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Bloggings: Battle of the hypocrites: Romney vs. Obama on immigration, by Roger Algase

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According to a May 8 article in the Washington Post, Bettina Inclan, the Republican National Committee's Director of Hispanic Outreach, is having problems answering questions about Willard "Mitt" Romney's position on immigration.

To start with, the idea that the RNC could have someone with this title at all is utterly ludicrous. The only thing one could think of that would be more absurd than this would be for Iranian President Ahmedinejad to appoint a minister for Jewish community relations, for Russian President Putin to appoint a minister for promoting independent private businesses, or for the Chinese government to appoint a minister for human rights (unless there already is one - anything may be possible in China).

So it is no surprise that, now that the Republicans have finally realized that Hispanic US citizens actually vote, and that their votes could make an important difference in this fall's election (despite the attempts of over a dozen states with Republican legislatures to keep them from voting through discriminatory voter ID laws) the Republicans are desperately trying to come up with a strategy to overcome the 47 point lead that President Obama has among Hispanic voters according to the polls.

According to Ms. Inclan's statements to the media, and those of other Republican spokespersons, the heart of this strategy is to try to make the immigration issue go away by convincing Hispanic voters that they don't really care about immigration because they are Americans, and, hey! the economy is a lot more important anyway. Curious, but I have never heard of a campaign by either party to convince Irish-American voters that Irish immigration is of no concern to them. 

But when questions from journalists at Ms. Inclan's press conference made it clear that no amount of condescending to America's Hispanic communities could make the immigration issue go away, she made the amazing, but essentially accurate statement that Romney is "still deciding what his position on immigration is".  An even more accurate statement might be that Willard is still deciding what his positions on immigration will be, since he will no doubt have a different one for every day between now and election day, depending on which audience that one of the most unprincipled presidential candidates in modern history wants to play up to at any given moment.

But in the face of this Republican effort to carry hypocrisy almost to the point of comedy, Obama is a very soft target.indeed. Inclan was able, correctly, to point out that the president has already deported more people than any other president in American history. 

So what is President Obama's response to this? It is to point out that, based on his statements during the Republican primary, Romney would deport even more people. Also true, and anyone planning to vote Republican this fall or to vote for a third party or stay home (which would amount to the same thing as voting Republican) had better believe this. 

But is there not something fundamentally repulsive about this battle of the hypocrites? Not only Hispanics, but all Americans who believe in equality, tolerance, and racial justice, need to call both presidential candidates out on their cynical pandering to anti-immigrant bigotry.

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  1. Matthew Kolken's Avatar
    There is no possible way for Romney (or any other candidate) to deport more people than what we have seen under President Obama.

    The immigration court backlog has gotten so large that it is literally impossible to beat Obama's deportation record.

    Moreover, did you happen to see Carl Shusterman's blog on what Obama is doing to employers? See: Obama's War on Employers

    If enough people actually WAKE UP, it may be possible for a third party candidate to actually win the White House in 2016.

    As it currently stands voting for either mainstream candidate is a self-defeating prophecy.
  2. Roger Algase's Avatar
    I appreciate Matt's concern, but there may also be some wishful thinking here. It is always easy to think that things are already so bad that they can't possibly get worse. But if a party gets into power that is strongly committed to making things worse, their leaders will certainly find a way to do so.

    The Republicans already are making things worse, in Arizona, Alabama and other states. How many states do we want to give them the chance to do this in - 50?

    Also, remember H.R. 3447 from 2005, the last previous time before now that the House was controlled by the Republicans. Yes, Bush was better - a golden age, compared to now. But Willard is not George W., let alone John McCain

    Can a pro- immigrant third party actually win the White House in 2012? That would be a wonderful, but impossible, DREAM.
  3. Matthew Kolken's Avatar
    As I have said many times before, Obama's abysmal human rights record, coupled with his vicious abuses of immigrants in deportation detention, and his attacks on employers makes voting for him an untenable option for anyone with a heart/brain.
  4. Roger Algase's Avatar
    Matt, I look on this as a little like Johnson-Goldwater in 1964, a campaign I remember quite well. It was also the year I was admitted to the bar. There was a great deal of liberal anger against Johnson over Vietnam, but the prospect of electing Goldwater was simply unthinkable.

    Then after Johnson was re-elected and Goldwater was no longer a threat to American democracy and the nuclear extinction of the planet (as it seemed to so many of us then) liberals (like myself) were free to go after Johnson to the point where he was forced to decide not to run for re-election in 1968.

    Then, finally, liberals were able to deal with Johnson and make their voices heard (until the Chicago Democratic convention, at least). But whom did we wind up with? Tricky Dick, a president whom Willard reminds me of more than any other I can recall. Of course, Willard and his billionaires would have made Goldwater look like a socialist by comparison.

    Obama deportation policy and employer persecution today is like Johnson's Vietnam escalation almost fifty years ago. As bad as it could possibly get - until it got even worse under a devious, malicious Republican president, that is.
  5. Matthew Kolken's Avatar
    Nixon was the first President to go to China...

    Obama sold our soul to China.

    I'd take Nixon (minus the paranoia) over Obama any day of the week.

    Full Disclosure: I attended Whittier College.
  6. Mandy's Avatar
    Thanks for the interesting article. Well-written, but I have to say that constant criticism of Obama is unnecessary. No one wants to take his job if you think about it, and in terms of immigration law, it will always be better to have a democrat in office and Obama will do more good than Romney ever would. Third party .... not so sure on it, but libertarians could be a welcomed change in our politics.
  7. John's Avatar
    I think So, that this implies that Obama is somehow aware of the existence of the concept, which I had long assumed an impossibility, given the President's long record of saying A while (not) doing B.
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