There was a textbook example of cognitive dissonance:
Cognitive dissonance is a psychological term which describes the uncomfortable tension that comes from holding two conflicting thoughts at the same time, or from engaging in behavior that conflicts with one's beliefs. ....The theory of cognitive dissonance states that contradicting cognitions serve as a driving force that compels the mind to acquire or invent new thoughts or beliefs, or to modify existing beliefs, so as to reduce the amount of dissonance (conflict) between cognitions.
on the Rush Limbaugh Show as that host attempted to reconcile this argument from his friend Thomas Sowell :
...there are undoubtedly thousands, perhaps millions, of unsolved crimes and uncaught criminals in this country and we cannot realistically expect to find and prosecute all these fugitives from justice.
But does anyone suggest that our focus should be on trying to normalize the lives of domestic fugitives from justice — "bring them out of the shadows" in Ted Kennedy's phrase — and develop some path by which they can be given an acceptable legal status?
Does anyone suggest that, if domestic criminals come forward, pay some fine, and apply to have their crimes overlooked, they can be put on a path to be restored to good standing in our society?
Just as we don't need to solve every crime and catch every criminal, in order to have deterrents to crime, neither do we have to ferret out and deport every one of the 12 million illegal aliens in this country in order to deter a flood of new illegal aliens.
with this Reaganesque article from Daniel Henninger:
Notwithstanding all the calls for enforcing the borders and obeying our laws--unassailable as ideas--one is still left with the legislative challenge of transforming several million people who are going to work every day into a national "problem." Not for nothing has this congressional effort turned into the most amazing Rube Goldberg contraption--a point system to measure a worker's worth, a $5,000 fine for working here, a go-home requirement and a system whereby the boss has to conclusively prove that José and Maria are kosher.
No wonder it's hard to pass a bill. It's hard because Congress is trying to elevate one American value, respect for the law, by demoting an American value that up to now has been an unambiguous, uncontested ideal--respect for work, for labor. The tension here is especially difficult for conservatives.
Conservatives and liberals will fight unto eternity over whose notions of the law, society and justice are right. But the one idea owned by conservatives is the market.
For many Democrats in politics, the market--the daily machinery of the private economy--is a semi-abstraction. It's a barely understood thing that mainly sends revenue to the government, without which the nation is incapable of achieving social good. Liberals happily concede the idea of salutary "market forces" to their opposition. For them, markets are for taming.
Why, then, would Republican politicians and conservative writers want to run the risk of undermining, perhaps for a long time, their core belief in the broad benefits of free-market economic forces in return for a law that hammers these illegal Mexicans?