White noise to fix Bush's policies on immigration...more anti-immigration....
- White Noise
Anti-immigration zealots have launched a stealth campaign to "fix" Bush's policies.
By Max Blumenthal
Web Exclusive: 08.31.04
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It's hard to fathom that a small journal like the Occidental Quarterly, which publishes articles defending the science of eugenics, claiming that "neoconservatism is indeed a Jewish intellectual and political movement," contending that Abraham Lincoln was a white supremacist pressured into "an unnecessary war," and saying that the United States made a grave error in declaring war on Nazi Germany, could have had much of an impact on American politics.
Yet as the premier voice of the white-nationalist movement, the Occidental Quarterly acts as a roundtable for some of the far right's most influential figures. And with election day only eight weeks away, many of the activists and intellectuals on the Quarterly's board are campaigning -- from Western swing states to backrooms at the Republican national convention -- to reshape the Republican Party in their ideological mold.
Sitting on the Occidental's advisory board is a who's who of the national anti-immigration movement, including Virginia Abernathy, a Vanderbilt University professor and self-avowed "separationist" who is directing a contentious anti-immigrant Arizona ballot measure, Protect Arizona Now. Also on the board is Brent Nelson of the American Immigration Control Foundation. He�s working with a coalition of anti-immigrant groups to support the congressional campaigns of Republican candidates who have opposed more lenient immigration policies. The Occidental�s publisher is William Regnery II, a white nationalist and heir to the fortune of Regnery Publishing Inc., which recently published Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry.
The anti-immigrant activists on the Occidental board have united behind Representative Tom Tancredo, a virulently anti-immigrant Republican from Littleton, Colorado (home of Columbine High School). As the Republican convention opens with the Republican National Committee endorsing George W. Bush's guest-worker proposal for undocumented immigrants, Tancredo is working behind the scenes to make sure that the convention plank supports his anti-immigrant politics. He's vowing "to raise hell" if he's thwarted.
Tancredo's frustration is echoed by Jared Taylor, Occidental Quarterly board member and editor of American Renaissance, a magazine that he says approaches issues of race and culture "from a white perspective."
Says Taylor: "The amazing thing about Republicans is they keep saying, 'If we could only get 12 percent instead of 2 percent of Hispanics to vote for us, we'd be in fat city.' All they need to do is raise their percentage of the white vote one-half a percent and that would make much more difference than all of this futile pandering to minorities. Clearly Bush is going to have sacrificed votes all over the country, although how many is hard to say."
According to Devin Burghart, director of the Center for New Community, a Chicago-based group that monitors the far right, rising anger against the Bush administration's immigration policy within the GOP could provide a prime opportunity for the white nationalist and anti-immigrant movements to incorporate their ideologies into the party.
"There is a huge backlash right now, and, quite frankly, if Bush loses, there's going to be quite a bloodletting within the GOP,� Burghart says. �If the anti-immigrant folks can demonstrate that �compassionate conservatism� was somehow responsible for turning away the Republican base and losing the election, they can move their politics from the fringes into the mainstream.�
The Regnery family has hovered over the country�s conservative movement for three generations. In 1941, William Regnery I helped found the isolationist America First Committee to oppose U.S. involvement in World War II. As the war progressed, the group's rhetoric came to closely mirror Nazi propaganda and its membership roll was filled by former members of defunct American fascist organizations covertly funded by the Nazis throughout the 1930s.
In 1947, William's son, Henry Regnery, launched the Regnery publishing house and published such conservative classics as William F. Buckley's God and Man at Yale, Whittaker Chambers' Witness, and Barry Goldwater's Conscience of a Conservative. In 1986, Henry's grandson, Alfred, took over the family publishing business. In the 1990s, he spawned a cottage industry of conspiratorial, salacious expos�s that spun tales portraying the Clintons as drug runners, double-dealers, and sex maniacs. One of the most notorious titles in Regnery's anti-Clinton series was ex-FBI agent Gary Aldrich's Unlimited Access, which painted images of Hillary Clinton hanging crack pipes on the White House Christmas tree and claimed to expose lesbian affairs in the White House basement.
While Alfred Regnery has confined himself to the parameters of the Republican Party, his brother William II seems to have inherited his grandfather's ultra-rightist bent. According to a report by the Southern Poverty Law Center (and as reported on August 9 in Newsweek's �Periscope� column), William II is seeking investors to start a dating service for "heterosexual whites of Christian cultural heritage" and hoping to establish summer schools, conferences, and a speaker's bureau to promote his view that the white race is headed toward extinction. William II's views on race dovetail with those of Jared Taylor, his close associate.
According to Taylor, "It's a perfectly legitimate idea for people who live in what is an effectively European society to want that society to continue. It's a natural, normal feeling, and when people move in from different cultures and different religions, things change, and nobody likes that. America and Europe are the only societies in the world who are being told that committing to that kind of change is somehow virtuous. � Suddenly we're trying to institute some kind of kibbutz policy where we're supposed to rear children collectively."
And while the Occidental Quarterly's anti-Semitic views are well-documented, both in its pages and elsewhere, the attention that board members have paid to immigration policy is not widely known. In short, they view Bush's immigration policy as a dire problem and as a potential wedge issue that they can use to bolster their influence on the GOP.
