The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Because Competing for Just American Votes Is Too Darn Hard


From the Monday edition of the Morning Jolt:

This Anecdote From Kyl Won’t Make You Smile

The only source we have for this anecdote of the president and how he approaches key decisions is Senator Jon Kyl, a.k.a. the Arizona senator who doesn’t make you yell “What is he doing?” at least once every two months. Still, there’s not much reason for Kyl to lie about this, and I doubt anybody who hears it will jump up and exclaim, “Oh, that doesn’t sound like the Barack Obama we know!”

ColdWarrior tells the tale on RedState: “On June 18, 2010, Arizona Republican Senator Jon Kyl told the audience at a North Tempe Tea Party town hall meeting that during a private, one-on-one meeting with President Obama in the Oval Office, the President told him, regarding securing the southern border with Mexico, ‘The problem is, . . . if we secure the border, then you all won’t have any reason to support “comprehensive immigration reform.”’ [Audible gasps were heard throughout the audience.] Sen. Kyl continued, ‘In other words, they’re holding it hostage. They don’t want to secure the border unless and until it is combined with “comprehensive immigration reform.’”’ Sen. Kyl also said he reminded President Obama that the President and the Congress has an obligation, a duty, to secure the border.”

Allahpundit, writing at Hot Air: “Does any term of art exist to describe a revelation that’s shocking in one sense and yet not at all surprising in another? (“Kinsleyan gaffe” is in the ballpark, but that’s not quite what this is.) Of course The One won’t do anything about the border until he gets some political cover from Congress on amnesty; his party wants to build a heavy Democratic majority among Latinos long-term and he’s not going to mess that up. What’s stunning is simply the fact that he’d be so candid, to a member of the opposition no less, in admitting his dereliction of duty. Sure, he could fulfill his constitutional responsibility and try to enforce federal law — but what good will that do him politically? If Congress wants to see some action at the border, they need to make it worth his while. And you thought the BP deal was a ‘shakedown.’”

Clifton B., writing at Another Black Conservative, “Obama actually is speaking the truth here. If the administration and Congress were simply to do their jobs by securing the border and enforcing existing immigration laws, there would be no need for comprehensive reform. Comprehensive Immigration Reform is basically a Rube Goldberg machine that allows both parties to get what they really want . . . amnesty. What truly is frightening is that this exchange is pretty much the Washington way. Our rights and wishes are traded away in backroom deals so that elected officials can secure their wants and needs. Given the shameful behavior Republicans displayed just days ago with the whole Joe Barton incident, I am not the least bit confident that a Republican controlled Congress will save us from amnesty.”

I actually think Obama has this completely wrong, in a way. Amnesty is almost impossible to sell to the general public for many good reasons; among them, any law that shrugs its shoulders at illegal aliens failing to pay any income taxes from their first day on the job in this country will trigger a taxpayer revolt. But if the electorate really felt reassured that the United States government controlled its borders and kept the bad folks out and let the legal applicants in, then the majority that currently supports Arizona’s law might shift a bit from the “track ‘em all down and ship ‘em all back” position. Once Americans feel that the law really is throwing back the drug dealers and gang members and cracking down on the human smugglers and those who exploit them, then they might feel a bit more sympathy for Manuel the busboy and be willing to work out some deal where he stays in the country, provided he pays sufficient penalty to for breaking existing laws. But that would require patience, a determination to demonstrate tangible results, and a commitment to tough-minded discipline, three qualities in short supply in this White House. Instead, our immigration policy seems to consist of, ‘how many Democratic voters can we import and how quickly?’

I guess we can expand the list of “jobs Americans won’t do” to include voting for Democrats, huh?

Tags: Barack Obama , Immigration , Jon Kyl


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