10 years ago
I just can’t stand watching the Beltway Boys with Fred and Mort any more. Fred is not conservative, and Mort is not liberal. They are both rather vanilla, centrist pundits who make rather vanilla, centrist and uninteresting observations. When discussing the Utah congressional primary contest between Chris Cannon and John Jacob a few days ago (the race that saw Tom Tancredo weigh in and donate money), both Fred and Mort opined that if a district as conservative as this cannot put an immigration-control candidate in office, then no district can. Thus, the so-called “comprehensive” solution was the winner (I just hate that term “comprehensive” when referring to immigration; it is so dishonest. It doesn’t mean “comprehensive.” It means amnesty for those who are here and legal immigration to an extent that would make illegal immigration unnecessary). So with a shrug of the shoulders and ten seconds of talky-talk, both pundits dismissed this vote as a non-starter.
In fact, I don’t think Mort and Fred could have missed the boat any more than they did on this issue. Consider. A district which has an otherwise unobjectionable candidate (Cannon) votes 44.1% to overthrow the incumbent (who was also supported by Bush) over a single issue — immigration, and this with a candiate who has made some significant political errors.
Now the GOP has to wonder if it will be able to mobilize a large percentage of its base (and its more conservative part of the base, I might add). The inability to mobilize the base will be lethal to the party. If Jacob had gotten 5% of the vote, it might have been an interesting little sidebar tidbit for political junkies ten years from now to discuss when playing political trivia. If Jacob had gotten 20% of the vote, the GOP’ers at headquarters should be worrying over what had gone so wrong and whether they will be able to mobilize the base.
But Jacob got 44% of the vote. In political terms, this is a seismic event.
- Twelve posts on immigration.
***** UPDATE *****
I think that the usually brilliant Michael Barone is dead wrong on this. I don’t think that there is life in the “compromise” plan. But as always from Barone, a good read.