In response to James Pinkerton's article in the American Conservative from November 28, 2018 (My comments are within the brackets and in bold italics)
To start with, let us answer the question of who is James P. Pinkerton?
James Pinkerton is a columnist, author, and political analyst. A graduate of Evanston Township High School and Stanford University, he served on the White House staff under both Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush and on each of their presidential campaigns from 1980 to 1992. He is a former panelist (1998-2013) on the Fox News program Fox News Watch, and a frequent contributor to Breitbart as well as an occasional contributor to The Huffington Post, National Review, and other publications. In the past, he was a senior fellow at both the Free Enterprise Fund and the New America Foundation, a lecturer at the Graduate School of Political Management at The George Washington University, a member of the Board of Advisors at the National Federation of Republican Assemblies, and a contributing editor of The American Conservative and USA Today.
Amidst the hurly-burly of politics these days, it can be hard to notice when your side has won a victory [Your side has NOT won a victory, in any sense of the word, but of course I do realize that after the recent vote beating you took in the House of Representatives, you and other conservatives are desperate for anything that could be reconstructed and re-construed as a "victory."]
Yet that's what's just happened for conservatives on immigration: they've won. Okay, it's not a final victory, nor even a crushing victory, but, even so, it's a win ["shift in perception" might be a more accurate way to put it that calling this a "win."].
We know this because Hillary Clinton, arguably still the biggest name in Democratic politics [although clearly it was her staggering amount of "baggage" and her lack of credibility are what ultimately precipitated the 4 year Trump term of office], has just said that conservatives were right. She has conceded the essence of the rightist--and, by the way, centrist--critique of the open-borders approach to immigration.["Open borders" were NEVER the left wing stance; the trust in the procedures by law and asylum applications were, for example, always clearly and repeatedly delineated by Texas Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke, who has a better working knowledge of border issues than anyone in the entire national discussion]
On November 22, Clinton said in an interview with The Guardian, "I think Europe needs to get a handle on migration because that is what lit the flame" [Which flame was she referring to? The flame of violence, gangs, oppression, and economic suppression in Central America? The flame that "conservatives" continually blame on George Soros]
Continuing in that vein, she damned German Chancellor Angela Merkel with faint praise: "I admire the very generous and compassionate approaches that were taken particularly by leaders like Angela Merkel, but I think it is fair to say Europe has done its part, and must send a very clear message--'we are not going to be able to continue provide refuge and support'--because if we don't deal with the migration issue it will continue to roil the body politic." [Ah, yes~~~roil the body politic! We can't allow that, can we, Hillary? Those super delegates who voted for you and won't be able to again: they won't like any "roiling of the body politic," now, will they?]
In other words, when Merkel opened the German border in 2015, she was being nice, but misguided [Misguided? She had the support of the majority of her nation and most of that nation's elected Parliamentarians].
Of course, Clinton is no doubt aware that the global backlash against Merkelism was felt in America, too, contributing to her own defeat in 2016. [Global backlash against Merkelism? What a novel yet unfounded concept, one that I have never even heard of]
To be sure, Clinton is no convert to Trumpism. Indeed, lest anyone think she was, she also told The Guardian that the president has "a strong streak of racism"the whole package of bigotry." [That, of course, is very true, and is actually a kind of intentional understatement, just enough to curry favor among her supporters and perhaps a few fence sitters".]
Yet of course, the fact that Clinton doesn't like Trump is not news. What is news is that she has shifted her stance on immigration in a Trumpian direction [as similarly, in the last few days, so has New York Senator Charles Schumer!]--or, if one prefers, to the familiar rule-of-law position embraced even by the Bernie Sanders left until recently [Yes, indeed: I guess that makes me "part of the Bernie Sanders Left. We still embrace the rule-of-law position when it comes to immigration policy, and certainly concur with the recent judicial rulings which disallow henceforth any President re-casting immigration law by any hastily prepared poorly thought out "Executive Order"]
Yet the immediate reaction to Clinton's words was cautious incredulity. As The New York Times put it later that day, "Mrs. Clinton's remarks to The Guardian drew criticism and a dose of surprise from an array of scholars, immigration advocates and pundits on both the left and the right, some of whom were so perplexed by the comments that they wondered aloud whether Mrs. Clinton had perhaps misspoken." After all, as the Times observed, "Mrs. Clinton, many said, has a long history of supporting refugees--a track record seemingly at odds with her recent remarks. Her immigration platform in the 2016 presidential election boasted that 'we embrace immigrants, not denigrate them.'" [Rather than continue their worshipful sycophantic parasitic support for Clinton during the 2016 primary, I am glad to see for once that the NY Times was accurately to point out this obvious contradiction, and is it some great mystery to discern what is motivating Hillary to say what she said?]
Yet in the days since, Clinton not only reiterated her position, but went a step further, making it clear that she was talking about the U.S. as well. In a tweet on November 23, she said, "On both sides of the Atlantic, we need reform. Not open borders."[Again, no one on the left has ever advocated for "open borders," that I know of. Just look up on YouTube.com precisely what Beto O'Rourke reiterated over and over, despite the right wing's besmirching his vantage point as being in favor of "open borders." This concept, it seems to me, comes straight out of the ultra-right wing ravings of Richard Viguerie and his Fed-Up Pac epistles asking for money twice a month]
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