Humility left at Ellis Island
Bush Administration operative Ed Gillespie, the man who used the Great Famine to sell Dubya's tax cuts, surfaces in Sunday's Wall Street Journal online to argue for the more lenient of the two immigration bills currently being debated in Congress. Knowing his audience, Gillespie's argument relies heavily on electoral strategy, but he can't resist bringing in his Irish roots:
People who come legally to this country with nothing and labor in the most menial ways to get a new start should feel at home in our party. As a rule, they are hardworking, law-abiding, freedom-loving and patriotic Americans. This is as true today as it was when my father arrived by ship from Donegal, Ireland, in 1933, as a 9-year-old with nothing but the clothes on his back. John Patrick "Jack" Gillespie was processed through Ellis Island ... I am proud to be the son of an immigrant. Like many first-generation Americans, I feel it has made me treasure the benefits of citizenship even more.
I appreciate the opportunities that have been provided to my father--and by extension to me and my three children--by the greatest country ever to grace the face of the earth.
We hope he ran that sentence by his father, and we assume that someone so proud of the USA is not hedging his bets (as we suspect that some other leading Republicans are) by holding dual Irish and American citizenship. Finally, it all seems to be working out nicely for Gillespie, sufficiently so that the Journal felt compelled to aid a little disclosure:
Mr. Gillespie was chairman of the Republican National Committee in the 2004 election cycle. His firm, Quinn Gillespie & Associates, represents clients who support a temporary guest worker program.
Just as well there was no such program in 1933.