U.S. Electoral Politics: September 2008 Archives

When The Unapologetic Mexican produces a documentary, you better watch out.  Below is Nezua's documentary of the Democrat National Convention in 2008.

DNC08: Beer and Loathing (The Pollatix of Grain and Periphery) from nezua on Vimeo.

With registration deadlines fast approaching, I encourage everyone to check out a new site set up by the Obama campaign: Vote For Change.

It's a one stop shop where you can register to vote, check if you're registered, change the address you'll be voting from, order an absentee ballot, find your polling location, all in a matter of minutes.
The Obama campaign responded to a comprehensive survey formulated by the editors of the Sanctuary on immigration policy and immigration reform.  The response in full can be found here

As far as McCain's response . . . still waiting for that . . . and waiting . . . and waiting . . .

Does anyone know what a McCain administration immigration policy would look like?  There is a lot of speculation, but nobody seems to know for sure. 

Meanwhile, the McCain campaign continues its blackout of discussion of immigration in the English-language press, while telling Jorge Ramos of Univision that he didn't vote for the border wall (false!) and that Obama opposed comprehensive reform (mentira!).  McCain seems to be hoping to keep the voting public in the dark about his plans long enough to get elected.  Then, who knows!

Beware Subcomandante Zapatero!

Subcomandante Marcos.jpgJohn McCain, he of the purported decades of foreign policy experience, apparently doesn't know who the elected leader of Spain is, doesn't know where Spain is, or else simply won't back down once confronted.  None of these being hopeful signals of a potential McCain foreign policy.  

Here is Josh Marshall's breakdown of the reaction of the Spanish press:

In Spain, there seem to be two lines of thinking. The great majority appear to think the McCain was simply confused and didn't know who Zapatero was -- something you might bone up on if you were about to do an interview with the Spanish press. The assumption seems to be that since he'd already been asked about Castro and Chavez that McCain assumed Zapatero must be some other Latin American bad guy. A small minority though think that McCain is simply committed to an anti-Spanish foreign policy since he's still angry about Spain pulling it's troops out of Iraq. Finally, a few of those who lean toward the first view speculate that McCain may have confused Zapatero with the Zapatista rebel group in Mexico.
My money is on the Zapatero/Zapatista confusion.  McCain doesn't speak Spanish, his mind had already been focused on suspicious, indigenous Latin American revolutionary types like Evo Morales and Hugo Chavez (who once called George Bush the devil!), and he heard "Zapat___" and that was all he needed to know to form his response. 

Let me clarify for John McCain: Subcomandante Marcos is not the elected leader of the European country that colonized most of Latin America.  He does not have a seat at the table at NATO.  He does wear a ski mask and tattered revolutionary cap in all his public photos.

Let's hope that John McCain can figure this out before taking office this coming January.
Maybe McCain confused the Prime Minster of Spain, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, with the Zapatistas.

I did a translation for a friend, regarding this Talking Points Memo post by Josh Marshall, and I thought I'd go ahead and post it on Citizen Orange. 

It appears that before Spanish media, McCain evaded the question of whether or not he would meet with the Prime Minister of Spain José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.  It's hard to tell without the audio, since I can't really read McCain's tone, but it seems as if he doesn't know who the Prime Minister of Spain is.

Update: I missed this excellent NYTimes editorial on the McCain ad from yesterday, more below. (end update)

Both the Washington Post and the NYTimes picked up the story of McCain's Spanish-language ad directed to key Western swing states with large Latin@ populations in which the McCain campaign accuses Obama of sabotaging comprehensive immigration reform.  While both articles introduced useful information about the story, the Post's discussion was ultimately more informative. 

Update: Alex Koppelman at Salon.com has weighed in on the McCain ad; full text below.  Also, New American Media's Henry Fernandez asks why McCain has changed his tune after earlier thanking Obama for supporting comprehensive reform. (End update.)

In case John McCain's misleading Spanish-language ad got lost in the weekend shuffle (perhaps accounting for its release late last week), here is the SF Chronicle's Joe Garofoli's take on it, with bonus quote from former INS Commissioner Doris Meissner.

The 30-second spot states that "Obama and his Congressional allies say they are on the side of immigrants. But are they? The press reports that their efforts were 'poison pills' that made immigration reform fail."

Not exactly. It was the lack of Republican support that killed immigration reform last time around.

Comrade Tyche Hendricks, who has written extensively on the U.S.-Mexico border for The Chronicle and (for an upcoming book), contacted Doris Meissner, who is a senior fellow at the non-partisan Migration Policy Institute in Washington, D.C.

"I don't know that you can say 'poison pill' because things hadn't gotten far enough so that anything would actually rise to that level (of poisoning the bill's chances)," Meissner said.

"I know there were people who were disappointed by the amendment that Obama put in," Meissner said. "But it's disengenuous because at that point McCain had backed away from the bill, which he had sponsored the year before, and he was not to be found in the debate because it was dividing the Republican party in the Senate. It was the lack of Republican votes that sank the bill."

Indeed, McCain said at this GOP debate in January that he wouldn't vote for his own immigration bill:

[Cross-posted at the Sanctuary.]

Given that the mainstream press is picking up on McCain's pattern of misrepresentations and false assertions in this election campaign, will they notice this one?

McCain is now claiming that comprehensive reform died in the Senate last year because Obama killed it. Even the restrictionist-leaning Washington Times (which published a series of articles linking recent immigrants to the spread of disease) found this claim to be a bridge too far.

McCain is trying to attract the Latino vote that he needs to win in several key states. He must be hoping that the English-language press ignores the falsehoods found in this Spanish-language ad. But by opening discussion on a topic on which he is particularly vulnerable to charges of flip-floppery, he has inspired unlikely bedfellows like the WaTimes and America's Voice, one of the best-funded organizations pushing for comprehensive reform, which links to the WaTimes story on its front page. 

And it looks like the mainstream blogosphere, from which the mainstream press takes many of its cues, may not let this one slip by unnoticed--I saw this story originally on TalkingPointsMemo, linking to a McClatchy story pointing out that Obama and McCain voted on the same side in the key votes of the comprehensive reform battle in Congress. Now I see Hilzoy at Obsidian Wings has picked it up.

America's Voice (via Greg Siskind) has an effective rebuttal of the McCain ad: