Clicking on banner ads keeps JWR alive
Jewish World Review March 26, 2001 / 2 Nissan, 5761

Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
James Glassman
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
David Limbaugh
Michelle Malkin
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
Kathleen Parker
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Roger Simon
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

Where California and Mexico meet -- SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Of course, everybody in the state capital loves Mexican President Vicente Fox.

Last week, Fox met with Gov. Gray Davis and the Legislature.

Fox is a courtly man who enjoys a common bond with his country's people. After 71 years of oligarchic rule, Fox opened the windows of an economically fetid country. He has shown great courage in taking on the country's violent drug traffickers, while challenging Mexican police to end their use of torture.

The state-run media are free to criticize El Presidente, which did not happen under the Institutional Revolutionary Party (or PRI). Still, Fox must have impressed California pols in the way his staff handled the press corps at a Sacramento press conference.

California and Mexico even share electrical grid problems. He's probably one foreign dignitary who can come to Sacramento and have no cause to complain because the air conditioning has to beshut off at night.

Both parties claim him as their own.

State Sen. Chuck Poochigian of Fresno said of Fox, "If this man were running for office in this state, he would be a Republican." Poochigian cited Fox's campaign against government corruption, his push for more competition in the marketplace and less onerous regulation, and his status as a former corporate exec.

Democrats see the Fox visit as proof of the fact that Davis and they enjoy superior relations with Mexico than former Gov. Pete Wilson enjoyed.

"Such a difference from the Pete Wilson acrimony," said Sue North, chief of staff to State Sen. John Vasconcellos of Santa Clara, referring to Wilson's support of the 1994 initiative Proposition 187. "His race-baiting was pretty awful," Vasco agreed.

Oh, yes, Wilson's race baiting. California voters approved Proposition 187 on a 59-to-41 percent vote. The vast majority of Proposition 187 voters were voting not against immigrants, but against illegal immigration. Yet the Dems can't stop painting Wilson as a race-baiter for endorsing the popular initiative and running an ad showing illegal immigrants rushing the border.

Everything was bad under the bad Republican, and California is all enlightenment now that he is gone. Just as long as the observer ignores Davis pollster Paul Maslin, who surveyed voters two years ago only to find that support for Proposition 187 was almost as high as it was in 1994. "I think the issue has ramped down a bit since then," Maslin noted this week, "but I would suspect that overall, in its original form, it would still pass and probably by a hefty margin."

That doesn't mean that Sacramento isn't rooting for Fox. As Fox and Davis noted, both countries have an economic stake in the well-being of the other. And if Fox can succeed in helping the Mexican economy grow, California stands to gain much -- a strong trading partner, friendly relations with a border country and fewer problems with illegal immigration.

As Fox noted, California has the world's sixth largest economy. "And if we put together the gross product of Mexico, plus the gross product produced by Mexicans in the United States, we are the eighth largest economy in the world."

Fox's willingness to blur borders (inconvenient to him) is where Fox goes too far. Legislators may cheer him, but his proposals to relax the U.S.-Mexico border and his suggestions that the United States should better facilitate migration is something that is in his interest, not in U.S. interest. Americans have not moved en masse to Mexico.

It is in the U.S. interest to help Fox fight the drug war and open up closed markets. It is in U.S. interest to help this great man stay in power. But Mexico has a long way to go before the U.S.-Mexican border should be open.

Comment JWR contributor Debra J. Saunders's column by clicking here.


03/16/01: Boy's sentence was no accident
03/14/01: Soft money, hard reform
03/12/01: Banks, big credit lines and consumer bankruptcy
03/09/01: Free speech dies in Berkeley
03/02/01: When rats have rights
02/28/01: Move a frog, go to jail?
02/26/01: They knew they'd get away with it
02/20/01: How Dems define tax fairness
02/16/01: The jackpot casino Carmel tribe?
02/14/01: You can fight school success
02/12/01: Hannibal -- with guts this time
02/08/01: A family of jailbirds
02/05/01: Reality's most demeaning TV moments
02/01/01: Justice for the non-Rich
01/26/01: Hail to the chiefs of D.C. opinion
01/24/01: A day of mud and monuments
01/22/01: Diversity, division, de-lovely D.C.
01/19/01: Parties agree: Give back the money
01/17/01: Get tough with the oil companies, or forget pumping more Alaskan crude
01/15/01: Mineta better pray that no attending confirmation senator has ever driven to San Jose during rush hour
01/12/01: Europeans should look in the mirror
01/10/01: Dems' reasons for dissin' Dubya's picks
01/08/01: Jerry, curb your guru
01/03/01: A foe of Hitler and friend of Keating
12/28/00: Nice people think nice thoughts
12/26/00: The Clinton years: Epilogue
12/21/00: 'Tis the season to free nonviolent drug offenders 12/18/00: A golden opportunity is squandered
12/15/00: You can take the 24 years, good son
12/13/00: Court of law vs. court of public opinion
12/08/00: A salvo in the war on the war on drugs
12/06/00: Don't cry, Butterfly: Big trees make great decks
12/04/00: Florida: Don't do as Romans did
11/30/00: Special City's hotel parking ticket
11/27/00: No means yes, yes means more than yes
11/22/00: The bench, the ballot and fairness
11/20/00: Mendocino, how green is your ballot?

© 2000, Creators Syndicate