Saturday, January 5, 2008

OC-Ed: He Sells Sanctuary

If you think the word “sanctuary” is scary, Mitt Romney is your candidate. Every election cycle, politicians destroy little bits and pieces of our language by trying to co-opt words they can use to attach to an opponent like lead shoes and watch them sink. It’s easier than all that thinking stuff – and they’d rather you didn’t do much thinking either. This is how the wonderfully distortion of Aristotelian logic works:

my opponent = this word
this word = bad
my opponent = bad

No one is better at this than Mitt Romney, an inveterate hypocrite who, when campaigning for governor of Massachusetts in 2002, stood in front of a wrecked car on which he had painted (or, more likely, had hired an illegal immigrant to paint) the words “Beacon Hill Mess” in bright yellow letters and pretended to work on it with a “wrench of reform,” and then told people he didn’t like campaign gimmicks.

Watch the language of the Romney campaign. He’s trying to coin terms like “Hillary Care 2.0” and to label anyone who thinks George W. Bush’s “Axis of Evil” is overblown rhetoric at best and destructive utter horseshit at worst as “foreign policy elitists.” He may be smiling under that hair and talking smooth, but his logic is Tarzan simple, and his motives as Machiavellian as can be. Me, good, others, bad. Me make fear, win big prize.

Romney has said that he believes some immigration is good – if, for example, you’re building robots. But if you don’t have time to learn how to build a robot because you’re running for your life from economic or political persecution, fuck off. Back across the river with you. America wasn’t founded with sanctuary as a basic principle – it was just a capital land acquisition by a small, aggressive foreign start-up that was successful in eliminating the competition from marketplace (see “Trail of Tears”).

I’ve posted a few quotes below demonizing the word “sanctuary.” I can’t believe people fall for this crap.

(And as an aside, can we stop talking about the goddam Olympics? Romney helped bring money into the Olympics by selling corporate sponsorship and making the games look like a NASCAR. Maybe he’ll solve the national debt, but get ready to see the Lincoln Monument wearing a Staples T-shirt and banner ads flashing across the White House lawn. Maybe he’ll even do Alpo commercials during the State of the Union like Johnny Carson used to do on “The Tonight Show”).

“Today's statement by Mayor Giuliani that his sanctuary policies toward illegal aliens created an 'orderly' and 'lawful' society turns logic on its head. You don't promote a lawful society by condoning illegality. As governor, I opposed driver's licenses for illegals, vetoed tuition breaks for illegals and combatted sanctuary city policies by authorizing the state police to enforce federal immigration law. As president, I will secure the border and reject sanctuary policies by cities, states or the federal government." –, Nov 19, 2007.

“If you have a city like Mayor Giuliani's city, New York City, that says that it's a sanctuary city, they're going to provide benefits to people that come here illegally, you say, we're going to cut back on federal funding to those cities as well. We can end the magnets that draw people here illegally – illegal employment by having an employment verification system, the sanctuary state of mind which you see in sanctuary cities, sanctuary tuition breaks, sanctuary driver's licenses. All these things are bad ideas and the American people are going to speak so loud and clear on this issue it's going to get done." –, Nov 14, 2007.

“There is a sanctuary state of mind in this country, and it's not just Democrats, it's also Republicans. You had a mayor of New York that said we're going to give sanctuary status to any illegal. They got welcomed to New York City. I think that's a mistake. You had, in the case of Governor Huckabee of Arkansas, a governor who said let's give tuition breaks to illegals living in our state so that you have the children of illegals getting a lower tuition rate than the children of citizens from the other 49 states. That kind of sanctuary state of mind has got to end." –, Nov 14, 2007.

"I think he's found himself having to stand up and explain why it is that we ought to make him the nominee when he's very much like Hillary Clinton. He's pro-choice like Hillary Clinton. He's pro-gay civil union like Hillary Clinton. He's pro-sanctuary cities like she is." – on Rudolph Giuliani, citing Fox News Radio's "Brian And The Judge," Nov 26, 2007.

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