Donald Trump, Immigration, And The Republican Party

Once again, Donald Trump is succeeding because he is saying things many Republicans agree with.

Donald Trump Speaking Closeup

Greg Sargent has found a poll result inside the new CNN/ORC poll that goes a long way toward explaining both the Donald Trump phenomenon and the problems that the Republican Party will face on immigration regardless of how long he stays in the race:

This new poll finding, courtesy of CNN, is not all that surprising, but it is very illuminating of the demographic challenges the GOP faces right now: A big majority of Republicans believes that the government’s main focus on immigration should be not just on stopping the flow of illegal immigrants, but also on deporting those already here.

The poll asks:

What should be the main focus of the U.S. government in dealing with the issue of illegal immigration — developing a plan that would allow illegal immigrants who have jobs to become legal U.S. residents, or developing a plan for stopping the flow of illegal immigrants into the U.S. and for deporting those already here?

By 56-42, Americans support developing a plan to legalize undocumented immigrants over stopping their flow and deporting those already here. Independents agree by 58-39, and moderates by 59-40.

But Republicans favor stopping the flow of undocumenteds and deporting those already here by 63-34. So do conservatives, by 55-43. “Those already here,” of course, amount to some 11 million people.

Now, it’s certainly possible that GOP support for deportation is inflated somewhat by the inclusion of securing the border on that side of the question. But even when the question is framed a bit less starkly, as a recent Post/ABC News poll did, a majority of Republicans does not think the undocumented should be allowed to live and work here even if they pay a fine and meet other requirements. This should not obscure the fact that a substantial number of Republicans are, in fact, open to legalization; it’s just that more of them apparently aren’t.

These results shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anyone as we have seen a similar disconnect between what the Americans as whole believe with regard to immigration and what people who self-identify as Republicans or conservatives believe about that topic. To a large degree, it has been the case for some time now that Republicans have a far more restrictive position on the issue and that they are far less inclined to support granting any kind of legal status to the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants that are in the country. It’s also true that the right has come to be dominated by the likes of Laura Ingraham, Ann Coulter, Mark Levin and others who quite blatantly take the position that even legal immigration should be restricted in the name of “protecting” American jobs or American “culture.” There are exceptions to the rule, of course, such as people like Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio who have called on the party to be more open on immigration, but they are the exception that proves the rule. The fact that Rubio himself has walked back his support for the Senate immigration bill that he helped write because of the negative attacks he received for his role in that process is a strong indication of just who is controlling the debate inside the GOP on immigration notwithstanding the support of big money groups like Chamber of Commerce  for immigration reform.

As Frank Rich noted last week, given the realities of immigration politics inside the GOP, it’s no surprise that Trump is succeeding:

Whatever else is to be said about Trump, he is a master salesman. And in the GOP presidential marketplace, he has a near-monopoly on the product he is selling now: hard-line, unapologetic, xenophobic opposition to both immigration reform and Mexican immigrants. Immigration is the fault line of the GOP. The party’s establishment — from its corporate backers toThe Wall StreetJournal editorial page to Jeb Bush (when he’s not hedging) — want immigration reform. They know that no national Republican ticket can win without Hispanic voters. But the base that dominates the primary electorate loathes immigration reform — so much so that even Marco Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, had to retreatfrom his original embrace of it to be a viable presidential contender. Hence, the question you ask is classic Catch-22: If the ultimate Republican presidential candidate does appropriate some part of Trump’s message to win the nomination, he will be as doomed as Mitt Romney was after he embraced “self-deportation” for undocumented immigrants in 2012. Or more doomed, given the trajectory of the Hispanic population explosion in America.

For all the other much-discussed factors contributing to the Trump boom — the power of celebrity, his “anti-politician” vibe, his freak-show outrageousness, his Don Rickles-style putdowns  — it is the substantive issue of immigration that remains the core of his appeal to his fans. That’s why Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter are defending him; it’s why Bill Kristol did until last weekend. And those Republicans who are now demanding that he desist are mostly hypocrites. John McCain himself, after all, enabled and legitimized those Trump partisans he now dismisses as “crazies” by putting Sarah Palin on the ticket in 2008. Other GOP leaders waited too long to disown the conspiracy theories about the president’s birth certificate that Trump would eventually exploit to reboot his political aspirations. Romney ostentatiously courted and received Trump’s endorsement in 2012. Many of the Republican politicians now condemning Trump for attacking McCain’s heroism in Vietnam were silent (or worse) when John Kerry’s Vietnam heroism was Swift Boated in 2004.

The GOP can blame the media all it wants, but the party has no one to blame but itself for weaponizing Trump.

