Thursday, June 3, 2010

Northern Side of the Border Is Safe

This week, the FBI formally reported something I've mentioned a number of times: that for the all the justifications of Arizona's law as a way to deal with increasing violence, Phoenix is among the safest cities in the States. Indeed, the report says that the along the length of the border the pattern is decreasing levels of violence crime.

Incidentally, this part of the AP write-up on the report is a bit embarrassing for the Obama administration:
Even residents of the border region who want more security are surprised by the talk of violence.

"I have to say, a lot of this is way overblown," said Gary Brasher of Tuboc, Arizona, who is president of the Coalition for a Safe and Secure Border.

So why send troops to the region?

"That's really something to ask the White House," Easterling said.

White House spokesman Mike Hammer said "there are other rationales for why those border deployments are occurring" but declined to name any of them. "I would really put this to the Department of Homeland Security," he said.

Homeland Security spokesman Matthew Chandler provided a written statement that said more help is needed to build upon "the unprecedented resources the Administration has dedicated over the past 16 months and will serve to expand long-term the successes that have been realized to date."
I understand and generally support Obama's pragmatic willingness to tack to the center, but to what end on this issue? Sending troops to the border evidently has no policy justification, nor is it going to make Republicans more flexible on immigration reform. Is it all just to be able to say, when a legitimate reform effort does pick up strength, that he extended an olive branch to the right and they still won't play ball?


Noel Maurer said...

Word I get is that all of the tacking is with an eye on November. In the polls, there are some signs it's paying dividends as Democrats rise on the generic ballot. The idea is to make Republic rhetoric seem even more extreme and get the "Party of No" meme implanted.

(Apologies for the use of "meme," but I can't fight it anymore. The word, it's been changed, and I surrender.)

It also helps the gubernatorial candidate in N.M. and that Congresswoman from Arizona, since voters like Brasher will roll their eyes while non-racist but stupidly worried voters will think Something Is Being Done. E.g., it undercuts people like my old barber. I talked about him on Facebook; I think I'll post on the blog.

pc said...

I think that sounds right, and I should know not to question Obama's political instincts and farsightedness. At the same time, do you think this will pay off in November? People who are voting on immigration enforcement aren't voting for Obama. I guess there could be a lot of loosely conservative voters who are embarrassed by the present Republican party and are looking for signs that Obama's not a radical socialist, ie the stupidly worried who aren't Republican die-hards.

Noel Maurer said...

I think it will pay off in November, but not because voters say, "Ah hah, that Obama is enforcing the border!" Nor do I think it'll be from voters who need to be reassured that the President doesn't harbor secret desires to reverse the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Rather, anything that paints the Republicans as radical and recalcitrant will increase Democratic support.

If the Republicans take the bait and continue spout off about Teh Border Menace even after the President has sent an entire battalion to the border, then Obama will have succeeded, and will get just that bit more in November.

pc said...

That definitely makes sense, and I think it'll pay off in the long run. Hopefully it'll pay dividends in November too, but I suspect the economic circumtances are going to overwhelm whatever maneuvering Obama does. Although I guess you have to few success for the Dems relatively.