The Law Of Bad First Impressions: The DACA Challenge Is Long On Rhetoric And Short On Law

NY-AG-Eric-SchneidermanJPG-745x450Below is my column in the Hill Newspaper on why the legal challenge filed against the Trump Administration byNew York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (left) and others over the rescinding of DACA.  As discussed in the article, I have been a long critic of the executive orders issued by President Barack Obama to achieved unilaterally what he failed to achieve legislatively.  Notably, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has acknowledged that DACA was on shaky legal ground. Notably, CNN host Chris Cuomo observed:

“There’s no question it’s been legally dubious from jump,” Cuomo said at the end of their conversation. “Nobody’s going to argue with that in a very compelling fashion. At least not this morning, but it’s also about what are you going to do for these people. This is a moral argument, not just a legal one.”

However, it is a dangerous thing to take moral exemptions from the constitutional process because it leaves the question of who decides which issues will be given a constitutional pass.  This is an argument that can be made to the legislature but it is important to maintain the clear lines of separation between the branches in the creation of new legislation.  DACA was a legislative act done by executive order in my view.

Given the intense political dynamic that led to the issuing of the DACA order, the courts will be necessarily leery of a violation of the political question doctrine in being asked to intervene.  The Complaint does contain a couple claims that a court could find compelling but these claims are at most likely to delay rather than prevent deportations. However, as I discuss, complaints like people are often painted by first impressions and the first impression in this complaint (which starts with an ill-supported equal protection claim) is not flattering.

Here is the column:

deblasiolargeThe long-anticipated lawsuit to block the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was filed in New York with the equally-anticipated frenzy of media coverage and political posturing. State attorneys general from 14 states and the District of Columbia assured those protected by DACA that they were moving to protect them against what New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (right) called a “profoundly racist” President Trump. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman denounced the DACA decision as the “culmination” of Trump’s “oft-stated commitments — whether personally held, stated to appease some portion of his constituency, or some combination thereof — to punish and disparage people with Mexican roots.”

The lawsuit itself, however, is long on rhetoric and short on law. Indeed, the lawsuit appears appeared designed to more to “appease” supporters than convince judges. There is a disturbing disconnect between the public descriptions and the actual claims in this complaint, leaving many with a false impression, and perhaps false hope. Even if successful, half of the claims would not materially alter the outcome for Dreamers. Where Schneiderman described Trump’s decision as “gratuitous,” the same description could be leveled against much of this complaint.

From the start, any challenge faced the obvious difficulty in arguing that Trump is barred from using the same authority to rescind DACA that President Obama used to create it. The challengers, therefore, needed to show the federal court that they had serious legal objections rather than policy disagreements with the current administration. Federal courts follow the “political question doctrine,” which bars the ruling on political as opposed to legal disputes.

Despite this threshold concern, the challengers spent page after page disparaging Trump for everything from his comments about violent illegal immigrants to his failure to condemn a past case of a Mexican abused by his supporters to his pardoning of former Sheriff Joseph Arpaio. If a judge was concerned that this was a political dispute before the filing, that concern would likely become a conviction halfway through the complaint.

When the challengers do get to plausible legal claims, concern turns to confusion. I often tell my students that complaints are the ultimate example of the importance of “first impressions.” For that reason, you start with your strongest and most unassailable claim. If so, this first impression is decidedly bad. The challengers lead with a politically popular but legally dubious claim under the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. As Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey explained, you need a “valid, a law justification” and “animus cannot provide such a justification.”

The problem is that there is such a valid justification entirely separate from any alleged racial animus. For more than eight years, various experts (including myself) raised serious constitutional concerns over the unilateral actions taken by Obama in immigration and other fields. That basis was the justification given by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and raised in prior litigation. Some 25 states previously challenged the closely-related program of Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA). It was found to violate federal immigration law, which “flatly does not permit” deferred action. A significant number of members of Congress blocked DACA in Congress, long before Trump ever uttered a word of a wall or “bad hombres.” That may not be a justification that Healey likes, but it is a valid and legal one.

The other counts offer legal but likely ineffectual grounds to block deportations. The challengers raised issues of privacy and procedure that, even if successful, would not likely alter the outcome if Congress decides that it will not extend the protections. The complaint objects to the use of information supplied by those who registered under DACA. However, even if ripe for review, a judicial order protecting the information would not prevent any deportation.

The complaint also challenges the decision under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) for failing to follow the process for notice and comments. However, Obama himself called DACA a “temporary stopgap” and his Justice Department warned that it “could be terminated at any time at [the Homeland Security Department’s] discretion.” Moreover, the APA analysis will collide with the statement of former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano that “this memorandum confers no substantive right, immigration status or pathway to citizenship” because “only the Congress, acting through its legislative authority, can confer these rights.” Finally, the key noun in the APA is “procedure.” Even if successful (and there are grounds to contest the applicability of the law), it would merely delay but not prevent deportations.

Assuming these barriers can be overcome, a victory under the APA could prove something of pyrrhic victory. The problem is that Obama did not believe that DACA had to satisfy the APA and did not offer a notice and comment period. Indeed, in the related DAPA decision, the Fifth Circuit ruled that the Obama administration violated APA among other flaws in the program. So, in arguing that the decision rescinding DAPA must satisfy the APA, the challengers would also be saying that DAPA itself is invalid for failing to do so. The same is true for the challenge under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, which (if true) would be equally damaging for DACA itself. It is the legal equivalent of the Vietnam strategy of destroying a village to save it.

In the end, the challengers are hoping to literally trump the legal analysis with the president himself. D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine insisted that “we think there are enough references to his comments, both before he was president and while he was president, that illustrate a bias against Mexicans.” The courts will have to decide if they are also willing to create a new form of the “temporary restraining order” sought in these challenges. The “Trump restraining order” would certainly be liberating for critics but would leave little of the law in its wake.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

 

197 thoughts on “The Law Of Bad First Impressions: The DACA Challenge Is Long On Rhetoric And Short On Law

  1. WHEN enforcement starts to notice that 40+% of these folks are NOT Hispanic… the finer points of law should be considered. Till then it’s just another form of discrimination under color of authority.

    • 2000
      Country Population
      1. Mexico 4,680,000
      2. El Salvador 430,000
      3. Guatemala 290,000
      4. Philippines 200,000
      5. China 190,000
      6. Korea 180,000
      7. Honduras 160,000
      8. India 120,000
      9. Ecuador 110,000
      10. Brazil 100,000
      All Countries 8,460,000

      2005*
      Country Population
      1. Mexico 5,970,000
      2. El Salvador 470,000
      3. Guatemala 370,000
      4. India 280,000
      5. China 230,000
      6. Philippines 210,000
      7. Korea 210,000
      8. Honduras 180,000
      9. Brazil 170,000
      10. Vietnam 160,000
      All Countries 10,500,000

      2008
      Country Population
      1. Mexico 7,030,000
      2. El Salvador 570,000
      3. Guatemala 430,000
      4. Philippines 300,000
      5. Honduras 300,000
      6. Korea 240,000
      7. China 220,000
      8. Brazil 180,000
      9. Ecuador 170,000
      10. India 160,000
      All Countries 11,600,000

      2012
      Country Population
      1. Mexico 6,720,000
      2. El Salvador 690,000
      3. Guatemala 560,000
      4. Honduras 360,000
      5. Philippines 310,000
      6. India 260,000
      7. Korea 230,000
      8. China 210,000
      9. Ecuador 170,000
      10. Vietnam 160,000
      All Countries 11,430,000

      https://immigration.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000845

  2. A President’s duty is to do what is best for America and not do what is best for some dorks who want to move here. I will not vote for a Democrat again. Lesson learned.

