Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has just given a widely-reported speech announcing a new amnesty offensive early next year. (Immigrant Bill Is Back on Table, by Melanie Trottman, Wall Street Journal, November 14, 2009.)
I say (not for the first time): phooey!
Nearly two weeks have passed since November 3, the fateful night when two special gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey sent a chilling message to the 2010 Democratic candidates.
No sooner had the polls closed than President Barack Obama put the word out through his press secretary Robert Gibbs that he was "not watching" the results and was instead watching basketball. [Democrats, Incumbents Get Wake Up Call, by Jonathan Harris and John Martin, Politico.com November 4, 2009]
Given the thoroughness of the Democratic defeats, that's impossible to believe.
And when you factor in the multiple visits Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden made on behalf of the Democratic candidates New Jersey incumbent Jon Corzine and Virginia's R. Creigh Deeds, Obama's protestations of indifference don't fly.
Democrats will continue to argue all day long that the Virginia and New Jersey results were not a referendum on Obama. The evidence proves something entirely different.
The rout of three Virginia Democrats running for three separate statewide offices, as well as the loss of several legislative seats, sent a clear anti-Obama (and anti-comprehensive immigration reform) message. Republicans Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and Attorney General-elect Ken Cuccinelli won as comfortably as McDonnell.
Amazingly, and what should strike the most fear in incumbent Democrats, is that Independent voters (mostly white), who helped Obama in 2008 become the first Democratic presidential candidate in 44 years to carry the Old Dominion, abandoned the party en masse.
The swing from Obama's win last year to McDonnell's on November 2: a negative 23 points!
In the Virginia House of Delegates, the Republicans also registered significant gains, winning at least five additional seats.
Immigration was not a high visibility issue in the Virginia election.
In some ways, the Republicans' New Jersey triumph was even more noteworthy than Virginia's.
Winner Chris Christie's skill at overcoming the Democratic majority of 750,000 registered voters is the least of the surprises.
Led by two of the country's most enthusiastic immigration enthusiast Senators (Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez), and represented by seven (of 10) in the U.S. House of Representatives who have D- or lower grades, Corzine, their former colleague, had worn out his welcome.
Curiously, and to his detriment, Corzine moved to the left on immigration after leaving the Senate. Corzine, grade "C," was good on eliminating unnecessary foreign worker visas, strong on interior enforcement and border control but bad on amnesties and other related alien benefits.
Consistent with Corzine's pro-amnesty Senate agenda is that two of his most controversial positions as governor were to give driver's licenses and in-state tuition to illegal aliens, both failed proposals that were highly unpopular with New Jersey voters.
Here's what you can take from the elections: they are predictable indicators of populist anger that will be directed at any incumbent but disproportionately at the Democrats since they're the party in power. Promised changes have not been fulfilled.
Deeds and Corzine retained commanding support among blacks and Hispanics. But each only won about one-third of white voters, much less than Obama garnered in those states one year ago.
In a recent essay, political analyst Ronald Brownstein pointed out that:
"Deeds and Corzine each won fewer than three in 10 whites without a college education, and just one-third of white seniors...and that both lost whites under 30, and received less than 30 percent of the vote among white independents and less than 40 percent among college-educated whites."
Brownstein concluded that the results:
"Parallel national polls showing most whites moving toward a Ross Perot-like skepticism about Washington, even as minorities express more comfort with an enlarged federal role. That divergence looms as an ominously destabilizing force."
[Pols Stand on Unstable Ground, by Ronald Brownstein, National Journal, November 7, 2009]
If "national polls" show that white voters broadly reject Democrats, liberal candidates should expect sleepless nights.
For Republicans, on the other hand, Virginia and New Jersey provided a breath of much needed fresh air that might also extend out across GOP-land nationwide.
Virginia's specific lesson is that Republicans can nominate a staunch conservative like McDonnell and win as long as he projects a mainstream image and agenda.
Post-New Jersey and Virginia, moderate and conservative Democrats certainly must realize the box they are in.
They just learned that even a popular president, as the MainStream Media insists that Obama is, doesn't have coattails in this economy.
Those candidates will have to somehow reach out to their Democratic base (minorities) while attracting disenfranchised, middle class, white, Independents. The best way to do that, although it's a tall order, is to ask Obama to stay home at the White House.
Each vote Democratic incumbents make between now and November 2010 will be a double-edged sword: Vote for controversial and unpopular programs like Obamacare and amnesty to curry favor with the party's core constituents but alienate the Independent, white voters needed to win.
The extended and possibly endless Congressional debate about H.R. 3962, now acknowledged by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to go into 2010, has served us well. As long as Congress remains focused on Obamacare, no amnesty legislation will reach the floor.
Of all the vulnerable incumbents, Reid, with the Nevada economy in the tank, is highest on the list. But he is followed closely by Connecticut's immigration enthusiast Christopher Dodd. [Election Puts 10 Democrats on High Alert, by Jonathan Allen and Manu Raju, Politico.com November 5, 2010]
But let's assume the worst: the Senate and the House come to terms and pass Obamacare in February or March.
That would leave a tiny window in the spring for an amnesty bill to be written, debated and voted on. More of a delay would mean the Congressional summer recess will have started, followed by earnest campaigning in the fall, hardly the atmosphere for a contentious amnesty debate that would make the dissent over Obamacare look like a day at the beach. (Listen to one-note Congressman Luis Gutierrez whine about the lack of amnesty's progress here.)
Ask yourself this question: If you were a Congressional candidate facing a tough reelection campaign, would you base your platform on amnesty?
If you're firmly on the radical Left, you might answer "yes"
Their response will be a firm "no"
That scenario would push the "path to citizenship" out to at least to early 2011 when, because of continued unemployment and citizen resistance to rewarding lawbreakers, voter's resistance to amnesty will have intensified.
But, and this is the best news of all, if everything unfolds as I predict, in 2011 Republicans will control Congress and amnesty for illegal aliens will be a non-starter.
Joe Guzzardi [email him] is a California native who recently fled the state because of over-immigration, over-population and a rapidly deteriorating quality of life. He has moved to Pittsburgh, PA where the air is clean and the growth rate stable. A long-time instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, Guzzardi has been writing a weekly column since 1988. It currently appears in the Lodi News-Sentinel.