Al Disappoints Arianna
Plus--McCain Blowing It, Part II.
[F]or the first time in a long while I think that John McCain might not be the Republican nominee in 2008 - and the reason is immigration. The Senator's line on the matter seems to me to be a distillation of all that's wrong with McCainism - the moral vanity, the knee-jerk belief in reform for reform's sake, the willingness to promote a bad bill just because it's your pet issue, and the willingness to let the bien-pensant "center" set the political agenda, regardless of the merits of the case. And given the GOP base's feelings on the subject, it's hard to see how this won't come back to bite him.
Of course, McCain always has the option of forswearing the GOP nomination and running as a Perot-like independent. The point is that over the next few months, through his behavior on immigration, he may effectively be making that choice for himself. Unlike Noah Millman, I find it hard to believe McCain doesn't realize this. ... Update: See also Influence Peddler. But it's not just that McCain is failing to "lock up" conservatives. He's actively outraging them. ...3:12 A.M. link
[Insert non-immigration item here for badly-needed variety--ed Not before I go to sleep. ... Update: How about the Burkle Clip of the Day?] 4:37 A.M.
The semi-amnesty magnet is already exerting its pull: You don't think poor foreign workers would make big life decisions based on distorted rumors about the possibility of eventual legalization in the U.S.? WaPo reports:
Tens of thousands of Honduran and Nicaraguan immigrants nationwide risk losing their legal status in the United States today because they have not renewed their temporary work permits under a program to help victims of natural disasters, some in the mistaken belief that they will soon be on the path to becoming U.S. citizens.
With the deadline approaching by the end of today, about half the eligible applicants have yet to apply for renewal. They could lose their jobs and face deportation ... [snip]
Many Hondurans and Nicaraguans have not yet renewed because they think they will soon benefit from immigration reforms, including a guest worker program and other measures that could pave the way for citizenship, immigrant advocates said.
Some Spanish language stations have apparently done their listeners a disservice by "predicting the passage of immigration legislation now winding through Congress." Don't they recognize Washington ('I'll-vote-for-this-because-I-know-it-won't-pass') Kabuki? Sure, well-paid pundits don't, but pundits have an excuse! They're pushing an agenda, and their livelihoods aren't on the line. ... P.S.: Something else may be at work, WaPo hints--namely that these currently-legal immigrants prefer to stay and live illegally 'in the shadows.' If a $250 renewal fee for legalization isn't worth paying , maybe life 'in the shadows' isn't all that bad. ... 11:34 P.M.
More than 100,000 visits to bloggingheads.tv in March. ... Donny Deutsch, you are toast! [Deutsch has arguably the lousiest talk show on cable, yet still gets as many viewers per day as you guys get per month--ed But does he have the prized never-leave-the-house demographic? Think he does-ed]9:30 P.M.
A distinguished bipartisan California citizen's group has called on "Governor Schwarzenegger and members of the State Legislature to support legislative redistricting reform." Where were all these "professionals from government, academia, media, issue and community advocacy, labor and business" last year when Schwarzenegger actually had a redistricting plan on the ballot?** It lost with 40% of the vote. ... P.S.: If Schwarzenegger's initiative had passed, Democrats would be having a much easier time retaking the House, and not only because the anti-gerrymander principle helps Dems if applied nationwide. In California itself, Prop 77 would have created maybe 10 new competitive districts subject to swings in the overall electoral mood--swings that currently favor the Dems. ... P.P.S.: The biggest loser when Schwarzenegger's reform initiative went down was probably not Schwarzenegger, but Nancy Pelosi (who foolishly raised money to fight it). ... P.P.P.S.:Daily Kos was one of the few prominent Dems who supported Schwarzenegger's plan ...
**--Some, such as Leon Panetta, did publicly back 77. 8:44 P.M.