Some of the loudest opening salvos of the U.S. Senate campaign have focused on illegal immigration, an emotionally charged issue that has been the subject of stalled legislative efforts at the federal and state levels.
Both Sen. Elizabeth Dole, the Republican incumbent running for a second term, and Kay Hagan, a Democratic state senator hoping to win a seat once occupied by Jesse Helms, have spoken about the need for stricter enforcement of immigration laws.
"Most of us in the immigration movement were pretty cognizant that this would be one of the most contentious issues in the campaign and that it would not be in our favor," said Irene Godinez, advocacy director for El Pueblo, a group that lobbies on behalf of issues concerning the Latino community.
"It's unfortunate that they're looking pretty much at enforcement issues only," Godinez said of the candidates. "We know that enforcement only cannot work, just as amnesty only cannot work."
NC's problems have nothing to do with immigration. Our problems are the destruction of manufacturing (our jobs are in China), energy costs, deteriorating infrastructure, channeling public money into corporate pockets (Dell Computers quarter of a BILLION dollar bribe, er... "incentive"), health care, and education costs.
Illegal aliens are a WEDGE issue created by the racist wing of the GOP. And rather than state this obvious fact, our candidate seems to be on the same general side as the Republicans.
Hagan has tried to make the case that Dole is ineffective, even on points where they agree in principle. For example, Hagan said that she, too, would have voted against the 2007 immigration reform measure.
"The difference between them is Sen. Hagan wouldn't have voted no and then walked away from the table," said Hagan spokeswoman Colleen Flanagan, saying the Democrat would have worked to come up with an acceptable bill.
See what I mean? According to Hagan, Dole's failure was simply voting against the bill, rather than working to find something acceptable to the howling loons Dole represents.
"Quite honestly, it's an issue that very rarely gets brought up on the stump," Flanagan said.
Then why go to the trouble of "agreeing" with Dole that the bill should have been voted down?
The bill in question was pretty good, but the xenophobes running the GOP were agin it. Since the GOP hardliners would only support a bill more stringent than the one offered, Hagan is saying, in essence, she favored a more stringent bill.
Now maybe she has a different view, in which case I invite her to CLARIFY her position on this issue, and while she is at it, she can clarify her position vis-a-vis Pam Spaulding's questions.
There are only two reasons I can think of to oppose the bill as Hagan's claims she does. 1) She honestly thinks immigrants are a problem, in which case she is clueless and/or in the wrong party. 2) This is political chicanery where she is simply posturing for the rubes who support Dole, in which case she is playing people for chumps, which is just wrong on many levels.
Every time I hear her speak, or read a news story about her, I have premonitions of post election appearance on Fox news where she talks about her support of telco immunity and her opposition to "divisive" criminal investigations into the crimes of the Bush administration.
The November decision is shaping up to be one of choosing between a powerless Republican everyone ignores, or a conservative Democrat pushing the GOP agenda of corporations uber alles, scary brown people, fear, and heterosexual corrupting gays.
The impression I am getting from the Hagan camp is that our votes are in the bag, so there is no need to even address our existence. The attitude of some folks at BlueNC is that criticizing a candidate is not on, and I (and others who think as I do) should shut up and sing the loyalty song.
Not going to happen.
And no, I have no intention of voting for Dole.