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07 July 2010


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You would have come to the same conclusion using current polling data, as well as plugging current economic data into a Ray Fair-style voting model. The AZ immigration fracas is a nice hook on which to hang your conclusion, but it is political decoration, not substance.

In the long run, as should similarly be clear from the data, the US polity is going to look a whole lot less white. Positioning your party as the defender of people who look a whole lot less white strikes me as a canny ploy. In addition, it carries the little advantage of being the right thing to do. This is still America. As a friend of mine likes to say in a theatrical accent, "papers?! but at the border they told me this was a free country.."

Full disclosure: first-generation. My parents got green cards under the old, racist quota system.

William R. Cumming

Seond try at this comment. IMO the SCOTUS rulings on "preemption" are so confusing and politically drive over last 4 decades that reliance on that doctrine which stems from the Commerce Clause of the Constitution not the Supremacy Clause will result in a loss for the US! This is not a legal opinion but do note for the record the Administration has not been particularly successful this term of SCOTUS. And despite the number of 5-4 rulings of SCOTUS this term, almost 45% of the opinions issued were unanimous.

Clifford Kiracofe

While the Dems do seem to court political suicide, the Republicans are deeply split between the Neoconized faction and the traditional libertarian, moderate, and conservative elements.

The hysterical Neocon attacks on Republican Party Chairman Steele, who is an African-American, over his remarks on Afghanistan are of interest.

We do recall that in 1984, Irving Kristol advised Neocon followers, and Israel supporters, to bolt the Democratic Party and jump to the Republican Party.

The issue was Israel. He declared that the old Jewish political alliance with the African-American community had ended with the likes of Jesse Jackson and others who were making pro-Palestinian remarks.

So Kristol argued that pro-Israel types should hold their nose about a Jewish political alliance with the Christian Right because they were a type of Zionist and were pro-Israel. The litmus test for candidates of either party for Kristol was the pro-Israelness of the candidate.

African-Americans were getting "uppity" and falling outside pro-Israel control as the Jesse Jackson case and others seemed to indicate.

Kristol had "the fear" and of course was to use if for Diaspora management purposes.

Today's Neocons have "the fear" about Steele apparently and they don't want him to wander off the Neocon foreign policy plantation.

Will the Tea Party amount to anything for Republicans? And, secondly, will the Tea Party become taken over by pro-Israel Neocon-led types?

The Republicans may well get a majority but then the question will be just what kind of Republican? Pro-Israel and Neoconized? For this we will have to assess each candidate one by one.


I don't think that the Administration had any choice but to file the suit: IMO the AZ Statute is an outrageous intrusion into federal immigration law, which does preempt conflicting state laws. Here the intrusion is so wholesale that I see no way the statute can be justified on "marginal" and complementary state "police power" grounds.

I admit to being no preemption litigation expert, but I have dealt with the issue in various other legal contexts over the years (federal procurement law, for example) and my general legal sense is that the feds have a very strong case here.

I also think this is one of those issues where the need to preserve federal power to legislate in an area trumps political blowback. It has to given the nature of the issue. There is nothing more fundamentally federal than immigration policy and enforcement.


We need to preserve Federal power that does not enforce Federal laws. Why not? We've already gone through the politically correct "looking glass." Millions of Americans collect unemployment while millions stream across the border to take jobs too low paying for Americans because their unions were busted in the 80s (think meat-packers).

The other day ten thousand bees were swarming in a tree in my backyard, forming a new hive. They were my neighbor's and he came and got them. Bees don't sting when they swarm.

Mark Gaughan

Pat,and everyone else,
Perceptions are real to people even if those perceptions are not based on facts. You might very well be right about the November elections, but remember that the main driver of the deficit is the Bush tax cuts. Here is a link to a chart showing just that:http://tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/06/chart-of-the-day-reminder-the-deficit-youre-freaking-out-about-is-bushs-fault.php


About to log off computer and have to say just one thing: while I agree with you about Democrats, I wonder what in God's name the Republicans are thinking?

In national elections the Republicans are weak on minority voters, to say the least. Yet they've been voting down unemployment extensions like there's no tomorrow - and as if none of the unemployed or their families and friends are Republicans.

If they alienate a major segment of the white vote, what do the Republicans have left? They know their conservative "base" can't win their elections for them. What are they thinking? They should be hammering the Democrats about the unemployed and unemployment, but instead they've only trotted out their "Party of NO" response.

So shall we say both parties are playing to lose?

clifford kiracofe

"70% of the country approve of this law. A lot of the people in that number are thought to be frequent voters. In other words, they are white."

Well, yes.

I believe I saw that similar laws have been introduced in other states and localities: Nebraska, Florida? I forget just where.

A country that cannot enforce its own border security is not "sovereign" in a traditional understanding.

