My Heart! It Burns!

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Daniel Larison says this E.J. Dionne article on Massachusetts' special Congressional election will give me heartburn. I said Republican Jim Ogonowski's attempt to deflect the SCHIP issue by claiming it would give health care to "illegals" didn't help him. And yet…

Republicans think the immigration issue helped Ogonowski, so the country may be in for a lot more of this sort of thing next year. "Everywhere we went, people wanted to talk about immigration," said Matt Wylie, Ogonowski's general consultant. "It was just coming up over and over again."

Spot the fallacy. The Republican staffer claims that people who came to see the Republican candidate talked about the Republican candidate's big issue. I admit it, I'm really thrown for a loop.

What about my main point, that the immigration issue didn't help Ogonowski answer SCHIP questions? Dionne again:

The Republican's final mistake was not taking a firm stand against Bush's SCHIP veto, which Tsongas roundly condemned. This, said Autry, "provided Tsongas with an example of where Ogonowski supported Bush's position." With health care as a rallying cry, Tsongas brought more than enough Democrats home.

This proves my point. Many voters care about illegal immigration. But they don't trust candidates in the Tancredo line who blame every problem on illegal immigration. As Dionne points out, Tsongas (the Democrat) supported in-state college tuition for illegal immigrants. Democrat Deval Patrick also supported it, said so in his 2006 race for governor, and got hit on it.

How'd Patrick do? Well, he won the election and he got the same 51 percent of the vote in this district that Tsongas did. And Patrick ran in what we now agree was a blockbuster Democratic year.

So, one of the lessons of MA-05: Don't shift every argument to "because of the illegal immigrants."

NEXT: Fat Fucks in England Their Parents' Fault

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  1. My Hit and Run surfing today is being handicapped by some script that my computer can’t handle (I assume it’s from an ad). This sucks.

  2. See if you can find a 2nd-hand clue you can afford to rent for a couple days.

  3. Don’t shift every argument to “because of the illegal immigrants.”

    This is simply another ploy by the MexicanGovernment to coopt AmericanPower by manipulating WeigelBlogs

  4. Linking SCHIP with immigration was a lousy idea for another reason – with SCHIP expansion achieving mom-and-apple-pie levels of popularity among the public, opposing it makes a candidate look like a charicature of a mustache-twirling villain.

    With people divided about immigration – pro-law-and-order, anti-immigrant bashing – an anti-immigrant candidate needs to be very careful about how he pitches the issues.

    Linking anti-immigration politics to anti-SCHIP politics drew a picture for the voters about what Ogonowski’s values really were, and it wasn’t a pretty picture.

    As for how close the election was, the last time there was an open seat in this district, the lesson is Farmers Vote. Ogonowski was a farmer, every farmer in the district turned out for him, and turnout was otherwise low because this was a special election with no other races on the ballot.

  5. Wow, nice editing, joe.

    That last paragraph was meant to make 2 points.

    1. Farmers vote, and turned out for Ogonowski.

    2. The last time there was an open seat in this district, Marty Meehan won with 52% of the vote. Compare that to Tsongas’s 51%.

  6. Arrgh! There’s a joe doppleganger correcting joe! Kill it! Kill it!

  7. Linking SCHIP with immigration was a lousy idea for another reason – with SCHIP expansion achieving mom-and-apple-pie levels of popularity among the public, opposing it makes a candidate look like a charicature of a mustache-twirling villain.

    Wow, joe, still beating the drum of “if a majority in a given public forum currently likes something based on statist propaganda, it must be a good idea, and you shouldn’t oppose it and point out why, logically, yours is the right view”? By that logic, shouldn’t you support libertarianism whenever you post on these threads, since your views are vastly unpopular and widely discredited here?

    But yeah, let’s all vote for politicians who act like windmills!

  8. prolefeed, do you ever actually read my comments, or do you skim to figure out the subject, then fill in the rest from your imagination?

    This is thread about politics, not policy. It’s about how different positions played in the campaign.

    Please, try to keep up. It gets irritating having to clue you in like this on every thread.

  9. Linking SCHIP with immigration opposing confiscating the farms of successful white farmers and turning them over to Mugabe’s political supporters who don’t know how to farm was a lousy idea for another reason – with SCHIP expansion farm confiscation achieving mom-and-apple-pie levels of popularity among the Zimbabwean public, opposing it makes a candidate look like a charicature of a mustache-twirling villain.

  10. Linking SCHIP with immigration Opposing Hitler’s foreign policy was a lousy idea for another reason – with SCHIP expansion the Lebensraum doctrine achieving mom-and-apple-pie levels of popularity among the German public, opposing it makes a candidate look like a charicature of a mustache-twirling villain.