  3. A discussion of the absurd.

    DACA does not exist because DACA cannot exist because Obama functioned (poorly) in the executive branch and DACA is legislation which can only be passed by the legislative branch.

    The illegal aliens of every age are criminals who have committed the crimes of illegally crossing an international border and entering the country without proper documentation and, therefore, must be deported.

    You could speculate that even the Justices of the Supreme Court could grasp that if they weren’t flaming globalist ideologues bent on the destruction, AKA “fundamental transformation,” of America.

    Oh my!

    What will happen if Americans ever wake up and discover that they are being slowly boiled to death like the frog who first jumped out of the pot?

  4. There is talk about why McCain acts in a certain fashion. The family has a strong military history. I looked up his father and here is a description of McCain’s father from a biograhpher as stated in Wikipedia.

    Short in stature and of rather thin frame, McCain was gruff and very profane; he liked to drink and gamble.[5] He also showed courage and was regarded as a natural, inspirational leader.[5] In the words of one biographical profile,

    *** McCain “preferred contentious conflict to cozy compromise.”[5]****

    This is what we have seen from McCain. Being contentious for the sake of being contentious isn’t a good thing.

      • What is astonishing? I disapprove of empty contentiousness where there is no point except contentiousness. I also disapprove of people drawing conclusions before adequately understanding the facts involved. That can be said another way, I disapprove of those that create facts in order to promote their conclusions. Therefore Diane if you or another decides to create facts that don’t exist or draw conclusions based upon a lack of facts then yes, I become contentious. …And yes when that happens you fly off the handle and you become insulting.

  5. Here comes the story of the hurricane.
    The man society came to blame.
    We’re gonna put his arse in stir!
    We’re gonna pin this triple murder on him…
    He ain’t no Gentleman Jim!

    We call him Donald Trump.
    He comes from France and lives on a stump.
    etc

  6. The hurrianes won’t last as an excuse to do nothing in Congress forever and here it comes another Judge manufactured excuse to delay on yet another issue in getting DACA ‘legally’ resolved. Who knows. The budget for FY18 may occur by FY 24 and the Tax Cut Adjustment by FY 50. Can these charlatans ever get anything done? I forgot it’s will soon be time for Halloween vacation. Remember this during the primaries and decide which newcomer will be suitable to replace the Do’ nothing Asbestos Congress.

    The Socialist/RINO coalition is getting to smell like unchanged diapers a good start would be some leadership if such a thing exists.

    Remember that when the annual vacation in 2017 starts to select new blood to start work in January 2019.

    We’ve got 40% of the vote with those who register and vote but do not rely on a party but are self governing Constitutional ‘Centrists What need of parties that do nothing and accomplish nothing especially those that want a one party system beholden to a foreign ideology?

  7. The executive order from Obama wasn’t constitutional, was against Congressional dictates and was being challenged by many states.

    Without any legal basis the left is challenging Trump and instead of dealing with the law they will utilize their favorite attack, race-baiting. They don’t care about the nation, its Constitution or its laws. They are like the Jacobins.

    • Trump favors The Dream Act. He only needs 12 Republicans to join 48 Democrats in the Senate to get it. That could easily happen. Trump will sign it into law without any funding for the border-wall boondoggle.

      • “Trump favors The Dream Act.”

        Diane, do you have proof that is his desire? It’s bad to assume anything. Before Trump was nominated and ever since then my point here and elsewhere was that Trump was not an ideologue despite the way a lot of foolish people characterized him. He can go either way on a lot of these issues so all of this business about Trump being a racist, a dummy etc. was a bunch of garbage from ignorant people. He is extremely pragmatic and now we are starting to see more of that part of him.

        You make things sound so simple, but with every card played the entire game changes, so I frequently wonder how certain things are said with such certainty.

    • Why is it when the Supreme Court hand picked Dubya the right was silent? And when the right makes up stories on how they were cheated they blow a gasket.

      • Why is it when the Supreme Court hand picked Dubya the right was silent?

        The Supreme Court did nothing of the sort, except in the fantasies of partisan Democrats. The Supreme Court’s actual ruling (aspects of which were concurred with by 7 of the justices) was that the Democratic Party was not entitled to a recount limited to a selection of counties they’d calculated might improve their tally. The Florida Supreme Court had already disrupted the vote tabulation by blatantly disregarding procedural rubrics written into Florida law (in order to aid A. Gore).

        And, of course, you forget that news organizations audited the paper ballots and concluded that a comprehensive recount was not going to give Albert Gore the state’s electoral votes.

        Oh, while we’re at it, why was that Democratic official in Broward County discovered with a voting press in the back seat of his car? How many of those overvotes were caused by Democratic officials spoiling ballots cast for non-Democratic candidates?

        • Justice O’Connor Regrets

          https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/justice-oconnor-regrets

          “Sandra Day O’Connor, who retired from the Supreme Court seven years ago, made some news the other day. In an interview with the editorial board of the Chicago Tribune, she expressed misgivings about one of the signature decisions of her judicial career: Bush v. Gore. “Maybe the Court should have said, ‘We’re not going to take it, goodbye.’ ” The case, she said, which effectively awarded the 2000 Presidential election to George W. Bush, “stirred up the public” and “gave the Court a less than perfect reputation.””

          And this:

          “And O’Connor was not alone as a Republican Justice looking on with horror at what her party has become. The two Justices who left the Court after O’Connor were also Republicans who departed aghast at the modern Republican Party. David Souter and John Paul Stevens were so repulsed by the party of George W. Bush that they gave the most precious gift any Justice can proffer to his successor, Barack Obama—their seats on the Court. There is no more eloquent testimony to the evolution of the Republican Party than the ideological fate of the last three Justices to leave the Supreme Court: O’Connor, Souter, and Stevens. In this way, O’Connor’s apostasy on Bush v. Gore is a surprise—but perhaps only because it took so long.”

          • All evidence points to the fact that GWB won. Al Gore tried to make partisan claims instead of asking for an entire state recount. That is how democrats function. I believe there were votes that weren’t counted and might have been counted had the entire state had a recount and that would have made Bush’s victory even greater.

            In any event Gore has proven himself to be the buffoon he is and quite duplicitous.

              • Your problem Fishwings is you say things, but never offer proof. Do you know why? Because you don’t know what you are taking about and are mouthing things you heard which is not the same as fact.

                Palm Beach Post: “Al Gore was doomed.” (The Palm Beach Post leans strongly to the left)

                “He couldn’t have caught George W. Bush even if his two best chances for an official recount had played out.”

                Near 50 million Americans think on your level. Fortunately for them they are all less than eleven years old and have the time to learn and be able to think like an adult.

          • You think it impresses me that David Souter and John Paul Stevens are ‘repulsed’? Their jurisprudence was humbug.

  8. If it is “unconscionable” to deport DACA people as Saint john McCain pontificates, that means it is unconscionable that Congress has not done its job for decades.

