you do.

I hate to sound like a liberal, but I am annoyed by Palin. Her fractured syntax reminds me too much of George Bush and she often has a sort of cross-eyed look that makes me cringe. If she runs in 2012 as the Republican candidate or possibly a third-party nominee, she could hand the election to Obama.

LA continues reply to A. Zarkov:

Here is U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown of Massachusetts on immigration, at his campaign website:

I recognize that our strength as a nation is built on the immigrant experience in America. I welcome legal immigration to this country. However, we are also a nation of laws and government should not adopt policies that encourage illegal immigration. Providing driver’s licenses and in-state tuition to illegal immigrant families will act as a magnet in drawing more people here in violation of the law and it will impose new costs on taxpayers. I oppose amnesty, and I believe we ought to strengthen our border enforcement and institute an employment verification system with penalties for companies that hire illegal immigrants.

So, he “welcomes legal immigration to this country.” Legal immigration is good, period. No qualifications, no limits. How is his position different from Palin’s? How is his position—and that of millions of other conservatives—less airheaded than that of Palin, whom you describe as a “complete airhead”?

Mick writes:

Sara continues to disappoint. Cheerleader spirit, shallow patriotism, and ignorance is not a presidential recipe.

Posted January 15

A. Zarkov replies to LA:

Mr. Auster asks,

How is his [Scott Brown] position—and that of millions of other conservatives—less airheaded than that of Palin, whom you describe as a ‘complete airhead’?

In a Univision interview on October 26, 2008, Palin was asked, “So you support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants?” she answered, “I do because I understand why people would want to be in America. To seek the safety and prosperity, the opportunities, the health that is here. It is so important that yes, people follow the rules so that people can be treated equally and fairly in this country.” She said this right after saying she opposes amnesty. She seems to think a “path to citizenship” is substantially from amnesty. That’s pretty “airheaded” in my opinion and goes further than most conservatives. Moreover the last part of her answer is incoherent.

On October 22, 2006, Palin was asked, “The state [Alaska] has seen big growth of minority and immigrant populations, specifically Latinos & Southeast Asians. What sort of outreach has your campaign done?” She answered, “I have reached out to all these communities and asked them to identify their needs. Their response has been for more vocational training, senior assistance, ending gang violence, and more state outreach and communication with their communities. One of the key components of my internal campaign is a diversity task force. I turn to them often.” (See Anchorage Daily News: 2006 gubernatorial candidate profile Oct 22, 2006) How does Palin even differ from the liberals? This is the kind of answer we would get from Scott Brown’s opponent Martha Coakley. This answer puts her out of the conservative mainstream.

Alaska has 31 sanctuary cities including Anchorage and Fairbanks. As governor Palin did nothing to change this. Most conservatives oppose sanctuary cities policies. Evidently Palin is indifferent to this problem. Again we find Palin more “airheaded” than most conservatives.

For more details go here.

LA replies:

Come on, we all know about her horrendous, uber airheaded open borders comments in her Univision interview during the 2008 campaign, I’m the one who wrote about it and brought out what she was saying. But we’re talking about Palin now, how she’s presenting herself now.

My sole point, made in response to your comment that she’s a complete airhead, is that substantively she’s no different on the issue from lots of people whom we do not call complete airheads.

A. Zarkov replies:

I didn’t realize that there is supposed to be a new Palin different from the old Palin in the 2008 campaign. I could provide more non-immigration examples to establish her as an airhead, but unfortunately many conservatives share those positions too. However don’t they express themselves better and in a more coherent fashion? She comes across like a Valley Girl in her interviews.

I think Palin is a true believer on legal immigration, where other Republicans and conservatives are simply afraid to tell us what they really believe. Sometimes I get the opportunity to talk one-on-one with these conservatives and they do sometimes come across as realistic. Of course I can’t test this theory with meeting and talking to her face-to-face.

LA replies:

Well, we’re chasing angels on pinheads now (or pinheaded angels? hah), but I was focusing on this particular statement, and I was asking, was she substantively being worse on immigration than other pols, and you were focusing on the totality of all her statements on immigratoin and for that matter all her statements on all subjects. If her 2008 univision interview must always be factored in, then there’s no point in discussing the issue, because she will be very bad, period, and that’s already established. If we’re trying to understand if there’s been “growth,” then we need to leave the 2008 statement behind.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 13, 2010 08:26 PM | Send

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