Assuming it's not legally ridiculous, is it politically wise? To make it work legally, won't [the Obama administration] have to own pathetically weak enforcement as a deliberate and important policy? Won't they have to be very clear that Arizona must shut up and accept the current situation? Who will get better political leverage out of this lawsuit — those who favor stronger enforcement of immigration law or those who favor leniency?Now, it seems the Democratic governors are answering my question:
While the weak economy dominated the official agenda at the summer meeting here of the National Governors Association, concern over immigration policy pervaded the closed-door session between Democratic governors and White House officials and simmered throughout the three-day event.
At the Democrats’ meeting on Saturday, some governors bemoaned the timing of the Justice Department lawsuit, according to two governors who spoke anonymously because the discussion was private.Did the NYT use the word "anonymously" as some kind of anti-Bredesen joke? He's such a nonentity! Or were there 2 other governors who were ass-cover-y enough to demand anonymity as they breached the privacy understanding, and the NYT mentioned them just before quoting Bredesen to make Bredesen look indiscreet/bold? Or — this is awkward but most likely — were the 2 anonymous governors the ones who revealed that there was a lot of anxiety and simmering at the private meeting, and Bredesen's quote, technically, doesn't refer to the meeting. It's just his direct expression of the anxiety that was also expressed at the meeting.
“Universally the governors are saying, ‘We’ve got to talk about jobs,’ ” Gov. Phil Bredesen of Tennessee, a Democrat, said in an interview. “And all of a sudden we have immigration going on.”
He added, “It is such a toxic subject, such an important time for Democrats.”
(The Althouse blog, making reading the New York Times more annoying than it would be if you slogged though it alone. That's how I try to help — by heightening annoyingness. I hope you enjoy the pain.)
The lawsuit contends that controlling immigration is a federal responsibility, but polls suggest that a majority of Americans support the Arizona law, or at least the concept of a state having a strong role in immigration enforcement.They had to throw in that "raucous protest," didn't they? Was it, like, one guy? Because I notice there isn't a word about the size of the protest. Yet the polls only "suggest that a majority of Americans support the Arizona law." Why "suggest"? The polls I've seen show strong support for the law. Perhaps even raucous support.
Republican governors at the Boston meeting were also critical of the lawsuit, saying it infringed on states’ rights and rallying around [Arizona Governor Jan] Brewer, whose presence spurred a raucous protest around the downtown hotel where the governors gathered.
“I’d be willing to bet a lot of money that almost every state in America next January is going to see a bill similar to Arizona’s,” said Gov. Dave Heineman of Nebraska, a Republican seeking re-election.Oh, shut up, Bill. The West... get over yourself. The proper term is "some of those states in the middle."
But the unease of Democratic governors, seven of whom are seeking re-election this year, was more striking.
“I might have chosen both a different tack and a different time,” said Gov. Bill Ritter Jr. of Colorado, a Democrat who was facing a tough fight for re-election and pulled out of the race earlier this year. “This is an issue that divides us politically, and I’m hopeful that their strategy doesn’t do that in a way that makes it more difficult for candidates to get elected, particularly in the West.”
The White House would not directly respond to reports of complaints from some Democratic governors.Indirectly, however, the answer is, as noted, shut up.