Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Wrong on Immigration

The folks at Hot Air, in commenting on media reactions to McCain’s victory in Florida, open up a controversy in several posting updates:

Update: Another exit question: Is talk radio in better or worse shape than border enforcement right now? David Brooks and Bob Novak are already crowing about the irrelevance of Romney’s comparatively hard line against amnesty. That can be spun for the moment by pointing to Florida’s big Cuban minority. Same result next Tuesday, though? Not so much.

Update (Bryan): I think Brooks and Novak are intentionally missing the point re immigration. The fact is, McCain had to publicly track to the right on that and enough voters evidently bought it, at least to the extent that it neutralized Romney’s stance.

Those voters didn’t hear about Juan Hernandez or the rest of the evidence that McCain’s conversion is insincere because the MSM didn’t report it. Talk radio didn’t do much with it either. Laura Ingraham brought it up, but I don’t think Rush or Hannity have. Novak and Brooks also fail to take into account the recent trio of immigration enforcement wins in NY, MI and MD. Those occurred under Democrat governors responding to pressure from the electorate, and the one in NY rattled the Clinton campaign for a while.

So those two are sticking to their preferred storyline, but they’re wrong.

I’m in NY, and they’re dead wrong.

Even in uber-liberal NY, downstate as well as upstate, illegal immigration is the firestorm awaiting a spark (as NY Governor Elliot Spitzer and Sen. Hillary Clinton well know). The reason it hasn’t gotten traction is that neither Romney, McCain, Huckabee, nor Giuliani have picked up on its flammability. It hasn’t figured in the Republican race thus far, thanks to candidates who can only cover it properly with evasion, flip flopping, or “squishiness,” with aiding and abetting media.

The hyper-reaction to Governor Spitzer’s illegal alien licensing plan wasn’t (only) added revulsion for the new Governor, piggy-backing on his Trooper Gate fiasco. Likewise, Clinton’s furious backpedaling and hapless muddling after initially backing the rookie Guv, wasn’t just her inability to hone her message just right. Both retreated, reluctantly, because the public reaction in the blue-bastion Empire State approached red-faced rage.

If Romney starts beating McCain and Clinton with any version of the Amnesty Stick, that could become the club with which he beats both to a pulp.

If McCain ultimately gets the nomination, he would be well advised to keep tracking rightward of his previous positions, and stay right. If he doesn’t, watch Clinton move decisively to his right, and win.

(Via Memeorandum)

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