Michelle Malkin’s Sloppy Logic and Xenophobia

Michelle Malkin seems to be all a twitter over the notion of Reconquista, that is that the U.S. or at least a big chunk of it (i.e., the Southwest) will be re-absorbed by Mexico. Apparently this Grand Master Plan is going to be executed by having illegals sneak into this country, then they will agitate for amnesty, get it, then vote for politicians that will return parts (or even all of) the U.S. to Mexico. That is, these wily illegal immigrants, who at other times Michelle Malkin bemoans as illiterate and uneducated but nevermind that, want to take the land of opportunity and turn it into Mexico Del Norte or something. Say, maybe these wily immigrants aren’t that smart…I don’t know I have a hard time following Michelle Malkin’s torturous logic.

First of, as I’ve already noted, Malkin wants to have her cake and eat it too when it comes to immigrants and their Grand Master Plan. On the one hand she hosts an article about how uneducated the illegal immigrants are, but at the same time there is this cunning plan in place to steal elections. And yes, it is true that illegal immigrants are less educated than the average American, the idea that there is this cunning plan is well…unhinged.

As for Malkin’s article about the Reconquista she starts out great. Great in the sense that she effectively silences any and all criticism.

There are none so blind as those who will not see. While the mainstream media heaped praise on the “peaceful” May Day protesters and newspapers plastered sympathetic photos of the pro-illegal alien “sea of humanity” all over their front pages, freelance photographers, bloggers, and radio interviewers captured a sea of open-borders militancy nationwide.

Uninformed political observers delude themselves into thinking that these sentiments are relegated to the fringe. But the core concepts of reconquista (the “re-conquest” of the Southwest by Mexico) have spread wide and deep-from San Francisco to Los Angeles to Milwaukee to Arkansas and beyond.

It is a brilliant rhetorical strategy if one can get away with it: cast all critics as blind and uninformed. Disagree with the notion of reconquista and you are blind and uninformed. Now you have to spend time demonstrating that one is informed and not blind.

Further, Malkin argues her point, that the reconquista is strong and broadly supported based on virtually no evidence. Her only evidence is biased pictures from bloggers and such who support her position. Is it any stretch that these people would seek out the most striking examples of banners and signs that support their viewpoints? Seems that is probably a good default assumption vs. the idea that Malkin’s confederates are in reality out there taking a random sample of all the signs and banners at various marches and demonstrations.

In Seattle, photojournalist Byron Dazey of CreativeFlashes.com snapped hundreds of pictures of extremist left-wing claptrap. “Open the Borders” screamed a giant banner. “No more blood! No more borders!” echoed another placard. “Stop the War! Stop the Borders!” preaches a sign carried by a “Freedom Socialist Worker.” Other protesters displayed a rambling, illiterate message scrawled on a giant blue tarp:

“To the diplomats in Arizona talking of illegal deal, why R U so hipocratics (sic) when we know that almost ½ of what it was Mexico, was bought illegally by the US . Santa Ana was a conquestee from France, he was not the president of Mexico or Mexican. 1845-1847 we were fighting our own independence with their own people and also fighting the French. The US took advantage N offered Santa Ana money for the Mexicans land. Do U call this legal?”

Okay, so there are hundreds of photos…exactly how many supported reconquista and how many didn’t. And how many banners and signs were there at the march? I don’t know, but is this an example of reconquista claptrap? Or how about this? Now, you may not agree with the sentiment of that picture, but it doesn’t strike me as expressing some sort of reconquista viewpoint. Similarly for this picture? And this one, this one, this one, and this one? To be sure there are the kooky element, but the kooky element comes out for just about any march or parade (don’t those people who carry the signs about Palestine have real jobs?).

The bottomline is that Malkin has completely failed to demonstrate her point. Many of the pictures either say nothing about the reconquista or they indicate support for becoming Americans. It must be great being a pundit in that you don’t have to actually deal with things like facts and evidence.

Update: Many commenters are having a problem with this post (or maybe I just didn’t get the point across well). I am not denying that there are whacky fringe elements in the open borders/immigrant crowd. Heck one of the pictures at the Creative Flashes website was about justice for Palestine. Huh? My point is that Michelle Malkin’s thesis: That la Reconquista is a widespread belief of many of these immigrants is just not supported by the “facts” that Michelle Malkin has brought forth? What does she have?

Some pictures. Pictures that are selected to show the point she wants to make. Notice she didn’t point to any of the pictures that I linked to above.

Other evidence? Some whacky speakers at the rallies. There are whacky speakers are every rally. The Million Man March had Louis Farakhan as a speaker (to name one) and I have to say…that guy is whacky. So are we to conclude that every single black man at the Million Man March is now a member of the Nation of Islam? That is what the MalkinLogicTM would suggest.

