Fear of the Year
Gays, pro-choicers and the liberal elite can relax. The Republicans have found their domestic target for ’08 and, from all indications in New Hampshire, it is now illegal immigrants who are threatening the very fabric of American society.
“It’s becoming a litmus test of how conservative you are,” according to a professor of political science quoted by the McClatchy newspapers. “Absolutely an important issue,” confirms the director of the University of New Hampshire’s Granite State Poll.
Following the Karl Rove playbook, GOP contenders are reaching a consensus on this election’s objects of fear and loathing for their Base. Rudy Giuliani, Mr. 9/11, has the franchise on external threats–terrorists and, coming up strong on the outside rail, Iran.
But fear-mongering the domestic dangers is up for grabs. Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson want to withhold federal money from cities and states that don’t report illegal aliens, toughen border security and speed up the process of deporting them. Duncan Hunter wants to double the fence to keep them out, and Tom Tancredo may soon up the ante with a proposal to nuke them.
Even Mike Huckabee has swerved from his Golden Rule approach to take swipes at the target. “We need to make it clear,” he told the Values Voters, “that we will say no to amnesty, and no to sanctuary cities, and no to the idea that there can be some complete ignoring of the fact that our laws have been broken.”
Only John McCain, who made the mistake of straight talk on the issue, is not benefiting from the wave of Lou Dobbsian outrage over the threat from people who mow America’s lawns and wash dishes in restaurants.
Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of such strangers?
Cross-posted from my blog.