Decision 2010: Reversal Of Fortune

October 30, 2010

From the liberal, online news site The Independent comes word of a surprising reversal by the national anti-illegal alien political action committee known as ALIPAC, which has decided to retract its endorsements of two prominent, blue dog Democrats who have been vocal in their support of tough immigration enforcement measures. As the report details, denying Congressman Mike McIntyre its endorsement might have an outsized effect upon his re-election campaign. Not only because he had previously touted its seal of approval-which by itself demonstrates a degree of good faith on his part-but because although it is a national organization, ALIPAC is based in the state of North Carolina, which often sees its most sustained and effective political campaigns.

As to whether or not deciding to embrace the Republican opponents of these two incumbents is a wise decision, only time will tell. It has to be said that in a caucus led by individuals like Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Luis Guitierrez, and Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, Rep. McIntyre does distinguish himself by defending, for the most part, American sovereignty, as this report card by Numbers USA illustrates. On the other hand, as Mr. Gheen points out, his record is far from perfect, and he is running against an opponent who-regardless of his other flaws-espouses a pretty hard line on border security.

Like his Democratic colleague, Rep. Jim Marshall has also represented his constituents pretty well during his short tenure in Congress. In fact, if we are to judge based upon the analysis completed by Numbers USA, he has done slightly better in standing up for secure borders and sensible immigration policies. But again, this Democratic incumbent faces an opponent who also has a very compelling position, and laudable policy proposals, with regard to immigration, as demonstrated by his platform.

But there are other factors that need to be weighed by prospective voters before they cast their ballots in either of these two very competitive congressional races. For example, they have to consider the question of who each man will vote to elect as the next Speaker of the House, should he be re-elected and his party represent a majority in the House of Representatives next year. Are Rep. McIntyre’s and Rep. Marshall’s compelling stances on immigration matters outweighed by the possibility that they might invest Speaker Nancy Pelosi or Majority Leader Stenny Hoyer with ultimate authority when the next congressional class is sworn into office?

In the end, I don’t think that voters in either North Carolina or Georgia who are concerned first and foremost with this country’s misguided immigration policy should be concerned about the outcome of these races. I think a much more important dilemma that ALIPAC faces is the question of what to do about Rep. Peter DeFazio, who occupies the unique position of being an otherwise liberal Democrat ¬†who has a pretty solid position on immigration. Although he has displayed some disturbing tendencies to pander to pro-illegal alien voter sentiment-illustrated vividly in this response to an open borders lobbyist who supports the DREAM Act-overall he’s exhibited a rather solid record of support for immigration enforcement, particularly with respect to the dreadful, guest worker schemes floated perennially by agribusiness lobbyists looking for yet more corporate welfare.

While defeating Rep. DeFazio might seem appealing to conservative voters in the short term, it might in fact turn out to be a pyrrhic victory. Especially if in two years time his Republican replacement is ousted from this typically liberal, Eugene-based congressional district by an equally left wing candidate who has none of Mr. DeFazio’s redeeming qualities, which in this case amount to a remarkably candid opposition to blanket amnesty and disdain for disastrous bracero programs. That’s why I think William Gheen made the right decision in maintaining ALIPAC’s endorsement of Peter DeFazio, even if it might ruffle some feathers.

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