U.S. Electoral Politics: November 2008 Archives

Hearing Virgil Goode rant against anchor babies months ago inspired me to write an indictment of nativist attacks on the 14th amendment of the U.S. constitution.  I'm happy to report that another nativist Republican has lost his congressional seat to a more moderate Democrat.  While Tom Perreillo is not the most pro-migrant candidate, I'll take him over Virgil Goode any day.

Virgil Goode isn't alone in illustrating that nativism is a losing electoral strategy.  An analysis by America's Voice (pdf) shows in "battleground" races for House and Senate seats pro-migration reform candidates beat nativists 19 out of 21 times.

So, not only is nativism a despicable electoral strategy, it's a stupid one too. 

Lisa Falkenberg of the Houston Chronicle investigates a new Texas administrative rule that seems part of the state GOP's scheme to turn Texas blue in the next 10 years:


The Houston nonprofit executive was shifting weight in line at an Humble DPS office earlier this month, waiting to renew his driver's license, when he noticed a couple of people in front of him come away looking confused or exasperated.

When he got to the front, he understood why.

The woman behind the counter ran his name, Jose Villarreal, in her computer. Then, he says, she promptly asked him to prove his citizenship.

Villarreal was taken aback. He was born and raised in South Texas, in a little town called Orange Grove, and moved to Houston in 1976. At 61, he'd never been asked by DPS to prove he was here legally.

"One, I was mad. Two, I was humiliated," he told me. "Why should I have to justify my citizenship, when, as far as I can tell, we have three or four generations of Villarreals living on this side of the border?"

When he asked questions, a supervisor handed him a copy of a new Texas Department of Public Safety rule aimed at preventing illegal immigrants from obtaining driver's licenses.
"I read that over and said, 'This doesn't apply to me. This is for someone who's applied for citizenship,' " Villarreal recalled. "And they said, 'Well, the computer doesn't show you in here, so you're going to have to show a birth certificate.' "

... the new administrative rule ... was quietly adopted over the summer by the Public Safety Commission after lawmakers refused for years to pass it. ... the one thing the rule wasn't supposed to do is snag citizens. The rule specifically states, "If U.S. citizen, no documentation needed." That's a bit of a Catch-22 since, in some cases, the state can't tell if you're a citizen without seeing documentation.

Slc_mormon_tempel.jpgBecause when one person's rights are disrespected, we are all diminished. 

Because we can no longer remain silent.

Because we stand at a tipping point in this, one of the crucial civil rights battles of our day.

Because we are not single-issue voters, nor single-issue human beings.

For these reasons and more, I chose to speak out today against those who would deny the basic right of marriage to same-sex couples.  I will no longer be associated, however tenuously, with an institution that fights to reverse such a historic civil rights achievement. 

Change will come.  It's only a question of when, and of how much damage the churches will sustain to their long-term viability in the process of publicly battling civil rights. 

More on how to take action here.

Time for Reflection

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Citizen Orange has been a little silent since the election.  Perhaps this is a good time to take in the historic significance of what has just occurred.  There is still much work to be done, especially when it comes to the rights of migrants, but for now, I'm going to take a step back from the outrage and just reflect.
Here's the report.  Here's the map.  Here's the state.  With McCain relying almost exclusively on a Pennsylvania win to pull his strategy off, I would say it's look like an early night for Obama.  The House and the Senate races will make the night interesting.

I Wish I Could Say More

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Get out and vote, tomorrow.  If you think democracy is a sham, you're not doing it right.  I started my pro-migrant blogging with the quote, "the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crisis maintain their neutrality."  Silence is neutrality.  Get out and vote. 

There's no such thing as a wasted vote.  Fivethirtyeight.com gives Obama a 98.1% chance of winning this election.  It doesn't matter if Obama has it locked up.  If you're pro-migrant, I've got news for you.  It's the local elections that matter.  That's where a few hundred votes can often make the difference.  So I'll say it for a third time:

Get out and vote.
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