Thursday, November 9, 2006
Lou-ing: More on the new "non-comprehensive" Democrats: This email from an experienced immigration hand who disagrees with me on the issue--
What's REALLY important is that of the 27 or 28 seats where a Democrat replaced a Republican, in at least 20, the Democrat ran to the immigration enforcement side of the Republican: don't let Hayworth and Graf** fool you, cuz those two examples ain't fooling Rahm.
Mark Krikorian makes a similar point:
What's more, if legalizing illegals is so widely supported by the electorate, how come no Democrats campaigned on it? Not all were as tough as Brad Ellsworth, the Indiana sheriff who defeated House Immigration Subcommittee Chairman Hostettler, or John Spratt of South Carolina, whose immigration web pages might as well have been written by Tom Tancredo. But even those nominally committed to "comprehensive" reform stressed enforcement as job one. And the national party's "Six for 06" rip-off of the Contract with America said not a word about immigration reform, "comprehensive" or otherwise.
The only exception to this "Whatever you do, don't mention the amnesty" approach appears to have been Jim Pederson, the Democrat who challenged Sen. Jon Kyl ... by touting a Bush-McCain-Kennedy-style amnesty and foreign-worker program and even praised the 1986 amnesty, which pretty much everyone now agrees was a catastrophe.
Dreaded kf welfare analogy: After the 1994 midterm elections, welfare reform was the one big domestic issue that the new incoming Congressional majority had in common with the damaged President they'd just defeated. "Comprehensive" immigration reform is in the same logical position (with the parties reversed). The difference is that in 1994, Gingrich's Republicans had explicitly campaigned on welfare reform. Pelosi's Democrats have run away from "comprehensive" reform. That may not be enough of a difference, and there are differences that run the other way--arguably Bush is more desperate for an immigration bill than Clinton was for a welfare bill. But it's grounds for hope.
**--Hayworth and Graf are two heavily pro-enforcement Arizona GOPs who lost, and whose loss is being reflexively cited by pundits as evidence that an anti-"comprehensive" immigration stand didn't work for anyone. (Hayworth's actually still holding out a slim hope that uncounted ballots will save him). 9:24 P.M.
"Now they tell us" about Alcee Hastings: JustOneMinute on the NYT's sudden post-election discovery of a potential Pelosi problem. ... P.S.: Here's the proof of the Times'pathetically thin coverage of this issue. ... 9:03 P.M.
The immigration debate is divided into three separate issues. How can we secure our border? What should we do about the 11 million undocumented workers? And, lastly there is the guest worker question. It is necessary to separate out the 3 issues. The primary concern must be securing the border. Immediate action is needed to stem the flow of illegal border crossings. Approaching the issue using an omnibus bill that attempts to solve all three issues simultaneously creates a political stalemate that delays the border security solution. There is a consensus that our border security must be improved and we should act on that consensus as soon as possible. Once the border is secure we can develop a fair solution to other immigration issues. [E.A.]
That doesn't sound "comprehensive" to me. That sounds like "enforcement first, then we'll talk."