This is how conventional wisdom is formed in Bizarro World, circa 2007:
Step 1: Purportedly savvy centrist Democratic strategists reheat standard right-wing talking points on immigration and circulate them to Democratchiks eager for something to fill the void of center-left policy discussion on immigration. A great sense of relief permeates the Force as a “sure thing”—Democratic triumph in 2008—is saved from the ruinous error of ignoring the electorally crucial Reago-Dobbs-Limbaughbwian Democrat, a rare creature not seen in its natural habitat since late 2003.
Step 2: Self-proclaimed sensible immigration moderate approvingly cites the above-mentioned “shrewd Democratic strategists” in an article asserting that immigration will be the deciding factor in 2008, conveniently omitting the assumption underlying this conclusion: that the electorate will generously and inexplicably experience temporary selective amnesia at the voting booth about Iraq, health care, rising inequality, global warming, loose nukes, and near-universal anti-Americanism.
Step 3: Intrepid contrarian academic picks up on the sensible immigration moderate’s reference to the purportedly savvy centrist Democrat recirculation of standard restrictionist fare, completing the wingnut circle of life, in which every member of the chain plays a key role in regurgitating the godfather’s nativist bullet points. Rule, Wingnuttia! Wingnuttia rules the waves …
And thus, everyone to the right of James Carville (including James Carville, who is definitionally always to the right of himself) is in agreement. Next up: a Washington Post editorial to fix the “illegalz R teh scary” meme in the firmament for all time and space.