Ron Paul is right about the Patriot Act; Newt Gingrich is right about immigration

One of the reasons I respect Ron Paul, and write about him often, is that he has integrity and says serious things about policy worthy of far more media discussion, whether we agree with him or not.

Newt Gingrich is also "good copy.” Though he lacks Paul's integrity, he has provocative ideas worth debating. While Gingrich's insults toward poor people are bottom-of-the-barrel, and his views about child labor laws Dickensian, what Gingrich says about immigration is both profound and wise. (How's that for balance?)

I have long agreed with many things Ron Paul says about the Patriot Act, which he has called "unpatriotic.” This issue should have been debated long ago. I live in an area of Washington, D.C., that would put me near ground zero for many potential terror attacks. But like Ron Paul I would much prefer to take this risk than to surrender my liberty, and yours.

Big Brother is everywhere. Government spying on us. Business spying on us. Consumer research firms spying on us. Enough!

I know a lot about intelligence, counterintelligence and counterterrorism from many years of experience, often including highly classified information that I obviously cannot discuss here. I do not have a lot of confidence that Big Brother protects us from terrorists when Big Brother spying against Americans becomes endemic. There is a place for spying to protect us, but I want more protection of American liberty, not less. I am very sympathetic to the libertarian opposition of Ron Paul to the Patriot Act.

Regarding Newt Gingrich and immigration, when he proposes that illegal immigrants who have been here for 20 years, and have deep roots in the American community, should not be rounded up and deported, I believe he is right.

What is the alternative? Send in the police at midnight to 12 million American homes, put on the handcuffs, and send them out? Break up families in ways that can only be done through tactics that could border on a police state, at enormous cost to taxpayers, with little chance of working effectively?

Politically, I believe Republicans are well on the way to losing a generation of Hispanic voters (see my latest column). Fine with me. What Gingrich is arguing is good general-election politics for Republicans, but even more important, it is, in my humble opinion, good and just policy for America.

This does not excuse Gingrich's insults to poor children and his dinosaur views about child labor, but on immigration I believe there is much merit in what Gingrich says.

A few years ago I agreed with Mitt Romney on immigration as well. I do not agree the new and latest Mitt Romney on immigration. Who knows whether I will agree with Romney in the future, because who knows what Romney will believe tomorrow?