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Must watch video: Here’s a sign that the immigration wars have made the issue a hot one even for Democrats in districts that aren’t grappling with illegal immigration.
Blue Dog Dem Joe Donnelly of Indiana is up with a tough talking ad about illegal immigration that targets President Obama on the issue, deriding him as part of “the Washington crowd.” Donnelly is being challenged by state Rep. Jacki Walorski in a contest that both sides view as a real race.
Donnelly’s 30 second spot slips in the hit on Obama subtly and quickly: It flashes a picture of Obama with John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi and features Donnelly saying: “I don’t work for them.” The key moment starts at around the 18 second mark:
“Because no one should be ever rewarded for breaking the law. That may not be what the Washington crowd wants. But I don’t work for them. I work for you.”
As Donnelly says the words “Washington crowd,” we see Obama, Boehner and Pelosi.
A Dem strategist who advises candidates on their races tells me that this isn’t an attack on Obama; rather, it’s about achieving separation from all of Washington on illegal immigration. “He showed his independence in this ad by condemning Washington on the issue,” the strategist said.
The spot is another mark of how successfully the anti illegal immigration camp has dragged the debate to the right and turned immigration into a hugely contentious national issue in unlikely places.
I’ve been reading the absolutely fascinating “Last Call” by Daniel Okrent about the rise and fall of Prohibition. It was above all a culture war, pitting on the one side small town and rural Protestants, populists, progressives, suffragists, nativists and racists (all overlapping categories) versus aristocrats, immigrants, big city Dem machines and of course the distillers and brewers and to a much lesser extent vintners. The KKK was a valued member of the dry coalition because it demonized liquor for its bad effects on black men, but even more it demonized Catholics and Jews and immigrants of all non nordic kinds. Indiana was a hotbed of Klan activity in the 1920s.
And speaking of hard ball tactics, the very dry Congress understood full well the demographic changes that had taken place in the new century. To preserve the Volstead Act intact the dry majority REFUSED TO REAPPORTION CONGRESS after the 1920 census. That’s right, they refused to account for the great growth of the cities and adjust the congressional districts allocated to each of the states. Despite what the Constitution said. They didn’t pass a reapportionment bill until 1929, to take effect in the 1932 election. And according to Okrent, it seems to have gone mostly unremarked, given everything else that was happening.
The book is absolutely fascinating history and should be read by anyone interested in change making political and social movements, cultural politics and hardball politics in general. Thank the gods things are much tamer now. Not because he is running ads that are attacking his own President and party but because he is a member of the United States Congress. If he wants to fix immigration last I checked the only people who could really do that are the 435 members of the House of Representatives and the 100 members of the United States Senate. He is one of those people and if it is a problem he is one of the people responsible for it and has not fixed the problem.
If not being part of the Washington Crowd is the solution to immigration reform and it is a real issue in his district he deserves to lose becasue he is a US Congressman, he is the Washington Crowd. seems like there’s no reason for it to be a major issue there. anyone know more?”
I live in South Bend. As far as I know there is NO immigration issue here. Donnelly is an a$$ for other reasons, including his vote against extending UI benefits and his vote FOR the odious Stupak amendment. But I think Jacki Walorski is a wingnut. No idea how competitive the race will be. Not surprisingly, when he thinks public opinion agrees with him, he does the former, and when it disagrees, he does the latter. It is a fairly subtle propaganda technique, but certainly not one that the Plumline’s resident propaganda, er, “expert” (Bernie L.) is ever likely to point out. So I thought I would do so. Of course illegal immigration is a national issue. What’s the problem with that? And the only reason it is “hugely contentious” is because the Democrat power elite want something that the American citizens have soundly rejected.