Our laws provide for equal treatment to foreigners seeking admission to the US in various immigration modes.

What we have here is not equal treatment under the present laws, but rather special protection for illegal aliens who are now to become a special class with legal immunities. No wonder Arizonans and others are upset.

At some point, I think the "white", and dispossessed, majority may get more restive and more assertive than at present.

I find it quite interesting that the Spanish-language Univision television network seems to be dominated by a meida mogul Israeli emigre to the US who is a major donor to the Democratic Party.

Is there a consistent "pro-Israel" message being delivered by it to the Hispanic community? Is it reinforcing a Christian Zionist orientation among some Hispanics who have left the Roman Catholic fold to partake of Fundamentalist US Protestantism?

There may be much more to this Arizona matter than "immigration" issues.

Just how is the so-called Hispanic community being manipulated and to what political ends? And then, what is the role of a foreign power, Mexico, in all this? (Not to mention the Grand Orient esoteric networks, and all that.)

And isn't the pro-Israel complex in the US working toward maintaining influence in a rapidly shifting demographic here? Is the role model something along the lines of, say, 19th century Austria, a multi-ethnic "empire" and the birthplace of political Zionism?


The administration sues to:
Stop ALL drilling in the gulf.
Prevent enforcement of immigration laws.

Who ARE these people?

The worst left-overs from the sixties/seventies and their moonbat anti-American spawn.
People get the government they deserve.


70% of Americans support the Arizona immigration law. The problem is with the elites of both parties, who do not have to live beside or compete for jobs with these new arrivals.

The Dems will win eventually, demography is destiny. From Joe Conason's recent article in Salon:

By 2050, the country will be 54 percent minority as Latinos double from 15 percent to 30 percent of the population, Asian Americans increase from 5 percent to 9 percent, and African Americans move from 14 to 15 percent.

WOW. Within 40 years Latinos will double and be 30% of our population.

Will this be good for America? Do I get to vote on this? Will my town look less like it is now and come to resemble Nuevo Laredo?

Our country manufactures less and less each year. Why do we require more people for less job opportunities?



Nonsense. The Federal government's response to the illegal immigration across the SW has been, for many administrations, a wink and a nudge. Either to the illegals crossing (who will surely vote Dem) or the business interests (who favor the Republicans).

You have huge tracts of land that are literally controlled by smuggler and drug trafficking interests down here. The cartels are crowing about how the border begins at I-8. Sheriff Paul Babeu is receiving death threats for attempting to do something about the flow of bodies and drugs through Pinal County. We're dealing with running gunbattles across our deserts and cities.

So please don't come across tut-tutting over the soverignity of Washington when Washington is more than happy to cede Arizona in order to secure the midterm elections.

More Obama: All shine, no substance.

William R. Cumming

SCOTUS has ruled that federal laws no longer can impliedly preempt but specific language needed in each statute if that is Congressional intent. Honestly do not know if that requirement currently met in all the various federal immigration statutes.


The administration is walking itself into a trap it could easily avoid. The suit provides a beautiful opportunity for AZ to show a) the law is less intrusive than the Federal law (so why do the Feds object?) and b) the Federal government has failed to enforce its laws, leaving AZ in a "state of nature," as our Founding Fathers called it, which forced AZ to take action on its own. The political theater of the second will have the administration tied up daily trying to counter it instead of focusing on something productive (like enforcing or changing the laws--which were their two choices before AZ acted).

This is a disturbing trend in this administration caused, IMHO, by their endless sloganeering. "Close Guantanamo" oh, but a year later we still don't know how. "Torture is wrong" but the policies are the same today as under GWB. "Iraq is lost" now we are told it was won by the President's policies(?). "The Fed Gov't was incompetent in Katrina" but we haven't seen any improvement in the response to the BP spill.

I guess folks who willfully forced themselves to believe that experience didn't matter (another empty slogan) have found out differently.

The Twisted Genius

"It states that an officer engaged in a lawful stop, detention or arrest shall, when practicable, ask about a person's legal status when reasonable suspicion exists that the person is in the U.S. illegally. "

This sounds very similar to the procedures used in Prince Willian County. However, PWC worked with INS and with established INS programs. I'm not sure if PWC made it a county crime to be in the country illegally. I doubt it. I think it would have been smarter to see how Arizona implemented their new law before filing suit. The PWC procedures evolved over time into something quite reasonable. It turned out to be marginally effective, but expensive. Internal reviews of the PWC program admitted that the economy tanking had a lot to do with driving out the illegals.


Some have accused the Obama administration of being too political. Here you are arguing that it is not political enough. Both positions are probably jusitfied by individual situations and you are likely right about this one.

