One of the most fascinating things about last week’s conservative infighting over the Heritage Foundation’s immigration reform study was how it revealed the careful balance that “mainstream” groups like Heritage must maintain with the more radical elements of the conservative base.
The Heritage study’s coauthor, Jason Richwine, resigned after his paper trail of racist pseudo-science came to light. Groups like Heritage and the Center for Immigration Studies are generally exceedingly careful to try to insulate themselves from charges of racism – instead of explicitly talking about race, they talk about “multiculturalism and diversity,” “patriotic assimilation,” “professional ethnics” and “high rates of welfare use.”
All of which drives radical anti-immigrant groups crazy. The White Nationalist group VDARE, for instance, is livid that Richwine was booted from Heritage.
In a VDARE blog post Saturday, VDARE editor Peter Brimelow writes that “Beltway immigration patriots” who are “terrified to death of any sign of Political Incorrectness” will ultimately be powerless to stop comprehensive immigration reform. Instead, he writes, they will ultimately be dependent on people like himself and on xenophobia – or, “the very Incorrect sentiments of national identity etc.” – among the grassroots. These sentiments, he writes, were responsible for defeating immigration reform in 2007.
“Anyone could have predicted it. Richwine didn’t mind taking on taboos or talking to taboo people. That’s how immigration reform foes talk amongst themselves. That’s not how they’re going to stop the bill.”
Actually, my observation is that the small community of Beltway immigration patriots are terrified to death of any sign of Political Incorrectness and have substantially internalized this inhibition.
But it doesn’t matter anyway, because what will really stop “immigration reform” a.k.a. the Amnesty/ Immigration Surge is grass roots opposition—as in 2007. And that is motivated by the very Incorrect sentiments of national identity etc.
Nevertheless, the Richwine saga has to make you wonder where America is headed.
Brimelow is no stranger to the nexus of mainstream and radical on the Right. Last year, Brimelow was invited to speak on a Conservative Political Action Conference panel about “how the pursuit of diversity is weakening American identity” –at which he was joined by Rep. Steve King of Iowa.