His handlers have probably reminded him a half dozen times not to open his speech with, "Saludos, amigos!" He'll force himself to spend five minutes or so talking about border security, with particular reference to the "War on Terror" -- as though that were the main issue -- before he reverts to type and starts banging on about hard-working immigrants who want a better life for their families, doing jobs Americans won't do, etc., etc. What odds will you give me that he won't then introduce a cute 10-year-old Mexican girl with a heart-rending story? Finally, he'll turn on such rhetorical powers as he can command to call for passage of the Senate's amnesty ("guest worker") bill for los illegals.
Don't fall for this crock. The problem with border enforcement has not been a lack of manpower, but a failure of will, back-channel orders to the Border Patrol not to enforce existing laws, "catch-and-release" policies, and various other strategies to ensure that immigration controls fail. Sending a bunch of National Guard units (who, according to one report, will be assigned clerical duties) is a meaningless gesture that will be dropped as soon as an amnesty has passed.
You can be sure that El Presidente will propose no measures that will actually reduce the rewards for border jumpers.
A great deal of speculation is going on in the blogosphere about what drives Bush-Gonzales in his obsession with Mexicanizing the United States. It clearly is not a politically popular move, and a president with an approval rating in the 30s is hardly in a position to continue showing the country a profile in dementia. A lot of the proposed explanations (payoffs, blackmail) sound ridiculous, but still El President's behavior seems inexplicable.
Nevertheless, as with so much in this presidency, the genesis of his attitude seems to reside in his personality. I'm generally opposed to criticizing political figures, including ones I strongly disagree with, in psychological terms; opposition should be on matters of public record. With Bush-Gonzales, though, we have a man who is impervious to any kind of rational argument. His absolute refusal to listen to critics or various shades of opinion has occasionally, and briefly, seemed virtuous -- for instance, when he first proposed that response to Islamic terror should be proactive, not reactive, which called down lightning on his head that he properly ignored. Over the longer course, though, he has alienated even those formerly well disposed toward him (me, for instance) through his closed-shop mind. All of his positions seem instinctive, hard-wired, unconsidered, like animal traits.
Lawrence Auster quotes an interesting letter from a man named Howard Sutherland, who says he knows people who have known Bush personally, in some cases quite well. Sutherland's thoughts are worth reading as a whole, but here's perhaps the money quote:
... Why Mexico? Throughout his life, Bush has been exposed to nice Mexicans. At the lower end, there were probably nice maids and ranch hands who helped out around the place and, in their way, helped raise him. For all I know, the Mexican maids were nicer to him than his mother, who is a formidable woman. At the upper end, there were the elegant, erudite, fun and mind-bogglingly rich Mexican oligarchs with whom his father did business and politics, and whose playboy children would have been some of Bush’s playmates in his partying days. He just likes Mexicans. I think he likes them better than Americans. The Mexican functionaries he meets are a lot more like the people he goes hunting with in Texas (some are the same people) than any of his geek Washington advisers.I'm obviously not in a position to know how much of this is accurate, but it seems intuitively right. His past has given Bush-Gonzales an idealized view of Mexico and Mexicans. He's experienced the personal generosity and graciousness of Mexico's rich, controlling, European-descended upper classes; he's appreciated the loyalty and (I say without irony) hard work of the Mexican servant class. He's never had occasion to see ordinary Mexico: the narco-terrorist social infrastructure, the corrupt officialdom, the wretched economy.
Like many people I know in Texas, he is very comfortable with Mexican culture seen through a tex-mex lens. I like it myself, and I am a sworn enemy of the Mexican government. Bush probably has better memories overall of relations with Mexicans throughout his life than he does with Americans. I would bet that while his personal experiences of his fellow Americans have been good and bad, his experiences of Mexicans have been almost all good from his point of view. He won’t see the bad in Mexico; he hasn’t experienced it and, anyway, to criticize Mexico on social or cultural grounds would be racist. Not gonna happen…
By the same token, El Presidente has probably had very little interaction with American middle class people. He was raised among the political elite, went to college and graduate school with the sons and daughters of the rich (with a sprinkling of those from an impoverished minority background admitted to the halls of Yale and Harvard via affirmative action). I think he simply has contempt for ordinary people who don't run big corporations or throw money around, and thinks of anybody who opposes the Mexico-United States Anschluss as a racist dummy from flyover country.
I don't care if he thinks he's doing God's will. The voice of the people isn't necessarily the voice of God either, but it's a voice a president of the United States should listen to, and this one won't.