Rich, of course, is absolutely correct, and you can get a very good sense of the conservative zeitgeist that Trump has tapped into in Molly Ball’s piece in The Altantic covering Trump’s viist to Laredo last week. For better or worse, and mostly for worse, Donald Trump has tapped into what can only be described as an anti-immigrant, xenophobic vein inside the deepest part of the hard right wing of the Republican Party. That, combined with the fact that the anti-Washington populism that is also a part of his rhetoric is something that has always resonated well with the public whole, is the main reason why he continue to surge in both national and state polls. The immigration part of Trump’s appeal, though, is the part that really tells us something about what’s going on with the hardcore base of the Republican Party. In some sense, Trump has only torn open something that was largely hidden until now and the fact that so many Republican and conservative pundits and politicians are recoiling from him is largely a reaction to the fact that he has exposed something that they helped to create.

As I’ve said before, Donald Trump is succeeding right now because he is saying things that a lot of Republicans agree with. Indeed, once you take out the caustic rhetoric there is little substantive difference between the position that Trump has mapped on immigration and the position that you hear from most of the other Republican candidates for President. To some extent, Jeb Bush and Rick Perry have tried to differentiate themselves from Trump on this issue, but for the most part the candidates who are talking about immigration haven’t been saying anything that’s all that different from what Trump is saying. Polls like this new one from CNN demonstrate quite aptly why this is the case. Most Republicans do not support immigration, have a negative opinion of undocumented immigrants that makes them unwilling to consider anything that approached “amnesty,” and generally seem to believe that the entire answer to the problems inherent in the immigration system can be addressed with more “border security” notwithstanding the fact that they never seem to have an specific ideas about how the border could be made more secure. Even when Donald Trump gets out of the race, an event that will not be easy for anyone other than Donald Trump to hasten, the people he is appealing to will still remain, and the Republican Party will still find itself out of step with the rest of the nation when it comes to immigration.

FILED UNDER: Borders and Immigration, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics, , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Ron Beasley says:

    What the Republican base doesn’t seem to realize is that without immigrants (both legal and illegal) they would starve to death and there would be no more new roofs.

  2. Tony W says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    they would starve to death and there would be no more new roofs.

    You are operating from the position that wages are immutable. They are not. A more correct statement would be “without immigrants (both legal and illegal) important food supplies would be much more expensive in order to support current corporate profit structures, as would the costs of construction specialties such as roofing”

    This is why immigration is a divisive issue for Republicans. The corporate overlords love it because immigration suppresses wages. The bigots hate it – at least partially for the same reason.

  3. Mu says:

    He wants the wall for keeping the illegals here and without rights. Makes for a cheap captive labor force, unless he can get 10,000,000 H1 visa approved.

  4. michael reynolds says:

    Wait. Let’s back up here a moment. 11 million people. A Greyhound bus carries 50. So that would be 220,000 bus loads. Thousands of agents would have to be added to ICE. It would cost billions.

    And then day after day of video showing men and women and children being hunted and dragged from their homes, their jobs, their schools, their churches. Children separated from their families. Thousands and thousands of hours of videotape. An eternal loop of misery and inhumanity.

    It would be a crime against humanity on the scale of the Trail of Tears or Serbian ethnic cleansing. We would be condemned by the entire world, without exception.

    The idea that the American people would tolerate this for more than 24 hours is utterly, batshit insane. The fact that there are enough abject cretins to even pretend this could happen, just shows how far the GOP is from humanity, decency and reality itself.

    It would destroy this country.

  5. Facebones says:

    While it was Perry’s “Oops” moment that sank him in the primaries last time around, the first poll crashes came when he told Romney that deporting the children of illegal immigrants would be heartless.

    This is the republican party. They can will enough gerrymandered seats in congress and enough governorships to be a political force, but they aren’t going to win the presidency in their current state.

  6. EddieInCA says:

    Let’s not forget this…

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2012/05/17/the-law-of-unintended-consequences-georgias-immigration-law-backfires/

    Let’s assume we could get rid of all 11 million.

    Do you think Corporate America is going to pay $15-$20 per hour for hotel maids?
    Do you think Agribusiness is going to pay $20-$30 an hour for field workers?
    Do you think Fast Food places are going to miraculously suddenly start paying $5-$20 per hour?
    What about restaurant busboys, dishwashers? Are there American’s lined up for these jobs?
    Construction? Masonry? Do you think the Homebuilders want to pay $30 per hour for a good bricklayer, when he can get an immigrant to do it for $10? What happens to the cost of this house when the labor costs jump up 50%.

    The irony is that the same people who love cheap goods at Walmart – sending money to China in the meantime – are the same people complaining about “Immigrants stealing our jobs!”. They want the cheap stuff from China, and they like low food prices, but they don’t want those brown people taking good American jobs. It’s nonsensical.