    Our legal system is being taken over by rhetoric. That’s why we need more judges who follow the Constitution.

  9. I keep going back to what I have said many times previously. If the law had been enforced with their parents in the first place we would not be dealing with this at all. Now once again the law is quite clear but they (the Dems) refuse to enforce the law or even acknowledge it. If they (the Dems) continue to promote illegal immigration as they do we will face greater problems in the future. The Dems keep quoting President Trumps words but what about Obamas words like “fundamentally change America” did he think he was Vladimir Lenin?

    • J Pismo

      You are 100% correct., but immigration – legal & illegal will continue at about one million people per year, imo.
      The list of special interest groups is too long for it to be halted. Trump and Israeli co/president Kushner need the cheap labor and Muslim patsies for future covert actions to scare naive citizens into supporting new military missions designed to break up Muslim-majority countries and liberate valuable natural resources from countries that refuse to turn them over to REXON.

      • Bill-Not sure if we followed the law regarding immigration that the number would be one million a year legal entries.
        If Trump and Kushner need the illegals why are the Dems pushing hard for more illegals, being they hate Trump so badly.
        If the Muslims are pasties they would do far better for themselves by stopping incidents like 9/11, London child bombings and many truck murders in Europe. Just saying.

  10. Even if Obama had legitimate sympathy for illegals brought to the U.S. as minors, there is a right way and a wrong way to try to afford them legal protections. Obama claims to be a constitutional scholar, but his view of constitutional law is reminiscent of Abraham Lincoln’s; essentially, ‘screw the law, I’ll do what I want to achieve the ends I want.’

    • I am under the impression that he tried to persuade Congress to act. Unsuccessful, he then used executive power to defer deportations.

      • In that effort to persuade Congress to act, he tacitly endorsed the view that this was a Legislative function, and he explained to his supporters over 20 times that he did not have the authority to act on his own. Before he acted on his own.

        And he didn’t just defer deportations, he conferred benefits on those enrolled in the program.

      • I am under the impression that he tried to persuade Congress to act.

        Why do you suppose he would do that? Because he knows to be constitutional it must go through Congress. If he fails to move them to act then he failed and it’s the voters that need to act if they want this immigration issue changed through Congress; not the President.

    • I just love it when s**tlibs quote scripture. A scripture they do not really believe themselves when it is inconvenient to do so.

        • Ms. Benson/Diane/Ken Doll et al, had the bible was drilled into her as a child, So, she knows it, but is quite conflicted about it.

            • Giane/Inga/Ken/Benson et al, You have a reading assignment; US v Texas. You LIED when you said DACA has not been challenged since 2012. It was successfully challenged. Read and repent, sinner.

              • Trump supports The Dream Act. Democrats only need 12 Republicans to get it. Trump will sign it into law without any funding for the border-wall boondoggle.

                P. S. I had no idea about U. S. v Texas. That’s called being uninformed–not lying. Stop exaggerating.

                • OK, I will amend my remarks and say you did not lie. But, I need more than merely “uninformed.” How about woefully uninformed. Because what caused me to say “liar” is it truly is hard for me to believe someone would opine on this topic and not know that BASIC fact.

              • Mr. Spinelli, Sirah, you have misrepresented the issue in U. S. v Texas. That case challenged DAPA–not DACA, as you would have us believe.

                Either you knew that or you didn’t know that. Either you knowingly misrepresented U. S. v Texas or you unknowingly misrepresented U. S. v Texas.

                Be advised, I will not call you a liar, nor a sinner, nor a hip-shooter, nor stupid, nor an ignoramus. Instead, I will dub you a mischievous little imp.

              • It’s Greco/Roman style, Allan. Like Adam and Eve, only no fig leaves, just some other crazy contraption for the men called a kynodesme. Go figure.

                • Paul, you have to strip naked to wrestle with God. So you’ll need to tattoo The Stars and Stripes on your body somewhere. Hopefully God will not construe The U. S. Flag as a graven image. But he might take offense at the notion that any of His children are illegal.

                  • Diane – I didn’t say I was going to do it, because historically, to look on the actual face of God was to die. You can read several countries mythologies and get the same result, hence the burning bush, etc. So, I am just wonder how God appeared?

                    • Paul, take note how the portrayal of God reveals one’s most inner feelings. Diane said, “you have to strip naked to wrestle with God.” One has to first ask who is the one in Diane’s comment that is making the person do anything and there are many ways of being ‘naked’. I’ll stop there.

                    • I have every reason to believe that God usually appears as an Angel, formerly portrayed by Leslie Howard, only seventy-two feet tall.

                    • Allan, I’m aware of no scripture in which The Lord said, “One must strip naked to wrestle with God.” There is, however, scripture stating that Adam and Eve clothed their nakedness after the fall from grace, because they knew shame at that point. So, were one to be so naked in one’s shamelessness as to wrestle with God, then why not go ahead on and strip naked with one’s own take on biblical literalism, to boot?

                    • Diane, one can say anything they want or believe anything they want, but that doesn’t make it accurate or true. As far as your comment “you have to strip naked to wrestle with God.” I was telling Paul that I felt portrayals of this nature can reveal one’s most inner feelings. I didn’t say there was anything wrong with saying it. As far as the word wrestle being used in the context you used it, I understand what you mean, but it seems to be the wrong English word if one were translating from the original Hebrew.

                      None of this is of any great importance, but I do find it entertaining listening to inner feelings.

                    • allan – that is the problem with various translations of the Bible. So the question is was he wrestling with God physically or metaphorically?

                    • “allan – that is the problem with various translations of the Bible. So the question is was he wrestling with God physically or metaphorically?”

                      Not being a scholar I assume metaphorically, but a direct translation from Hebrew into English might be different than many of the different translations we talk about. The word wrestled just doesn’t sound right to me and I don’t think that is the word that would be chosen if a direct Translation from Hebrew to English was made.

          • I am not David B Benson. But I see your point anyhow. It’s not strictly necessary that DACA should’ve been challenged the way DAPA was in order for DACA to be unconstitutional. It would only have been necessary to mount a court challenge to DACA in order to have had SCOTUS declare DACA unconstitutional before Trump rescinded DACA. Although, technically Trump’s rescinding order does not take effect for six months. Which puts Mr. Benson’s argument back on the table, again, face up.

            • I know you’re not David, but you have a habit of answering comments directed to him.
              My point, which I stated below, is that it is unConstitutional for anyone outside the Legislative branch to actually legislate. I don’t know why that is so difficult for some people posting on this blog to understand.

              • The separation of powers is not difficult to understand. Immigrants who take and pass citizenship exams seem to understand it reasonably well. And I actually agree with Turley’s take on DACA. But Benson is extremely frugal with his commentary. I’m trying to provoke him by filing in the blanks.

                P. S. I knew you knew I’m not David. That jibe was meant for Spinelli.

        • Diane/Ken/Benson et al, LOL! US v Texas challenged DACA and SCOTUS deadlocked in 2016 after US District Judge Hansen in Texas had ruled it unconstitutional, throwing the case back to Hansen. I gave you a lead, now go and read and report back w/ facts, not the horsesh!t you just spewed!! You are either a liar, stupid, or a hybrid.

              • CCS says How SCOTUS behaves does not dictate the President does [before the fact].

