At a time when many are questioning the wisdom of President Bush’s handling of our ports, Democrats appear to be earning points on the issue of border control:
In New Mexico, Governor Bill Richardson is tightening drivers’ license laws. As a Hispanic Democrat, Richardson can feel safe to employ the "only Nixon can go to China" approach to border issues. In ’04 Richardson declared a state of emergency on New Mexico’s borders.
In California, Senator Diane Feinstein is trying to criminalize the digging of tunnels under our borders. Her proposal to finally outlaw this practice seems like complete common sense.
During a recent interview on Meet the Press, James Carville and Paul Begala both said they would not necessarily oppose a border fence. While they would not commit either way, the fact that they didn’t outright reject this proposal signifies their understanding that this is a politically potent issue.
Are the Dems posturing? Sure. That’s not the point. Whether real or perceived, protecting our borders continues to be the weak spot for an administration that has otherwise been very tough on fighting terrorism. This is one area where the Dems have assessed them might be able to outflank us. And that, of course, would be big trouble for Republicans.
The good news is that (if history is a predictor), Howard Dean or Harry Reid will soon say something stupid and foil their plans.
On the other hand, should we have to count on that?