Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Granite State GOP Results

Just a brief comment on the New Hampshire Republican primary. As expected, the fight for first place was between John McCain and Mitt Romney, with the former emerging victorious by a five point margin. Mike Huckabee, who spent not nearly as much time or money in the state as did either McCain or Romney, placed a respectable third. According to FOX News, Huckabee leads in terms of pledged delegates (as does Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side). The elephants head on to Michigan next week, with a brief stop in Myrtle Beach for a debate on Thursday evening.

Of note is Huckabee’s support for ending birthright citizenship and the accompanying problem of “anchor babies.” The practice may have made sense earlier in the country's history, but in the era of the welfare state and the war on terror, it most certainly does not.

I think that the illegal immigration issue can be a good one for the GOP. Although many try to demagogue the issue by portraying Republicans as opposing immigration generally, the charge falls flat. Taking the liberty of speaking for most of my fellow party members, we are not opposed to legal immigration (hardly), but are strongly opposed to illegal immigration and even more so to the rewarding thereof. Huckabee is not entirely off of the reservation here; in fairness, Ron Paul has wanted to do away with birthright citizenship for years.

Yes, I know that Huckabee’s support of merit-based scholarships for the children of illegal immigrants in Arkansas has left him open to charges of being soft on immigration issues. Consider a couple of things, though. According to the doctrine of birthright citizenship at the federal level, about which a governor can do nothing, many of those children may have been United States citizens anyway. Also, Huckabee plays against the evil GOP stereotype by saying that we should not punish children for the sins of their parents.

And yes, I saw the Governor on Letterman. The appearance struck me as being more serious in tone that the one on Leno. I thought that Letterman actually conducted a reasonably substantive interview.

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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Yes, I know that Huckabee’s support of merit-based scholarships for the children of illegal immigrants in Arkansas has left him open to charges of being soft on immigration issues. Consider a couple of things, though. According to the doctrine of birthright citizenship at the federal level, about which a governor can do nothing, many of those children may have been United States citizens anyway. Also, Huckabee plays against the evil GOP stereotype by saying that we should not punish children for the sins of their parents"

Although I would never dream in a million years of voting for Huckabee because he scares the bejeebers out of me, his position on this particular issue is a sensible one for one other reason --those kids are never "going home" so we have two choices: we can either encourage them to get educated or we can pass up potential "human capital", as the economists like to call it. Given that the federal govt says children, even if here "illegally", have to be educated through high school, it doesn't make any policy sense (IMO) to educate them up to that point and then say "no matter how smart you are, now you can't go to college because it's too expensive." Given that they likely are fluent in at least two languages, those are the kinds of people who will be movers and shakers in the future, if given half a chance.

[Sorry: I somehow managed to post this reply to the wrong posting, so ignore it as a response below --Homer Simpson's "Duh" is now playing in my head.]

Xon said...

Didn't Huckabee's people come out almost immediately after this 'birthright citizen' story broke and 'clarify' that in fact he has no plans of ending such a thing? Did I make that up?

james said...

Not to worry, as I have my share of "Duh" moments.

The press/blog coverage I have read is indeed contradictory. Most concentrate on a potential 28th constitutional amendment but leave open the question of Congress weighing in on the matter.

James said...

Next morning follow up: I saw Jim Gilchrist of Minutemen fame on Glen Beck's program last night. Gilchrist claimed full responsibility for the confusion. Whether he is correct or is falling on his sword I do not know.

Regardless, like Beck, I feel that if Huckabee did not make a proposal to reexamine the issue of birthright citizenship, I wish that he had.

jasepye said...

http://www.mikehuckabee.com/?FuseAction=Newsroom.PressRelease&ID=484

Tax Hike Mike's statement on the amendment.