I don't dislike Bush II. But I am starting to resent him…let me explain:
President George W. Bush was the great hope for conservatives everywhere. With Republicans in control of Congress, the conservative agenda would likely become law under his leadership.
Hard-working Americans would feel some tax code relief and public education would be resituated into the hands of local agencies and parents.
Most of all, America would be a safer place. At last, we would all sleep well knowing that those to whom we entrusted our security were on watch—qualified law enforcement with the skills and authority to secure the land.
Personally, I was optimistic that Bush II would have the courage to tackle our immigration problems.
I thought he would rise to the challenge; that he would secure our borders and make the tough call to expel the millions of illegal aliens that flood our nation, clog our public services and drain our natural resources.
OK, I admit it—this was based on sheer reflexive Republican loyalty. I was a Republican staffer in Sacramento. A Republican had to be better on everything…didn't he?
Plus (ahem) I wasn't reading VDARE.COM then. [Magnanimous VDARE.COM note: We forgive you, Bryanna! VDARE.COM went live only on Christmas Eve, 1999].
Still, I am more than disappointed…I am resentful.
I am not suggesting that Al Gore or Mr. Heinz-Kerry would have done a better job.
But at least I would not feel so betrayed when they thumbed their nose at immigration.
The Presidential nomination of Julie Myers as Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security, Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has extinguished what remained of my hope…and even that was residual.
The MSM hastened to point out her flagrant lack of qualifications:
Ms. Myers has virtually no law enforcement experience, no experience in either immigration or customs and, at 36 years old, one could argue that she has little experience period.
Trust me, she's just a few years older than I am—but my Things To Do Before I Die List doesn't show me heading up ICE for another couple of decades.
(That venture falls right after "Abolish the ACLU" and just before "Invade Mexico"…I know it's a plucky life-plan but even if I bat a respectable .500 the world is a much better place.)
She does not meet (by even the longest shot) the minimum qualifications as set by the reasonable mind. But where cushy guv'ment jobs are concerned, that's just a technicality.
I don't know, maybe she was the most qualified person for the job…
She is the niece of General Richard B. Myers (Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff) and she is the wife of John F. Wood, Chief of Staff to Michael Chertoff, Secretary of Homeland Security.
Currently, she is a personal assistant to President Bush, who has quite a penchant for nominating well-connected but otherwise unqualified people to high ranking positions.
But it is only by these standards that Ms. Myers is qualified.
Bush II chose not to promote from the within the ranks—obviously there must be a distinct lack of talent to be found among the 20,000 people currently employed by ICE.
Let's look at ICE's apparently unacceptable leadership:
John P. Clark, Acting Assistant Secretary (Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement)
Gary J. Lang, Acting Chief of Staff
John P. Torres, Acting Director Office of Detention and Removal
These are literally the first four employees I came across. I did not have to rummage around for people with notable résumés…the agency is fit to burst with experienced talent.
(Side note: Which begs the question why have they not fixed the system—but that is not the point I am making today, folks.)
For some reason, these candidates were overlooked.
Some people claim that Myers was selected because she is a woman. And Bush II is nothing if not a master of diversity demagoguery.
But look at these ladies from ICE:
Marcy Forman, Director of Investigations
Cynthia J. O'Connell, Acting Director Office of Intelligence
As far as I can see, Ms. O'Connell is by far the most qualified person to assume the position of Assistant Secretary, Director of ICE.
I am not saying she is the most qualified woman; she is the most qualified person.
The appointment of Julie Myers seems to be nothing more than typical Bush payback. (But for what?)
This time our President is asking us to compromise our national security to settle the debt.
According to the ICE website,
"ICE is the largest investigative arm of DHS, tasked with preventing terrorist attacks within the United States and closing vulnerabilities that can be exploited to harm our homeland."
To make matters worse, there is talk that Customs and Border Protection will merge with Immigration and Customs Enforcement thus consolidating all immigration enforcement into one agency.
Wow, that sounds like a job for Superperson!
But we need not be that demanding; at this point I would settle for a Director who has at least been to an immigration office...even if he/she/it lacks x-ray vision and the ability to fly.
Ms. O'Connell's experience spans from the Calexico Border to the Harvard Yard.
By contrast, the experience of Ms. Myers extends only as far as her connections.
The only explanation is one that we in the immigration reform movement have known for ages:
President Bush could not care less about border security and illegal immigration.
Then again, why should he?
This is the ultimate cause of my resentment: Bush isn't the only Republican elected official in America—he is just the only one who absolutely need not face re-election.
Many conservatives are frustrated by his apathy and consequently have started to look elsewhere for help.
They are looking elsewhere as in outside of the party.
I see it in my email all the time.
The Party allegiance of many conservatives (especially those who care about immigration reform) hangs by a thread.
I fear the confirmation of Julie Myers as Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement will snap any remaining tie.
The Senate confirmation hearing for Ms. Myers is tomorrow.
Perhaps the voting members will take seriously what President Bush does not—and reject Myers in favor of someone more qualified.
In this case, that would be anyone.
Bryanna Bevens [email her] is a political consultant and former chief of staff for a member of the California State Assembly.