Friday, October 19, 2007

Illegal Immigration nixing certain candidates (Brownback, etc.)

The Republican Presidential Primary process is about to claim its second casualty if reports flying across the news wires yesterday were to be believed. Kansas Senator Sam Brownback is set to announce today that he will end his bid for the Republican Presidential nomination:

Trouble raising money was a main reason for his decision, said one person close to Brownback, who requested anonymity because the candidate had not yet announced his plans.

We can say that this is because Brownback is lesser-known, but I think there is another factor at work. Sam Brownback (a convert to Catholicism) heavily courted the evangelical vote. He did manage to have quite a bit of evangelical support, but his position on a certain key issue caused many people who would otherwise be tempted to rally to his side to shy away from him-illegal immigration.

Besides money, Brownback’s support for a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants hurt him in Iowa, an early-voting state that has struggled to provide education, medical care and other services as the number of immigrants has more than doubled since 1990.

The only reason why illegal immigration has not become the lead issue in this 2008 Republican Primary process is because the pro-restrictionist vote is divided among several candidates. If that vote were united behind a single candidate, I believe that candidate could win the Republican nomination. If Brownback's demise shows anything, it is that the so-called "religious right" still has a bit of the Old Right left in it. The very people on the evangelical or moral right who were most likely to support Sam Brownback because of his position on abortion or the sanctity of marriage were also equally as likely to abandon him because of his liberal position on immigration.

The immigration question is also what continues to keep the candidacy of Mike Huckabee a second-tier effort. On paper, Huckabee is the perfect candidate for those of us on the right who believe that faith and moral values are an important part of the American civic framework: He is an ordained minister and former pastor, his pro-life position has no historical inconsistencies, and he has instituted programs and policies that favor two-parent families and encourage personal responsibility and moral integrity. The problem is that he doesn't know how to stop spending money (and has a terrible tax-and-spend record as Governor), and he refuses to deal with the immigration issue. He as much as favors amnesty without calling it that.

Illegal immigration may not be seen as an important issue by the Big Three Republican candidates precisely because the vote on that issue is so split, but it is important enough that it has brought down one candidate and may topple another. Immigration is the spoiler in everyone's playoff hopes-it may not make it to the post-season, but it could spoil some people's chances of getting there.



At Friday, October 19, 2007 10:45:00 AM, Blogger A. Renee Daley said...

Without an action by Congress, without cooperation from State and Local authorities, and to an extent without public approval there is really very little that a sitting President can do about illegal immigration.

I would say that Thompson's positions are much stronger than those of McCain, Giuliani and Romney -- they have been pretty much silent on the issue and McCain shot himself in the foot with the amnesty bill.

During Fred's stop in Kennesaw, Georgia where he picked up endorsements from the Cobb Co Sheriff Neil Warren (who is known for identifying illegals withing the prison/jail population) and DA Patrick Head, Thompson had the following to say,

"With the illegal immigration issue, there's a whole lot you can say about it, but it boils down to one thing -- enforce he law."

As for Huckabee, he's not worth the vote. Fiscal conservatism is just as important as social conservatism, and evangelicals like Huckabee squeeze just as much money out of your pocket and mine as liberals do. There reasons may be more virtuous, but those reasons don't make the spending any more "right".

Further, I don't like the idea of a candidate pushing their religion down the throats of everyone in this country. While I'm against the issues of abortion and gay marriage, those issues MUST be left to the states. It's required constitutionally.

Certain people need to realize that not everyone in this country, nor does every area in this country, share the same morals and values. And they shouldn't be forced to, matter how correct we believe those morals and values to be.

At Friday, October 19, 2007 7:10:00 PM, Blogger Sharon Cobb said...

First, let me say about Brownback that he and his office have helped me tremendously with what I am trying to do with Darfur.
Brownback has made numerous trips to Darfur,and is fighting more than just about any other politician to stop the genocide.
While I don't agree with him on one single domestic political policy, I have nothing but respect for him. He walks the walk, and is dedicated to eradicating the terrorists in Darfur and stop the genocide.

And Renee is right about immigration. A lot of people running around giving loud lip service to this issue, when there isn't one thing they can do about it without Congress.

Renee--you may want to talk with Donna Locke on this issue. She is pretty much the authority on this subject,(she's a conservative who started one of the anti immigration
organizations in Georgia, and is now in TN) and she could tell all of us how much a President can and can't do on this issue. But from what I know, you're correct.

Huckabee is my favorite Republican candidate because he is the first anti choice candidate I've heard speak of what to do with an unwanted child.

I know you and Dave are staunchly anti-abortion, (and Dave and I have had this discussion a few times)but
if one is truly pro life, then one has to provide for the child once it is outside of the womb if the mother can't/won't. And in this area, is where the pro life movement has fallen short.

A child born to a crack addicted mother is going to need health care to prevent disabilities. If we don't provide healthcare for all children who need it, who will?

So Huckabee has come out and said as much, which is rational and logical, and while it won't stop abortion, it will greatly reduce them.

The question then becomes, is that worth more taxes to the pro life movement?

My other favorite candidate is Ron Paul. Which is ironic, since he is actually the most conservative of all of them. Some people think he's not a conservative because he voted against the war. But that's not true at all. It's WHY he voted against the war...which is consistent with his conservative views.

At Saturday, October 20, 2007 11:54:00 AM, Blogger Matt Daley said...


