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    Why Is Gail Collins Afraid of “Illegals”?

    Why Is Gail Collins Afraid of “Illegals”?

    The Gail Collins, in an otherwise humorous column Alabama Goes Viral, plays a sleight of hand when quoting the now famous television advertisement by Dale Peterson, running for Alabama Agricultural Commissioner.

    Here is Collins’ description (emphasis mine):

    This is the start of Peterson’s campaign ad. He rides into the screen on a horse that looks increasingly worried as things progress. Brandishing a rifle, the 64-year-old farmer barks at the camera about his opponent (“a dummy”), somebody stealing his yard signs and immigrants being “bused in by the thousands.” The overall effect is like being cornered at a party by an eccentric neighbor who thinks the garbage man is spying on him for the federal government. It’s extremely popular.

    But Collins didn’t quote the video correctly. Peterson actually said “illegals bused in by the thousands.” [Added: Actually, I’m not sure he says “bused in” but rather “bust in.” Anyone out there who speaks Southern and can clarify that for me?]

    Collins’ rendition makes it appear that Peterson was against all immigrants, when in fact his words spoke only of illegal immigrants.

    What is The Gail Collins afraid of? Words, just words?

    I hope she’s not out stealing Peterson’s yard signs.


    Update: Hey, this is turning into something sociological. Kudos to many of the commenters for pointing out The Gail Collins assumed the term was “bused in” because of Collins’ subliminal assumption that white people in the South must complain about “busing” because busing was the point of grievance for some whites in the Northeast in the 1970s. The busing riots in Southie (Boston) when I was growing up (not in Southie) are vivid in my mind from the television coverage.

    Thanks also to reader Ray from San Diego for this translation:

    I don’t have an account that allows me to post comments so here is the answer to your question.

    Your question: Actually, I’m not sure he says “bused in” but rather “bust in.” Anyone out there who speaks Southern and can clarify that for me?

    Here is what he said: “…illegals bust in by the thousands…”

    Here is the translation to Yankee-speak: “…illegals are breaking into the country by the thousands…”

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    heh, I speak Southern, and yes, he says and means "bust in" as in "barge in" uninvited. He's got everything right in this ad, too, I'll be surprised if he doesn't win.

    @ mairzydoats
    Look who told your daughter that engineers are the best allies of despots — a (marxist) history professor. I would not bet the farm on this bit of information!

    Engineers tend to be very pragmatic people, and that could be the basis for his comment. They want the opportunity to work on project that will allow them to accomplish things. On the other hand, every engineer that I have ever known, which is many hundreds, have had a pretty high view of freedom, personal independence, national sovereignty, and traditional American values. Engineers tend to be very conservative folks by their nature. The whole engineering enterprise it to build things that work and do not fail; this means doing things in a conservative manner, and that carries over into politics as well.

    I don't think you could say anything similar about history profs.

    First, their out to be a write in campaign to have this guy as president.

    Second, speaking from Shreveport, he is definitely saying "bust in", as in breaking through. And he is directly talking about illegals, not immigrants.

    Did Gail Collins say "brandishing a rifle"?
    That must be prog-speak for "has a rifle".

    Gail is "brandishing her ignorance".

    It was probably an editorial change to conform to the publication's style guide. The PR marketing campaign of a few years ago "no human is illegal" was very effective at accomplishing its aim of "reframing the debate".

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