Arizona immigration and partisan asymmetry

Nice column from Dana Milbank on the absolute nuttiness that passes for the mainstream Republican party in Arizona these days (Milbank can still be quite good when he decides to be serious about issues while still keeping his sense of humor):

Jan Brewer has lost her head.

The Arizona governor, seemingly determined to repel every last tourist dollar from her pariah state, has sounded a new alarm about border violence. “Our law enforcement agencies have found bodies in the desert either buried or just lying out there that have been beheaded,” she announced on local television

Brewer’s mindlessness about headlessness is just one of the immigration falsehoods being spread by Arizona politicians. Border violence on the rise? Phoenix becoming the world’s No. 2 kidnapping capital? Illegal immigrants responsible for most police killings? The majority of those crossing the border are drug mules? All wrong.

This matters, because it means the entire premise of the Arizona immigration law is a fallacy. Arizona officials say they’ve had to step in because federal officials aren’t doing enough to stem increasing border violence. The scary claims of violence, in turn, explain why the American public supports the Arizona crackdown.

Milbank quotes McCain making equally wacky statements about Phoenix and kidnapping.  Umm, Ithink I’d feel pretty safe going to Phoenix.  Here’s the thing, here you have the sitting Governor and senior Senator of the state of Arizona making absolutely ludicrous statements.  Can you seriously imagine a Democratic in a similar position of power making statements this unhinged from reality?  Seriously?

Of course some Democrats make the typical hyperbolic political statement about threats to Social Security, the worst-case scenario for global warming, or whatever.  But the dialog from the right is truly in its own world.  Beheadings?  Phoenix as one of the world’s kidnapping capitals?  In a more sane and rational society, these people would be laughed right off the political stage.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

One Response to Arizona immigration and partisan asymmetry

  1. John says:

    Thanks for the Saturday post! The social identity undercurrent to these recent partisan shenanigans has been fascinating to me. I am truly amazed (and slightly frightened) by the extreme steps politically minded citizens and reps have taken to define “who we are” and “who we are not”. This blog is equally hilarious and terrifying sometimes.

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