                What SCOTUS decides, however, does occasionally determine what the President can or cannot do, or otherwise get away with, after the fact.

                P. S. It’s too late for Congress to impeach Obama for legislating by executive order.

            • What made America progress from its infancy was a ‘morality’ towards the Constitution that protected it from becoming worthless. The American public could cause devolution of the Constitution at any time. There are many on the left that would do so tomorrow.

        • It wasn’t challenged because the one who wrote it was in office. Now he is out and Trump recognizes the importance of the Constitution, something not recognized by most Democrats and many Republicans.

          • Obama was in office when Texas challenged DAPA. I suspect that that’s what CV Brown is getting at with his reply, “keep the kids; deport the parents.”

    • The most compassionate thing we can do is insist our government respect the rule of law. Without that, then every citizen and non-citizen will lose the security the law is intended to provide. We’ll soon be as lawless as the countries these people do not want to go back to.

      • The means, Olly. The means. By what means can we the people insist that our government respect the rule of law? Our options are to vote, to petition, to speak and then there’s the hard way–rebellion.

        It looks to me like voting is not helping matters any more than rebellion would.

        • Our options are to vote, to petition, to speak

          Congressional Incumbents succeed about 90% of the time yet their approval rating is at best in the teens. We don’t lack the means. Let’s pretend for a moment that most of those following this blog are college educated and employed or retired from a career. Many are in the legal field. If this group cannot agree that natural rights exist or on the purpose for government; essentially the principles of the Declaration of Independence, then we should have no expectations the rest of the electorate would either. This means our political elite can do whatever they want because no one really knows what they should be doing in the first place. Hell, they can blatantly violate the law and they are effectively immune. Do that often enough and the people no longer care (apathy) about the means. If they vote at all, they vote based solely on their personal needs (ignorance). Eventually, they become hooked on government (dependent).

          I believe we will either do it the hard way, or just give up altogether.

          • Olly, I cannot accept either of those choices. But you mentioned both education and ignorance. I suppose you’ll snatch that hope away from me as well; won’t you dire Olly?

            • No Diane. If I accepted either of those choices I wouldn’t be here. Voting is still the people’s weapon. However looking at the incumbency success percentage, it would seem the voters believe the target is everyone else.

              • Well that’s good news, Olly. So the voters need more choices and better choices; and we have to choose based on common interest, not self interest. And we need more people actually to show at the polls on election day and cast their ballots for somebody, anybody.

                Here’s an idea. People who are eligible to vote but not registered to vote forfeit their personal deduction on their income taxes until they get registered to vote. People who are registered to vote but don’t actually vote forfeit their personal deduction on their income taxes for the tax year in which they didn’t vote. We’ll need paperwork for that. But jury pools could swell in the bargain. And everybody will be dissatisfied. Which is a major selling point for me.

                • “Here’s an idea. People who are eligible to vote but not registered to vote forfeit their personal deduction on their income taxes until they get registered to vote.”

                  Diane, The reason to tax is to provide money for necessary government functions. You sound as if you want the IRS to be more and more involved in promoting social programs. Voting is akin to making a statement. A person who doesn’t vote is making a statement as well and now it sounds as if you wish to make him a slave to the voting process.

                  • Allan, the federal government levies excise taxes on alcohol and tobacco (a.k.a. sin taxes). A voter apathy tax would easily fit the sin-tax model.

                    Voting is akin to exercising one’s rights. A person who doesn’t vote is not exercising that particular right. A voter apathy tax would not make income-taxpayers slaves; because it would not make income-taxpayers vote. It would just make them pay a little extra income tax for the privilege of not exercising their right to vote.

                    BTW, why you think of taxes as slavery?

                    • “Allan, the federal government levies excise taxes on alcohol and tobacco (a.k.a. sin taxes). A voter apathy tax would easily fit the sin-tax model.”

                      1) I don’t think the federal government should make such value judgements, sin taxes, unless they clearly impact national security.
                      2) Voting is a political action so the federal government should steer clear of making decisions forcing one to take a political action.

                      “BTW, why you think of taxes as slavery?”

                      The word slave is also a verb and the meaning is broader than that of ownership of another human being. Further I wasn’t referring to taxes as slavery. I was talking about making a free individual a slave of the voting process.

                • Weaponizing the IRS further is the opposite of what any citizen should desire. The right to vote (or not to vote) is a choice I support. That being said, I want everyone that is eligible to vote to be able to register and prove that eligibility when they exercise the right to vote. I support regular purging of voter rolls and I would support public funds to provide every eligible voter an ID. I would make election day a national holiday. At the very least, I would require businesses to allow every employee adequate time on election day to vote.

                  On the voter ignorance front, I support beginning civics education in the elementary schools and require measurable comprehension at each grade level with a civics literacy assessment required for high school graduation or GED. If we were to actually take civics literacy seriously, I would require everyone eligible to vote pass the same civics exam currently required for citizenship. I would even consider public funding for all these civics literacy initiatives. If we are going to be $20+ trillion in debt, I cannot imagine a better investment in our national security than in improving our citizens knowledge of how our government institutions are supposed to function.

                  • Olly, making election day a national holiday is a fine idea. Civics tests for voting rights is not such a fine idea, Olly. I believe that’s one of the issues addressed in The Voting Rights Act of 1965. But I’ll check and see, anyhow, and report back if I’m wrong.

                    Otherwise, civics literacy education is also a fine idea.

                    • Civics tests for voting rights is not such a fine idea,

                      If that were true, then what is the point of civics tests for anyone wanting to become citizens? Here’s the point: You made a comment to Allan stating The separation of powers is not difficult to understand. Immigrants who take and pass citizenship exams seem to understand it reasonably well. Without civics literacy, the right to vote is like being Barney Fife in the southside of Chicago.

                      Who do you think benefits the most by an electorate that is ignorant of how our government is supposed to function, that is apathetic towards involving themselves in the process, and has become dependent on government’s benefits? Of all the money this government wastes, why aren’t public funds ever appropriated to improve civics literacy?

                      If you read Kant’s What is Enlightenment?, you will see that on average our electorate is under self-incurred tutelage. And that’s precisely where our political class benefits the most.

                  • “I just got Olly to put the point face up on the game table.”

                    Did you really Diane? Or, did Olly leave you a bit behind and then was kind enough to help you catch up, at least in part?

                    Olly is correct that the American’s knowledge of civics is poor, but I don’t know that such extenisive knowledge was necessary in the years past. We have corrupted our government in that the most important portion of government was supposed to be local and we would build from there. That meant that without literacy or knowledge of civics the common man could take part in the most important thing to him, the place where he lived.

                    • allan – I think Civics is important, having taught it. And it seems the loser of the last Presidential election forgot how Presidents get elected. 😉

                    • Paul, I hope you don’t misunderstand me. Civics is important as are many things, but when government is small and local things seem to come natural. Take note how this blog mostly concentrates on the things that are of extreme importance to the nation, but for any one individual means very little in the normal happenings in his life.

                      You are right about Hillary. Her thinking process is very dangerous for a free nation. The Dems are better off without her.

                    • We have corrupted our government in that the most important portion of government was supposed to be local and we would build from there.

                      I believe that started with the 17th amendment.

                      That meant that without literacy or knowledge of civics the common man could take part in the most important thing to him, the place where he lived.

