The Democrats Come Up With A Brilliant “New” Immigration Strategy: Talk Tough About Security, But Support Amnesty

No, seriously, folks, that’s the “new” plan. The Politico did a whole article on it,

Long pilloried for being soft on illegal immigration, top Democratic officials have concluded there’s only one way they can hope to pass a comprehensive immigration bill:

Talk more like Republicans.

They’re seizing on the work of top Democratic Party operatives who, after a legislative defeat in 2007, launched a multiyear polling project to craft an enforcement-first, law-and-order, limited-compassion pitch that now defines the party’s approach to the issue.

The 12 million people who unlawfully reside the country? Call them “illegal immigrants,” not “undocumented workers,” the pollsters say.

Strip out the empathy, too. Democrats used to offer immigrants “an earned path to citizenship” so hardworking people trying to support their families could “come out of the shadows.” To voters, that sounded like a gift, the operatives concluded.

Now, Democrats emphasize that it’s “unacceptable” to allow 12 million people to live in America illegally and that the government must “require” them to register and “get right with the law.” That means three things: “Obey our laws, learn our language and pay our taxes” – or face deportation.

“We lost control of the message in the 2007 debate,” said Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice, a pro-immigrant rights group that worked with Center for American Progress founder John Podesta on the messaging overhaul.

This is same old framing crap that George Lakoff got liberals all excited about a couple of years ago. In other words, just call that dog turd a doorstop and people will pay $4.95 a pop for it! Guar-an-teed!!!

Now, I don’t want to tell you that framing doesn’t matter at all, because that’s not true. But, it’s also not true that framing is the end all and be all on an issue. You can’t simply take an issue:  like:  immigration:  that has been talked to death, change the way you discuss it a little, pursue exactly the same politics, and have the public lap it up with a spoon.

As is, Americans are EXTREMELY skeptical about what politicians tell them about immigration. In fact, it’s kind of ironic that their idea is to, “Talk more like Republicans,” since the overwhelming GOP consensus, even amongst Republicans who are sympathetic to comprehensive reform, is that they have to do security first because the voters will assume they’re lying if they try to do anything else.

So, if they want to have that fight, let’s have it — although I would note, if they can’t win that fight now, with 59 Democratic:  senators, they’re surely : not going to be able to win it in 2011, when the GOP is going to have a whole lot more seats in the House and the Senate.

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