U.S. Electoral Politics: September 2009 Archives

Obama pensive.jpgBarack Obama recently explained to Univision anchor Jorge Ramos why he used the term "illegal immigrants" in his health care speech, prompting Rep. Joe Wilson to yell at him (via Latina Lista):

Well, keep in mind what I was addressing. I was addressing misinformation by the other side that was engaging in scare tactics. So I was essentially quoting them. I was saying, "for those of you who are saying that illegal immigrants are going to be covered under this plan," I said that's not true. Right? So I'm using their language because I was addressing the misinformation that they are providing. And I was speaking directly to an audience, the American people, who because of this misinformation, I think actually were very responding often times in a negative way.
I don't buy it. 

Obama's use of the term dovetails with his ally Senator Schumer's public repudiation of the term "undocumented immigrant" in favor of the tough-sounding but legally meaningless term "illegal immigrant."  Obama's usage dates back to a decision in early 2008 to adopt right-wing framing on immigration in the hope of later passing a legalization bill. 

If that was the plan, it hasn't worked very well so far.  We have no idea when the Democrats will introduce an immigration bill.  Schumer keeps pushing the date back.  I've seen little evidence congressional Democrats or the administration are interested in expending political capital on immigration.  They want it to be easy.  They want something handed to them on a platter, with the work already done.

Meanwhile, opponents of immigration reform are deeply committed to their cause.  Most so-called supporters are lukewarm at best about the issue, and right now I place Barack Obama in that category.

I picked this video up from Atrios, but it's a good intro for a pitch to sign this petition asking your Congressional reps to support ACORN and the low-income communities ACORN serves instead of cowering before Glenn Beck.

Someone please tell Congressional Democrats that it is unbecoming to prostrate oneself before a supreme weenie like Beck.

Clearly, ACORN needs to do some internal housekeeping, including training and screening its employees better. Workers at community-based organizations should give clients advice on how to comply with the law, not circumvent it. But Beck's promotion of O'Keefe's video is a transparent political hit piece. If the GOP gets any nonwhite votes at all in the next twenty years, it will be despite the best efforts of Beck, Hannity, and Limbaugh.