Saturday, July 17, 2010
#nofb The Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff (R) has come out against SB1070, arguing that it would take away valuable resources from protecting against violent offenders by focusing on non-violent immigrant activity. He also states that cooperation with the immigrant population is an important component of fighting violent crime and that a SB1070 bill in Utah would hinder those channels of communication. Sounds reasonable.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
#nofb There has been a lot of discussion about crime rates, particularly as they pertain to the immigration debate. Despite the rhetoric, crime rates have been going down in Arizona. Recent research also shows that cities with higher levels of immigration experience lower levels of crime. However, despite the lower crime rates throughout Arizona, crime rates seem not to be going down in Joe Arpaio's jurisdiction. Does this mean he needs to get tougher on crime, and his current policies need to go further, or does this mean that his current policy of going after non-violent immigrants who are out of status is pulling resources from the violent criminals? My guess is the latter. He'll likely argue the former.
#nofb It was announced that Paul Gossar is getting the endorsement of Hugh Hewitt, the conservative talk radio host. Not sure how significant this is for the race in general, as Hewitt listeners are not likely to vote for Ann Kirkpatrick anyways, but it may have an impact on the tea party folks' decision to pull support from Sydney Hay, who lost pretty handily to Kirkpatrick in 2008.
#nofb An interesting take on the gay marriage debate. As I have said, gay marriage isn't entirely a liberal issue. Heterosexuals have done enough damage to the value of marriage. If conservatives want to save the institution, it makes more sense to expand its realm, than shrink it. Of course, some will have to get over their homophobia to do so, and the country seems like its on that trajectory but this topic is surely to consume political space for some time.
Reagan is often essentialized by both the left and the right for their own purposes because he remains a powerful iconic figure. But as with most politicians, Reagan's policies are often more nuanced than how they are portrayed in the media or by pundits. For instance, most GOP candidates in 2008 claimed to be a Reaganite, ignorant of the fact (or hoping that their audience was ignorant of the fact) that Reagan signed the 1986 Immigration Reform Act, granting amnesty to the undocumented. Despite some of his other policies that I disagree with, I grew up in the Reagan era and as a youngster I have fond memories of him. When he talked about American values he spoke with a confidence that an expanding nation was a nation that would infect incomers with our values. To Reagan, immigrants were not seen as a problem, but an opportunity. Today's GOP leadership lacks that confidence in America and, as is often the temptation, are capitalizing on our tough economic times to bait their constituents with it. This is unfortunate, if unsurprising. #nofb