While you might be right about the politics of this suit I am very uncomfortable with what I have read of the Arizona law and Arizona is just the beginning. Here in Florida they are talking about similar legislation. From what I understand if a law enforcement officer in Arizona develops a suspicion that a person stopped for some infraction may not be in the the state legally he is required to ask for proof of legal residence or citizenship. I have seen no guidelines on the development of this suspicion other than claims that there will be no racial profiling. Does anyone believe this claim? The practical implication of the law is that any legal resident or US citizen transiting Arizona on I-10 who wishes to be guaranteed exiting on the other side without a hassle which might involve some jail time needs to carry his documentation on his person. If I ever cross Arizona, I will have to carry my US passport. What other option does a prudent person have? I can't believe that the teabaggers are not outraged by being effectively required to carry official papers as in various odious dictatorial and socialist places they despise. Perhaps they just aren't smart enough to have figured it out but I'm worried enough about it that we carry our passports in my wife's purse when we travel the roads of America with our trailer.

I don't look or sound foreign in any way that I know of but who can say that I will never come across an officer that is just in a bad mood and is looking to hassle someone. The lack of guidelines or rules in the development of suspicion opens all citizens to the whims of the authorities and I just don't like that. Having to carry official papers to travel within the USA is just not the America I have known for the last 65 years. I'm with Obama on this one even if it's bad politics. He just needs to make a better political case. I think he could sell this one to the teabaggers--they can be manipulated to be afraid of almost anything.



I think Democrats are indeed committing suicide, but only in the short term. In the long term, it may be the Republicans who are shooting themselves in the foot, big time. A lot of the people angry over immigration and (supposedly) related issues are not going to stay angry over those forever--unless the present crises prove to be permanent, in which case, we are all doomed anyways. Many those who feel these measures, rightly or wrongly, as expressions of hostility towards themselves--mostly Hispanics, but probably also other ethnic minorities--are not going to forget so easily.

Back in 1990s, CA Republicans made huge issue of illegal immigration, which gave them a short term advantage over a few election cycles, but a decade later, they became electorally non-viable--whreas, until early 1990s, they were, at least, competitive. Unlike 1990s, the long term impact of the current movement might be much more widespread: can the Republicans afford to lose Texas, Florida, and even Arizona, among other places, with huge Hispanic (and other ethnic) populations (or, at least, run the risk of them becoming competitive)?


Political suicide is a long-cherished Democratic trait. Can't take yes for an answer... no subtlty, vision or discipline.

If it weren't for the GOP's flavor of intellectual dishonesty, they would've succeeded long ago.

Phoenix Woman

The irony is that Republicans love undocumented workers, as they can be fired at whim, are easily replaced, and (because of their illegal status) have very little legal recourse. It's a lovely way for the GOPers to keep wages low and unions from forming.

If undocumented workers were allowed to work openly and to have legal rights, suddenly they would be a lot less attractive to sweatshop or plantation employers.


Your aruement is absurd--a valid state drivers license is considered proof of citizenship under AZ law.

California passed Prop 187 in a last ditch effort to save their economy and it was struck down by the courts. Judge the result for yourself. You think Americans should quietly accept being over run bacause of future retribution. Screw that.


psc: Demographics can change. They can change slowly if increased border enforcement and deportation starts to stem the inflow of economic migrants or they can change quickly, as in Operation Wetback or the preceeding Mexican Repatriation movement.

John Badalian

Colonel Patrick - Did your favorite(?) Union General REALLY say this?: "...I do not think there was ever a more wicked war than that waged by the U.S. against Mexico. I had a horror of the Mexican War, and I have always believed that it was on our part most unjust. The wickedness was not in the way our soldiers conducted it, but in the conduct of our Goverment in declaring war. ... I am always ashamed of my Country when I think of that invasion".
Colonel I submit that no matter how illogical it may seem, but the "Losers" (they could be e.g.- Armenian, Mexican, Polish, Jewish) do not forget. Obama is trying to keep this portion of his 08' Coalition simmering, in order to motivate them to the polls. Colonel, I forget who is the author of "why fool all the People all the time, when a mere majority will do"!
Thank you, JB

William R. Cumming

Non-enforcement of a statute or selective enforcement is rarely a justicable issue for the federal courts.



California only became a haven after amnesty. Illegals used to flood in through CA back in the 80s. Post amnesty, when California and Texas got beefed up fencing and Border Patrol personel, the illegals began to flood through Arizona.

I don't see amnesty becoming reality anytime soon, and ergo, I don't see the Republicans losing Texas, AZ, and Florida anytime soon because of this issue.

Any claims that the Dems are going to ride a "brown wave" into Congress sounds a lot like Karl Rove proclaiming he had "the math" to victory in 2006.

Patrick Lang


I suppose this is WT Sherman speaking? It sounds like him. Many officers who served in Mexico felt much the same way, both Unionists and Confederates. pl

Carl O.

The problem is that the Republicans have already proven that they are no more capable of actually governing than the Democrats.

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