Barnes, Kristol pass canard baton to Tamar Jacoby
...Immigration was the dog that didn't bark. It did not prove an effective wedge issue. And as far as could be determined, it decided few if any contests. No congressional or gubernatorial candidate otherwise poised to win was defeated primarily because of his or her views on immigration. No more than one or two, if that many, struggling to catch up managed to ride it to victory. And the most stridently restrictionist candidate in the country, Arizona congressional hopeful Randy Graf, who ran a campaign based almost entirely on immigrant-bashing, went down in flaming defeat... [...much deleted...] ...The Republican party has maneuvered itself onto the wrong side of the immigration issue. What it--and the country--needs is for reformers like President Bush and Sen. McCain to take up the issue again and rescue the GOP from the restrictionist corner it has backed itself into.
Even the BushBots at PowerLine partially disagree with her:
...But did it hurt to be a hard-liner? I don't think so. One certainly can make the case that it may have hurt Randy Graf and J.D. Hayworth in Arizona. But, as Jacoby says, Graf came off not just as tough on illegal immigration but as fanatical, and neither his party nor the incumbent Republican he defeated in the primary supported him...
Of course, neither Jacoby nor PL are correct that Graf was an extremist, although certainly the far-left or those who have a profit motive might say otherwise. And, the exact reasons why the national GOP in effect supported Giffords remain to be disclosed, but it probably has something to do with the fact that Graf would have cost their contributors money.