Opinion

How to get re-elected with 33 percent

Photo of Stuart Roy
Stuart Roy
Contributor
  • See All Articles
  • Subscribe to RSS
  • Bio

      Stuart Roy

      Stuart Roy was a long-time spokesman and strategist for leaders in both chambers of Congress and is now a partner at Prism Public Affairs, a DC-based public affairs firm.

“Man plans and God laughs,” a former boss used to say all the time, quoting the Yiddish Proverb.  And Republican plans to send Democrat Majority Leader Harry Reid to retirement this year are now in jeopardy as national issues intervene in Nevada and may allow the 70-year-old senator to get re-elected with a pathetic 33 percent approval rating.

As Reid’s popularity has fallen in the state since becoming the Democrat leader Republicans have been anticipating sending two consecutive Democrat leaders to their involuntary departure from the dome.  But of all issues, immigration reform may prove to be a winner for Reid in his home state.  A few weeks ago he publicly promised immigration advocates in his home state that he would bring an immigration reform bill to the floor of the Senate before the Memorial Day recess.  The next week in Washington he reneged on that promise saying the Senate calendar was simply too full.

Now with pressure on the president to act, and with the Arizona immigration enforcement bill making national news, (for those who don’t know Arizona passed a law that makes illegal immigration a state crime, in addition to a federal crime, and requires police to check immigration status if they have “reasonable suspicion”.  This has opened up Republican supporters of the law to charges of backing racial profiling. ) Reid is back in action on immigration and may be able to blame lack of action on Republicans.  This will allow him to make amends with the large Hispanic population in Nevada and potentially steal his seat back from the jaws of defeat.

Republicans face the opposite circumstance in Florida where Republican Marco Rubio has been on a glide path to victory in the Senate race there obliterating sitting Gov. Charlie Crist in the polls to the point where, reportedly, Crist may drop out of the primary and run as an independent.  The heated immigration debate centering on the Arizona law threatens his electoral fortunes as it has created a minefield with the state’s large immigrant population.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Nationally, Republicans don’t have to let themselves get painted in the corner.  Portions of the Arizona law, while understandable in its intent, should make most anyone cringe.  (Although I’m a white guy from Mississippi, I was once mistaken for a Mexican and told that I had “really good English” when on a trip to Mexico City.)  Why allow the GOP to be painted with the racial profiling brush?  Our leaders need to follow Sen. Cornyn’s (R – Tex.) and former Gov. Jeb Bush’s (R- Fla.) example.

  • Empathize with the problem.  No one understands it better than Republicans.
  • Reject the egregious parts of the law.
  • Place the blame where it belongs, the Obama administration and Congressional Democrats.  The Democrats have had control of Congress for over three years and Obama said he was going to move a comprehensive immigration reform bill in his first year in office.  Both have failed to act on the problem.  And may not for quite a while.  This is not leadership.  It is failure.

Luckily for Republicans a growing list of leaders are speaking out on this bill and calling for reform of the nation’s immigration laws including Cornyn, Rubio, Bush, Karl Rove, Lincoln Diaz-Balart and many others.  They may help lead the party out of this predicament.

Meanwhile, if you asked me, “check your papers?” I’d say, “Kiss my ass.”  And it really doesn’t get any more American than that.

Stuart Roy was a long-time spokesman and strategist for leaders in both chambers of Congress and is now a partner at Prism Public Affairs, a DC-based public affairs firm.

  • AFVET4FREEDOM

    I still don’t get it either, there is nothing in this bill that is not already federal law, the due cause provision is the same protection anyone else gets before their house is searched or car inspected or a DUI test is administered. Get over it Libs, a majority of this country want immigration to this country to be conducted legally and safely!

  • John M

    Apparently you think your skin color anecdote gives you special insight and bona fides to criticize what appears to me to be an entirely rational response to this invasion. You’re going to use that to dance around and try to avoid the taint of identification with the people who actually pay the bills, and bear the burdens? I can tell you’re really down with the raza. Venceremos, and all that. You know, that’s McCain’s shtick, and it long ago exhausted itself. Boring. Boring. Boring.

    I think that you and your fellows might be more credible and perhaps more acceptable to those who actually have to pay the bills around here were you to argue for a complete gutting of the current bloated welfare state, an end to racial set-asides, the total abandonment of “disparate impact” analysis in the application of federal and state regulations on seemingly all aspects of human activity, and the dismantling of the racial grievance industry as a political force. Then, and only then, open the doors wide, baby!

  • BEVERLYCHARBON

    Obama and the Feds won’t do anything about Illegal Immigration. In fact, Obama cancelled some of the building of the fence! This law was carefully crafted and only gives Arizona the right to enforce the same Fed law that the Feds will not enforce!. The pro-amnesty people are lying about the racial profiling. The far left has nothing left to say, so no matter the subject, they play the race card. Shame on them!!!

    Individuals who are in this country legally have an obligation to prove their legal authorization to be in the United States as well. According to the U.S. Government Official Welcome Guide for New Immigrants, “you must carry proof of your permanent resident status at all times”.

    Exactly what kind of “hardship” is it to ask individuals to carry iderntification. What about a “Green Card?” Following is what
    happens in just a few other countries. Entering the U.S. illegally is
    ‘ILLEGAL!” Hard working Americans are sick and tired of not only supporting millions of lazy, uneducated people who are citizens, let
    alone have to continue to support millions of ILLEGALS!

    …. IF YOU CROSS THE NORTH KOREAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU GET 12 YEARS HARD LABOR……
    ….IF YOU GO INTO RED CHINA ILLEGALLY, YOU’RE CONSIDERED A SPY AND GET HARD PRISON TIME…..
    ….IF YOU GO INTO GERMANY ILLEGALLY, YOU GET A HEFTY FINE, WORK IT OFF OR PAY IT OFF, THEN DEPORTED………
    ….IF YOU GO INTO ENGLAND ILLEGALLY, YOU ARE JAILED IMMEDIATELY AND DEPORTED………
    ….IF YOU CROSS THE IRANIAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU ARE DETAINED INDEFINITELY….
    ….BUT, IF YOU CROSS THE U.S. .. BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU GET:
    1. A DRIVERS LICENSE
    2. A SOCIAL SECURITY CARD
    3. FREE WELFARE

  • rick013

    This jerk hasn’t hasn’t read the law either. I would love for him to say this to one of our American policemen of latin descent in Az or anywhere in the country for that matter. He might wish he had been just a bit more polite.

  • paco

    I must not get it. I haven’t read the bill, but from what I can gather it simply says if someone is stopped for a traffic violation and can’t provide identification such as a driver’s license, then the police can arrest the person. Guess what? That’s what they can do now. If I get stopped for speeding or DUI and I don’t have a driver’s license, I get taken to jail.

    If there’s more to the bill than this, someone clue me in.