  7. al-Ameda says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Wait. Let’s back up here a moment. 11 million people. A Greyhound bus carries 50. So that would be 220,000 bus loads. Thousands of agents would have to be added to ICE. It would cost billions.

    We could save a lot of money by having minimum wage prison-release workers drive those buses, right?

  8. Ron Beasley says:

    @Tony W: That’s really not true. Americans are no longer physically able to do much of the work especially agricultural. Last summer the asparagus farmers in Eastern Washington lost 70% of their crop. They tried to bring in some of the unemployed to harvest the crop but they could only work 2 hours or less and then left to go home or were hauled away in an Ambulance.

  9. Jack says:

    @michael reynolds:

    And then day after day of video showing men and women and children being hunted and dragged from their homes, their jobs, their schools, their churches. Children separated from their families. Thousands and thousands of hours of videotape. An eternal loop of misery and inhumanity.

    And yet, you wouldn’t blink an eye if it were gun owners rather than immigrants. Hypocrite!

  10. Jack says:

    What should be the main focus of the U.S. government in dealing with the issue of illegal immigrationa massive influx of water into the USS America — developing a plan that would allow illegal immigrants who have jobs to become legal U.S. residents tons of water water that has already leaked into the ship to become a permanent part of the ship, or developing a plan for stopping the flow of illegal immigrants into the U.S. water into the USS America and for deporting those already here bailing out the water that’s already here?

  11. Jack says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    They tried to bring in some of the unemployed to harvest the crop but they could only work 2 hours or less and then left to go home or were hauled away in an Ambulance.

    Which says more about lazy, fat, weak Americans than anything else.

  12. Tony W says:

    @Ron Beasley: That is only a temporary problem at worst. If Americans could reliably pull down $35k per year harvesting asparagus they would look like UPS drivers.

  13. Tony W says:

    @Jack:

    And yet, you wouldn’t blink an eye if it were gun owners rather than immigrants. Hypocrite!

    Has somebody on this board (or really anywhere) seriously advocated rounding up gun owners, or even guns? You are delusional dude…. I know over at redstate you’ve been chatting about how it’s going to happen any day now – for the past 7 years – but that don’t make it so.

    BTW: How is Jade Helm going?

  14. Jack says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Wait. Let’s back up here a moment. 11 million people. A Greyhound bus carries 50. So that would be 220,000 bus loads. Thousands of agents would have to be added to ICE. It would cost billions.

    Unlike the hundreds of billions in taxpayer dollars spent today to house, cloth, feed, and educate 11 million…a drastically understated figure…illegal immigrants.

    Medicaid, food stamps, the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit, public housing, Supplemental Security Income, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

    Public education. At a cost of $12,300 per pupil per year, these services are largely free or heavily subsidized for low-income parents.

    Population-based services. Police, fire, highways, parks, and similar services, as the National Academy of Sciences determined in its study of the fiscal costs of immigration, generally have to expand as new immigrants enter a community; someone has to bear the cost of that expansion.

    Illegals are arguably net tax consumers. “In 2010, the average unlawful immigrant household received around $24,721 in government benefits and services while paying some $10,334 in taxes.”

    http://amac.us/illegal-immigration-cost/

  15. michael reynolds says:

    @Jack:

    Oh?

    How about we make a deal, Jack. If you can find any place where I have suggested rounding up gun owners and taking their guns, I’ll send you a check for a hundred dollars.

    OK?

  16. Jack says:

    @Tony W: I don’t post at redstate and didn’t even know there was such a thing. I’m not saying anyone here has advocated such, all I stated was that Micheal wouldn’t blink an eye if that were the case.

    Reading comprehension is not your strong point.

  17. Jack says:

    @michael reynolds:

    How about we make a deal, Jack. If you can find any place where I have suggested rounding up gun owners and taking their guns, I’ll send you a check for a hundred dollars.

    Again, I never stated you held such a position, I merely implied you wouldn’t shed a tear if it were to happen.

  18. Ron Beasley says:

    @Jack: Agreed – I can’t argue with that!

  19. michael reynolds says:

    @Jack:

    You are, as usual, intellectually crippled by your gun obsession. Your castration fear is showing.

  20. EddieInCA says:

    @Jack:

    Illegals are arguably net tax consumers. “In 2010, the average unlawful immigrant household received around $24,721 in government benefits and services while paying some $10,334 in taxes.

    Gee Jack… That sounds like most of the south…

    http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/05/which-states-are-givers-and-which-are-takers/361668/

    What the resulting map shows is that the most “dependent states,” as measured by the composite score, are Mississippi and New Mexico, each of which gets back about $3 in federal spending for every dollar they send to the federal treasury in taxes. Alabama and Louisiana are close behind.