"My magazine [American Renaissance] has frequently been accused of being a tool for the Jews because we're far more interested in the question of the demographic future of the country," Taylor said. "The idea of the problems of immigration being solved, then moving on to something else -- that would be very pleasant if we had that opportunity, but the immigration problem won't be solved for a long time."
America's leading organization pushing a eugenics-cum-biological-determinist agenda, The Pioneer Fund, has apparently arrived at a similar conclusion. Its founders openly sympathized with Adolf Hitler in the 1930s, and in the 1980s, it shifted its focus toward supporting the anti-immigrant movement. Between 1988 and 1994, The Pioneer Fund granted $1.3 million to America's premier anti-immigrant pressure group, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), and from 2000 to 2002, it granted a total of $25,000 to Project USA, an anti-immigrant group that works closely with FAIR.
FAIR is now focusing the bulk of its efforts in Arizona, a flash point of the immigration conflict. According to the Center for New Community, FAIR spent nearly $500,000 this year on its successful effort to get Protect Arizona Now, a draconian anti-immigrant initiative that would restrict public services to undocumented immigrants, on Arizona's November ballot. A citizens' volunteer group that initiated Protect Arizona Now has appointed Occidental board member Abernathy to direct the campaign. Abernathy did not mince words when she explained the motive behind Protect Arizona Now to The Arizona Republic on August 7. "We're not saying anything about supremacy,� she said. �Not at all. We're saying that each ethnic group is often happier with its own kind."
If Protect Arizona Now passes -- and if polls are to believed, that looks likely -- the anti-immigrant movement is likely to translate its momentum into more initiatives nationwide.
"Protect Arizona Now is being used by the anti-immigrant groups as a bellwether," explained Burghart. "If it succeeds in Arizona, that will send a message to the national Republican Party that they need to push more anti-immigrant politics at the federal level. There's so much riding on this for the anti-immigrant groups because, if they're successful, it will put more pressure on the GOP to follow its base."
Meanwhile, FAIR, Project USA, and an assortment of allied groups are backing the campaigns of nine neophyte anti-immigrant candidates running against incumbents with liberal immigration policies. Most prominent among these anti-immigrant candidates is Kris Kobach, a former general counsel in John Ashcroft's Justice Department who�s running to unseat Democrat Dennis Moore in Kansas' 3rd District. Through its political action committee, FAIR has helped fill Kobach's campaign coffers; Project USA and Occidental Quarterly board member Brent Nelson's Americans for Immigration Control, meanwhile, has pitched in with a direct-mail campaign on the candidate�s behalf.
What�s more, Kobach's legal services have been retained by FAIR to argue before a federal court that undocumented students in Kansas should be denied in-state tuition, an effort that earned him ringing endorsements from Tancredo and Alfred Regnery's weekly newspaper, Human Events.
The anti-immigrant movement is not the only political force propelling Kobach's campaign. He�s been endorsed by the Christian Coalition, James Dobson's FOCUS ON THE FAMILY, and Vice President Dick Cheney. Last April, he and right-wing pundit Michelle Malkin were invited to testify before the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration. He also spoke at the Republican national convention on Monday -- despite the fact that his stance on immigration doesn't exactly mirror the president's. Yet somehow this detail seems to have eluded the national press corps.
"I would have thought that President Bush would have been horrified to have a [immigration] restrictionist take the platform," Taylor said. "That's going to make his outreach to the Hispanic brothers seem a little odd. But maybe Karl Rove and some of his boys are taking some private soundings of Republicans on immigration."
Meanwhile, Tancredo has not been invited to participate in the debate over the plank. As a result, he's had to assert his influence through phone conversations with right-wing activist Phyllis Schlafly, who will be present.
"I have this feeling ... that anybody who says, 'I don't agree with the president's views on immigration' is not going to get [into the convention plank subcommittee]. They are really taking great pains to hush [dissent]," Tancredo told the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Even if Tancredo's agenda is rejected, as it is certain to be, he is determined that he will be heard this week in New York City. He's planned a midtown press conference to denounce Bush's immigration agenda and has created a Web site to promote that press conference. While Tancredo's plans might seem to some like self-promotion, they are consistent with a career marked by PR stunts calculated to keep the immigration debate on the table and the anti-immigrant movement energized. Tancredo knows that the bills he routinely introduces to curtail the rights of immigrants in the United States and to increase border security (through extreme measures like deploying the U.S. Army) will never make it out of committee; yet with every effort, his image as an authentic voice of the anti-immigrant movement in federal government is burnished, propelling him onto the national stage and galvanizing his followers, who, led by Abernathy, have initiated a "Tancredo for President" write-in campaign.
Tancredo's career may be a barometer for the anti-immigrant movement. "The anti-immigrant folks have definitely lost a lot of battles. But they haven't lost the war," says Burghart. "They're gaining support within the GOP and they just keep coming back for more."
Max Blumenthal is a freelance writer based in Los Angele.
Copyright � 2004 by The American Prospect, Inc. Preferred Citation: Max Blumenthal, "White Noise", The American Prospect Online, Aug 31, 2004. This article may not be resold, reprinted, or redistributed for compensation of any kind without prior written permission from the author. Direct questions about permissions to permissions@....
The news is to be reported not to sway opinion. No more melodrama of constant entertainment trivia on news time. The founding fathers knew that government is always corrupt, that is why they gave us civil liberties. The people must lead to survive corrupt governments. Read the constitution. (In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this includes information for research and educational purposes.) Al Soto (c) 2004
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