Thursday, November 15, 2007

Our Next Prez?

Senator Clinton boning up for her first term:

Thanks to Hot Air for the pic.

Trojan Horse

Reading a rather confusing column by Mort Kondracke on illegal immigration recently I was reminded of the old proverb, born at ancient Troy, to the effect that one should be very skeptical of Greeks offering gifts. Kondracke is so very concerned that the Republicans avoid the fatal mistake of making illegal immigration an issue in the coming campaign that he offers them the gift of some advice that contains within it the seeds of their own defeat.

Rather than opposing illegal immigration, which, Kondracke kindly reminds Republicans, is likely to alienate Hispanic voters, we should instead be digging into our wallets to help illegals cope with life in the U.S.

He thinks Congress should:

temper legitimate concern in the country about the local burdens resulting from failure of the U.S. government to control its borders ... [by extending] federal "impact aid" to communities whose schools and health facilities are especially affected.

What a wonderful idea. Don't stop illegals from entering the country, just pour more money into those areas that are hardest hit by the costs imposed by tens of thousands of poor people flooding their communities. That will be a winner at the polls.

This is the best we can do, Kondracke wants us to believe, since any less generous measures will only cost Republicans the Hispanic vote. Anti-illegal immigrant efforts are a political loser, he assures us, and out of deep concern for Republican electoral prospects he urges them to resist the temptation to embrace such efforts. The voting public, he avers, is not sympathetic to attempts to close down borders and to deny illegals citizenship. This strange claim he supports with very tenuous evidence.

For example, he writes:

Even though past election results overwhelmingly indicate that enforcement-only campaigns don't succeed - indeed, by offending Hispanics, pose a long-term threat to the GOP - Republicans seem bent on making illegal immigration a centerpiece of their 2008 campaigns.

GOP presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson are accusing former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani of having run a "sanctuary city" for illegal immigrants, and Giuliani is trying to turn the fire onto Democrats. At this rate, things could get ugly next year, with Republicans waving the "A" word - "Amnesty" - like a bloody shirt.

The latest election results demonstrate anew that it doesn't work. In Virginia, where Democrat Tim Kaine was elected governor two years ago despite late anti-immigrant attacks by his GOP opponent, nativist campaigns failed in key state Senate and county board races.

Kondracke then totally undermines his narrative by citing cases where anti-immigrant candidates have indeed won and also by acknowledging that measures such as awarding driver's licences to illegals are extremely unpopular:

It's true that in Prince William, county board members bent on ousting illegal immigrants by denying them public benefits and having them arrested were handily re-elected.

So which is it? Does the public want the tidal wave of illegal immigration to continue or does it not? What happened in New York recently may offer some insight.

Governor Eliot Spitzer had proposed giving illegals driver's licenses but has since been forced by the massive public pressure that Kondracke says doesn't exist to abandon the idea.

One gets the feeling that Kondracke doesn't want Republicans to take a strong position against illegal immigration precisely because he fears that it would be popular with the voting public and that it would put Democrats at a serious disadvantage. They would be seen not only as the party of defeat in Iraq but also as the party of open borders, a combination that could be electorally fatal. Better, in Kondracke's view, to persuade Republicans not to alienate Hispanics by doing nothing much on immigration and thereby decline to take advantage of Democrat weakness on this issue.

We have made the case at Viewpoint that we cannot allow our borders to remain porous and have offered a solution that would combine justice and compassion. It's a proposal that should be adopted by every politician who wants to get out front on this issue.


McCain's Macaca Moment

I suppose I should say something about Senator McCain's "macaca" moment, i.e. his inappropriate response to a questioner who asked him "how we beat the bitch" (meaning Senator Clinton). I think several things:

1. The faux outrage by the likes of Keith Olberman over McCain's failure to admonish the questioner is as hypocritical as it is fatuous. Where was the outrage among Democrats when Senator Harry Reid called George Bush "a loser" in front of school children or when Senator Kerry called him a "f-ing idiot" or when lefties of various denominations call him or the Vice-President murderers, liars, Hitler clones, chimps, etc? Senator McCain's reaction to Senator Clinton being called a bitch is to what Democrats have called President Bush as a burp is to a hurricane.

2. Sen. McCain's apparent acquiescence in the questioner's insult of Sen. Clinton is not incompatible with other things that I've read about his temper and his mean-spiritedness (See The Ugly Side of John McCain). It is symptomatic of a character that I would be uncomfortable voting for even though I agree with Sen. McCain on many of the issues at stake in the coming election.

3. If the election next year is between Senator McCain and Senator Clinton I would still vote for Senator McCain. He is not only much the better qualified of the two, he is not the one, after all, who used the derogatory term. Senator Clinton, however, has been reliably reported to have on occasion used demeaning language to describe Jews. She is reported to have once called a campaign aid an "f-ing Jew bastard," and she essentially called General Petraeus a liar. That seems to me to be far more offensive than any alleged shortcomings in John McCain's character.

4. My favorite all along has been Mike Huckabee. It still is.