IGNORING THE INVASION
By Chip McLean
April 6, 2007
Perhaps it was because of the format, perhaps it was due to the number of candidates, but this past Thursday’s Republican “debate” wasn’t so much a debate as it was a sound bite circus.
For those of us hoping that illegal immigration would be raised as a major issue facing our nation, the evening was a thorough disappointment. Moderator Chris Matthews was determined to stay away from the issue – and equally determined to keep the camera on John McCain, Rudy Guliani and Mitt Romney,
The rules were not enforced evenhandedly by Matthews, as the “Big Three” were blatantly given extra face time by continually being allowed to exceed the sixty second time limit, while the rest of the field were summarily silenced while attempting to finish their answers.
Of course there’s a reason for focusing on those three darlings of the liberal press - the MSM doesn’t want to see a true conservative head up the Republican ticket because they know someone meeting that criteria will fire up the conservative base, thus turning out voters. But that’s the goal of the MSM – help nominate a warm, fuzzy GOP centrist, and then quickly desert him in order to help elect a liberal Democrat.
Speaking of face time -- if the presidential election comes down to a “beauty contest”, it occurs to me that Mitt Romney is the GOP’s answer to Barack Obama – he’s good looking, reasonably articulate -- and not much else. Lest anyone forget, Ronald Reagan was elected to the oval office twice because of his strong conservative convictions – and because the Gipper never tried to be anyone but himself. Several of the debate participants spent much of their time invoking the name of Ronald Reagan, as if it were some sort of talisman, but alas, saying “Ronald Reagan”, does not make one Ronald Reagan, nor his reincarnation.
In between sessions of “regular” questions from Matthews, the candidates were asked “interactive” questions submitted and voted on by visitors to the website politico.com. These questions sounded like they were posed by the sort of people who would consider Rosie O’Donnell a journalist. An example, posed to former Virginia governor Jim Gilmore:
“Women are the fastest growing prison population. Most are mothers who are non-violent, first-time offenders. What will you do to address the issue of mothers behind bars and the children left behind?”
It’s too bad this question wasn’t posed to Ron Paul. It would have been delightful hearing him say, “What will I do to address it? Not a darn thing. Where in the Constitution does it say the president or the federal government should be involved?”
Some other equally irrelevant questions included “What do you dislike most about America?” and “Have you seen Al Gore’s ‘An Inconvenient Truth?” The folks that came up with those questions have a future as moderators for the whacko leftist site, Democratic Underground. Come to think of it, maybe they already are.
While Matthews and the candidates engaged in this silliness, the topic of illegal immigration went largely ignored. It is astounding that an issue that is such a hot button for conservatives was marginalized in this manner. At one point, John McCain was asked a quick question on whether he would be comfortable as president having Tom Tancredo as head of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. McCain quickly said, “No.” A better question would have been to ask Tancredo if he would be comfortable having McCain in that position, given that McCain has teamed up with Democrat Teddy Kennedy to push amnesty for illegal aliens through the Senate.
Despite the neutering of the illegal immigration issue by Matthews, Tancredo was able to get off a couple of good backhands:
“No more platitudes. No more obfuscating with using words like, ‘Well, I am not for amnesty but I’m for letting them stay.’ That kind of stuff has got to be taken away from the political debate, as far as I’m concerned…”
And when asked about a pardon for Scooter Libby:
“I would say pardon him, but right after or before you pardon Ramos and Compean, two people who are presently serving in — prison time for actually doing their job on the border.”
The case of those two Border Patrol agents epitomizes for many of us, what is wrong in Washington. While we continue to fight a never-ending war in Iraq, we are literally being invaded along our southern border. To see our “leaders” refusing to effectively close the border and attempting to extend “rights” and amnesty to lawbreakers, while at the same time punishing those who daily risk their lives protecting that border, is sickening.
The Republican Party will not win by ignoring the problem of illegal aliens nor will they win by offering “goodies” to them. The conservative base sees this as an attack on our laws, resources, schools, hospitals, national security and indeed our very culture and way of life. If the GOP standard bearer winds up being another globalist like George W. Bush, they will be shut out of the White House in 2008.
True conservatives are sick of “centrist” Republicans. The problem with the “big tent” approach is that sooner or later, you wind up with too many uninvited and unwanted campers trashing up the place. With McCain, Guliani and Romney being pushed by the GOP elites, maybe it’s time to build a new campground.
© 2007 Chip McLean - All Rights Reserved
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Chip McLean is the editor/publisher for Capitol Hill Coffee House. Chip is a former broadcaster.
His interest in politics began at the age of eight, when his parents took him to a Barry Goldwater rally during the 1964 presidential election. In addition to his work at CHCH, Chip's columns have appeared in a number of online conservative publications.
The Republican Party will not win by ignoring the problem of illegal aliens nor will they win by offering “goodies” to them.