It’s the Drug War, Stupid

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Any rational thinker knows that the AZ immigration mess is going to seriously damage the GOP.  Contrary to the popular lies of the far right talk so demigods, a hard line approach is a sure fire loser for any candidate.

“…And the party’s long-term thinkers worry that the Arizona law is merely a quick political fix which may create a permanent rift with the fastest growing segment of the U.S. electorate.

“It’s like a virus that you get and you don’t feel like you’re unhealthy for the first few days, but after that you have a fever and you’re really sick,” says Matthew Dowd, former President George W. Bush’s chief strategist in 2004. “You can’t win a national election and you can’t win certain states without the Latino vote. And Republicans already had a problem.”

“I think there is going to be some constitutional problems with the bill,” top Bush strategist Karl Rove said during a stop on his book tour. “I wished they hadn’t passed it, in a way.”

“I have concerns with portions of the law passed in Arizona and believe it would not be the right direction for Texas,” Perry said earlier this week.

Jeb Bush was also blunt: “I don’t think this is the proper approach.”…”

The really sad thing is The Pink Flamingo is beginning to think the far right, those who oppose immgration reform in the Southwest, do not know they are bigots.   Then again, is it a Tea Party Thing?  Frank Rich seems to think it is, but then again The Pink Flamingo can’t really tell the difference between tea party people and anti-immigration people.

Rich writes:

“…Outbreaks of nativist apoplexy are nothing new in American history. The last derailed George W. Bush’s apparently earnest effort to get a bipartisan immigration compromise through the Senate in 2007. At the time, the more egregious expressions of anti-immigrant rage — including Arizona’s self-appointed border-patrol militia, the Minutemen — were stigmatized as a fringe by the White House and much of the G.O.P. establishment. John McCain, though facing a tough fight for the Republican presidential nomination, signed on to the Bush reform effort despite being slimed by those in his party’s base who accused him of supporting “amnesty.”…The Bushies, however, have no power and no juice in the new conservative order. The former president is nearly as reviled in some Tea Party circles as Obama is. Even conservatives as seemingly above reproach as Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina now invite the nastiest of blow-back if they fail Tea Party purity tests. When Graham had the gall to work with Chuck Schumer of New York on an immigration reform bill, the hard-line Americans for Legal Immigration punished him by spreading rumors about his private life as loudly as possible. Graham has been backing away from supporting the immigration bill ever since….”

T. J. Woodard has an American Thinker piece that highlights what The Pink Flamingo has been saying for years about the “immigration” problem in Cochise County.

Mark Steyn, though, is absolutely clueless, and maybe a little bigoted.

“…The majority of Arizona’s schoolchildren are already Hispanic. So, even if you sealed the border today, the state’s future is as a Hispanic society; that’s a given. Maybe it’ll all work out swell. The citizenry never voted for it, but they got it anyway. Because all the smart guys in the limos bemoaning the bigots knew what was best for them….”

An “illegal” immigrant with an AK-47 shot a Pinal County deputy on Friday.  Note the AK-47 and the fact that the extreme right is portraying this as an “illegal immigration” problem rather than just another found of the drug war.  They are ignoring the real story.

“…It’s a sign the border drug wars are getting even worse. Apparent drug smugglers ambushed and shot a Pinal County Sheriff’s deputy Friday sparking a massive manhunt for the gunmen. It happened in a major smuggling corridor in the middle of the desert     just off Interstate 8,  west of Casa Grande. The deputy was grazed by the bullet even though it was from a powerful gun, probably an AK47, he should be fine. The Pinal County’s Sheriff says smugglers willing to ambush a deputy and fire on the helicopters who came to rescue him shows a real escalation in drug violence….”

Ruben Navarrette, Jr. wrote:

“….if you’re not having trouble connecting the dots between illegal immigrants and drug cartels, you should be. There are very few dots to connect. The Mexican drug war has little to do with immigration, illegal or otherwise. The people coming across the U.S.-Mexico border aren’t drug war refugees but economic migrants. According to border enforcement officials, the vast majority of illegal immigrants come from the five or six poorest states in Mexico. If they didn’t want their families to starve, those people had the choice of entering the drug trade or crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. They chose the latter. So not only are they not connected to drug violence, it’s possible that — because their lives were directly impacted — they’re more passionately opposed to it than are most Americans. Ironically, if they had entered the drug trade, assuming they weren’t dead or in prison by now, they might be doing very well financially and therefore would never have had to leave Mexico.

This is not to say that border violence isn’t a serious problem and that Arizona isn’t suffering from it. Every American should be troubled and outraged by the recent killing of Arizona rancher Robert Krentz, on his ranch near the U.S.-Mexico border. Judging from the physical evidence at the scene, including foot tracks leading back into Mexico, the assailant was likely a Mexican national. No one has been arrested in the crime. He might have been a drug smuggler, as many are suggesting. But he might also have been an immigrant smuggler.

The Mexican drug war is a serious conflict, and our best hope to stop the spread of violence across the U.S.-Mexico border is to continue to support the brave campaign of Mexican President Felipe Calderon to break the backs of the drug cartels. The United States has already pledged $1.4 billion in aid to Mexico through the Merida Initiative, but those funds have been slow to arrive. In any case, the way to battle the drug cartels isn’t by rounding up gardeners and maids in Phoenix or profiling middle-class Latinos in Tucson. It’s by improving our relationship with the Mexican government, the same relationship that is now strained because of a knee-jerk, dimwitted, and testosterone-driven law in Arizona….”

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