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Howard Dean "1st we need tough border control"
Posted by: mcq on Thursday, April 20, 2006

Well, well, well:
Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean yesterday called border security his party's top immigration priority for November.

"The first thing we want is tough border control," he said. "We have to do a much better job on our borders than George Bush has done. And then we can go to the policy disagreements about how to get it done."
I've only been saying, since '04, that the party which siezes on solving the border security problem (and then illegal immigration) is the party which will win in '08.

I laughed when I saw this:
Republicans reacted with surprise to Mr. Dean's announcement, which puts the DNC chief's views at odds with those of many Democrats in Congress.

"If Dean means what he says about border enforcement, that would put the Democrats somewhere to the right of President Bush on immigration," said Rep. Steve King, Iowa Republican.
Yes, it does put Dean to the right of President Bush ... but then anyone saying "first control the border" is to the right of President Bush and most Republicans. But they're right in the middle of most of the voters out here.

Dean has smelled the proverbial political coffee and has awakened.

Think about it. What does "control the border first" do for Democrats? It resonates in two areas: immigration and national security. Both will be top issues '08. Dean is letting Democrats know where they need to be and he's doing it early. And this is a real issue. Why this sudden change of course?
A Gallup Poll of 1,004 Americans this month found that 81 percent think illegal immigration to the United States is out of control and that 79 percent think it's extremely or very important for the government to take steps this year to halt the flood of illegal aliens.
Visibility has been raised by the protests. The poll points to the silent but very real backlash. My guess is this issue will remain a high visibility issue and Dean is attempting to stake out the winning position for the Democrats.

It remains to be seen if they will go along or if the Republicans will allow Dean to keep his claim. But that's the position which will win, and Dean knows it.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Interesting. Dean is a much more moderate and savvy guy then he generally gets credit for.
Written By: Mithras
Sadly (really and truly, for once, with regards to Doctor Dean) I doubt most Dem candidates or Dem Senators will embrace this position.

Either that, or they’ll manage to embrace it while screwing it up with something like expecting the individual states to build and pay for their own barriers and such.

If they embraced tough borders in more than name, they might even force the Republicans to do the same. If nothing else, I wouldn’t feel so shuddery at the thought of trusting the Dems on other stuff if they convinced me they truly embraced tough borders.
Written By: Dave
URL: http://
But that’s the position which will win, and Dean knows it

You give Dean FAR too much credit. That’s the winning position but he has no idea really. Dean just says things, and a few days later he says something else, usually at odds with the 1st thing he said. And of course, his actions usually don’t match that.

If Dean can hold this position for more than a week, then you give him credit.

In the meantime, if the GOP loses because of this issue, it will be well deserved.
Written By: shark
URL: http://
This has the potential to play in out in highly amusing ways... or, at least, it would be amusing if the issue were not so serious.

Hypothetically, suppose:

1. The Democrats actually split with their leftist base over this one and demand a wall and other tough measures. (Boy, would that make the ANSWER crowd mad, or what?) The Aztlan-oriented Hispanic "leadership" blasts them. Democrats lose some Hispanic support.

2. The Democrats gain attention, and polls start indicating that people would vote for a Democrat just for this issue (quite possible, I think).

3. The Republicans wake up and mount a campaign which basically says, "Well, OK, I guess we have to do this, but surely you’re not going to trust those Democrats with a security matter?"

4. A big bi-partisan bill is passed with something to appease all conceivable parties. It contains a wall, an amnesty program, a new program for legal immigration, huge hikes in government employment for immigration matters, a clause claiming "respect for the Hispanic tradition of our southwestern states" plus authorization of money to build a bunch of monuments, and a ton of pork that has absolutely nothing to do with immigration.

5. Voters are so confused about who stands for what that they don’t know who to support on anything immigration related. The major parties go back to arguing about the Middle East and Social Security.

6. In ten years, it is discovered that an illegal immigrant-smuggling network has gotten in ten million more illegals, through a combination of tunnels, bribing border guards, small craft circumventing the wall over the ocean, and small planes that drop illegals just over the border with a parachute. (One in five of that last group is killed on impact, but they’re still willing to chance it.)
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Except for point #5, that was pretty funny.
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean yesterday called border security his party’s top immigration priority for November.
What about making it a priority NOW??!? ...or yesterday, or last year, or...

