You Won't Have J.D. to Kick Around Anymore


Radley reported it here when the AP announced that Rep. J.D. Hayworth had been defeated in Arizona. But Hayworth actually refused to concede the election that night. He fought the result in the hopes that absentee ballots would shrink, then reverse, Democrat Harry Mitchell's lead of about 5500 votes. Cue the cartoon "wah-wah" trumpets: The recount actually expanded the lead, to 6500. Yesterday, Hayworth finally conceded.

Hayworth's defeat wouldn't be worth going over if he was just another endangered Republican. He happened to be the most vocal, telegenic advocate of Tancredo-style border reform, and he represented a district that voted for Bush over Kerry by 9 points. If it looks like the GOP is taking a dive on illegal immigration and moving towards a McCain-Kennedy compromise, this is one of the reasons why—as much of a watershed on immigration as Tom Foley's 1994 defeat was on 2nd amendment issues. Check out one of Hayworth's ads and see exactly what Arizonans rejected.


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  1. I’d be more willing to believe your analysis if these weren’t the same Arizona voters who approved several anti-illegal immigrant initiatives, such as making English the official language of Arizona.

  2. Captain Holly,

    Apparently, the center is pro-immigrant and pro-assimilation. There is no contradiction there.

    The voters want people to come here and live by the rules everyone else lives by. People like Hayworth don’t want them to come here at all.

  3. Secure Our Border and Stop Illegal Immigration

    Every sovereign nation has a responsibility to secure its border. In Congress, I’ll make it a top priority to secure the U.S.-Mexico border and stop illegal immigration.

    I’ll deliver results, not rhetoric, and will work with both Republicans and Democrats to get the job done. This includes both securing our border and offering realistic solutions for the immigration problem our country faces.

    Specifically, I’ll work to

    Station more Border Patrol agents along the border;

    Put more high-tech tools along the border so we can better monitor border activity;

    Extend existing fencing in urban areas;

    Establish a temporary worker program that allows us to keep track of who crosses our borders; and

    Hold employers accountable for whom they hire.

    I oppose amnesty and will not support it. Still, we must deal with the millions of illegal immigrants who are already here. Catching and deporting 11 million illegal immigrants, as some have suggested, is neither realistic nor wise. I believe we should give families an opportunity to gain legal status if they pay a penalty for breaking the law, pay their taxes, learn English, and hold a job for a period of years.

    Illegal immigration affects Arizona more than it does other states – more than half of all illegal crossings over the U.S.-Mexico border happen here in Arizona. In the State Senate, I worked closely with Governor Janet Napolitano to increase the penalties for violent human smuggling, and I supported her decision to declare a state of emergency along the border. I saw firsthand how Washington’s complete failure to do its job continues to hurt our state. We need representation in Washington that secures our border and offers realistic solutions to our current immigration problem. I will bring that tough, yet realistic, voice to Capitol Hill, just as I did as Mayor and State Senator.

  4. Wait, Radley said he lost because of the Internet gambling ban. You have to decide which cause you want to get credit for it.

  5. I fully support Congressman Mitchell’s efforts to crack down on the smuggling of violent humans.

  6. Hey, I didn’t vote for any of those things. Nor did I vote for Mitchell, nor did I vote for Hayworth.

    So don’t blame me. 🙂

  7. I don’t know whether you can say JD Hayworth’s defeat tells us anything about how the public views the immigration debate. Hayworth was a vocal supporter of the Fence, but so where a lot of other guys that won. If this had been a Republican year and Hayworth had been one of the few loses, then maybe we could be able to pin his defeat on some specific issue, but my guess is that he lost for the same reason most of the other Repubs lost- they haven’t passed any popular legislation in nearly 4 years despite controlling all 3 branches of government, and the situation in Iraq is a mess. Congressmen in districts that went for Bush by 20 point where able to overcome that. Hayworth and his 9 point pro Bush district wasn’t.

  8. Guys, I hate to be this person but:

    I realy do not think the GOP lost over being too border hawkish. If anything, I think the opposite is the case.

    Completely apart from what anyone here might -want- the border situation to be, the GOP is largely, and strongly, in favor of border controls, and conservatives are largely, and strongly, pissed that congress / president didn’t do enough on the border.

    This election was largely an anti-status-quo victory for the dems. It was an mix of disatisfaction over a whole range of issues, and the high turnout rate hints that the results are based on a national referendum mindset. I don’t think said pendulum swing had much to do with immigration, even in the states deeply impacted by border issues. This was a “We hate Bush and are pissed about Iraq” plus “We are pissed at our own Republicans acting like Democrats” coalition, in my opinion. OPINION.

    I’m just not buying that JD’s loss had much to do with immigration. I think he would have been tossed even if he had exactly the opposite views on the border.

    Just my .02

  9. damon,

    I don’t think anyone’s claiming that Hayworth’s hawkishness cost him the election.

    Rather, if I understand Weigel correctly, he’s pointing out that Hayworth’s hawkishness, and accusations that his Democratic opponent was soft on immigration, utterly failed to save his bacon.

