The title of the post – for the benefit of American liberals who cannot stand the thought of reading her blog – is:
Boxer amendment would block immigration enforcement in order to count illegal aliens for 2010 Census, boost Democrat seats
Ms. Malkins goes on to say:
Boxer's amendment, SA 3246, is attached to the current spending bill up on the Senate floor. So, why is Boxer so interested in blocking aggressive immigration enforcement leading up to the 2010 Census?
Then quotes herself (apparently; the recursive link itself is broken) as follows:
U.S. states with large numbers of undocumented immigrants could receive additional seats in Congress after the 2010 census is conducted.
A University of Connecticut study concluded Arizona, Texas and Florida could all see their House delegations increase due to rising populations that include sizable numbers of illegal immigrants.
Although they can’t vote, such aliens are included in the census. The San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News predicted Tuesday the pending 2010 headcount could be the subject of a political fight as Democrats and Republicans jockey for position before House seats are reallocated.
The Connecticut study also predicted California and New Jersey would likely keep their current number of seats while states with fewer immigrants, including New York, Illinois and Ohio, will lose a seat or two.
The hint, of course, is that Barbara Boxer, as a Democratic Senator from heavily Democratic California, is seeking to better Democratic fortunes by inflating the Californian population with as many illegal immigrants as possible. Ms. Malkin's blog being a comment-by-registration-only blog, all 76 comments that I saw there more than agreed with her, and were furious with Senator Boxer. (And very often angry or exasperated with Republicans who were soft on the issue.)
However, the study says that California likely will only break even. So, unless the ratio of illegal aliens to the entire population in California has gone up more quickly than the U.S. average or, to put it another way, the Californian illegal immigrant population has been growing at a faster rate than the national average, California has nothing to gain and possibly something to lose by including illegal aliens. Without the numbers, we simply can't tell. But Ms. Malkin does not appear to have looked into that matter, or even to have considered it at all.
Ms. Malkin's insinuations become even more tenuous when you look at the states that have been cited in the study as potential winners and losers. In Arizona, Florida, and Texas, the three potential winner states, Republican Representatives currently outnumber their Democratic counterparts by a total of 39 to 26. By contrast, in Illinois, Ohio, and New York, the three losers, the Democrats are ahead 40 to 26. Although a full accounting of projections for all the states is needed to be sure, it seems that, on the basis of the information available from Ms. Malkin's post (as well as Wikipedia) the Democrats would actually lose Congressional seats if the reallocation count
Many things determine the action of Senators, and they will vary from individual to individual. And maybe in the case of Senator Boxer, it's her wacky, Pavlovian ultra-liberalism making its mark. But that's blasé, an accusation - even if true - that fails to whip up nationalist right-wing sentiment, to make the blood quicken. There is, though, one very important determinant common to all successful politicians - and being elected is a very powerful indicator of success- and that is the need to please your constituents. California has a large Hispanic and Asian minority population, and many members of this minority are actually voters (as we in Japan learned through the House of Representatives comfort women resolution). It is surely not unreasonable to think that Senator Boxer is mindful of the desires of these minority voters, which may be at odds with a crackdown on their friends, family, and other community members.
Of course listening to one's constituencies is another person's pandering, and a run-of-the-mill opponent of illegal immigrants might choose that line of attack. But that would put your arguments against the illegal immigration issue on a bipartisan level, something that is patently true, but not desirable if you are running a partisan blog.
As I said, all the comments agreed – explicitly or implicitly - with her point that Senator Boxer is going easy on illegal immigrants to benefit the Democratic Party. For that is the nature of the great echo chamber that is partisan blogging, and, to an alarming degree, partisan media.
Counting non-citizens in pro-rating Congressional seats does seem to be an odd thing to do, so I have an idea for my American friends. Now if there's one thing that Americans both left and right agree on, it's that if Kennedy/Reagan is sliced bread, George Washington is the pop-up toaster. In fact, George and The Founding Fathers (give or take a Lincoln or two) are routinely referred to as the font of all political wisdom in America. So why not go back to the conceptual framework of that greatest of their achievements, the original Constitution of the United States of America, and count each illegal immigrant as "three fifths of all" U.S. citizens?
ADD: In fact, I just noticed that the 76th comment raises this point.