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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Immigration Foes Want Some More Crazy

It’s become pretty common-place to note that most of the crew looking to run for president as Republicans in 2010 are trying mighty hard to leave no space to their right. By and large, they are churning out red meat to “the base” on every subject that comes up.
The exception, interestingly enough, may be immigration, where the pols haven’t quite kept up with activist demands. The firebrands at NumbersUSA have published a “report card” for proto-candidates on the issues they care about, from opposing “amnesty” to ending “birthright citizenship.” They are not happy with most of the candidates, less because of the positions they’ve taken than because of the controversies they’ve dodged (particularly on ending birthright citizenship and lowering rates of legal as well as illegal immigration).
Chris Christie is given a nice even “F”; Haley Barbour, Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich all earn “D-minus” grades; Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee come in at “D.” Then comes Ron Paul at “C-minus.” At the top of the list are Tim Pawlenty at “C-plus” and Michele Bachmann at “B-minus.” Both the Minnesotans have come out for eliminating birthright citizenship.
Barack Obama, of course, is given an “F-Minus,” a hitherto unknown point of depth in the grading scale.
Perhaps falling levels of immigration and competing problems are creating fears among anti-immigrant zealots that their cause, given such a big lift last year by the viral spread of state laws resembling Arizona’s, is on the wane. Or maybe they just want to get the candidates’ attention and get their fair share of pandering. But it’s become a truly crazy conservative world in which even Michele Bachmann can’t win a higher grade than “B-minus” on an issue measuring ideological orthodoxy.

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