Friday, April 23, 2010

Consequences

  • Arizona's governor, Jan Brewer, signed an immigration bill into law today. Among other things, it allows police to ask anyone for proof of citizenship at any time, with reasonable suspicion. My guess is that reasonable suspicion will usually be along the lines of "he looks Mexican." The law is horrendous on civil liberties. Maybe I'm just a starry-eyed idealist, but the idea of cops walking up to people and demanding to see their papers and throwing them in jail if they can't produce them doesn't sound like America.
  • In Delaware, Nate Silver gives the Dems only a 10% chance of retaining the Senate seat that's up in 2010.
  • In Colorado, he gives the Dems a 43% chance of retaining the Senate seat that's up in 2010.
  • In Illinois, he gives the Dems a 55% chance of retaining the Senate seat that's up in 2010. (And considering that Democratic candidate Alexi Giannoulias' family bank is going to fail today, apparently, that number is likely a bit high.)

What do these have in common? They're all Obama's fault. No, really.

All of these situations were caused by President Obama. Arizona's governor would currently be Janet Napolitano, who would almost certainly veto that draconian immigration bill. But right now, she's Secretary of Homeland Security. In Delaware, Joe Biden should be cruising to re-election. But he's Vice President at the moment. In Colorado, Ken Salazar would likely be having a fairly easy run to re-election. Too bad he's Secretary of the Interior. That Illinois seat was occupied by a young, charismatic first-term Senator with national ambitions. He's president now.

I'm not saying I disagree with any of the decisions made here. I'm not saying that Obama's appointments are the only reason for these situations. But it's worth keeping in mind that some of these problems were self-inflicted. Certainly, I think we're better off with Barack Obama in the Oval Office. But we should keep in mind the consequences of earlier decisions.

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