If you listen to the rhetoric regarding the legislation in Arizona one thing is clear, the Republicans have their talking points ready.
The first thing they do is try to push it off on the federal government, mostly because there is a Democrat in the White House and the Democrats control Congress.
Never mind the obvious fact that there was a problem with immigration issues long before Obama was inaugurated. Funny how during the Bush administration the Arizona legislature didn’t pull a stunt like this.
But since we are on the topic of President Bush, let’s talk more about the Republicans. I’ve heard Senator Cornyn and Lt. Gov Dewhurst talk about how the Arizona legislation represents a failure at the federal level to deal with the problem with immigration reform. The failure to address the problem is from Republicans.
Mitch McConnell, a Republican Senator, said earlier this week that “This isn’t the right time to do immigration reform.” Sounds like a Republican that doesn’t want to deal with the issue of immigration.
Now let’s go back to 2007. President Bush wanted to address immigration reform, but his own Republican-controlled Congress pushed back against the Administration and killed the discussion.
So yes, I would agree with a couple of prominent Texas Republicans, it does represent a failure at the federal level to deal with the issue…a Republican failure!
Then there’s the distancing maneuver. The Republicans that aren’t putting this off on the federal government are talking about how this isn’t a Democratic thing or a Republican thing, it’s a problem for all of us.
But it’s the Republicans that are completely ass backward on this one. The Republicans don’t want to own the fact that they pushed forward and continue to support a piece of legislation that is clearly an assault on our Constitution. They don’t want to own the fact that this is a big ass unfunded mandate that would put a tremendous strain on municipalities that are just barely struggling to get by now.
But let’s bring the conversation local between County Commissioner Veronica Escobar and her Republican opponent for County Judge, Jaime O. Perez. JOP issued a press release not only supporting the legislation in Arizona, but calling for it here in Texas. He says the fears of racial profiling are over-stated and he doesn’t believe that will happen.
That would be great if the courts went by what JOP “believes”, but in our system, courts interpret the law. The way the law is written, it not only allows for racial profiling, it ENCOURAGES it.
So why does a County Judge candidate even raise the issue? Simple, he needs the public attention. In order for JOP to win, he needs a miracle, and then a little help. He explained a very complex equation that would lead to his victory, which regardless of how unlikely the scenario, is something he believes in.
JOP is banking on Republican angst in November. He needs the Republicans to be scared or pissed, so that they will turn out in big numbers. The Tea Party Movement is just what the doctor ordered. So if he gets out in front and positions himself as a champion for this, then he’s hoping Republicans will come out and vote for him big.
But registered Republicans are dwarfed by registered Democrats. He needs Democrats to fall asleep at the wheel and not show up to the polls. Being a former Democrat, JOP knows exactly how likely that scenario is and has created a strategy to capture on Democratic apathy and Republican angst.
In theory its plausible, though far-fetched. It’s been quite a while since a Republican has won county wide.
One thing not accounted for in his plan though. Veronica Escobar’s popularity.
Escobar demonstrated the ability to get people to the polls in the Democratic primary. Despite a crowded field and being the last person to get in to the race, she was still able to win the nomination without a run-off.
The means two things, she’s popular and she’s organized.
She’s also on the right side of the immigration debate. She’s got a long history of being in favor for responsible immigration reform. She’s been a board member of the Border Network for Human Rights for several years and has been a local leader on the issue.
The move will endear JOP to local Republicans, especially those who have been suspicious of JOP actually being a Republican, but it will ultimately be an issue that may actually motivate some Democrats to go to the polls in November.