    If you look only at the first measure—how much the federal government spends per person in each state compared with the amount its citizens pay in federal income taxes—other states stand out, particularly South Carolina: The Palmetto State receives $7.87 back from Washington for every $1 its citizens pay in federal tax. This bar chart, made from Wallet Hub’s data, reveals the sharp discrepancies among states on that measure.

    Another section:

    [W]ho really benefits from government spending? If you listen to Rush Limbaugh, you might think it was those blue states, packed with damn hippie socialist liberals, sipping their lattes and providing free abortions for bored, horny teenagers. . . .

    As it turns out, it is red states that are overwhelmingly the Welfare Queen States. Yes, that’s right. Red States — the ones governed by folks who think government is too big and spending needs to be cut — are a net drain on the economy, taking in more federal spending than they pay out in federal taxes. They talk a good game, but stick Blue States with the bill.

    Those damn illegals – a drain on the economy like those red-state leeches.

  21. Jack says:

    @michael reynolds:

    You are, as usual, intellectually crippled by your gun obsession. Your castration fear is showing.

    Oh, so you are stating, right here and now, that if the government went to confiscate firearms, dragging people out into the streets, performing no knock warrants, separating children from parents merely because they now own something that the government declares illegal, you would in fact stand up for gun owners.

    No you are not stating that. It’s not a cause you believe in so you wouldn’t shed a tear.

    Go back to defending transvestites using the bathroom of their choice, libtard.

  22. michael reynolds says:

    @Jack:

    I would fight against any such effort. Which may be why I’ve written here on probably two dozen occasions, that I see this as a hearts and minds issue, not fundamentally an issue built on new laws.

    So, yeah, you’re totally wrong once again.

    Get help, dude. You’re a mess.

  23. Jack says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I would fight against any such effort.

    Maybe there’s hope for you yet.

  24. James Pearce says:

    @Jack:

    Unlike the hundreds of billions in taxpayer dollars spent today to house, cloth, feed, and educate 11 million…a drastically understated figure…illegal immigrants.

    The problem with this argument, Jack, is that it makes us think your issue is a matter of cost, making a reasonable person think, “Surely we can reduce the costs of illegal immigration, can’t we?”

    As if this issue could be solved by effort.

    And yet no amount of effort will remove xenophobic bigotry from the braindead right. As my boss says, you can fix almost anything, but you can’t fix stupid.

  25. Jack says:

    @EddieInCA:

    What the resulting map shows is that the most “dependent states,” as measured by the composite score, are Mississippi and New Mexico, each of which gets back about $3 in federal spending for every dollar they send to the federal treasury in taxes. Alabama and Louisiana are close behind.

    Um, New Mexico was a blue state and went to Obama in 2012. As are Florida and Virginia. So, yeah, your facts need some adjustments or your argument dies on the vine.

  26. Jack says:

    @James Pearce: James, I was responding to Micheals assertion that it would cost billions to remove illegals.

    It’s funny that our government and citizens can come up with billions to fund any stupid idea they believe is worth funding, then complain about the cost when the idea of deporting illegals is raised.

  27. michael reynolds says:

    We are never, ever, going to deport 11 million people. It’s a sick fantasy. Can’t be done, won’t be done. If you’re supporting someone who says we can do it, you’re a sucker and your candidate is a creep.

    We all know the single most effective response to future illegal immigration is a national ID card and serious sanctions of employers who use illegals. We can do that with a single piece of legislation. We can put it in place for pocket change.

    That’s been the answer since forever. But the Money Republicans don’t really have any sort of interest in doing it because it would actually work and they don’t want illegal immigration stopped. Illegals generate huge profits for business.

    I will happily support a bill that actually works in a humane way to cut illegal immigration. Most Democrats would. Many Republicans would. But the Money Republicans will steadfastly oppose it while distracting the racist morons that make up the GOP base with a lot of nonsense about walls and deportations.

    As usual the Jesus Republicans are being played for suckers and are just too fu–ing stupid to know it.

  28. James Pearce says:

    @Jack:

    Um, New Mexico was a blue state and went to Obama in 2012.

    And this proves…what exactly?

    I mean, it’s like you looked at whether it was a blue state or red state and that’s all you needed to know. “Why does New Mexico take in more federal dollars than they collect?” Jack’s skin-deep answer: “They went for Obama and so they want government freebies.”

    A little more nuanced answer: New Mexico is home to several federally-funded projects, as well as several federally recognized Native American tribes. Might this be a better explanation than the “blue state” crap?

