Wednesday June 1, 2005
LAW & ORDER:
If you skipped over Marshall Wittmann's essay this morning I suggest you go back and read it. Wittmann argues that the Republican party's dominance at the national level and its ascendancy in Congress in the post-Watergate era is is based almost entirely on the GOP's effectiveness in catering to the public's urge for social order.

If Wittmann's thesis is right - and he makes a pretty convincing case in my opinion - it confirms what many believe is the Republicans' greatest short-term political vulnerability and the Democrats' most immediate opportunity for improving their electoral prospects. I'm speaking about the issue of illegal immigration.

Clearly there is a segment of the public that sees illegal immigration as a threat to America's social order. A smart Democrat would recognize that getting to the right of the GOP with a hard-headed, no-nonsense immigration policy is a political goldmine - and one that doesn't have to come off as a pander to the Buchanan right who feel betrayed by this administration.

The issue resonates much more broadly with the public, all in ways that could accrue to the Democrats' favor. Illegal immigration is a matter of national security. It's a matter of patriotism and protecting America's heritage. It's a matter of financial security and fiscal sanity. It touches on healthcare, welfare, education, and workers rights.

At the bottom of it all, however, is one basic reason the issue could spell disaster for Republicans and be a savior for Democrats: illegal immigration is a simple matter of law and order.

DEAR JOHN: John Edwards is guest blogging over at the new TPMCafe site. One of his first posts cites this Brookings Institute report to highlight the idea that "being poor is expensive."

Assuming the Brookings study is true and that the poor really do pay more for goods and services including groceries, insurance, appliances, etc., then one would have to conclude Edwards is fully in favor of organizations that provide consumers (but especially the poor) with low-priced products that allow them to stretch their dollars further. So again we have to ask: why is the left so vehemently opposed to a company like Wal-Mart? - T. Bevan 9:35 am Link | Email | Send To A Friend

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