The employer interests are investing heavily in trying to convince conservatives that the Gang of Eight plan is something other than an amnesty-now, enforcement-maybe never plan that will sharply increase low-skill immigration. Maybe the most insulting thing in the whole debate is Mark Zuckerberg’s Americans for a Conservative Direction front group. It is an interesting question whether the group is better understood as an attempt by Zuckerberg to gull conservatives or an attempt by Republican lobbyists to bilk Zuckerberg.
There is just so much to dislike about Zuckerberg’s front. First, there are the group’s completely dishonest ads that describe the Gang of Eight plan as enforcement-first. Second, there is the group’s name. Lots of people have pointed out that nobody who was actually interested in moving politics in a conservative direction would actually name their group Americans for a Conservative Direction, but it is more than that. It is that Zuckerberg and his cronies like Haley Barbour understand that they can’t carry the argument on the merits so they have to depend on emotional affiliation. Edmund Burke best explained what is wrong with the pandering of the Zuckerbergs and Barbours:
To me, who am but a plain man, the proceedings look a little too refined, and too ingenious; it has too much the air of a political stratagem, adopted for the sake of giving, under a high-sounding name, an importance to the public declarations of this club, which, when the matter came to be closely inspected, they did not altogether so well deserve. It is a policy that has very much the complexion of a fraud.