    Nah, let’s go with the superficial answer that doesn’t explain anything, but “feels right” because it doesn’t contradict or challenge any of your other beliefs.

  29. wr says:

    @Jack: Half the country is in the middle of the worst drought since the Dust Bowl. We can use more water.

  30. EddieInCA says:

    @Jack:

    You’re an idiot. That’s a snippet, meant to illustrate a larger point. Let’s look at it in what smart people – not you Jack – call “context”.

    The article lists three different types of variables. In the first one, “Return by States on Taxpayer Investments”, lists the following states as the bottom ten:

    South Carolina
    North Dakota
    Florida
    Lousiana
    Alabama
    Hawaii
    Mississippi
    New Mexico
    Kentucky
    West Virginia

    Florida, Hawaii, New Mexico are blue. The other SEVEN, are red.

    In the next variable, “Percentage of citizens on food stamps”, lists the following states as the bottom ten:

    Mississippi
    Oregon
    Tennessee
    New Mexico
    Lousiana
    West Virginia
    Kentucky
    Alabama
    Florida
    South Carolina

    Again, Oregon, New Mexico, and Florida are blue. The other SEVEN are Red states.

    In the third variable, “Percentage of citizens under the poverty line”, it lists the following states as the bottom ten:

    Mississippi
    New Mexico
    Arkansas
    Lousiana
    Kentucky
    Alabama
    Georgia
    Texas
    South Carolina
    Tennessee

    New Mexico is the only Blue state on the list. NINE of ten are Red states.

    You notice the trend yet? Look hard, and I think you can get there and figure it out.

    So…. your reading comprehension sucks. Your understanding of math is negligible. You’re trying to defend an indefensible position which is made indefensible by facts, logic, and history; all which seem anathema to you.

    But… Guns!!!!

  31. Davebo says:

    @Jack:

    Hey, I served on the USS America. And we’ve since sunk it. A sad day.

  32. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Jack: Dammit, Grandpa, you agreed to stop posting on the Internet after taking your Oxycontin.

    @EveryoneElse: so sorry. I have been meaning to password protect the laptop for a while now…

  33. DrDaveT says:

    @Jack:

    Unlike the hundreds of billions in taxpayer dollars spent today to house, cloth, feed, and educate 11 million

    Nope, sorry — this is a crock. I am reasonably familiar with the federal budget, and there simply isn’t anywhere to hide “hundreds of billions” of dollars going to illegal immigrants — especially since (as the article concedes) those people don’t get Social Security, Medicare, or means-tested welfare. Unless you think somehow they’re getting it from the Defense Department, there aren’t “hundreds of billions” there to be wasted. This argument applies even more strongly at the state and local level.

    The arithmetic on the site you linked has several glaring problems. The biggest is probably in assigning the average cost per student of educational outlays to each marginal student. Reality doesn’t work that way. If you remove 3 million kids of illegal immigrants from the school systems, you do not save (3 million times $12,300) in education costs. The vast bulk of those costs are the fixed costs of having an education system — they don’t much vary whether you have 67 million kids or 70 million kids in the system nationwide. As a result, the marginal cost of those illegal immigrant kids is dramatically lower than the claim at your website.

    The same logic applies to use of public infrastructure and services.

    More importantly, this argument completely ignores the economic productivity that the illegals are generating. The average illegal household pays more than $10,000 per year in taxes. It takes a lot of income to generate a tax bill of $10k, and that income is pure Buy American gold. It gets spent in the USA, supporting American businesses. You really want to offshore all of that? Why?

    Finally, as others have noted, you really need to account for the general effect on prices that these underpaid workers have. It doesn’t help to reduce US spending by 5% if prices on staple goods go up by 10% as a result.

    No, there really isn’t an economic case to be made against illegal immigrants. There’s only a Hunter S. Thompson case.

  34. James Pearce says:

    @Jack:

    It’s funny that our government and citizens can come up with billions to fund any stupid idea they believe is worth funding, then complain about the cost when the idea of deporting illegals is raised.

    It’s not as ironic as you think. Even right-wingers think there’s unlimited funds to deal with their pet issue.

  35. al-Ameda says:

    @Jack:

    Illegals are arguably net tax consumers. “In 2010, the average unlawful immigrant household received around $24,721 in government benefits and services while paying some $10,334 in taxes.”

    The amount of taxes that undocumented immigrants pay is very likely understated. Millions of undocumented immigrants rent housing, which means that indirectly they pay property taxes too. And as you know, property taxes pay for schools and social services in many of those communities.

  36. grumpy realist says:

    @Tony W: It’s always amazing to me that the whole supply-demand curve is only supposed to work in favor of employers.

