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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

MCCAIN CLAIMING DEMOCRATS DERAILED IMMIGRATION REFORM IN SPANISH-LANGUAGE ADS

Rating: 4 votes, 5.00 average.

UPDATE: McClatchy News Service criticizes McCain for the new ad.



Unbelievable. America's Voice reminds people of the truth:



"We are stunned.  A Spanish-language ad approved by
Senator John McCain accuses Senator Obama and the Democrats of derailing
immigration reform?  He knows better.  The whole political world
knows better.  Comprehensive immigration reform was blocked not by
Democrats but by Republicans.  A White House strategy designed to secure
25-30 Republican votes (of the 60 needed) ended up getting only 12 Republican
votes.  The reason?  A number of Republican Senators were intimidated
by the intense opposition to the bill fueled by anti-immigrant groups, hard
line Republicans and right-wing talk radio and television.  >>



>>



>



Why such a bald-faced misrepresentation of history?
Probably because Senator McCain knows that Latino voters - especially Latino
immigrant voters - could prove to be decisive in this year's election.  He
knows - perhaps more than most in his party - that comprehensive immigration
reform is a defining issue and a driving factor for many of these new
voters.  He knows that they are rejecting his candidacy, despite his
heroic efforts in the past on behalf of immigration reform, because he has an
"R" next to his name.  So what better way to reverse this trend than to
strike early by running an ad so audacious in its distortions that it just
might negatively define Senator Obama with enough Latino voters to win the
coveted states of Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico.  >>



>>



>



We get the politics, but in our view this is dirty politics.
Yes, George Bush won some 49% of Spanish-dominant Latino voters in 2004 (which
accounts for his increase in overall Latino support from 35% in 2000 to 40% in
2004).  Yes, the nativists' drumbeat coming from Republicans in recent
years is driving these voters into the Democratic column in droves.  Yes,
Senator McCain is now drawing support from Latino voters in the low 20s, a
level comparable to Bob Dole in 1996.   Yes, if you are in the McCain
campaign, something must be done to increase your level of support to the low
40s.  But no, you don't get to re-write history and blame Democrats, who
voted for the bill.  No, The McCain campaign cannot hide the fact that he
pandered to the Republican base following the demise of the Senate immigration bill
by adopting a so-called "border security first" position - a position
incompatible with comprehensive immigration reform - in order to remain viable
in the primaries.  The McCain campaign cannot paint Senator Obama as an
opponent of comprehensive immigration reform when both he and Senator Obama
fought for it and voted for it in both 2006 and 2007.  >>



>>



>



Finally, it is not lost on Latinos and immigrants that most
of the anti-immigrant measures being implemented at the federal, state, and
local level are championed by Republicans.  Even the Bush Administration
has now moved from supporting comprehensive immigration reform to a strategy of
crack downs directed at Latino immigrants in their homes, workplaces, and
communities.  And as if there was any doubt, at the convention just last
week in Minnesota, the Republican Party embraced a mass deportation approach
that opposes citizenship for illegal immigrants - a key component of
comprehensive immigration reform.  This stands in stark contrast to this
year's official party platform of the Democratic Party's embrace of
comprehensive reform.  >>



>>



>



Immigrants and Latinos are intelligent.
They know the difference between fact and fiction. This ad is more
fiction than fact, and the McCain campaign should take this ad off the air."
>>

























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Comments

  1. Jack's Avatar
    If anyone knows misrepresentation, it's Frank Sharry.

    'Immigrants and Latinos are intelligent. They know the difference between fact and fiction.'

    Actually, a good number of voters are not informed enough to know the difference between fact and fiction and will not bother to fact check. If negative and deceptive ads were not effective they would not be run election after election.

    If you can get past his hysterical tone, I actually like reading Sharry's political analysis and sometimes agree. For instance, that McCain's problem with Latino voters isn't his marginal immigration policy differences with Obama but 'because he has an "R" next to his name'. It's party partisanship which predates immigration/CIR as a 'defining issue'. If it were primarily based on substantive policy then Obama should not have gotten so few Latino votes compared to Hillary Clinton.

    'a so-called "border security first" position - a position incompatible with comprehensive immigration reform'

    Incompatible? It's widely viewed as just a political device to grease the wheels for CIR. That's what 'first' means. It's implied that the same old amnesty/CIR proposal is to follow.
  2. Sid's Avatar
    This is exactly the kind of nonsense that can happen with the CIR approach instead of a piecemeal one. Although it is a blatant lie that the bill was derailed solely by Democrats, the fact is that there were probably very few parts (if any) of the bill that were universally supported.

    The core Republican base was vehemently opposed to any kind of amnesty, the Democrats were opposed to the preference given to the point based system over the family based immigration. There were hundreds of amendments introduced by both parties.

    If they had opted for the piecemeal approach instead, it would have been fairly clear as to who opposed what provision.
  3. Truth teller's Avatar
    Obama is very bad for the country. Ridiculously inexperienced, empty suit, unprincipled man. McCain is much better man for the job anytime.

    Even without 50% hispanic vote, it looks like we are already seeing the contours of a McCain landslide.
  4. George Chell's Avatar
    "Even without 50% hispanic vote, it looks like we are already seeing the contours of a McCain landslide."

    Landslide? Not exactly!

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/158627

    http://www.kansascity.com/445/story/792858.html

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/us/general_election_mccain_vs_obama-225.html

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/maps/obama_vs_mccain/

    If the economy was ok or at least to the level of last September, McCain probably wins in a landslide. Not now!

  5. AD's Avatar
    The ad makes perfect sense from a Republican POV in that it firms up support among the demographic that has a "flexible relationship with reality" when it comes to immigration issues. As with Lou Dobbs, no amount of fact checking is going to make a difference changing the opinions of this demographic.
  6. 's Avatar
    Actually, McCain's not entirely wrong. Menendez alone bears a lot of the blame.
  7. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    We're talking about the votes in 2006 and 2007. Menendez is blocking bills right now to force comprehensive immigration reform back on the table.
  8. Kalifornian's Avatar
    I was watching the rep. convention, the cameramen were desparately scanning the delegate crowd for minority delegates.
  9. Sid's Avatar
    Kalifornian, actually they had strategically placed a few minorities, women and younger voters with placards and kept showing them repeatedly.

    McCain is running a very dishonest campaign and getting away with it because the average voter doesn't care about politics. Maybe when the unemployment rate goes from 6.1% to 15%, they'll start giving a damn. I want to see how many people care about abortion and gay marriages when they struggle to put food on the table.

    I like Obama because he has a rare quality for a politician - intellectuality. He actually understands that the issues now are very complex and have complex solutions - that the economy will not get fixed simply by tax cuts and a smaller government or that the energy crisis cannot be solved by "strategies" like "drill, baby, drill". That's also his weakness because the average voter is still looking for sound bites instead of a paragraph long solutions.

    The only saving grace about a McCain win is that Democrats will control the Congress for another two years and are unlikely to be very supportive if he continues to run a dirty campaign to win.
  10. 's Avatar
    Siskind - You don't understand. Menendez was one of the key actors culpable for trashing the CIR deal in 2007.
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