Monday, December 20, 2004

Gambling on immigration

The reputable and always objective mooninite mouthpiece, the Washington Times, reports:
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is staking out a position on illegal immigration that is more conservative than President Bush, a strategy that supporters and detractors alike see as a way for the New York Democrat to shake the "liberal" label and appeal to traditionally Republican states...
In an interview last month on Fox News, Mrs. Clinton said she does not "think that we have protected our borders or our ports or provided our first responders with the resources they need, so we can do more and we can do better."
    In an interview on WABC radio, she said: "I am, you know, adamantly against illegal immigrants."
    "Clearly, we have to make some tough decisions as a country, and one of them ought to be coming up with a much better entry-and-exit system so that if we're going to let people in for the work that otherwise would not be done, let's have a system that keeps track of them," she said.
    Unlike many pro-business Republicans, Mrs. Clinton also has castigated Americans for hiring illegal aliens.

Even though controlling illegal immigration might be a good policy if it is done in a way that is both humane and effective, it is probably not an issue the Democrats ride back into power on. Pushing to hard and too gracelessly on this front could helpthe Republicans consolidate their gains among hispanic voters. It also seems unlikely that Democrats with anti-immigrant views are actually going to win the votes of red state voters. The Republicans have built in advantage in this area and it is unlikely that the Democrats, especially a Democrat like Hillary Clinton, can take it away from them. Putting aside the some what disadvantages that Hillary suffers from, a North Easterner probably won't have the cultural credibility with red state voters to successfully use immigration reform as a wedge issue.


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