    If vegetable harvesters were making $70k a year, I have no doubt but that sufficient Americans would show up to do those jobs. What the asparagus farmers are bitching about isn’t that they can’t hire people, but that they can’t hire at a price point they think is reasonable.

    If you can’t hire your employees at a price point that keeps you in business, that isn’t the fault of your prospective employees. It’s the fault of you having a lousy business model.

  37. David M says:

    @Jack:

    The fiscal considerations of illegal immigration are relevant to the conversation here, but they have to be from reputable organizations to be useful. You’ve linked to Heritage, which is not exactly a credible voice on the issues.

  38. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @michael reynolds:

    The idea that the American people would tolerate this for more than 24 hours is utterly, batshit insane.

    Let me correct that for you MIchael: Of course Americans don’t give a rat’s a$$ about what happens to other people, deport them all! Drag them out of their homes, their schools, their cars, sounds just like Baghdad 2004/5/6/7/8/9… Don’t it? Anyway, once they face the price of their xenophobia in the produce aisle….

    OH WOAH!!!!! WHO SAID I WANTED TO PAY 5$ for a HEAD OF LETTUCE?!?!?!????

    Michael, have you learned nothing about Americans? We are the most selfish pr!cks on the planet.

  39. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @EddieInCA:

    Construction? Masonry? Do you think the Homebuilders want to pay $30 per hour for a good bricklayer, when he can get an immigrant to do it for $10? What happens to the cost of this house when the labor costs jump up 50%.

    They already do you idgit. HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO GO THRU THIS?????Union Bricklayer wages:

    “Approximately 62,560 bricklayers worked in the U.S. as of May 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average hourly wage for all bricklayers, both union and non-union, at all levels of experience from across the U.S. was $22.50. Annual salaries range from more than $80,570 to less than $28,950.”

    I know you management fwcks think all hard labor is done by people who will work for next to nothing. It isn’t. Quite a bit of it is done for good solid wages. By Americans. In fact, a majority of it. If you ever got out of your soft cushy chairs in your air conditioned offices YOU MIGHT FVCKIN KNOW THIS!!!

    Look, I’d apologize for being a d!ck if you all weren’t such a bunch of WILLFULLY IGNORANT BUNCH OF COLLEGE EDUCATED USELESS FV**S. Every time I read this crap here, I try and try again to educate you on the real world, BUT YOU JUST WON”T FVCKIN LISTEN.

    I don’t expect anything to change now.

  40. Tyrell says:

    Think about the Democratic candidates who gathered last week in Iowa: weak, vacillating, backing down, and apologizing to a mob of disrupters who rushed the stage and stole the microphone.
    No wonder Trump’s numbers keep going up. People want strong, decisive leadership.

  41. EddieInCA says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Ozark –

    With all due respect… Those numbers are from 2011. And there is a huge number difference between masonry work and bricklaying. But… I’ll grant your points on bricklayers.

    Do you want to say the same about Drywall? Tile work? Landscaping? Painting?

    Here’s a small anecdote: My sister in law flew me from Los Angeles to Dallas to talk to her Homebuilder’s crew, because they didn’t speak English, and I speak Spanish. I stayed for a week and helped her communicate with her plasterer, her drywall guy, her fireplace mason, and the guys outside doing the stone work. Not one of them spoke English and not one of them was making more than $12 per hour. The foreman was overseeing three different developments, and showed up for about 20 minutes twice a day. When she had questions, she couldn’t communicate with none of the actual workers. And this is one of the largest Homebuilders nationally.

    Drywall? Flooring? How about framing? Roofing? Landscaping? If you think all these trades are working at good healthy Union wages, with benefits, you’re stoned.

    Fact is that almost every Homebuilder is using illegal Immigrant labor, just like almost every chicken farm, almost every large ranch, almost every hotel, almost every restaurant, almost every car wash. Your anger notwithstanding about Bricklayers, it doesn’t negate the overall point. If US businesses got rid of illegal immigrant labor, they’d have two choices: 1. Pay higher labor costs and absorb the amount into their profits; or 2. Pay higher labor costs and pass it on to their customers. There is no middle ground.

  42. Tony W says:

    @EddieInCA:

    Your anger notwithstanding about Bricklayers, it doesn’t negate the overall point.

    I think $60-80K bricklayers is the major reason new houses don’t have brick chimneys anymore. When you can build a simple wood frame and drop double-wall venting up through it, that’s an order of magnitude cheaper – even if it looks like crap when you’re done. Eventually people’s style preferences change to match what is done.

    ‘Murica!

  43. James Pearce says:

    @Tyrell:

    People want strong, decisive leadership.

    Sure, but only a fool thinks they’re going to get it from Trump.

    Also, this stuff…..

