The Daily Demarche
Wednesday, April 06, 2005
The President's "Tri-fecta"
I have to hand it to President Bush and his administration- I am not sure I have ever seen the liberal crowd in the State Department this shaken up. First the President did nothing to stop The Minutemen (never mind that he can’t), then he ordered the lowering of the Flag to half staff for the Pope and is attending the funeral, and now Canadians will have to show passports to enter the United States (of course so will returning Americans, but that is not really annoying anyone, after all, we all already have passports).

We have argued a number of times on this blog that our immigration policy is severely broken, as have countless other bloggers. The group of men and women calling themselves The Minuteman Project has done more in a couple of days to bring this issue to light than all of the words typed by all of the pundits on the Internet. They have garnered world wide attention, sparked a furious debate and focused the issue as never before- and it is driving the left bonkers:

Recently, White House and federal legislators have used the U.S.-Mexico border as the most recent gimmick in the war against terror in their efforts to continue to play on the fears of the American public. Top-level Cabinet officials and federal representatives have tirelessly repeated the unsubstantiated notion that somehow, all of the sudden, the next al-Qaida attack will have had its origins from the border ---- this without having had any congressional hearings, without any evidence presented dealing with the issue, and without there having been any public investigation on the matter. In fact, the rhetoric from Washington serves only to escalate tensions along the borderlands to unprecedented levels.

At least one report indicates that the Mexican military is on standby. To do what, I am not sure. All of this is really irking some of our State colleagues- imagine the American people taking foreign policy into their own hands. The nerve of some people! The fact that the White House is not vehemently denouncing the border watchers makes them even crazier.

As soon as the word came out to lower the Flag to half staff the grumbling began around the coffee pot: “Why are we lowering the flag?”, “What about separation of Church and State?”, “The right wing religious minority is out of control”. This is all, or course, from the same bunch that give Reagan no credit for the death of the U.S.S.R and gives all the credit to the Pope. Face the facts people: Pope John Paul was a world leader and a respected man. If he deserves the credit you want to give him then he deserves to be recognized at his passing.

Finally, the Canadians. They are very, very unhappy about the new policy that all border crossers must show a passport. Of course this requirement will not only apply to Canadians- it will also affect some folks in the Caribbean, and American citizens traveling to Canada (and Mexico) and back will need passports too. At least one Canadian politician seems to have missed that piece as “Public Safety Minister Anne McLellan…suggest[ed] Ottawa might respond in kind” and require Americans to show passports to enter Canada. Well, ok Canada- you showed us, eh? Now I don’t want to make too much fun of this issue- it will affect millions of people every day. Travelers have until the end of 2007 until it goes into effect at the land borders, so there should be plenty of time to get a passport. In the mean time the complaints that we are further alienating the Canadians is being muttered all over the embassy.

Change is tough to deal with sometimes, even for people who change jobs, homes and even countries in which they live every few years. Coupled with the idea that the President and his policies just might be right this latest “tri-fecta” is just too much to take. As for me, all I can say is “Thank you”.
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dé·marche 1) A course of action; a maneuver. 2) A diplomatic representation or protest 3) A statement or protest addressed by citizens to public authorities.

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