President Bush yesterday took out his pencil and erased the border between the US and Mexico. Giving between 8-14 million ILLEGAL immigrants legal “documented worker” status, the President more or less has offered amnesty to a group of known felons.
The policy ramifications are obvious, any deterrent that was there to prevent people from skipping across the border into San Diego is now gone. We’ve incentivied law breaking.
The political ramifications are a little different. Bush is obviously using this to bolster his claims of having “compassion.” The President is banking on this to boost Hispanic turnout for him nationally.
But in the fun-filled world of electoral math, there are also certain things we can draw from this. First and foremost is that any talk of Bush capturing California – Karl Rove’s unicorn – is just that, talk. Alienating (pun intended) the entire conservative base on one of THE most hot-button issues in the state is certainly not a way to turn the Golden State into a Red State. California WILL BE a donor state, and nothing more.
But more dangerously, this opens the door for the Democrat nominee to “TRIANGULATE” Bush. Dick Morris, Clinton’s former politico, believed in finding an issue or two with which you can out flank your opponent with. It frightens me to think that immigration may be used against us. In battleground states of Arizona, New Mexico, and Florida, the issue of immigration sits #1 among many conservative voters. Bush’s weakness, combined with a strong stance on immigration by a Democrat will lead to many cross-over votes, and heavy suppression.
But the damage doesn’t end there. In states where illegal immigration itself isn’t an issue, the economic ramifications of Bush’s amnesty will become an issue. In West Virginia, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania for instance, this amnesty bill will become one piece of the protectionist/isolationist battle cry.
This cop out just is another instance of President Bush’s refusal to stand for anything. I can’t wait for Owens in ’08!