Hutchinson vs. Radnofsky: The Democrats Blow Senate Race In Texas
September 29, 2006, 05:00 AM
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Even before her hook up with Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), I knew U. S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX) wasn't trustworthy.

Not that you would look to the U.S. Senate for shining examples of honesty. But something about Hutchinson's whole package…the perfectly coiffed big hair (currently referred to by stylists as "hair with volume"), her prim, goody-two- shoes mannerisms, and her former University of Texas cheerleader saccharine charm puts me on edge.

So when I saw Hutchinson in July standing side by side with Pence and smiling sweetly about her "comprehensive immigration reform plan" to open the borders to more guest workers and create a "Good Neighbor SAFE Visa" - still not formally introduced, by the way—I knew I had been right about her all along.

Hutchinson, to put it in Texas lingo, is a sidewinder.

Only a month before Hutchinson aligned herself with Pence, she seemed to have seen the immigration light.

Hutchinson was one of only 36 Senators to vote against S. 2611

I wrote in my column Joe Feels Good About The Immigration Bill[June 02, 2006]

"And get this. In an interview with Lou Dobbs, Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson said that when she added up her calls (regarding the Bush immigration acceleration/ amnesty proposal) the tally was 1,578 against S.2611 with only 12 in support."

Watching Hutchinson on Dobbs, I thought: "Well, maybe I'm wrong about her."

But when I saw Hutchinson and Pence cooing about their amnesty scheme, I knew I wasn't.

Naturally, the millions of Texas Republican voters disgruntled by the open borders policies pursued by its former governor George W. Bush and seconded by Hutchinson would cast about for an alternative Senate candidate in the upcoming November election

The problem is that the Texas Democratic Party has not put forth a person who has credibility on immigration or much of anything else.

Consequently, Democratic candidate Barbara Ann Radnofsky does not have a snowball's chance in hell of beating Hutchinson.

Can a Jewish lady lawyer and a political neophyte whose claim to fame is that she is one of the country's leading experts in the  Dead Sea Scrolls beat someone said by many to be more popular in Texas than Laura Bush?

Short answer: Not without a lightning rod issue.

Why the Democrats chose Radnofsky is a mystery. The party had a shot at a competitive Senate race with an appealing candidate.

Not that long ago, Democrats ruled Texas.

But now it's unlikely that someone with Radnofsky's resume can pull off an upset, even though Texas voters are disgusted with:


  • Plans to built a superhighway from Mexico though Texas that farmers and ranchers say will destroy vast Texas acreage.


  • The scandal resulting from the fall of ex-Majority Speaker of the House of Representatives Rep Tom De Lay.

Instead of seizing the opportunity that's knocking on her doorstep, scholar Radnofsky had this to say about illegal immigration in a summer press release:

"We must solve this problem at our borders and with a national security policy. Asking local law enforcement or groups of 'volunteers,' which is a nice word for vigilantes, to hunt down and imprison alleged illegal immigrants, does nothing to stem the flow of people into this country."

Say what? I thought the " volunteer" to "vigilante" equation belonged to Republicans George W. Bush and Condoleezza Rice.

Maybe Radnofsky is afraid that illegal immigration is a subject that won't play well in Texas.

If that is the case, she should study the Jewish Texas Independent gubernatorial candidate and entertainer Kinky Friedman who has been adamant about cracking down on illegal immigration:

"We've waited 153 years for the feds to help us. They haven't yet. We have our own army. I want 10,000 Texas National Guard troops on the border and I want them now." [ Friedman Touts Border Security Plan, By Kristen Mack and Gary Scharrer, Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News, September 7, 2006]

Friedman may not win - although you can never tell in Texas politics. But the votes he'll drain off from the standard-bearers will dictate who does win.

The important lesson for loser-to-be Radnofsky is that Friedman's position on illegal immigration has put him into the limelight…favorably. And his stance has forced incumbent Rick Perry into a more aggressive anti-immigration posture.

As Brenda Walker noted during the last Presidential race, Democrats remain asleep on the electoral goldmine that the immigration issue represents.

But still, some signs of their awakening are popping up. Earlier this week, the House passed four enforcement bills—H.R. 6061, H.R. 4830 and H.R. 6094 and H.R. 6095—with as many as 105 Democrats voting in support.

And the week ended with 18 Democratic Senators voting for Closure to allow for a full Senate vote on the 700-mile fence bill approved by the House.

For the record, they are Baucus (D-MT), Bayh (D-IN), Biden (D-DE) Byrd (D-WV), Conrad (D-ND), Dayton (D-MN), Dorgan (D-ND), Feinstein (D-CA), Johnson (D-SD), Landrieu (D-LA), Lincoln (D-AR), Mikulski (D-MD), Nelson (D-FL), Nelson (D-NE) — usually very good, Pryor (D-AR), Rockefeller (D-WV), Stabenow (D-MI) and Wyden (D-OR).

Those Democratic votes—many of them not normally on our side—represent visible proof of the huge strides made by the immigration reform movement during the last two years. 

The next step is for Democrats elected in November to fall in line. Then, in 2008, stop nominating Radnofsky-type candidates.

Once more Democrats realize that a strong anti-immigration position appeals to and protects their natural base of blue-collar workers of all origins—including Hispanics—from job and cultural loss, we'll see many more embrace our cause.

As a Democrat myself – one of a number writing for VDARE.COM - I can't wait.

Joe Guzzardi [e-mail him] is the Editor of VDARE.COM Letters to the Editor. In addition, he is an English teacher at the Lodi Adult School and has been writing a weekly newspaper column since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.