Skip to comments.Immigration splits Democrats, and GOP seizes opportunity
Posted on 07/11/2010 2:00:07 PM PDT by SandRat
If you were looking for a political wedge issue that could work to the advantage of the GOP, you could hardly do better than immigration, which has left a sniping and divided Democratic Party in its wake.
It wasn't so at first. Democrats hung together in opposition to SB 1070, sticking to the general theme it doesn't do anything to really secure the border while opening up a Pandora's box of civil-rights violations.
But then came polls showing the law had a wellspring of support, followed by boycotts and a federal lawsuit - areas that also don't poll particularly well among the general public. And soon came a fraying between the progressive wing of Democrats and those walking centrist tightropes while trying to hang onto swing seats.
Bob Westerman, chairman of the local GOP, said his party plans to use the immigration issue "to the max."
Democrats have been getting mileage out of it, too. But rather than going after Republicans, they're going after each other.
This week, Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, the Democrats' gubernatorial contender, called on U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva to reverse his earlier call for a boycott.
Grijalva, who has said economic pressure is one way of getting leverage for the cause, shot back that Goddard should be going after the Republicans who backed a law that hurt tourism and made Arizona a late-night punch line.
Grijalva, though, is in good company, since President Obama isn't getting a pass, either.
"In the absence of a new and comprehensive federal immigration law," Goddard wrote, "it is just wrong for this administration to fight state efforts to address the effects of our broken border."
Also heaping criticism on the federal decision to sue were U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords - a Democrat who could face a difficult general election since her district has a slight Republican edge - along with fellow vulnerable congressional Democrats Harry Mitchell and Ann Kirkpatrick.
Giffords complained on Fox News recently that the president has ignored her invitations to come to the border. She even criticized a formerly popular Arizona governor at a Democratic meeting Thursday night.
Someone in the audience asked about "bills" then-Gov. Janet Napolitano sent to the federal government, requesting repayment for expenses related to illegal immigrants.
Giffords wryly responded that it's interesting how changing jobs can change a person's perspective on a problem.
Pima County Supervisor Richard Elías has become increasingly aggravated watching members of his party.
Some in his party are making a political calculation, he said, "but it still calls into question their moral compass. I don't think they should say they're ashamed of the U.S. for suing the state of Arizona for what I consider to be a law with egregious civil-rights violations."
Elías said the risk is that progressives might decide to sit out some races. That could spell trouble in races with tight margins and in a year that conventional wisdom holds will be a good one for Republicans.
"There is tension," acknowledged Jeff Rogers, head of the Pima County Democratic Party, who went on to say that those decrying the filing of the lawsuit are flat wrong. "It's abundantly clear that the federal government controls immigration, and it is violating the U.S. Constitution to pass a law like this. You can't say they shouldn't have sued."
But after that, he said, the party has to take a step back and say, "This is one issue. And even though it's a hot-button issue, it's not as important as jobs and the economy and the state of education."
Barbara Norrander, a political science professor at the University of Arizona, said she thinks it's going to be difficult to steer that conversation away.
It can't be separated from the economy, she said. "People see immigration as part of the economic problems we're facing, in terms of the cost of public services for immigrants, the lowering of wages because of more competition and so forth."
Pollster Earl DeBerge said he doesn't believe centrist Democrats have too much to fear, since polls show Grijalva is the "odd guy out."
"Right now, 1070 is benefitting those candidates who align with it. Those who are outright opposed to 1070 and who don't take a position on the porousness of the border are taking a big risk," he said. "Democrats are cross-pressured on this. They see the humanitarian issue, but I think they are also concerned on porousness."
Still, he doesn't believe immigration will have the same degree of sticking power through the general, adding more people are going to want to focus on jobs as the election nears.
This can’t be true. The MSM has been falling all over itself telling everyone that immigration will hurt Republicans in elections. You mean the MSM is lying???
Did they ever stop?
That's just a function of having no inherent moral values or standards. Just another LIFER trying to "protect her phony-baloney job".
The lowering of wages thing isn't really a true factor, when you consider minimum wage laws. And honestly, it's difficult to find a small business owner who doesn't work for less than minimum wage, at least at the start of the business, especially considering 60 hour weeks.
What is a factor is that the jobs that our kids would be doing right now, without the invasion of illegals, are tied up by the illegal population. Dishwashing, lawn care, pool maintenance, construction site cleanup, heck, even newspaper delivery. Under every law, none of these jobs can legally pay an illegal alien, even if they ARE an illegal, less than a citizen.
Oh, well, who wants these crappy jobs? No one really, I never spoke of pride when I was cleaning toilets, but it paid the rent and put food on the table, so that's what I did. But I don't speak Spanish, and that's pretty much a requirement in the service industry at the moment. From warehouses to dockside, from suburban lawns to skyscrapers, there are tens of millions of jobs those illegals are doing right now that our tens of millions of unemployed might like to have a shot at doing themselves.
“Bob Westerman, chairman of the local GOP, said his party plans to use the immigration issue “to the max.”
A Republican who wants to use advantages to win elections? Amazing!
Jan Brewer for President!!!
Any Republican who can cause the Dems to turn on each other gets my vote.
Don't fool yourselves, socialist are only wanting to document another large voting block, even if it means the murder of many more Americans and the loss of this Countries sovereignty!
Was just watching fox and all the goofs on the panel were giving the polling numbers and they all agreed, the problem is.... the RNC has no platform.
I think the “fix the borders”, “fix the judges” “save the constitution” “lower taxes” and “states rights” are pretty good platform issues.
Sometimes, I swear without Krautheimer to bring some sense to these panels, the panels are senseless.
Sad thing was, Brit Hume was on, and usually he’s pretty bright, but he was agreeing too, that there is no opposition platform against Obama.
Oh, and they all agreed that you don’t win elections by just “being against the guy in power”. I was like WTF?????
Aint that how Obozo got in power?
“NYT: In private weekend meetings with White House, Dem governors voice deep anxiety about suit against AZ immigration law, worrying it could cost party in fall elections... Developing...”
Republicans, independents, and even many Dems want secure borders, and the Dem governors know this.
Harry Reid is also in a quandary re: illegal immigration.
As I have stated constantly for the last three days that Im a legal American citizen and I must show my ID when:
1. Pulled over by the police.
2. Making purchases on my department store credit card.
3. When I show up for a doctors appointment.
4. When filling out a credit card or loan application.
5 When applying for or renewing a drivers license or passport.
6. When applying for any kind of insurance.
7. When filling out college applications.
8. When donating blood.
9. When obtaining certain prescription drugs.
10. When making some debit purchases, especially
if Im out of state.
11. When collecting a boarding pass for airline or train travel.
Im sure there are more instances, but the point is that we citizens of the USA are required to prove who we are nearly every day!
Why should people in this country illegally, be exempt!!!!!
For that matter, perhaps the liberals can answer the question: Why are we not allowed to guard our borders as closely as every other country in the world does? Where is the rationale? When will grown-ups run this country again?