"Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you”

Pericles



Thursday, November 29, 2007

Immigration: The "Get Tough" Approach Too Simple

The first half hour of the Republican YouTube debate was dedicated to immigration, with each of the candidates seeming to "out-Tancredo Tancredo" by staking hard-line anti-immigration positions.

Sanctuary cities? Bad!
Guest worker programs? Worse!
Immigrant children going to college? Even worse!

The conservative audience cheers them on!

When McCain discusses comprehensive immigration reform, the crowd hisses its disappointment. Immigration, the wedge issue of 2008, continues to gain steam within the GOP nomination contest, despite it's failure to secure GOP victories in congressional races in 2006 and in Virginia state legislative contests in 2007. Despite the electoral evidence, Republican campaigns are following the Tancredo Talking Points fearful of a base frothing at anything resembling AMNESTY.

Meanwhile, on the Democratic side the well-documented stumbling and mumbling by the presidential frontrunners on the driver's licenses for illegals question reveals the issue's potency to divide progressives as well.

The power of the wedge issue is revealed: articulating a complex and thoughtful approach to difficult issues is once again trumped by simplistic, emotional (and typically unworkable) answers designed to appeal to voter's fears.

America can do better.

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