    “backing down, and apologizing to a mob of disrupters who rushed the stage and stole the microphone.”

    is getting rather silly. (That incident was in Arizona anyway.)

  44. grumpy realist says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’ve ended up getting my tomatoes from the Farmer’s Market and my herbs from my little hydroponics gizmo not so much because of the price as because of the taste.

    I don’t understand it–we’re in the midst of the best damn growing land in the WORLD and what do we do with it? We grow corn. Some people-corn, but a lot of it is cow corn.

    If you saw the earth I had to work with when I was growing up in Upstate New York by comparison, you would cry. It wasn’t until I moved out to the Midwest that I realized soil does not, in fact, include 50% rocks.

  45. Lenoxus says:

    Original post:

    It’s also true that the right has come to be dominated by the likes of Laura Ingraham, Ann Coulter, Mark Levin and others who quite blatantly take the position that even legal immigration should be restricted in the name of “protecting” American jobs or American “culture.”

    “Restricting legal immigration” is a logical corollary of there being such a thing as “illegal” immigration, which can be defined as what’s left when you take all immigration and subtract the restrictions.

    Now, that’s a point which could be made in defense of those conservatives as not actually crossing a line of decency, but I mean it the other way around — the simple fact that we have per-country quotas is outrageous to me (though I understand the non-xenophobic reasons for them in addition to the xenophobic ones). I think our national attitude ought to be that the branding of some immigration as “illegal” is a necessary evil for the present time, but we should work towards a world where open borders can be practical. I grant that this is non-representative of liberals, it’s just how I feel.

    In any case, when immigration hawks adamantly insist (in contrast to the hawks mentioned in the part I quoted) “Oh but I have no problem with legal immigration, I think legal immigration is great!” they’re playing semantics insofar as the boundaries of legal and illegal immigration are precisely what the debate is about in the first place. (These boundaries or their absence can be de jure or de facto). If we loosened our policies for who could become a citizen, those hawks wouldn’t say “Well, since the new immigration rules are legal, they have my unquestioning support.”

    People quite sensibly support policies that fit their beliefs, not ones that happen to fit the arbitrariness of current standards. Nobody says we should punish marijuana users with huge sentences merely “because it’s illegal”, but then add that if marijuana became legal they wouldn’t mind and might even smoke a joint or two themselves. (At least, I hope there aren’t too many people like that.) So it’s no surprise that an illegal-immigration opponent would be against “even” legal immigration — they’ve merely drawn the line in a self-consistent manner.

  46. Hal_10000 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    The idea that the American people would tolerate this for more than 24 hours is utterly, batshit insane. The fact that there are enough abject cretins to even pretend this could happen, just shows how far the GOP is from humanity, decency and reality itself.

    I agree. As an abstraction, some people like the idea. But when you get down to the nuts and bolts, the support would evaporate immediately. If you ask people about this, they aren’t usually against immigration. They don’t want the immigrants they personally know to be deported because “they’re the good ones”. It’s this theoretical law-breaking mass that the pundits have convinced them is wrecking the country that they want to get rid of. They don’t seem to realize that this theoretical invading horde of dark-skinned people are actually their neighbors, their co-workers, their employees and their friends.

  47. Modulo Myself says:

    Um::


    Not only does the current front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination have a history of controversial remarks about sexual assault, but as it turns out, his ex-wife Ivana Trump once used “rape” to describe an incident between them in 1989. She later said she felt “violated” by the experience.

    Just in case one might think he has level-headed counsel:

    Michael Cohen, special counsel at The Trump Organization, defended his boss, saying, “You’re talking about the front-runner for the GOP, presidential candidate, as well as private individual who never raped anybody. And, of course, understand that by the very definition, you can’t rape your spouse.”

    “It is true,” Cohen added. “You cannot rape your spouse. And there’s very clear case law.”

    That is not true. In New York, there used to be a so-called marital rape exemption to the law. It was struck down in 1984.

    Trump’s lawyer then changed tactics, lobbing insults and threatening a lawsuit if a story was published.

    “I will make sure that you and I meet one day while we’re in the courthouse. And I will take you for every penny you still don’t have. And I will come after your Daily Beast and everybody else that you possibly know,” Cohen said. “So I’m warning you, tread very fucking lightly, because what I’m going to do to you is going to be fucking disgusting. You understand me?”

    “You write a story that has Mr. Trump’s name in it, with the word ‘rape,’ and I’m going to mess your life up…for as long as you’re on this frickin’ planet…you’re going to have judgments against you, so much money, you’ll never know how to get out from underneath it,” he added.

    This either sinks him or further establishes his credibility with the base.

  48. Modulo Myself says:

    My comment was just moderated because of several quoted f-bombs from Trump’s lawyer. The moderator should leave them in, for effect, in my opinion.

