Liza Mundy on the political background of Barack Obama. Just a great piece of journalism! This random youtube video from a news network shows why Obama is so deft politically: shooting a free throw, and turning an interview question about basketball into a pitch for better schools. Score!
Have I indicated a preference for president on the blog? I’m a fan of foreign policy wonk Chris Dodd and generally support Obama. But every time I tune on the presidential debates, I decide that Ms. Clinton would also make a fine candidate. Here’s Chris Rock’s take (from SNL) on the Obama vs. Clinton thing.
Think for a moment about which issue Republicans have been trying to one-up and out-conservative each other on…Got it in your head? Right – it’s illegal immigration. On that issue, the least offensive Republican proposal from a racist/xenophobic perspective has been the effort to beef up border security. A look at recent congressional votes shows that beefing up border security has the widest bipartisan support among all the immigration-related proposals being considered.
So here’s the concept (which, though I’m not 100 percent sure, I don’t think has been tried yet in Congress): How about when Congress reconvenes in September, Democrats bring a bill to the floor of the House and Senate mandating that, say, 25,000 National Guardsmen be taken out of combat in Iraq and be immediately redeployed to guard America’s porous domestic borders – both southern and northern? If Democrats wanted to get even more creative, they could additionally mandate that some of these National Guardsmen being redeployed be immediately sent to forest fire emergency zones – many of which are in Republican states right now.
Think this through for a moment. All of a sudden, the illegal-immigration-obsessed Tom Tancredo wing of the Republican Party, which also happens to be the most reflexively pro-war wing of the GOP, would be forced to choose either the Iraq War or beefed up border security. All of a sudden, we would be having a debate about two very real, very pressing priorities, rather than theoreticals and hypotheticals, and we would be discussing exactly how the misuse of our National Guard as a wing of the regular Army harms our ability to deal with the domestic challenges the National Guard was originally established to deal with.
With the war so unpopular, far-right, law-and-order, “tough on immigration” conservatives would be hard-pressed to vote against this kind of bill, potentially providing a veto-proof majority in support of it. And if they didn’t vote for it, Democrats would have a flip-flop campaign ad all set for 2008. You can just hear the voiceover: “The Republicans who told us they support border security voted against Democrats’ bill to secure our borders.”