James Pinkerton, writing in Newsday, has a cautionary tale for Democrats on how to lose in 2008. I don't necessarily agree across the board with him, but one section really strikes me:
On immigration, the GOP finally exorcised itself – rejecting the president's not-so-well-disguised amnesty plan. Whereupon Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) presidential prospects were blown away; the Arizonan seemed to disappear in a dust-devil of four-letter insults aimed at fellow Republicans.
Opponents of the 2007 immigration bill, led by Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), forced a series of votes on hot-button issues: Should English be the official language of the United States? Should illegal aliens be able to collect Social Security benefits? Should bilingualism be protected? Should dual citizenship with Mexico be expanded?
In each instance, The New York Times counseled the Democrats to vote in favor of "sophisticated" open-borders liberalism. And, of course, Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.), each hungering for The Times' presidential endorsement, were eager to please. But the "Reagan Democrats" – the folks who had elected populist Democrats such as Jim Webb and Jon Tester to the Senate in 2006 – were not so pleased.
So when the Republicans finally found their voice on immigration, the Reagan Democrats were re-Reaganized. Finally, Republicans were speaking about realism and the national interest, always a winner for them.
Obviously, anyone familiar with this blog knows this is pretty much where I stand on the issue of illegal immigration. It's amusing, in a sad sort of way, to see the same people who tout polls on Iraq as being the reason for their attempts to cut and run completely ignore the huge, huge poll numbers that say that the voters want the border controlled first. If that is done everything else can be worked out. This will be a huge issue in the 2008 elections.