  49. James Pearce says:
  50. Modulo Myself says:

    @James Pearce:

    Yup. Trump’s special counsel also seems to believe that it’s legally impossible to rape one’s spouse.

  51. Grewgills says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    All the hotels and the big restaurants on this little rock in the Pacific are paying their bus boys and dishwashers a bare minimum or $10/hr. Maids, servers, and bartenders in those places are all making north of $15. I’m not sure where the idea that all of these are below $10/hr jobs for non Americans comes from.

  52. grumpy realist says:

    @Modulo Myself: So Trump is serviced by a two-bit shyster lawyer who imagines he’s from Joisey and needs to act like an extra from the Godfather?

    Anyone surprised?

  53. grumpy realist says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    I ran across a lovely comment from one of the British articles on Trump and the rape allegations:

    Rick Wilson, a prominent Republican consultant, said the lawyer’s comments – just the latest party line from a man described as “Trump’s pit bull” – represented a campaign that was parroting his hyperbole.

    “The Trump circus is largely comprised of hangers-on with a key skill set: kissing Donald Trump’s ass,” Wilson told the Guardian. “Oddly, the same skill set doesn’t extend into other domains like politics, common sense or judgment.”

  54. grumpy realist says:

    Turns out that Trump has overestimated his wealth as well. By a sizable amount–about 6 billion dollars.

    Again, anyone surprised?

  55. Barry says:

    @EddieInCA: “Do you think Agribusiness is going to pay $20-$30 an hour for field workers?”

    In such a case, I’d expect a boom in slavery the private prison industry.

  56. Modulo Myself says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I read somewhere that Deutsche Bank estimated Trump’s wealth at $150 million . Naturally he threatened to sue them for defamation. This was in the mid-2000s, So if he has managed to tack on a couple billion, it’s all happened recently.

  57. LC says:

    such as people like Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio who have called on the party to be more open on immigration, but they are the exception that proves the rule.

    That is not what this expression means. When a sign is posted that says “No parking Tuesdays”, that is an exception that proves the rule (the rule being that you can park here any other time).

  58. KM says:

    @grumpy realist:

    If you saw the earth I had to work with when I was growing up in Upstate New York by comparison, you would cry.

    OMG yes! I remember my mother’s “garden” being nothing scraggly sorta-trees and wild flowers until she had a literal truckload of dirt carted in. Being a small child (and thus a smartass), I asked why we were paying for dirt when we were standing on plenty of it. Nowadays I know most of it was rocky crap, slag or worse but at the time it was baffling. I can’t imagine what the farmers or vineyards have to deal with…..

  59. DrDaveT says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I don’t understand it–we’re in the midst of the best damn growing land in the WORLD and what do we do with it? We grow corn. Some people-corn, but a lot of it is cow corn.

    I hate to break it to you, but very little of that corn is going to be eaten, and what’s eaten mostly won’t be eaten as corn.

    We have created a gigantic industrial machine powered by corn. It produces paints, fertilizers, industrial catalysts, solvents, cosmetics, paper products, construction materials, plastics, and a thousand other things that have nothing to do with food — and that’s without considering the insanity of corn-derived biodiesel fuel. Of the part that does end up as food, most of it comes back in (after intensive processing) as long-shelf-life sweeteners and “modified food starches” that are barely food at all.

  60. gVOR08 says:

    @KM: When I drive the Interstates through Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, etc. I think that when the first settlers got the tree stumps out, they must have thought they died and went to heaven. Plus they have a uniquely suitable growing climate. Something Republicans are trying to move to Canada.

    Several years ago I saw a TV thing about the breakup of communism in Russia. Some guy was standing in a village street that looked like my grandparent’s photos talking about how great it was that he was going to get his own 40 acres and be able to grow his own corn and sell it for himself. My thought was, “Wonder when that poor bastard is going to find out he has to compete with Kansas?”

  61. grumpy realist says:

    @KM: It was a spring-time ritual for us–as soon as the snow melted and the ground warmed up enough to start thinking of planting, head over to the vegetable garden, get the wheelbarrow, and start picking up the 200+ pounds of rocks that the winter cycle would have driven to the surface. (To make matters worse, we lived on a flood plain.) Then we’d carefully spread the mulch produced from our composting of all the maple leaves (tossing out the garter snakes that liked to curl up in the mulch) and maybe, just maybe, we could get veggies to grow.

    On the plus side of things, we never had to worry about drainage. Asparagus beds? Heck, plant it anywhere!

  62. grumpy realist says:

    P.S. All those stories about glaciers and rocks? They’re all true. Use a shovel anywhere in New England and you’re going to hit a rock.