...nothing but bootlicking babble.
Written By: coffee
URL: http://
So...why don’t the individual states sue the federal government for not protecting the state’s own borders? They sue the feds for meaningless crap like the prescription drug program for prune-like people and un-enforcement of the ban on illicit drugs for medical use. So what’s the f’ing problem? Any lawyerly types care to explain if there is a lawyerly explanation?
Written By: frontinus
URL: http://
Much more likely...

The Democrats "plan" gets so saddled with environmental regulations, labor regulations, and sympathy for undocumented workers, that nothing will actually be able to be done to erect a fence, or tighten the border. At least not anything recognisable as border security.

So, in effect, the Democrats will have a tough sounding policy that does nothing.


And "smell the coffee..."


More like "Dean woke up and smelled the blood in the water."

While I agree with the stated ends, it is political opportunism at it’s basest level.
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
"Either that, or they’ll manage to embrace it while screwing it up with something like expecting the individual states to build and pay for their own barriers and such."

Yeah, those damn Liberals expecting states to act without the federal government doing it for them. Now if they’d just adopt the principled Consersative position of having a large, centralized federal government taking care of everything...

(for the terminally stupid, yes, that was sarcasm)
Written By: Tito
URL: http://
Can someone please explain to me how we can have tough border control and the North American Union with Canada and Mexico at the same time?
Written By: Dr. Smith
What is really sad in all of the discussions over immigration is the loss of any idea what it means to be a citizen.

More than one court has ruled that immigrants get this, that, and everything else. Now immigrants are demainding the vote. Over the past few decades, US citizenship has been reduced to being in the short line when re-entering the country and an "automatic" green card. Worse, I bet that male illegals 18 and over aren’t even registered for the draft.

Citizenship has been reduced to a series of obligations and a free ride for everyone else.
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
And "smell the coffee..."


More like "Dean woke up and smelled the blood in the water."
Uh, the term was "smelled the ... political coffee"

Credit where credit is due afer all.
Written By: McQ
It would wise to remember the Tories in the UK used immigration as an issue in a few past elections and it blew up in their faces. They were mainly arguing for tougher asylum laws, but the electorate (which according to polling agreed with them) decided it just seemed so nasty...some of this has to do with the bedfellows you end up sleeping with on this issue. (or appearing to sleep with.)

The Dems might be able to sell this better than the GOP - remember only Nixon can go to China, and only Dean can build the wall and deport illegal aliens.

If I were in charge of a GOP effort, I would be very specific in my proposal to INCREASE legal immigration opportunities and focus on INS reforms to be more immigrant friendly and speedier. (Any immigrant who deals with INS loathes them. Same goes for non-immigrants who have to help their immigrant wife/family wade through the crap.) This way you could actually gain votes from legal immigrants and they would be less likely to associate the wall and deportations with racist thinking.

I would also drop the guest worker plan entirely.

Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Well, whenever the U.S. becomes an island with our own version of the BNP get back to me. Oh wait...Nixon to China. Let me guess...the GOP is our version of the BNP. Do I get a cookie?

Frankly, the only thing that makes Democrats more suited to fixing the borders is that they would be the ones playing the race card(identity politics if that offends your eyes).
Written By: frontinus
URL: http://
What exactly sparked this new level of interest in appearing to stop illegal immigration?

I hope we’re not being given a placebo to quiet down the results of the Mexican Flags, etc. which has backfired for the pro-illegal immigration crowd.
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
What exactly sparked this new level of interest in appearing to stop illegal immigration?

Umm.....winning elections in the southern states ?
Written By: Blewyn
This is NOT a partisan issue, or should I say SHOULDN’T be a partisan issue. Securing the border is priority number one.

However, you missed this statement by Dean:
In his remarks this week, Mr. Dean said Democrats "vigorously" support a direct path to citizenship for illegal aliens while also saying that his party opposes guest-worker programs.
Obviously Securing the Border is not priority number one for him. Why not push for a clean border security bill? After the border is secure there is plenty of time to debate what to do about illegal aliens already in this country.

Both parties are in the wrong on this issue.
Written By: Brian Bonner
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