  11. I didn’t realize there was an African version of Godwin’s Law.

  12. joe, NOW do you get why your position that politicians shouldn’t oppose terrible ideas that are momentarily popular, and shouldn’t even attempt to explain why these ideas could turn out badly because such integrity might cost a few votes? Or do I need to keep on mocking you?

    Please, try to keep up.

  13. Take two:

    joe, NOW do you get why it is clueless to opine your position that politicians shouldn’t oppose terrible ideas that are momentarily popular, and shouldn’t even attempt to explain why these ideas could turn out badly because such integrity might cost a few votes? Or do I need to keep on mocking you?

    Please, try to keep up.

  14. Strike 3, troll.

    You’ve made three attempts, and you STILL haven’t been able to write a comment relevant to the subject of the thread, or to any of the ideas other commenters have expressed about it.

    You can keep trolling all you want. I don’t really care one way or the other.

  15. Shame. This could have been an interesting thread about how immigration politics are playing on the political scene.

    Great job. I’m sure everyone such is glad you’re around to jack every thread into a discussion of what a terrible person I am.

  16. The number one reason to have a consitutional republic of limited, enumerated powers distributed among diverse branches and levels of government, as opposed to a democracy, is to keep ideas that exhibit transient popularity from becoming permanent drains on the public fisc.

  17. prolefeed – that is, jhenshaw@hawaii.rr.com, used to post as “jh,” until I called him out for posting under fake names and agreeing with himself.

    He forgot to leave out his real email address when he posted as “NotJoe” and agreed with a comment he had just posted, and I called him on it.

    Really, prolefeed, why don’t you go troll somewhere, and let this whole embarrassing episode fade into your past?

  18. Here’s the thread.

    https://www.reason.com/blog/show/120785.html

    It starts to get interesting around 2:52.

    prolfeed/jh/jhenshaw/Fake Joe, you are a fuckwit, and nobody wants you to keep polluting these threads with your bullshit, just because I exposed you as the miserable little worm you are.

  19. joe,

    Or, you could just ignore him like the rest of the trolls (Edward, TLB, et al).

    The fake posts are pretty obvious on H&R because:

    A: They tend not to make any logical sense, and…

    B: Tend to be inciting rather than civil

    (This is not including harmless-fun jokes, i.e. whenever I break above rules)

    Anyone with to neurons to rub together can spot a fake on this board. We’re the cream of the intellectual blog crop…

  20. Arrgh! …anyone with two neurons…

    As in, not me…

  21. Yeah, but exposing one of the troll-fakers as a regular, allegedly respectable commenter, was waaaaaayyyyyyyyyy sweet.

    Anything that can discourage such behavior can only make the conversations better.

  22. Anyhoo, I don’t think we’ll be seeing prolefeed for a while.

    Anyone got any thoughts on the role of immigration politics in the Special Election in the 5th Massachusetts District?

  23. Here’s anothere interesting development:

    About a week before the election, the Democrat who had held the seat before Marty Meehan, Chet Atkins, told a radio show that Jim Ogonowski’s immigration politics were “meanspirite” and “borderline racist,” and said that the late John Ogonowski would not have approved.

    Cue Republican outrage machine. You’d have thought John Kerry had tried to tell a joke.

    Nikki Tsongas immediately repudiated the statement, but the Ogonowski campaign went full-throttle, demanding that she return his campaign donation. Perhaps they saw that as an opportunity to soften his image on immmigration issues.

  24. joe, I’m sure you’d like to be the thread arbiter who decides what is a suitable topic to be discussed, since that would preclude anyone pointing out that opposition politicians might find it politically advantageous in a liberal Democratic state to oppose momentarily popular initiatives based on highly regressive taxes upon predominantly poorer citizens.

    You know you’ve gotten under the skin of someone often (wrongly) referred to as a troll when they post SIX angry, irony-deficient “rebuttals” calling you a troll.

    Oh, and mocking someone is not the same as trolling.

    Re: immigration politics in the Special Election in the 5th Massachusetts District — seems like a bad idea for a Republican to hang a campaign on an anti-immigration theme in that particular district, instead of pulling a Romney and going for a Liberal Lite theme.

  25. The fake posts are pretty obvious on H&R because:

    A: They tend not to make any logical sense, and…

    B: Tend to be inciting rather than civil

    I resent that. My fake posts are also often C: funny.

    But you got A & B right, generally

  26. He he he, now he reads the next couple of comments…

  27. The fake posts are pretty obvious on H&R because:

    C. They tend to be funny only when Gilmore posts them.

    D. They often have fake, obviously not-real names, followed by posts intended to mock the irony-deficient.

    FWIW, I think the fake Dan T. posts that others put up are often lol. Feel free to dissent.

  28. Ogonowski didn’t come out in opposition to SCHIP. He refused to take a position on it, other than to use it as a platform for his anti-immigration politics.

