Derailing the so-called new third rail of politics
There are public officials, anti-immigrant advocates, and trolls at SF that think that the anti-immigrant sentiment prevails in America and that the wind is at their back. Democrat wonderboy Rep. Rahm Emmanuel (D-Illin') even claims that immigration is the "new third rail" of politics.
Not so fast, my friends.
In an analysis after Election Day, The Washington Post noted that demagoging on the immigration issue got candidates nowhere in local elections in Virginia.
Voters across Virginia chose candidates in state and local elections yesterday not out of anger over illegal immigration but based on party affiliation, a preference for moderation and strong views on such key issues as residential growth and traffic congestion.
With a few notable exceptions, the trend benefited Democrats and not those who campaigned the loudest for tough sanctions against illegal immigrants.
A less conclusive but still telling analysis was in The New York Times on the Empire State's local elections.
Democrats declared yesterday that Gov. Eliot Spitzer's plan to give driver's licenses to illegal immigrants had not proved to be the electoral boon Republicans had hoped for in local elections, despite the Republicans' aggressive efforts to exploit overwhelming public opposition to the proposal.
The Republican presidential primary looks like a race to the gutter on this issue, and the Democratic hopefuls are standing at the cliff deciding whether or not to follow the nativist lemmings over the edge. They're all failing to give the American people credit for being more mature than a 12-year-old. Let's face it, the American people embrace people who work hard and have strong family values, and that's why polling has consistently shown that most people in the country want comprehensive immigration reform.
And if you need further proof that the demagogue frame is a loser at the ballot box, look no further than this guy. For weeks leading up to the election in 2006, "Casey for Amnesty" signs were all over the place in PA. And Santorum lost by 17 points.
Andy in Harrisburg