Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Why Amnesty isn't "Amnesty" and why you are "Angry" if you think it is.

There is an excellent article up by Steve Sailer at VDare titled Lies, Damned Lies, And "Pollaganda" wherein elaborate polling focus groups are done to engineer the correct questions that will elicit the response desired by Wall Street elitists, the Bush White House, and Democratic Populists.

One of the architects of this is an immigration "guru" named Tamara Jacoby, whom I ran across while writing my one and only Op-Ed piece for the New York Times on the Saddam Hussein oil slicks of the Iraq/Iran War. She was the Op-Ed page editor and a fierce redactor. She evidently brings the same intensity to her new chosen niche. Sailer began his career as a marketing specialist and knows a lot of tricks from pushing soap to cereals. Some nuggets from Sailer's observations on Jacoby and others' efforts:
"Immigration is back in the spotlight, which means Tamar Jacoby, the tireless shill for the Cheap Labor Lobby, is everywhere in the media. Right on cue, Jacoby was the subject of an effusive Washington Post profile by Krissah Williams with the dubious title An Advocate Rallies to Unify GOP. [May 21, 2007].

Two days later, Tamar was back in the Post, this time with an op-ed entitled Immigration's Future: The Senate Compromise Asks the Right Questions [May 23,2007].

In it, she claimed:

"As usual, those yelling "amnesty" are the loudest voices. But they are increasingly out of sync with the public on immigration. Poll after poll in the past year shows 60 to 85 percent of voters in favor of an overhaul that would allow illegal immigrants to earn their way to citizenship by meeting certain requirements …"

In reality, Tamar knows full well that the public is not at all happy with the Kennedy-Bush plan. The only way to get her kind of figures is to approach Americans with the most delicately manipulative questions that modern market researchers (I used to be one) can devise. (Indeed, at a panel discussion on immigration at American University, [April 24, 2007] Jacoby actually boasted of being involved in a long series of iterative focus groups designed to craft Bush Administration ploys that would get respondents to agree that the amnesty wasn’t an amnesty. See the Manhattan Institute website for details. The focus groups, starting in 2005, involved Hispanic pollster Sergio Bendixen and immigration lobbyist Frank Sharry.)

Of course, the dishonest elites don't care about real public opinion:
"The essential problem with most immigration polls is that the survey companies don't understand the public's concerns, and don’t want to know. The questionnaire designers haven't thought about illegal immigration logically.

Why would they? In the media today, those who have thought long and hard about the subject are consistently denigrated as "angry." A heedless insouciance about the effects of immigration is fashionable because it suggests one's own status is above all that: If you are worried about competition from uneducated peasants, well, that just shows you're probably an uneducated peasant, too.

Sailer calmly and lucidly links to dozens of articles in the VDare piece that display an arrogant disregard the Beltway and Wall Street elites---and the folksy Bush White House---share whether they are Democrats or Republicans. Their polling hides an agenda is hidden among clusters of funhouse smoke and mirrors:
Until last week with the new Rasmussen poll of May 21-22. As Pollster Scott Rasmussen explains: "From the beginning, the President and most other Beltway politicians have misunderstood the public debate over immigration."[Bush Ratings Tumble When Immigration Dominates the News, Rasmussen Reports, May 21, 2007] Rasmussen, on the other hand, gets it.

After starting off with a question about how closely the respondent is following the immigration issue (an impressive 37 percent said "very closely" and 41 percent "somewhat closely"), Rasmussen asked directly about the new immigration reform agreement. Only 26 percent supported it, while 48 percent opposed it.....

Rasmussen explained:
"The bi-partisan agreement among influential Senators and the White House has been met with bi-partisan opposition among the public. The measure is opposed by 47% of Republicans [and] 51% of Democrats."[Just 26% Favor Senate Immigration Plan, May 23, 2007]

Then, Rasmussen cut to the heart of the matter with two questions:
A landslide 72 percent agreed that "Border Enforcement and Immigration Reduction" was "very important."

In sharp contrast, only 29 percent thought "Legalizing Status of Illegal Aliens" was "very important."

So the Gallup and MSM polls often play a shell game with those polled in "pollaganda" stings. The questions start out with "what shall we do with the [pick-a-number, "12 million" is the favorite] illegals already in the States? The answer predisposes the drift of the questions towards a "comprehensive" solution. But
Rasmussen notes: "The enforcement side of the debate is clearly where the public passion lies on the issue."

The passion is broad-based. Border enforcement and immigration reduction is "very important" to 73 percent of whites, 81 percent of blacks, and 57 percent of other races (presumably mostly Hispanic and Asian), as well as 89 percent of Republicans and 65 percent of Democrats.

"Legalizing status" is "very important" to only 27 percent of whites, 28 percent of blacks, and 47 percent of others. (It's noteworthy that the Hispanic/Asian group is at least as enthusiastic for immigration reduction as legalization of existing illegal aliens.)

Rasmussen acerbically points out:

"Advocates of ‘comprehensive’ reform have taken to arguing that those who want an enforcement-only policy must explain how they would deal with the 12 million illegal aliens already living in the country. The public reaction to that question appears to be 'Why?'"

The pollster said in 2006: "While the President advocates a 'comprehensive' reform focused primarily on legalizing the status of illegal aliens, our most recent survey shows that most voters favor an enforcement first policy."

A 2006 Rasmussen poll found, "By a 3-to-1 margin, voters say it doesn’t make sense to consider additional laws until the government first gains control of the borders and enforces existing laws."

Sailer's conclusions are damning:
"Having been badly snookered by the earlier "comprehensive immigration reform" of 1986, which turned out to be amnesty-only because corrupt politicians browbeat the INS into not enforcing the workplace requirements on big campaign contributors, the public wants enforcement now. Rasmussen does show that a majority will be willing to talk about "earned citizenship"—but only after enforcement has been working for a number of years. And they will first need to know the full costs of an amnesty to the American taxpayer—which, according to Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation, could be in the trillions.

In contrast, the political and media establishment, while purporting to have public support on their side, are hustling the massive Kennedy-Bush bill through the Senate without any hearings to investigate its effects—precisely because they think that the normal legislative process would allow the public to learn of the legislation's fatal flaws.

Sailer's punchlines left me ready to carry a sandwich board in downtown Boca:
"Bottom line: the public severely disagree with the politicians and the press because it takes a logical approach to the problem—turn off the faucet before starting to mop the floor.

Elite opinion, in contrast, is dominated by sentimentality and status-climbing—or worse.

Move over, France, our own elites are vying for first place in the arrogant oligarchy immigration sweepstakes!

No comments :