                      I do agree with the importance of keeping the functioning of government as local as possible. The irony is you believe this because you have civics knowledge. Put yourself in the shoes of the individual that has no understanding of the principles that are the foundation of our system of government. Besides natural rights, one has to understand the purpose for government and then be able measure how honorably the political class performs relative to its constitutional purpose. Without that knowledge, then elections become consequential only so far as one’s limited worldview can understand. This myopia has been costly. Even a yard full of dandelions appears to be a bed of flowers until you get a bigger picture of how they are choking the life out of your lawn.

                    • “I believe that started with the 17th amendment.”

                      Ollie, I look at it as evolutionary from day one.

                      “ Put yourself in the shoes of the individual that has no understanding of the principles that are the foundation of our system of government.”

                      The American people had a lot of knowledge and even were quite literate for the times. The American President had limited power so the knowledge of the civics we are talking about didn’t apply. The federal government didn’t control healthcare, education, land use, etc. It was there to protect the physical integrity of the nation while the localities managed all these other things. That left precious few things for people to be concerned about. They didn’t need much “civics” as when there was a problem their most likely argument wasn’t with politicians, rather the man across the table who may or may not have held a political title.

                    • Allan,
                      Our centralized, bureaucratic state is the result of our electorate’s ignorance of federalism and a constitutional government. If that’s what you meant by evolving, then I would agree.

                      The American President had limited power so the knowledge of the civics we are talking about didn’t apply. The federal government didn’t control healthcare, education, land use, etc. It was there to protect the physical integrity of the nation while the localities managed all these other things.

                      And how did we go from a President with limited powers to one our host called the uber President? How did government go from not doing those things to doing those things? There is one root cause; We the ignorant People.

                    • Yes, Olly that is essentially what I am talking about plus the fact that as time passed we became a great power, etc. and that has taken its toll as well.

                      “There is one root cause; We the ignorant People.” Yes, I guess one could say that, but I prefer to think in terms of entropy. We have to fight against it.

  11. Why is there any surprise? The whole thing is not about the law, or about being reasonable for the Democrats. It is about race-baiting for votes. The lawsuit doesn’t have to make any sense for the Democrats to achieve their goals.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

        • Mr. Benson’s remark about decency most likely refers to the predicament in which the dreamers have been placed–not the lawsuit brought by Schneiderman.

          • Mr. Benson advocates for us to act out of “decency” as opposed to a respect for the law. Which is not necessarily a bad, or wrong argument. The “equity” part of the courts, which dates back to the King’s Chancellors, was set up for exactly that reason – – – to allow the black letter law to be overridden in certain cases, where in the good judgement of the Chancellor, it should be.

            But that is not why the Democrats are suing. They are suing to race-bait for votes, because if the “Dreamers” are allowed to stay, and become citizens, they they will largely break for Democratic Party candidates.

            The easy answer to all this is to resort to an old distinction, the denizen! Which is about the same thing as a permanent green card status. A “denizen” was somebody who lived in a country and had limited rights. Here, the spawn of illegal aliens could be allowed to stay, but not allowed the right to vote in either Federal or State elections. Never. Ever.

            This would remove most of the partisan political element from the equation. Because the Democrats would have little incentive to agitate for more illegals. There would still be political benefits to the Democrats because the very existence of illegal cheap labor drives down labor costs, and thus results in more poorer Americans. This is a target rich environment for Democrats who promise benefits for votes.

            What this whole thing is about is mainly stuffing the ballot box for Democrats, and secondly, providing cheap labor for employers, and thirdly, providing better workers for employers who need low skilled laborers. Because Mexicans make much better workers than blacks. At least for the first generation.

            Squeeky Fromm
            Girl Reporter

            • Both parties are motivated by power. As long as voting is the vehicle to keep them there then they will do anything imaginable to secure the votes. No taxation without representation was a key element towards our independence but in a way we seem to have come full circle. We now have people voting that have no stake in society and they live exclusively on unearned benefits of basic residency. The politicians are dependent on these voters and the voters are dependent on these politicians. Those with a stake in society that are being taxed to support this culture are rapidly losing representation in government. It’s as though we have created a new system of slavery; the wealthy class as the owners, the political class as the overseers, the taxpaying class as the slaves and a dependency class as the majority voter base that sustains this structure. Woe be the day the taxpaying class decides they want to join the dependency class to the point the political class is forced to cut the benefits to the dependents.

              • a dependency class as the majority voter base that sustains this structure.

                Again, the vast bulk of welfare expenditure supports the elderly and the disabled. That’s Social Security, Medicare, and the portion of Medicaid which finances nursing homes. Plenty of Republican voters among the elderly. The VA spends handsome sums. Soldiers tend to be Republicans as well.

                As for the rest of the population, unemployment compensation is temporary, TANF beneficiaries and Section 8 beneficiaries each encompass a low-single-digit share of the population, perhaps 1/3 have an income low enough to be eligible for Medicaid or SNAP (and a great many do not sign up for them) and about 15% receive a net rebate under the EITC program. Households who enroll in SNAP receive a mean of $270 a month in benefits. The mean rebate for an EITC recipient is $2,400 per year. You’re not livin’ large on that.

                Beneficiaries are not a majority nor do they reliably vote Democratic. Many who do vote Democratic are part of population subsets (e.g. blacks) where people vote Democratic in every social stratum.

                The ‘free s*** coalition” is largely fanciful.

                • The ‘free s*** coalition” is largely fanciful.

                  No stake in society implies they’ve not been (income) taxed by it, are not currently taxed by it and have no expectations of being taxed by it to any degree commensurate with the benefits they receive from it.

                  Those with a stake in society that are being taxed to support this culture are rapidly losing representation in government.

                  Rapidly losing representation implies those actively paying into the public trough are losing ground to those that are taking out of the system. The free $hit coalition as you call it exists and is growing. I don’t really care what you call it. They keep the political class in power and the net result is a reported $20 trillion in national debt. And no, I’m not implying our debt is only attributable to this base; I’m implying the political class responsible for that debt relies on that base to stay in power.

                  • No stake in society implies they’ve not been (income) taxed by it, are not currently taxed by it and have no expectations of being taxed by it to any degree commensurate with the benefits they receive from it.

                    Anyone who rents an apartment is contributing to his landlord’s property tax payments. Anyone who makes retain purchases is contributing to the vendors sales tax remittance. The distribution of the economic burden is going to depend on the elasticity of the demand and supply schedules for the commodity in question. (The economic effect of property taxes is largely borne by tenants, IIRC. We could check).

                    Anyone who earns wages is paying payroll taxes.

                    You’re fixated on accounting allocations when you should be thinking about economic allocations.

                    Those with a stake in society that are being taxed to support this culture are rapidly losing representation in government.

                    You’re not losing representation at all. Your problem is on the supply-side. Who is recruited to the political vocation, who stays and for how long, and what the incentives guiding them are. One dimension of the problem is that professional-managerial types are, as human beings, a cut below the quality of those in late middle age 60 years ago.

                    From 1974 to 2007, the ratio of gross public expenditure to domestic product varied between 0.30 and 0.33. It currently stands at 0.33. Obama and the Congressional Democrats tried to ratchet that up (as it was, repeatedly, between 1929 and 1974), but they had only the most circumscribed success in doing that even with an incompetent Republican caucus.