You are correct regarding how many people in the pro-life movement seem to ignore certain aspects of the abortion issue.

Honestly, I would say that many ignore both the "before" and the "after".

It is definitely true that babies who would otherwise be aborted MUST be taken care of somehow, especially if they are born to mothers who are incapable of taking care of them, be it financially, physically, or psychologically. If we care about those children at all, it's simply the right thing to do.

And as a pro-lifer, I do care about that. I don't know that I would want more taxes as a result -- I would hope that we as a society could accomplish the goal of taking care of children without resorting to bigger government -- but that's an entirely different subject.

For me, though, the biggest issue is the "before". Personally, I would simply rather that the pregnancies, virtually all out-of-wedlock, not happen at all. I don't mean to say that I don't want people to have sex, per se. That's a personal decision, and I would never support the regulation of sex for adults. However, if people are going to choose to have sex, they simply must do everything possible to protect themselves -- both from disease and unwanted pregnancy.

If we, as a society, took care of the "before"...then there would be far, far fewer children that would be threatened with abortion, and there would be much less need for concern about the "after".

Wouldn't that be much better than legislating everything to death? I think it would be.

At Saturday, October 20, 2007 2:37:00 PM, Blogger Donna Locke said...

I'm about to leave to see the grandkids, so I can't write much on this today, but your president has the authority to protect you from invasion. Also, the president of the United States has direct impact on enforcement of our immigration laws, including deportations, and on border security. Begin by thinking about your U.S. attorney general appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. The attorney general is charged with law enforcement. Think about the DOJ agency heads under this person. President Bush likes lax to no enforcement of our immigration laws and almost no border security, and the people in place in his administration reflect that. That is just for starters. The fish rots from the head down.

We've seen many tricks with funding and execution of laws passed by Congress. President Bush has rationed immigration enforcement directives based on PR value and as such directives and PR advance an overall game plan serving his corporate puppet-masters.

By the way, state and local law enforcement officers have the authority under federal law to enforce federal immigration laws.

At Saturday, October 20, 2007 2:53:00 PM, Blogger Donna Locke said...

And of course don't forget Bush's Homeland Security appointments of people who took office and promptly and publicly called for amnesty for illegal aliens. They are charged with law enforcement, yet show little to no interest in finding and deporting even those aliens with issued deportation orders.

At Saturday, October 20, 2007 8:25:00 PM, Blogger Sharon Cobb said...

Hi Matt,
I think you'd be surprised to find out I agree with you on other solutions than government. I think where we disagree is I believe government needs to pick up the slack for children until society does it on its own. More specifically, churches and synagogues. (I am leaving out Mosques, because I don't know enough about Islam to say they are commanded to take care of the sick, poor, widows and orphans)

Here is what I propose: Churches and Synagogues must provide for the poor and sick and orphans and widows, or lose their tax exempt status.

Judaism and Christianity puts taking care of those in need at the top of their list, so it seems to me that a church or synagogue which doesn't isn't doing what it is set up to do under tax exempt status.

It's not as hard as it sounds, either.

In Nashville, we have a saint named Father Charles Strobel who started 'Room In The Inn' about a decade ago, and he has grown it into a solution to talking care of the poor in winter, so none go homeless or hungry.

He got most of the churches and synagogues involved. From Nov until March, homeless men gather at his campus downtown, and the various churches and synagogues pick up 13 men each around 5 pm. (this is every night during winter--but keep in mind, each church or synagogue only has to commit to one night a week because there are so many churches) Anyhow, we pick them up, bring back to our synagogue/church, feed them a very nice dinner prepared by members of the congregation, let them play cards or watch TV until lights out around 9 PM. They sleep on nice cots, then we wake them at 5AM, serve them breakfast, and send them on their way with a sack lunch.

Easy. Food and shelter taken care of during winter. No one in Nashville has to freeze to death or miss a meal thanks to this program.

So I say extend this program to year round and around the country, add health care,(most larger congregations have plenty of doctors and nurses)and then we have the government out of most of it.

Almost all churches and synagogues are empty during the night, and they could provide all the services needed to eradicate most homelessness, hunger, health care issues. Obviously, unwed mothers would be in this group.

But here is the problem with it. Christians would actually have to be more than Christmas tree lighting Christians, and Jews would have to be more than Passover dinner Jews.

What if we actually held people who call themselves Christians and Jews accountable, as well as their leaders, or they lose their tax exempt status, and members have to practice what is preached to them or they can't be members of what they say they practice?

I don't think that is harsh. But when I mention it to some people, they are like, "But I don't want to have to spend one night a year with the homeless or feed them." And I'm like, "Then why do you call yourself a Jew, cause you're not acting like one?" That's a little harsh, but I believe that. Because in most congregations, there are more than 365 people, and a person wouldn't have to spend but one or two nights a year, not a week, but a year if this was implemented everywhere.

Simply put, being a Christian or a Jew is a verb. And while we all fall short of perfection, we should at least try to put our beliefs into action. We really would have almost no hunger,homelessness, health care and lack of support for unwed mothers if Jews and Christians acted like Jews and Christians.

That all being said, until that happens, we have to have a safety net. We can't let all of these people fall through the cracks until churches and synagogues do their jobs.

So that is why we might need higher taxes for those things that churches and synagogues should be taking care of.

I still think the government should threaten to take away the tax exempt status from every church and synagogue that doesn't do this. I think you'd see a quick change in action on the part of many clergy and members.


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