Yes I know a Republican is not by definition a conservative, and I know everyone has their own litmus test. However, a Republican is supposed to be more conservative than a Democrat. But when the top of the Republican curve is set by a B- we are in trouble.
Some people’s favorites are no better than the president on immigration. That means an “F”. And Sarah Palin is coming in at a D. That makes her slightly better than the “conservative Democrat” Jane Harman. I believe Harman had a D-.
One thing that strikes me about this list from Numbers USA is the fact that “our” candidates don’t really seem to care. Most of “our” candidates are “unhelpful” on a lot of immigration issues. I suppose there are lots of reasons why candidates would be “unhelpful” on immigration issues. None of them are really good in my mind. To be “unhelpful” on so many immigration issues suggests that the candidates are not committed to true immigration reform. Which I believe is one of four or five issues critical to conservatives. It suggestsd they aren’t being briefed and calls into question the kinds of issues advisors they haved.
I think most of them are “branding” themselves and talking in generalities with an eye to being elected rather than solving our problems. Some of that is necessary. Sarah Palin, for example, has had to brand herself to get a basic sense of her message into the public mind. Unfortunately it is easy to go overboard and keep talking generalites and puff long after the “brand” is established.
I am afraid we may be having another “personality” election when the voters get to decide which candidate they feel warm and cuddly about rather than which one will take stands on serious issues. More “compassion” that isn’t actually compassionate contrasted to “cruelty” that is actually common sense.
Now is the perfect time to start calling these people and demanding a better stance on this and other issues!
PS: I have been wary of both Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann I like Sarah Palin and I feel comfortable with her expressed attitudes. However, I still see a lack of substance in her stated positions. Until she gets at least a solid B on immigration I will have a hard time taking her seriously as a candidate. There are lots of other issues where she talks well but is unspecific.
The obvious retort is that she is not actually a candidate. So? Her other option is to be a leader and opinion driver helping to steer the national conversation. Unfocused platitudes and a “conservative attitude” are no substitute for having a concrete record on immigration.
Michele Bachmann, on the other hand, is a light-year ahead of the field on this issue and that must make people take notice. She is handling herself well and so far is the candidate with the best record on immigration which is a serious issue. Are there other concerns? Of course. Fortunately, there is still time.