                    Rapidly losing representation implies those actively paying into the public trough are losing ground to those that are taking out of the system. The free $hit coalition as you call it exists and is growing. I don’t really care what you call it. They keep the political class in power and the net result is a reported $20 trillion in national debt. And no, I’m not implying our debt is only attributable to this base; I’m implying the political class responsible for that debt relies on that base to stay in power

                    You’re not actually responding to someone by restating your original (erroneous) assertion. Electoral divisions in this country are much more driven by cultural and demographic factors than economic ones. As for the debt, the deficit spending is a consequence of excess in every area of allocation, not just welfare expenditure.

                    • You’re not losing representation at all.

                      Yeah, everything’s just grand. We just have an electorate driven by cultural and demographic factors; economics, not so much. Riiigghhht.

                      As for the debt, the deficit spending is a consequence of excess in every area of allocation, not just welfare expenditure.

                      Excess? Thanks, nothing to see here move along.

                • Then why do 90% of blacks vote for Democrats? Remember, this is the group where 3 out of 4 kids are born illegitimate, into single earner families? If, as you claim, most of them are not getting something, then why are they such a reliable voting base for the Democrats?

                  My OPINION, based on people I know, and things I see, is that blacks think Democrats are going to give them free stuff, and favor them over white people. Even if an individual black is not getting any form of welfare, there is a darn good chance that somebody in their family relies on food stamps and Section 8.

                  You seem to think that the paltry “average” amount of benefits is proof that somehow that benefit is of little value. But you are wrong. People on the lower end of the income spectrum need that extra $270 bucks each month, and the help and rent, and the Medicaid, and the other benefits offered at a state level, like help with utilities, and even gas for cars.

                  And that $270. Let me tell you about a black girl I know. She had 3 illegitimate children, under the age of 6, and a job earning less than $25,000 per year. Therefore, she got about $700 per month in food stamps. And other benefits. But with kids that age, she could not spend the whole amount on food. It just didn’t take that much for little kids. Sooo, she “sold” about $300 each month for 50 cents on the dollar. You could give her a grocery list, and she would go into the store and buy what you had on the list, and then when loaded it in your car, you gave her the cash.

                  I was not the recipient of this largesse, but I was in the car of the recipient one time when it was going on. I don’t blame the black girl, or the white girl who got the benefit of 1/2 off on groceries. Trying to raise 3 kids on less than $450 net per week is no easy thing, and only going to get worse as the kids get older. What they did was an eminently sensible allocation of resources. I am reliably informed that this is a fairly typical situation, although usually done for the benefit of other family members.

                  Sooo, no. You can’t just rely on “averages” and “means” and “medians” on this subject. You need to get out there and see what is actually going down.

                  Squeeky Fromm
                  Girl Reporter

                  • Most of the black voting population switched to the Democratic party during the Depression. There was still a considerable Republican vote for another 30 years or so. They weren’t unusual for a that at the time. The economic implosion during the period running from 1929 to 1933 cost the Republicans a great deal of street cred, as did the rapid revival of production between the spring of 1933 and the end of 1936 and between the middle of 1938 and the end of the War.

                    Most of the rest lined up behind the Democratic Party during the period running from 1960 to 1964. It was quite rapid and has incorporated every stratum of black society. Because you loathe blacks and know little about them as a population group, it doesn’t occur to you that the overwhelming majority are wage-earners. Excluding Medicaid, excess participation in transfer programs by working aged blacks accounts for about 6.5% of personal disposable income in black households. Income derived from Social Security old age benefits and Medicare benefits is actually a lower share of black household income because blacks have a lower life expectancy.

                    • Again, you rely on statistics while I rely on what I see. Where I live, about 55% of the city is black. My “loathing” is more of a recognition of the reality that I see around me, and on the news. And yes, I realize that most blacks work, but that still doesn’t make their neighborhoods safe. It doesn’t make them hard workers with good attitudes. It doesn’t change the fact that 72% of their kids are born into single earner families during a time in history when there are free birth control pills, and a legal abortion option.

                      But by all means, continue to rely on statistics. Statistically, you could save a whole lot of money on housing if you move to Detroit! Or most any other inner city. Or, just to a poor black neighborhood! Because I think you really could benefit from close up and personal interaction with these kind of blacks.

                      And I would also remind you, that there is an increasing number of black conservatives who make the same points that I do about illegitimate children and welfare dependency. Here is one. The guy I voted for in the Republican primary last year:

                      Squeeky Fromm
                      Girl Reporter

                    • Oh, and another thing. The Great Depression was almost 90 years ago. Most of those people are now deceased. You can’t just throw out The Great Depression as some sort of catch all response to why blacks overwhelming vote for Democrats. Not with any credibility.

                      Squeeky Fromm
                      Girl Reporter

                  • Sooo, no. You can’t just rely on “averages” and “means” and “medians” on this subject. You need to get out there and see what is actually going down.

                    I understand you are innumerate and that interferes with your ability to take the measure of the world around you. This is your problem. It is not my problem.

                    • And I understand that you are sheltered, and rely more on numbers than your own two eyes. Let me tell you the story of Orville. Orville is a black guy who works in the health care industry, on the lower end of the income scale. Respectable pay, about $15.00 an hour, but he isn’t getting rich. Orville has his own home, in a black neighborhood. He is a veteran. Orville is an honest decent person, and he takes care of himself. He also does some part time work.

                      But Orville has a couple of sisters who are not sooo respectable. They each have several illegitimate kids. And guess who they are always hitting up for money? The various baby daddies? Nope. Orville. They both get various benefits, but they never seem to have any money left over. They somehow magically know when Orville’s income tax refund hits. His nephew plays football. One day he was telling me how pissed he was that his sister hit him up for some football shoes for little DeQuarius. (BTW, these aren’t their real names.) And how pissed they were that he didn’t buy them.

                      Sooo, I asked him, what do they cost, and he said, about $70.00. To which I said, that doesn’t seem too high, and he is your nephew, after all, and then he said:

                      “BUT: I can’t buy them for him. Because if I do, then they will constantly be pestering me for money for one thing or another. And no matter what I do for them, if I stop helping them, they aren’t grateful for all the things I have done. No, they forget all that, and get mad because I stopped helping them. I can’t just help them sometimes, and it is better for all of us if I just cut them off completely and try not to do anything for them.”

                      Now ask yourself, why does Orville vote for Democrats? It isn’t because Orville is a free sh*t person, because he isn’t. He takes care of himself. He is kind of a conservative type person, BUT, the government is helping take care of his sisters, and if the government kicks them off Section 8, or cuts off the SNAP, then they are going to be piled up (along with his mother) in his house. Where he will not be able to stop them from leeching off him the rest of his life.

                      That kind of stuff is not found in statistics. That comes from talking to real live black people.

                      Squeeky Fromm
                      Girl Reporter

                    • “Again, you rely on statistics while I rely on what I see. “

                      DSS is very selective in how he uses his statistics. Statistics are very useful in making good policy, but when it comes to voting, perception by the public is far more important. You are right Squeeky that $20 to a poor person is frequently more valuable to him than a couple of hundred dollars is to a rich person.

