Scandal M.A.D.

A mostly political Weblog.
Nov. 20 2007 6:55 AM

Scandal M.A.D.!

Plus--Will Hill ditch Iowa?

(Continued from Page 16)

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Zell Hill Dis:L.A. Times/Tribune owner-to-be Sam Zell  uses "a four-letter obscenity to describe" Mrs. Clinton, reports Connie Bruck. ... Is there another four letter obscenity, or is it that one? ... "Coot!" She's an old coot. That must be it. ... 11:43 A.M.

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The Dem's Big Mystery: It seems like only  months   ago we were told the immigration issue was splitting Republicans. Now it's E.J. Dionne  wringing his hands about the

worry among Democrats that Republicans are ready to use impatience with illegal immigration to win back voters dissatisfied with the status quo.

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What's changed? Well,  President Bush--the main politician doing the GOP-splitting--is leaving the scene. The Republican electorate seems to have decisively turned against his illegal-immigrant semi-amnesty. Result: No more split! But the powerful GOP anti-legalization sentiment was obviously latent even in 2006. The MSM just chose not to notice.

Anti-legalization sentiment has also been manifestly latent among Democratic voters--including, but not limited to, unskilled workers whose wages have been suppressed by immigrant competition. What's odd, then, is that the Dems now aren't split. They're only terrified! The Dem presidential candidates who might appeal to anti-legalization opinion--and thereby split the party--all seem paralyzed by their desire not to offend Latinos. 

Hmm. The last successful Democratic presidential candidate defied his party's dogma on a central issue (welfare) at the risk, it was thought, of offending key interest groups (blacks, liberals). Is there no current candidate willing to do the same on immigration? You'd think someone in the 2008 field would make the move, just for strategic reasons. ... John Edwards may be edging there: On ABC's This Week he came out against N.Y. Gov. Spitzer's illegal-immigrant driver's-license plan. But he only did it sotto voce, after prompting, and after emphasizing his support for "comprehensive" reform (i.e. legalization). ...

Update:RCP's buried Politics Nation blog says Edwards "admitted that his position on the issue is the same as Clinton's." No he didn't. Like Clinton, he's all for "comprehensive reform." But he did eventually say that absent "comprehensive reform" (i.e. semi-amnesty) he was against the Spitzer plan. He also added that even after semi-amnesty there would be immigrants "not making any effort to become an American citizen," and said he "would not give them a drivers license." This latter position is nonsensical--after "comprehensive" reform won't there still be legal immigrants who choose not to become citizens, and shouldn't they be allowed to drive?--but it's not Hillary's position. And it at least acknowledged that immigrant driver's licenses would still be an issue after "comprehensive" reform. ... Jackie Calmes of the WSJ also echoes what looks like bogus Clinton-camp spin  on Edwards' answer.. ...

P.S.: Dionne eventually dismisses anti-illegal-immigration sentiment with a classic paleolib device:

Yet at a moment when the electorate is very angry, it's not surprising that some voters are channeling their discontent through the immigration issue. It's happened before in our history. [E.A.]

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