    Like “cut and run,” that was supposed to be a club with which Republicans could beat the opposition into the ground, but it didn’t work.

  10. Fair enough. I just noticed that we keep hitting that theme over and over. Seems almost self congratulatory for the wrong reasons. It’s like when the Florentines won wars and often patted themselves on the back while attributing victory to the fact that they had a Republican form of government, when in fact the real reasons for victory were much more military related. I think we should be clearminded and not wishful. =)

  11. Hayworth supports many of the things that it seemed Arizonans wanted. Maybe JD went down for a reason. Like maybe, say, because he’s an idiot.

    I know, I know, lots of politicos are idiots but maybe this time the people in AZ caught on and were tired of being embarrassed.

  12. Yeah, but he lost a lot of weight. And image is what counts. Just ask Barak “Only three people know what I stand for” Obama.

  13. Weigel, you’re in denial. JD lost to someone who tried to get to the right of him on the border, not an amensty shill like you.

    The spin coming from the open border zealots is getting weaker and weaker.

  14. The spin coming from the open border zealots is getting weaker and weaker.

    At least we don’t have to pretend we’re not bigots and xenophobes…

  15. You just lost the debate. My position on the border is no different than Milton Friedman’s

  16. was jd the congresschimp who was threatened with ‘outing’ by one of the more obnoxious gay organizations?

    unrestricted immigration. no welfare. shit, i think that i could set low-vote records if i ever ran for office.


    Households headed by illegal aliens imposed more than $26.3 billion in costs on the federal government in 2002 and paid only $16 billion in taxes, creating a net fiscal deficit of almost $10.4 billion, or $2,700 per illegal household.

    U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) will receive a nearly 4.8% budget increase — one of the highest in government — under President Bush’s proposed Fiscal Year 2006 budget. Specifically, the FY 2006 budget for CBP totals $6.7 billion

    Seems to me that illegals would only “cost” the government about $3.3 billion if we’d eliminate customs and border security.

  18. Check out that “beefed up” hairdo!

  19. I wish JD lost because of how he pimped the illegal immigration issue. It just isn’t true. He lost because he never did anything except manage to place second in the “biggest windbag” in congress award. Plus he was stuck to the Jack Abramoff mess.

    I didn’t vote for Mitchell either. Along with Lowdog, and two of his friends, I voted for the third guy. I think he got 3%.

  20. You just lost the debate. My position on the border is no different than Milton Friedman’s

    Do you have access to a thought out position of Milton Friedman’s or are you referring to this single tired snippit:

    Q: Instead of a green card [resident alien status], can the USA issue a blue card which does not give welfare?
    A: If you could do that, that would be fine. But I don’t believe you can do that. It’s not only that it is not politically feasible, I don’t think that it is desirable to have two classes of citizens in a society. We want a free society. We want a society in which every individual is treated as an end in themselves. We don’t want a society in which some people are in there under blue conditions, others are in there under red conditions, others are in there under black conditions. We want a free society. So I don’t believe such ….
    I haven’t really ever thought of that system. It’s a new question. I very rarely get a new question, but I must admit that’s a new question for me. And I haven’t really thought about it a great deal, but my initial reaction is that it’s a very undesirable proposal.

    First, it appears that this is not a well considered position of Friedman’s.

    Second, I for one question his premise. I do not think there is a problem with multiple classes of citizenship or residence, so long as the market itself is free. I do not confer special privileges upon the government or upon citizenship that in any way trump an individual’s rights to migrate, reside, and labor where he wishes.

    But third, it is already the case that most government services are not available to immigrants who are on short-term visas or who have not resided in the US for enough years. We are already living in the “blue card” world. I don’t see the disaster Friedman predicts, nor do I see how that circumstance impinges in any way on a free society.

  21. Usta live in Chandler, Az. Gasbags district was ajoining.
    Hayworth is a idiot. Most Arizonans arent, ceptin for then recent arrivals from Ca.
    Cant HELP BUT NOTICE none of the pro bordercrashing crowd think the USG should quit propping up Latin American oligarchies & thier thugs in uniform.
    Ah, yes: quietly support various thug states YOU’D never live in, and call the resultant very cheap labor the “free market”.
    How convenient. How gutless.

  22. Oh, I almost forgot…

    The US government should quit propping up Latin American oligarchies and their thugs in uniform.

  23. You just lost the debate. My position on the border is no different than Milton Friedman’s…

    Then he’s just as wrong as you are…

  24. And Hayworth was also the very first Congressman to sign onto our libertarian-backed legislation in 1994 to abolish Selective Service and repeal the Draft.

    The real story here is how someone who took such a brave stance to challenge the bureacracy – i.e. Selective Service, has now lost a seat in Congress.

    Where were the libertarians to lend him more support for his reelection?

  25. Fun topic for future H&R post: why did the GOP in effect back GabbyGiffords over RandyGraf? (I mean, the real reason, not the reasons for public consumption).

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