Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
November 1, 2007
POLITICS: Hillary's Pander-Monium on Illegal Alien Driver's Licenses


So after straddling, wavering and then waffling and contradicting herself in a nationally televised debate on Eliot Spitzer's plan to give driver's licenses to illegal aliens, and then blaming Tim Russert for daring to ask her the question (another example here of her playing the gender card to deligitimize criticism), Hillary Clinton has finally decided that pandering to left-wing extremists is the safer course, albeit kicking and screaming about having to be even this specific:

"Senator Clinton supports governors like Governor Spitzer who believe they need such a measure to deal with the crisis caused by this administration's failure to pass comprehensive immigration reform,'" her campaign said.

Mrs. Clinton's aides said her statement was intended to signal that she broadly supported Mr. Spitzer's goal of awarding driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. Mr. Spitzer initially proposed a blanket program of awarding full-fledged driver's licenses to illegal immigrants; in the face of sharp opposition from the Legislature, he backed off and presented a two-tier program system of awarding licenses to illegal immigrants.

Mrs. Clinton's advisers said that she had not studied either plan, and was not specifically endorsing either of them.

Still, the wording of the statement was murkier than what many of her opponents have said in either supporting or opposing Mr. Spitzer's initiatives. Among those opposing it were Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut; Senator Barack Obama of Illinois supported it.

Amazingly, even the NY Times' Adam Nagourney described Sen. Clinton's response as being driven by weakness:

her campaign sought to contain potentially damaging fallout from what her own supporters saw as a tense and listless debate performance.

Republican candidates, of course, can be expected to oppose the plan - Rudy Giuliani was an early critic, and Fred Thompson has blasted it as a recipe for voter fraud, which as John Fund notes is par for the course in measures supported by Hillary and Spitzer. All told, this is an error that was forced on Hillary by Spitzer, since as the junior Senator from Spitzer's state she couldn't really evade the issue (Obama, having led the charge for a similar plan in Illinois as a state legislator, was already planted to her left if she didn't go along - a fact that explains his perplexed half-hand-raise when the issue came up at the debate). That's bad news for Hillary, whose top political strategist has already openly embraced the idea of pandering to illegal immigrants for electoral gain. The politics of immigration are dicey - voters tend to be against illegal immigration but hesitant to back candidates who are seen as too stridently anti-immigrant, so the worst of all possible worlds for a Democrat is to be seen as pushing to advance the position of illegal immigrants, giving Republicans an opening to be opposed without seeming obsessed with nativist concerns.

Hillary is a savvy politician, but her greatest weakness is that she does not respond well to being pinned down to specifics. This setback for her campaign may yet provide a roadmap for future efforts to hold her accountable for actually taking positions.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 6:52 PM | Politics 2008 | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0)

I doubt it will hurt her significantly in the primaries. I hope it destroys her chances in the general election. The entire response to immigration by what I would term the political elite of both parties is a kick in the teeth to the "Joe and Jane Lunchbucket", and I would include in that group everyone who emigrated legally. I should stop now because politicians of this ilk bring out the worst in me, and yesterday I was exhorted to emulate the Saints.

Posted by: NRA Life Member at November 2, 2007 9:13 AM

The 9/11 Comm. did NOT say Iran helped the attack.....jeez. CIA agents met with KGB agents.....does that make the US complicit in the Gulag?

Honesty (or compassion) aint a real priority for this blog....

Posted by: attorney steve at November 2, 2007 1:48 PM

I take it from the fact that you posted on the wrong thread that you did not actually read the link.

Posted by: The Crank at November 2, 2007 2:09 PM

OK, Crank I'll play along. Let's suppose Hillary is waffling on this issue. Can you compare/contrast her alleged waffling to Dubyah's proven "changing your mind (even with new info) is for wealkings" stance?

Seriously, even though Bush vowed the USA would not be a Police Force for the world in one of his debates with Gore in 2000, we all know what he did after that. Somehow, the GOP is trying, once again, to create an alternate reality where changing one's mind, especially when better info is acquired, is viewed as wrong, as opposed to a sign of intelligence.

Hey, man, your blog would have so much more cred if you called out the idiots in BOTH parties, instead of pretending the Republicans are without sin.

You seem to be enamored of the abortion issue, so I'll assume you're Catholic or some other Christian denomination. What does your church say about issues such as war, poverty, and the environment, and how does this compare with the GOP's stance on these issues? Hmmmm....?

Posted by: ana ng at November 2, 2007 10:58 PM

Gee, that's such a persuasive argument for why Hillary would be a good president.

Yes, Bush's views on foreign policy changed between October 2000 and October 2001. Perhaps you can tell me whether anything happened during that time period to affect that.

Posted by: The Crank at November 2, 2007 11:08 PM

Just as I suspected: you cannot rationalize your Grand Old Party's views on social issues with what your Church says, so it's best you ignore that question for your own peace of mind...

Posted by: ana ng at November 2, 2007 11:29 PM

My blog, my comments section. You ask a question demanding a long answer that has zero to do with the post, you can't expect an answer.

Get your own damn blog.

Posted by: The Crank at November 2, 2007 11:31 PM

You and I (and everyone else) know that, even if my question to you was "on topic" you would still refrain from answering it, because your political and church views are most assuredly out of sync, and therefore hypocritical...

Posted by: ana ng at November 3, 2007 12:32 PM

You can always tell when a troll enters the room. The original blog comment becomes irrelevant, and the ensuing blather is the socialist version of "your mother wears combat boots".

Ana Ng, if you want to debate Roman Catholic theology, there are any number of blogs available for you to do so. I have always found Crank's comments of a moral nature to reflect what he may have earned in Catechism or received at Mass, and if you disagree, go ahead and live your life as you please. What I have not ever heard is Crank putting himself up as the source of Catholic Apologetics.

If you have some sort of comment about Senator Clinton's views (or multiple views) regarding issuing drivers' licenses to illegal aliens, let them fly. If you are incapable of at least defending that position or adding something new to the discussion, go back to Kos or whatever other ridiculous hole you oozed out of. Maybe you are only capable of talking about baseball. Can you at least do that, or do you think the shortstop plays under the basket after alternate field goals and extra points? That's about as much sense as you've made so far.

Posted by: NRA Life Member at November 3, 2007 2:55 PM

By the way, if anybody out there is actually interested in a serious look at Governor Spitzer's proposed policies and potential shortcomings, John Fund has fisked it in the WSJ.

Posted by: NRA Life Member at November 3, 2007 3:02 PM

What happened of significance between 10/2000 and 10/2001?

Please don''t bring up that boring 9/11 crap.* Yawn, I'm not buying it!

If you remember: GWB was initially against the creation of the 911 Commission (although he was for the creation of the Space Shuttle Explosion Commission) until the polls told him otherwise (he changed his mind because he's so resolute and all--LOL). When the Commission was created he tried to get a partisan hack (Kissinger) to head it, he underfunded it, he stonewalled it, then he named Condi as his Sec. of State after she bald-faced lied to it.

If 9/11 is so important why would he be against the creation into a Commission to look into how it happened? Why would he underfund it, stonewall it, not answer it's questions under oath, and then reward someone who lied to it?
The only reasonable answer is that it wasn't that important.

The only other answer would make one a 9/11 Conspiracy Theorist.
I'm not one, though I'm also not naive enough to think there is no way those in power in this country would never let 3000 Americans die if it benefits them (nor 3 Million Americans, for that matter).

* My condolences to all who had loved ones die on 9/11. Just as my condolences go to all who have lost loved ones on any day under any circumstances.

Posted by: Robert at November 4, 2007 11:13 AM
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