Thursday, August 12, 2010

Amazing that I agree on anything with John Kerry (who, as James Taranto keeps reminding us, is "the haughty, French-looking former junior senator from Massachusetts who by the way served in Vietnam", but Kerry is right that it would be a mistake trying to amend the 14th Amendment to deny automatic citizenship to children of illegal aliens born in the United States.

In fact, for the GOP to spend ANY effort on this would be as grave a mistake as Obama spending political capital pushing through Obamacare in the midst of serious economic problems... and for the exact same reasons.

To some conservatives, ending automatic 'Born in the USA' citizenship may be just as important and a principled fight as enacting socialized medical care was to liberals... but to the vast swarth of independent voters whose votes are so critical this fall, and please repeat after me, IT JUST AIN'T THAT IMPORTANT!

What is important to these voters is enacting policies that restore investor, business and consumer confidence and getting the American economy moving forward again. That is what people care about right now and a huge chunk of votes this fall will be made by people whose first - for some, the only - concern is about the economy.

The public wants to see their representatives spending time on the most important issues. Everything else is secondary. And the party that goes off on some extraneous fight such as immigration sends a signal that they're just not to be trusted with the responsibility of getting the economy moving again. After all, if you're not smart enough to focus your time on the most important issue, why should the public have any confidence that what you do on the economy would be any good?

The Democrats made a huge mistake with the public when they spent pretty much most of the past year fighting for and enacting Obamacare. It is critical that the Republicans not do the same. To build on James Carville's wise words 'it's the economy, stupid... it ain't immigration'.