Monday, May 11, 2015

An Example of How Anti-Amnesty Activists Screw Up often talks about how conservatives miss opportunities to discredit amnesty supporters by being stupid in their questions. To demonstrate, I wish to show you this article about a town meeting featuring Lindsey Graham and John McCain back in 2013 when they were promoting the "Gang of Eight" amnesty bill.

Graham, lying, told the crowd this:

“Who’s got the ‘Remember 1986’ truck out there?” Graham asked. “If we remember what we did not do in 1986 and get it done this time, there will not be a third wave of illegal immigration, and that’s how you get 70 votes (for the bill in the Senate).”

The attendee replied:

“With all due respect, you didn’t do the job in 1986 and I doubt very seriously that you’ll do the job again,” he said to applause.

John McCain shot back, again lying:

“All I can tell you is, sir, that we negotiated with every segment of America’s economy, and the religious side, and every other part of America, and all of them, literally without exception, are in support of this legislation.”

The thing is, there were several responses that would have hurt them much more.

Firstly, when Graham suggested that we "do what we didn't do in 1986," someone should have asked specific questions to discredit him, like these:

* Senator Graham, you say that we can avoid another 1986 by doing "what we didn't do in 1986." Exactly what do you plan to do different to avoid another wave of illegal immigration?

At this point, if he answers anything that involves making legal immigration easier, the answer back ought to be something along the lines of: "If we wanted a massive increase in immigration, wouldn't we not care about illegal immigration?"

* Senator Graham, the main thing we did wrong in 1986 was give the illegal aliens legal status first, then schedule enforcement for later. Every report out currently says that you plan to give the illegal aliens legal status before increasing enforcement. Doesn't that undercut your plans to "avoid doing what we did in 1986?"

(The report (April 4 2013) came out earlier than the town meeting (April 29 2013, the Monday before the April 30 article)) - if there were a town meeting a few weeks later, after the bill had passed the Senate Judiciary Committee (or partway through markup), one could also have asked:

*Senator Graham, you claim that we can avoid another 1986 by doing "what we didn't do in 1986." However, the main problem with the 1986 amnesty was that it put legalization before enforcement, and during committee markup, you helped to shoot down any amendments that would make legalization dependent on border security. Doesn't that mean you are trying to repeat the mistakes of 1986?

Admittedly, the third question would not have been possible at the town meeting, as it occurred priot to committee markup. But the first two questions could have been asked with the information that was already well-known. Doing so, and spreading a video of the resulting dissembling, would have hurt McCaion and Graham;'s credibility.

Secondly, McCain's statement that support of the Gang of Eight bill is unanimous is laughably ludicrous. One could have simply asked him:

* McCain, you say that every part of America is in support of the Gang of Eight legislation. Why don't you include the American Legion, which came out against your legislation back in February?

* McCain, you say that support for this bill is unanimous. However, it is well known that Immigration and Customs Enforcement was locked out of the negotiations over the bill, towards which they have expressed severe skepticism. Isn't it possible that you have manufactured unanimous agreement by deliberately avoiding meeting with anyone who disagrees?

With such inveterate liars, a little prior research and an ability to bring facts to bear would go a long way to changing the debate.

That is all.

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