Republicans and immigration

Nate Silver has a quasi-interesting post pointing out that Democrats and Republicans are far less apart on immigration than on most any other prominent issue:


Ahhh, but here’s the tractor-trailer sized caveat:

This is not to say that [Jeb] Bush’s position on immigration is risk-free. These polls do not measure the intensity of support; it may be that Republicans who are opposed to immigration reform feel more strongly about it than those who support it. 

I’m feeling a little too lazy to run the data now (I’ve got to go watch the new Mad Men), but I will nonetheless pretty much guarantee that those who oppose immigration are more intense and they absolutely are more likely to vote in Republican primaries.  If you ignore that, you are ignoring a huge part of the political dynamic.  Silver argues:

Furthermore, breaking from the party orthodoxy could allow Bush to portray himself as a “compassionate conservative” at a time when the Republican Party has a strongly negative image among moderate and independent voters. The extent to which the news media exaggerates the uniformity of Republican opposition to immigration reform could help Bush in this regard. The “narrative” of the campaign may be that Bush has taken an exceptionally bold position, when in fact many constituencies within the Republican Party share his views.

I’m inclined to argue that Bush’s relative moderation on issues such as immigration are, in fact, exactly the reason he cannot win the nomination (and why we certainly won’t see any meaningful legislation on this in the next couple of years).

Five more words

An essay from former Justice John Paul Stevens on how to fix the second amendment.  It’s pretty simple– just add five words:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.”

He makes a nice argument that this would actually bring us back to the intent of the amendment:

As a result of the rulings in Heller and McDonald, the Second Amendment, which was adopted to protect the states from federal interference with their power to ensure that their militias were “well regulated,” has given federal judges the ultimate power to determine the validity of state regulations of both civilian and militia-related uses of arms. That anomalous result can be avoided by adding five words to the text of the Second Amendment to make it unambiguously conform to the original intent of its draftsmen.

Photo of the day

From a Telegraph gallery of the royals’ visit to New Zealand.  Love a good juxtaposition:

Royal tour: Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George arrive in Wellington, New Zealand
Prince William and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge talk with members of the Maori welcome group at an official welcome on the grounds of Government House in Wellington, New ZealandPicture: EPA/Mark Coote
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