                      DSS has some good points, but he forgets that being on the public dole in the broader sense doesn’t have to mean getting an entitlement. It can mean a job or less competition for one’s job. Think of government employees and think of school teachers that do not want the competition of charter schools and the like. Then think of the universities that get all those government grants and all the capitalists that get subsidies or have been aided by government to become near monopolies such as health insurance companies. Then again comes things like privatization of Social Security and the tax the rich philosophy that increased taxes on rich people when they pay for Medicare or Part D.

                      In essence almost everyone is at least in part a ward of the state and the statists rely upon the fear that many will vote to keep their perks and benefits. The fact that we all pay for them is a statistical reality, but when it comes to voting, too many deal with the perception of reality and vote to continue onward in the present way things have been done. Spend, spend, spend until one day the bill has to be paid.

                    • “Again, you rely on statistics while I rely on what I see. “

                      The problem with that for a normal human being is that ‘what you see’ is a small window on what there is. With Squeakkky, the problem is compounded by emotional investments far in excess of what an ordinary person has.

                      And, of course, it’s stupid of Squeakkky to fancy I’ve been knocking about for five decades and change and haven’t had any interaction with blacks personally.

                    • DSS is very selective in how he uses his statistics.

                      Anyone is selective short of puking the entire current output of the three federal agencies which produce the statistics at you.

                      It can mean a job or less competition for one’s job. Think of government employees and think of school teachers that do not want the competition of charter schools and the like. Then think of the universities that get all those government grants and all the capitalists that get subsidies or have been aided by government to become near monopolies such as health insurance companies. Then again comes things like privatization of Social Security and the tax the rich philosophy that increased taxes on rich people when they pay for Medicare or Part D.

                      About 15% of the workforce consists of public employees, and a certain share of them are security personnel who tend to vote Republican. Again, the voting patterns of the elderly are the most salient item in the case against the ‘free s*** coalition’ blather. While we’re at it, bar the period running from 1986 to 1993 and the period running from 2002-2010, marginal tax rates are as low as they have been in the last 85 years.

                    • DSS, Of course people are selective, but you have been overly so, not accepting the alternatives with your singular use of an emotive term. In fact in all your discussions ratchet down to puny percentages while leaving out one of the most important features of how people vote, perception.

                      “About 15% of the workforce consists of public employees, “

                      That may or may not be true, but think of how many groups depend upon more government regulation rather than less. Think of unions, think of the companies that rely upon government subsidies, etc. Think of the perks in their broadest form, the big picture. You focus on the tree and miss the entire forest.

                • DSS, the following link argues that voter turnout is lowest amongst the poorer Americans and highest amongst the wealthiest Americans. It also argues that wealthier voters are more conservative while poorer voters are more liberal. Likewise, wealthier voters are more likely to say that they vote to protect their economic self-interest than poorer voters.

                  http://www.demos.org/publication/why-voting-gap-matters

                  • So what? Why people vote as they do requires a multi-causal explanation. The question at hand is the relative strength of the vectors in question. There is public opinion research going back 80 years on this question. Economic interest is a weak vector (and tends to be stronger among the most affluent). The strong vectors are cultural and demographic, i.e. coarse racial classifications, coarse confessional classifications, marital status, metropolitan v. non-metropolitan, Southern v. non-Southern, occupational categories (among salaried employees, business, and professionals), birth cohort, &c.. Income (not ‘wealth’) is in the mix, of course.

                    The ‘free sh!t coalition’ discourse fancies that tax burdens and benefit receipt (or, perhaps, history of benefit receipt) are determining and the key factor in understanding our political economy. Without a doubt, some of that influences. IIRC, there’s a strong bias against the Republican Party among people who’ve had an episode of extended unemployment in their past. That’s just one vector influencing people. The ‘free sh!t coalition’ discourse is one people adhere to for emotional reasons, not because it describes social reality. It might have been vaguely plausible 30 years ago when you had a lot of died-in-the-melt Democrats living on union pensions and Social Security – people born in 1917 who cast their first ballot for Roosevelt. It isn’t any more.

                    • DSS, apparently your reply was posted while I was typing mine. Therefore you may think that I missed your point while I was reading it rather than before I read it.

                      So ethnicity and religious affiliation outweigh economic self-interest in voter turnout patterns. But economic self-interest is still a causal factor in immigration to The U. S; isn’t it? Are we supposed to believe that Democrats want to grant amnesty to undocumented workers merely to garner their votes? And no other reason?

                      P. S. I am not a proponent of the free-stuff theory of societal collapse.

                    • Are we supposed to believe that Democrats want to grant amnesty to undocumented workers merely to garner their votes? And no other reason?

                      The sort of occupational groups from which the Democratic Party elite is drawn have their cultural biases. The disreputable Mr. Sailer has referred to ‘leapfrogging loyalties’, wherein people take the side of exotics against proximate sorts they despise. Sailer believes that ‘leapfrogging loyalties’ are common among professional-managerial types but atypical among normal people, who have concentric loyalties. I think Sailer is right.

                      You also have to consider the degree to which Democratic policy prescriptions are driven by the passions and self-understanding of social service professionals.

                    • Oily crepe. Leap-frogging loyalties sounds a bit like virtue-signaling. Are there no genuine desires to help people improve their lot in life? You know–the decency thing that Mr. Benson is getting at.

                    • David Benson shows no evidence of being anything but what he appears to be: a supercilious man who has been nursing at the higher education teat for 4 or 5 decades. He isn’t a vicious jack-wagon in the mold of most of the partisan Democrats who post here (see Dave137 for another installment). However, academics live in a bubble and have very little experience of arguing with anyone whose disapproval might embarrass them.

                  • If DACA, or The Dream Act, or even The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill were motivated by a desire to garner votes from immigrants by granting them amnesty, then the proponents of those policies would have to have either a way to overcome voter apathy amongst the poorer Americans or a means by which to increase the wealth of Dreamers and other immigrants granted amnesty so as to lift them up out of the underclass or the working class in America.

                    Otherwise, with the existing patterns of voter turnout, the Democrats could garner far more votes from wealthier voters by cutting their taxes, cutting non-military discretionary spending and increasing military spending much as the Republicans do.

                    • Otherwise, with the existing patterns of voter turnout, the Democrats could garner far more votes from wealthier voters by cutting their taxes,

                      They couldn’t. Affluent people are less numerous than impecunious people and many of them are insensitive to economic incentives.

                    • Yes, of course. The poor are legion. The rich, few. But the turnout amongst the higher-income voters is truly enviable. Amongst the lower-income voters, rather pathetic.

                      Are we supposed to explain the persistence of The Republic Party solely on the bases of ethnicity, religion, region and rural residency?

                    • But the turnout amongst the higher-income voters is truly enviable. Amongst the lower-income voters, rather pathetic.

                      About 15% of the workforce are employed in professional managerial occupations. Even if they had twice the turnout ratio of the rest of the population, they’d still amount to just 26% of the electorate. And, again, many of them are dyed-in-the-melt Democrats.

                  • Did the poorer white voter vote for Trump or Hillary? Sometimes we create artificial categories that can be very misleading.

                    Is a poorer person a young person, an unemployed person, an immigrant, a person on welfare etc. All these are poorer persons that may have little in common other than being poor.

                    • That’s true, Allan. Poor Whites outnumber poor Blacks and poor Hispanics. Young people are more likely to be poor because they’re just starting out in the labor market. Rural voters are more likely to be poor because rural counties tend to be poor.

