Alexander Burns of Politico offers (link) a textbook example of how the establishment media presents a mainstream, pro-American immigration position as "hard-line". At the same time, Burns presents the corrupt position of Rep. Jeff Flake (running for senate from Arizona) as "moderate".
From "Immigration returns to Ariz. airwaves":
The Arizona immigration furor is back.
Not that it ever really went away, but Republican Senate candidate Wil Cardon -- a conservative self-funder running in the GOP primary -- is pumping several hundred thousand dollars into ads apparently hyping up a hard-line position on the issue....
From the latest Cardon ad online...: “Will Cardon’s immigration plan will fight Obama’s war against Arizona’s security and economy: Supporting S.B. 1070. National guard troops to secure the border. No taxpayer-funded in-state tuition for children of illegal immigrants. No amnesty for illegal immigrations. [note: Politico's transcription is wrong; it's actually 'immigrants']”
That's also known as "the immigration platform Democrats hope Republicans will run on," and it's probably hepful for state and national Dems for Cardon to stay on the air and drive his party and its likely Senate nominee -- Rep. Jeff Flake -- to as divisive a position as possible in a state where Latino voters could play a big role in House and Senate contests, and the presidential race.
UPDATE: Cardon spokeswoman Katie Martin says the ad will run at a strength of $268,375 to start and says in an email it's aimed at drawing a contrast with Flake's more moderate record on immigration issues.
1. Note the ennui implied by the first line: it seems to be saying, "wouldn't it just be great if this whole issue would go away?" What other vital issues would Burns not want to discuss?
2. Cardon's position is not "hard-line": it's a mainstream position that various polls show many or most Americans support.
3. Jeff Flake's position isn't "moderate" (see the link). He was the author of an amnesty bill with the actually fringe Luis Gutierrez. If Flake had his way, millions of foreign serfs would be able to enter the U.S. as guest workers, creating a situation like that of Gastarbeiter in Germany and providing even more competition for low-wage Americans. Cardon's position (assuming he actually means it) wouldn't do that: our labor market wouldn't be swamped by millions of low-wage-earning low-skilled workers. There might be disruptions in lawn care, but wages for our own low-wage workers would rise. There would also be many more positive side-effects, such as the far-left and the Mexican government having less political power inside the U.S.
4. As discussed here recently in regards to Mitt Romney, pandering as Burns suggests does not work. Rather than just becoming Flake Lite as Burns suggests, Cardon would be better served by undercutting those who sell the Allan Hoffenblum line (see the link).
5. If anything, Cardon's position is too weak in two different ways. The first way is that the ad doesn't indicate an in-depth knowledge of these issues. The "children of illegal immigrants" is a line that the media used to mislead about the DREAM Act, such as in relation to Rick Perry. Children of illegal aliens can be U.S. citizens, and Cardon probably doesn't mean to shut U.S. citizen children of illegal aliens out of college. Cardon should say what he means, and using the legally-correct term: he wouldn't give in-state tuition to those who are themselves illegal aliens. Cardon's use of "amnesty" could also indicate a severe weakness; see reform not amnesty. It's not clear if he's playing word games. The second way Cardon's position is weak is that as far as I know he's not aggressively attempting to discredit those who support illegal immigration. Ads like Cardon's are a good way to stir up the base, but they aren't enough: campaigns also have to deal with the other side's reaction to such ads. Flake's position on immigration is easy (for me) to discredit, but few others are willing or able to do it. Cardon's ad, if that's all he does, amounts to simply throwing out an idea and then not aggressively defending it and showing how its detractors are wrong. And, that's not going to work.
Tue, 04/10/2012 - 13:44 · Importance: 4