McCain: One of Us!

A mostly political Weblog.
Feb. 18 2008 5:23 AM

McCain: One of Us!

Liberals' secret feelings about the GOP leader.

(Continued from Page 13)

Mike Murphy, over the top! Gloating about the "anti-immigrant Bund." Close to a violation of the Hitler Rule, no? In my neighborhood that's who the Bund supported. ... Anyway, since Murphy's an informal McCain adviser, his rhetoric--he also throws around "nativist"--offers a good clue as to what the McCain camp really thinks on the immigration issue, despite McCain's recent claims that he "got the message" after the defeat of his mass-legalization bill. ... 'I'll secure the goddamned border if those racists want it' seems like a fair summary.** ...

**--A more cynical summary would be: 'I'll pretend to secure the goddamned border ...' ... 2:01 P.M. link

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(If a tree surges in the forest but everybody's already voted ...: In California, "half the ballots cast in the primary will be absentee ballots." I didn't realize the absentee proportion was that high. A big boost for Hillary given the recent Obama surge. ... Q: Does heavy, early absentee voting undermine the Drama Principle  or reinforce it? In this case, it's arguably making the race more exciting. ...  1:20 P.M.

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Mickey's Single Issue Voter's Guide: Suppose you were a single issue voter, and your single issue was immigration. Specifically, you were opposed to legislation that combines some form of amnesty (legalization of existing illegal immigrants) with tougher border enforcement. If so, you would probably be pretty depressed right now--three of the four leading presidential candidates explicitly favor such "comprehensive" reform. The fourth, Mitt Romney is the least likely to win. And even he's suspected of being a closet comprehensivist.

But you still have to vote. Before you did, you'd want to ask: Which of the three pro-legalization candidates is least likely to accomplish their legislative goal? When you think about it this way, a clear and somewhat surprising ranking of top three emerges.

1) Hillary Clinton would probably be the best president for anti-comprehensivists. She's cautious. She's been burned by GOP opposition before (to her 1994 health plan). Is she really going attempt both health care reform and immigration reform in her first two years? Remember, Rahm Emmanuel's swing-state Democratic congressmen typically ran tough-on-illegals campaigns. They're squeamish about voting for "amnesty." If Hillary is president (meaning John McCain isn't president) the Republicans are likely to unite against a Democratic legalization plan. Meanwhile, Hillary's political adviser James Carville is on record suggesting that legalization, like welfare, is a potential election-loser. Hillary suppporter Paul Krugman seems one of those remaining economists who actually believe in supply and demand--i.e., that an increase in the supply of immigrant labor can drive down unskilled wages. And Hillary herself has made anti-illegals noises in the past, including reversing her endorsement of Gov. Spitzer's drivers license plan.

2) Barack Obama, on the other hand, may actually believe his standard-left immigration positons. He's shown an ability to bridge the partisan divide and get things done. All deeply troubling, in this case.. But at least he too would have a hard time getting both a health care  plan and immigration legislation through Congress against opposition from Republicans (McCain having lost).

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