When we get right down to it, Malkin has failed to show that the idea of la Reconquista is actually a widely held belief that she claims. Most commenters engage in speculation, conjecture and outright conspiracy theorizing. The idea that the immigrants are “useful idiots” and that once inside the voting booths (assuming they become citizens) they will vote in lock-step to return California, New Mexico, Arizona and perhaps Nevada to Mexico. Nevermind that many of these illegal immigrants aren’t even Mexican! Nope, they will all vote in lockstep.

I find this kind of thing complete nonsense. At least with the “evidence” that Malkin claims to have. Malkin is very good at manufacturing outrage out of things that are not outrageous such as the Ports deal. When all was settled in that fiasco all that the U.S. accomplished was to piss off a long time ally in the Middle East.

FILED UNDER: Borders and Immigration, Middle East, National Security, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Steve Verdon
About Steve Verdon
Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research. He joined the staff at OTB in November 2004.


  1. RA says:

    It doesn’t take brains to vote. You keep importing illegals into these states and eventually they will control the state governments who will vote to allow all ilegals into their states. These states will enentually be populated by Mexicans, not Americans. Then they can start spreading their territory state by state as they smugle more Mexicans into neighboring states.

    By the way, these people, who were brought up in a socialist, corrupt society, will vote heavily Democratic and will eventually vote to bankrupt the treasurey with benefits for their compadres. Eventually Democrats will raise taxes on the middle class to pay for their invader friends. America will spiral down with huge deficits, huge job loses and a depression that will be like the 1920’s.

    If Malkin is xenophobic, you are an economic lemming, willing to destroy our nation so no one will call you racist!

  2. Steve Verdon says:

    It doesn’t take brains to realize that voting is secret and getting people to all vote one way is usual only in dictatorships. The above makes Malkin’s notion dubious at bets, and outright xenophobic at worst.

    Stop posting such stupid comments RA, you usually do much better.

  3. yetanotherjohn says:

    First off,
    You failed to prove that there can not be a combination of uneducated illegal aliens and that if granted the right to vote that they wouldn’t “steal elections”. It would make sense that the uneducated would in fact make perfect dupes for the plan. While I tend to cast a disparaging eye on most conspiracy theories, your argument that the two are mutually exclusive is hardly persuasive. That vote buying goes on is not in doubt (see east st louis for a recent example). The real question is how serious is it, do we need to do something about it and if so, what would be the best remedy. Like an unnecessary death, one fraudulent vote is to many. But reality says that sometimes the cure can be worse than the symptoms of the illness. Personally, I would think that showing an ID (with proviso for giving free ID’s to those who can’t afford it) is a very reasonable and minimal step to reducing voter fraud.

    That the theory of reconquesta exists is not in dispute. I also know people who would advocate the secession of Texas from the union (though that tended to be when Clinton was making stains in the White House). The way to defeat her is to show that it is a fringe element and not wide spread. She provides photos for people who would be willing to associate themselves with the idea in public. Your argument that the pictures might be cherry picked hardly refutes her point. I have seen collections of photos that purport to be of the same rally. Depending on which set you believe, the tone of the rally would be very different. Granted that her set of photos may not be representative. But can you grant that her photos might be representative? What we are left is an assertion on her part that the photos reflect the tone of the march and a question on your part that the photos might not reflect the tone of the march.

    Bottom line is neither of you is making the most adult of arguments that would tend to persuade someone not already in line with your position. At least Malkin is providing some evidence to back her position vs your just raising questions that don’t really address the truth behind her assertions. I don’t know if reconquesta’s a mainstream view in the illegal immigrant community or a fringe view. My suspicion is that it is a fringe view, but you certainly don’t provide any evidence to prove the question one way or the other.

  4. Patrick McGuire says:

    Anybody hear the expression “useful idiots”? Millions of voters who have an allegiance to a foreign country could very well vote away part of this country if they are organized by a few crafty individuals.

    I don’t see the contradiction here.

  5. Dave Schuler says:

    Actually, Steve, there are some dimbulbs among Mexican immigrants and second- and third-generation Mexican American romantics who I have no doubt really believe this stuff. But I doubt it’s gotten too much farther than the bull-session stage.

    Everyone ought to simmer down and take a good look at Mexican demographics. I think there are plenty of reasons to oppose over-reliance on entry-level (mostly Mexican) workers and the most important one is that it’s not sustainable. The entry-level workers of the 2nd and 3rd quarters of the 21st century will come from Africa (and, perhaps, Asia), will not be speakers of Indo-European languages, and may come from extremely small linguistic communities. This will present an entirely new set of challenges�particularly to the poorly-educated Spanglish speakers.

  6. Rick Moran says:

    I understand the disbelief of those who think that Reconquista is a pipe dream or worse, a straw man set up by pro-enforcement people to agitate against immigration reform.

    I would only point out that by 2050, there will be 100 million Hispanics living in California. Given the de-emphasis placed on assimilation by most of the open borders crowd (multiculturalism vs. “melting pot”), you have the potential for disaster.

    How realistic is it? Perhaps the question should be do we want to take the chance of finding out?

