Newt natters on, the sky doesn't fall

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  1. Everything that comes out of that guy’s mouth is calculated. He knows exactly when to say something, why he’s saying it and who he’s saying it to. People may think that Karl Rove is The Architect, but Newt held that mantle first. And since Karl’s on the way out, Newt wants his crown back.
    I also think he knows he’s not going to win the nomination, so what job is he angling for? What influence does he want to have? Answer that question, and all this will make a whole lot more sense.

  2. Studies of Spanish-speaking immigrants suggest that they are acquiring English faster than their historical European counterparts, and losing Spanish within two generations (which is actually a shame – bilingualism is healthy and profitable).
    This doesn’t get people revved up like “Why do I have to press 1 for English, wahhhh” rants, but actual information is often unsatisfying that way.
    Newt’s playing to the xenophobes.

  3. The sky may not be falling, but there’s more than a “nugget” of truth in the idea. To the extent that tax dollars are being spent to educate immigrants in the language arts the goal should be to maximize fluency in English ASAP. ESL classes, particularly in the southwest, are absorbing increasing numbers of dollars without accelerating the learning rate.
    Immigration is a two-way street. It’s not all about what America can do for the immigrant. To contribute fully back to their new homeland, immigrants need to assimilate both linguistically and culturally. Acknowledging this and working to implement policies that make that more likely to happen is not xenophobic, it’s smart.
    It’s also better for the immigrants and their families, as you state.

  4. Marc — English is a Class IV language, meaning that it’s very difficult to learn. How do you propose to “accelerate” the learning rate.
    This is, in all honesty, a red herring. People are learning English, just as they always have. It doesn’t require protecting, and passing legislation won’t change the fact that people do learn it.
    Could we use more ESL teachers and books? Sure we could — but that would merely broaden the outreach. It wouldn’t speed the learning process, and it especially wouldn’t address the mythical pending “collapse of American civilization.”

  5. What is most important about learning English is the ability to read and have a basic understanding of the Constitution. If you can’t read in English, then you are at the mercy of who ever tells you what your rights are. If someone tells you that there is not a right to freedom of religion, or the right to a speedy trial or a defense attorney, then you just have to take their word for it. I honestly don’t care if people choose to continue using Spanish in their life and pretend they know no English. But if you really don’t know any, then your basic rights that people love so much about this place are not available to you. Or worse to everyone who does speak English, you will just pick and choose parts of the Constitution that you can read and think they override the rest of it. (Example: the news story about Muslim taxi cab drivers.)

  6. Hmm. Incidentally, Newt Gingrich represented the parts of Fulton County that want to secede, as you discussed in your last post.
    As far as the legislation goes, I agree with you, Polimom. It’s Newt trying to raise his own political support. The law would produce no benefits, in exchange for a possible excuse to discriminate.

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