Thursday, September 11, 2008

Mickey Kaus and Ann Coulter mix it up over which candidate for president is most likely to enact "comprehensive immigration reform." Both McCain and Obama seem thoroughly committed to some form of legalization, but who could make it happen?

Coulter lays out her case (e.a.):
Even assuming McCain were more likely to enact "comprehensive immigration reform" than Obama, the difference is between a 10% chance and a 9.99999% chance.

Meanwhile, Obama is more likely to jump-start Islamic terrorism by rapidly withdrawing from Iraq and insanely sending more troops to Afghanistan and bombing Pakistan. In a few years, it won't matter how many illegals we have -- they'll be forced to convert to Islam like the rest of us.

While McCain says he "got the message" and denies that he would push for amnesty "until the borders are secure," Obama says he would withdraw troops immediately from Iraq here,here, and here ; says he will send more troops to the black hole of Afghanistan here, here, here; and says he will bomb our ally Pakistan here, here, and here.

So to believe that McCain is a bigger threat to America than Obama is, Kausfiles has to take the position that McCain will do what he says he won't (sign an amnesty bill), and Obama won't do what he says he will (withdraw from Iraq, start a disastrous ground war in Afghanistan and attack our allies).

Kaus counters (e.a.):
I'd say the difference is more like a 50% chance of passing a semi-amnesty under McCain, compared with a 20% chance under Obama, who will have lots of other things to do and lots of Dem Congresspeople from swing districts he doesn't want to endanger. Amnesty is irreversible, remember, as will be many of its consequences (e.g., an incentive for more illegal immigration, plus a change in the electorate, creating pressure for further amnesties, etc.). ... Meanwhile I think Obama would, overall, put a damper on world terrorism by automatically and at least temporarily lowering the planet's anti-Americanism quotient, translating into fewer radicalized recruits with less tacit support from their neighbors. (Even John Kerry would have done that.) ... Will Obama want to go down in history as the President who snatched defeat from semi-success in Iraq? It's a worry, I agree! But it was much more of a worry before the perception sank in among voters that the "surge" has succeeded. ...
Mark Krikorian thinks that Kaus is more in the right with these numbers.
One question (on a point I haven't seen discussed too much): how would the Western-type Democratic senators (like McCaskill, Tester, Nelson, Baucus, Dorgan), who were critical in upholding the filibuster against last year's attempt at "CIR," vote for "CIR" under an Obama administration v. a McCain one. Would they back Obama on "CIR" for the sake of party unity during crucial votes? McCaskill in particular has been an early and vocal Obama supporter on the campaign trail...