                      It’s probable that poor White rural people voted for Trump. But I’m not going to fact check that. We’ve all seen the maps; they should suffice. So did they vote for Trump because they’re poor? Because they’re White? Because they live in rural counties? All of the above?

                      I wonder how many undocumented aliens reside in majority White rural counties in the red states? The answer to that question would seem to be a key feature of the thesis that Democrats seek to grant amnesty to undocumented aliens for the sake garnering their votes.

                      But that leads right back to the issue of voter apathy. Exactly how many votes can The Democratic Party realistically expect to garner by granting amnesty to undocumented aliens? Should the answer to that question prove a small number, then maybe Mr. Benson’s “decency” thesis deserves a second look. Likewise, DSS’s rebuttal to the free-stuff theory might be reread as an indication that those who peddle that theory seek to garner the votes of poor White rural people in the red states by raising fear of foreigners in their hearts and minds.

                    • “ So did they vote for Trump because they’re poor? Because they’re White? Because they live in rural counties? All of the above?”

                      Diane, I think you got the question. I think the answer had to do with discontent in how they were being treated along with the trust issue. Trump didn’t just beat Hillary. He beat the Republican Party.

                      “ Mr. Benson’s “decency” thesis deserves a second look. “

                      When I listen to him he seems isolated from the reality of those people that voted for Trump. He thinks he comes from a diverse area, but he seems to be one of those who has fallen into a protective environment and is very myopic.

        • Obama’s executive order on DACA was most likely done for the sake of decency. The failure of Congress to enact legislation prior to Obama’s executive order most likely stemmed from anything but decency.

          • Weren’t the Dems in control of the Senate at the time? They could have initiated legislation, but did not. What do we conclude?

            • The Democrats initiated The Dream Act in 2011 and failed to pass the 60 vote threshold for a motion to cloture in The Senate. The Democrats reintroduced the bill in 2012 and Republican co-sponsors reneged on their previous support. The conclusion is that The Dream Act needs at least 60 votes in The Senate, which currently will require 12 Republicans to join 48 Democrats in a motion to cloture.

          • You have got to be kidding, Diane. “Decency”? This is about votes. The fact that you would actually fall for the camera-ready crocodile tears is ridiculous. I hate watching people being made into fools by Democrats. They totally count on your gullibility if they can just make up some sob story you will fall for no matter what the hell the issue is. And every indoctrinated leftists American falls in line repeating the robotic mantra they were given. Stop already. Look around, educate yourself, step away from your brainwashing, and entertain the idea that you’ve been used to further a sick ideology.

            They are illegals. It is illegal. There are laws. They broke them. They need to go back. Yes, it will disrupt their lives. Yes, it will change the voting roles for D’s. Both will be better for it.

            The thirty year plan has unraveled. Clean up your out-of-control party then convince some Americans that you all have an all-American idea – other than importing clueless foreigners to vote for you.

                • Cape Cod Skeptic – I am fine as long as they have an opportunity to learn Spanish. Or Spanglish, which is used on the border. As long as they can survive. Their families have extended families that will take them in, but communication may be a difficulty for awhile.

                  • When I lived in CA I was heavily involved in my sons’ public elementary school teaching art on a volunteer basis (there was no regular arts curricula due to budget cuts). A common complaint of the teachers (some of whom were required to teach ESL kids in Spanish) was that the immigrant kids could not speak their native tongue with correct grammar. I’ve heard this same complaint from teachers in poor districts in TX and FL. Kinda makes it tough, huh?

                  • Kids pick up languages much easier than adults, due to the plasticity of the brain. Young or old, immersion is the best way to learn a language.

                  • I’m sure they can speak fluent Spanish, Paul. How else would they communicate with the parents who brought them here? The parents didn’t suddenly start speaking English when they crossed the border illegally! These kids are now young adults and they would have grown up in Spanish speaking homes, but learned English in American schools. They are fortunate to be able to speak both languages fluently.

                    • TIN – their Spanish is subpar at best. Their parents probably speak enough English to survive and work and the kids speak mostly English in the home. And mostly they speak Spanglish rather than Spanish, if push comes to shove.

          • Obama’s executive order on DACA was most likely done for the sake of decency.

            He has never in his life manifested any sense of decency.

          • http://www.thediplomad.com/2017/09/daca-is-scam.html
            contrary to MSM reporting, that DACA is NOT law, it’s NOT even an Executive Order. Nope. It’s, at best, an extra-legal temporary (“certain period of time”) policy created by an Obama speech, and a subsequent memo from the-then DHS Secretary announcing that we would not enforce our immigration laws when it came to a certain class of illegal alien, i.e., “childhood arrivals.” What we have, therefore, is a speech by an ex-President and a memo by a former cabinet member substituting for and defying the law of the land.

            • “DACA is NOT law, it’s NOT even an Executive Order. Nope. It’s, at best, an extra-legal temporary (“certain period of time”) policy created by an Obama speech,”

              My view is it’s just like everything else Obama said. “If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor.” We had a lying President who supposedly wsa a “law professor” that didn’t know Constitutional law. He knew how to destroy (that is what community organizers do best), but he didn’t know how to build.

              • Allan,
                Obama is an expert in constitutional law in much the same way as Gosnell is an expert in medicine. I have no problem with their expertise, it’s what they did with that knowledge that is most significant. Here’s another example: This is the anniversary of 9/11 and we had men trained to be pilots that used that expertise to commit an act of terror. It should be clear that all crimes are born of human nature and that nature is always looking for a weapon to carry it out.

                • Olly, Obama says he is such an expert, but I don’t think Obama understands much of anything in depth except how to seed discontent and destructive activity. He had certain principles he wished to follow and I sometimes agreed with them especially with regard to his desire to keep America out of so many wars. Unfortunately, I disagreed with his implementation and his lack of regard of history and his near total disregard for the defense of this nation.

          • Obama blew up immigration reform in ’07 so he could have something to run on in his presidential campaign in ’08.

            Senators Obama and Hillary Clinton were declared candidates for president when the “Dorgan Amendment” to the McCain/Kennedy immigration reform bill was making its way through Congress in ’07.
            Both Obama and Clinton voted for the Dorgan Amendment, which was a classic poison bill designed to blow up the legislation to prevent it from passing. They both wanted something to run on in their presidential bids in ’08. So they killed the immigration bill in ’07. For crass political purposes. Where was Obama’s supposed “decency” then, I wonder?

            Here are their votes:

            https://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=110&session=1&vote=00201

            Here’s WaPo’s Robert Novak explaining the Dorgan Amendment:
            http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/13/AR2007061301966.html

          • I don’t doubt McCain has a conscience, but he has over the last 15 years or so seemed ever more frequently motivated by a desire to be abrasive. The man is terminally ill. Why is he still in Congress?

            • DSS – I called his office and asked him not to run again. I did not vote for or against him. I think he wants to break Carl Hayden’s record. He is going to die in office.

              • Carl Hayden was in Congress for 56 years and change (a record broken by Robert Byrd) and in the Senate for 41 years and change (a record broken by Strom Thurmond, Robert Byrd, Ted Kennedy, and (I think) some others). McCain’s not breaking those records unless he lives to be 103. He’s 81 and it’s regrettable but true that he will likely not last another two years with the cancer he has.

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