  7. SAP says:

    For those who think that this Reconquista thing that has Michelle Malkin all a-twitter is something to worry about, might I suggest that you look over David Neiwert’s excellent breakdown on the subject.

    Speaking as a Hispanic male who was born in Chicago but spent a year in Baja, I can’t think of anything funnier than wide-eyed conspiracy theorists who actually believe that people of Mexican descent who are living here in the States seriously want Mexico to take over in any appreciable way, shape or form. When I told my extended family that I was moving to Mexico, one and all, I got a look that said, “Call the asylum, quick! Tell them we need a white jacket here!”, especially from the older members who grumble about taking pride in one’s heritage. These are the same people who will proudly display the Mexican flag alongside the American flag on Cinco de Mayo, and they can’t imagine anyone in the family wanting anything to do with Mexico or it’s government.

    So, yeah, “Reconquista”? What for? We like it here. Ain’t no Barnes & Noble on the other side of the border, anyway.

  8. Rick Darby says:

    Well, check out, for instance, La Voz de Aztlan with its psychotic conspiracy theories, anti-Semitism, and its clear message of reconquista. You may not take the idea seriously, but they sure do.

    This isn’t about scoring debater’s points; it’s about the future of the United States and the Western world. Even if, at the moment, the majority of Mexican illegals aren’t actively working for reconquista, most revolutions start with a small but fanatical minority.

  9. Dave Schuler says:

    Beware of the persistence theory when making projections of population growth.

  10. Steve Verdon says:

    Rick and everybody,

    You have all completely missed my point. See the update.

  11. Steve,

    I think you made your point–and made it well. The problem I have found on this topic is that there is a set of folks who have made up their minds on this issue and are not amenable to debate or reason.

    All sides can play “look at the pictures that support my POV” all day long, and yet it proves nothing.

    What is interesting, and if time permits I may post something myself on this over at my place, when the loonies were protesting Bush and Iraq in large numbers (both here and abroad) the pro-administration folks were mainly dismissive. Now, because it suits some of them, they think that the more radical of the signs prove their case.

  12. Bithead says:

    In all of this, the one thing that doesn’t get mentioned, it is the connection between the illegal immigrant movement and the socialist movement in this country. Note that most of the pictures were seeing from these protests are people wearing tee shirts depicting Che, or other socialist banners.

    The perception that one who is not well educated, cannot be crafty in the process of pursuing world socialism, ignores the entire history of world socialism.

  13. Bithead,

    In all fairness, I suggest that you go through the photos again. It is difficult to back up the claim that “most of the pictures were seeing from these protests are people wearing tee shirts depicting Che, or other socialist banners.”

    And I think that one can read too much into Che t-shirts.

  14. Jim Henley says:

    Ah, welcome to my world, Steve Verdon. This is the same sloppy logic, conspiracist thinking and guilt by association that war skeptics have been putting up with from the right-wing blogosphere for going on four years now.

    Now you have to spend time demonstrating that one is informed and not blind.

    Yup. That’s how they do it.

  15. Bithead says:

    In all fairness, I suggest that you go through the photos again. It is difficult to back up the claim that â??most of the pictures were seeing from these protests are people wearing tee shirts depicting Che, or other socialist banners.â??

    And I think that one can read too much into Che t-shirts.

    Actually, no.
    Suggestion: Do not limit yourself in your search, to the mainstream media, or, for that matter, Michelle.

  16. madawaskan says:

    Thanks for having the guts to post this. Her immaturity knows no bounds and she essentially in the end hurts whatever her cause may be. Her rhetoric wouldn’t hold up in a high school political science class. She essentially peddles propaganda, and anyone with even a beginning college course in political science sees through her lack of logic. I think you are too generous when you make this comment-I don�t know I have a hard time following Michelle Malkin�s torturous logic. It’s lack of logic, rhetoric and demagoguery. Unfortunately that stuff works as any student of history can attest. She delegitimizes all of the blogosphere on the right when they dare not to speak up and escape Malkin’s pyramidal power structure{it’s enough to make the Pentagon envious}. There is a real vacuum to fight back against this. She pretends to be a friend of the military while constantly eroding the President’s base of support and credibility. This is having an effect on his ability to negotiate, and gain allies in the more important battles of Iraq, Afghanistan, and preventing further more serious dilemas with Iran. No we all must focus on what she has declared to be the upmost threat to the United States-the sudden “invasion” of Mexicans into America that not too many of these people were concerned with just less than two years ago during the last Presidential election. The topic never even made it into any of the debates. If this was such a genuine clear and present danger to the United States why wasn’t she blogging about it with such furvor then? It’s all about peddling emotion, and reaction and she could care less about the longterm effects.

    There are too many Republicans willing to believe Michelle Malkin with her third or fourth sources, and her “sources” wouldn’t be disgruntled Democrats…..

    Michelle is no friend to the military. She exploits them as cover for her attacks on their Commander-in-Chief and undermines their efforts.

  17. Bithead,

    I have looked quite a number of places.

    And I am unsure at to what you are answerinfg “no” to.