    What ended up happening was that he got pasted for trying to finesse the SCHIP issue, while solidifying in people’s minds his image as the guy who takes every conversation and turns it into an opportunity to launch into a treatise on immigrants.

  29. You are all a bunch of burritofucking traitors wholl give healthcare to illegalgrants so that they have so many babies they’ll vote your lyndon larouche or whoever to be Grand Chalupa and make everyone have to order Muy Grande BeanerMeals at McDonalds I Hope your happy when have a mariachi band at the next inauguration

  30. But yeah, let’s all vote for politicians who act like windmills!

    If only there were a way to harness that energy…

    joe wrote, “As for how close the election was, the last time there was an open seat in this district, the lesson is Farmers Vote. Ogonowski was a farmer, every farmer in the district turned out for him, and turnout was otherwise low because this was a special election with no other races on the ballot. “

    Farmers are against illegal aliens? I would think they would be one of the greatest advocates for cheap labor.

  31. What ended up happening was that he got pasted for trying to finesse the SCHIP issue

    “Pasted”? From Boston.com: “Ogonowski’s 6-point defeat was the closest margin for a Republican in years in a district that has elected Democrats to the House since Paul Tsongas first won in 1974.”

    Are you saying that he got pasted on the SCHIP issue, and that the already close race would have been closer if he’d addressed that issue? Or are you saying that 51-45 in Massachusetts is a pasting? Please clarify.

    Seems like Ogonowski could have pulled off a major upset if he hadn’t beaten the anti-immigrant drum. The SCHIP issue, if framed as an “anti-tax-hikes-for-the-poor” issue, is a viable, reasonable position, though it could have cost a few votes in that particular district.

  32. I Hope your happy when have a mariachi band at the next inauguration

    Hail to the Jefe?

  33. Sing Along!

    http://www.manzanilloresorts.com/Anthem.htm

    “Guerra, guerra sin tregua al que intente
    De la patria manchar los blasones!
    Guerra, guerra! Los patrios pendones
    En las olas de sangre empapad!!

    Antes, patria,
    que inermes tus hijos
    Bajo el yugo su cuello dobleguen,
    Tus campi?as con sangre se rieguen,
    Sobre sangre se estampe su pie.
    Y tus templos, palacios y torres
    Se derrumben con h?rrido estruendo,
    Y sus ruinas existan diciendo:
    De mil h?roes la patria aqu? fue.”

  34. sixstring,

    Ogonowski was a farmer, and went to great lengths to highlight that fact. There were “Another Farmer for Ogonowski” bumper stickers all over the place. It was more a case of farmers voting for one of their own than of their falling for the anti-immigration candidate.

    prolefeed,

    “Pasted”? Yes, pasted. Please, READ THE FREAKING COMMENT if you’re gonig to respond to my comments. It wasn’t about the election as a whole being a pasting, but about how people reacted to the one issue I mentioned. He took a beating from his base for not coming out foursquare against SCHIP – mainly in terms of his dodgy rhetoric being at odd with the straight-shooter persona he was trying to project. Lots of letters to the editor and commentary on local political talk shows. Yes, it seems to have cost him some support among conservatives.

    As far as the district’s politics, you’re going to need to look a little closer than the final vote totals and the observation that the district is in Massachusetts if you want to know what’s going on. It’s a district that voted for Republican governors in three of the last four elections. The last time there was an open seat for Congress, Marty Meehan won with 52% of the vote. This district was also essential to Ronald Reagan’s victory in Massachusetts in 1984. It’s widely considered to be the most conservative district in the state.

  35. BTW, I don’t want to overstate the size of the farmer population in this district.

    But with turnout as small as it was, a committed bloc of voters who always turn out can have an outsized impact.

  36. “Pasted”? Yes, pasted. Please, READ THE FREAKING COMMENT if you’re gonig to respond to my comments. It wasn’t about the election as a whole being a pasting, but about how people reacted to the one issue I mentioned. He took a beating from his base for not coming out foursquare against SCHIP – mainly in terms of his dodgy rhetoric being at odd with the straight-shooter persona he was trying to project. Lots of letters to the editor and commentary on local political talk shows. Yes, it seems to have cost him some support among conservatives.

    joe, fixed it by removing the obnoxious personal attack and leaving the reasonable clarification. Please consider, in future, attacking ideas and not people — it’d make these forums considerably more civil and pleasant to visit.

    And, yes, I have overstepped the line myself on occasion, for which I offer an apology to anyone offended.

  37. Back atcha, prolefeed.

  38. Something else to consider about the Massachusetts 5th: this is where John Kerry lost the Democratic nomination when he ran as an anti-war protestor in 1972. He would have cleaned up if he’d run in some of the other districts in the state.

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