Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Walt Minnick's Black Waltz

There are some things I will miss about Idaho, but Walt Minnick is not one of them.

I've been less-than-thrilled with Minnick. His chumminess with Republicans has been less a function of bipartisanship than legislative indistinguishability, and his vote against Health Care Reform--the signature issue of the Democratic party--was infuriating. But I was ready to hold my nose and vote for him in November, on the grounds that "I'll take a D+ Democrat over an F-ing Republican," which is to say disagreeable is always more agreeable than crazy.

And make no mistake, his opponent, Raul Labrador, holds some nutty views, including support for a court challenge to the health care bill, keeping taxes low in the face of soaring deficits, and draconian immigration laws, including the one recently passed in Arizona.

Yes, Labrador is very conservative when it comes to immigration (though he is in favor of a guest worker program). But one wouldn't know that based on Minnick's attacks:

There is a lot to unpack in this ad, and it has been done elsewhere, but I do want to draw attention to one section,the use of the quote that Labrador "like[s our current immigration laws] because I make a good living because of it." The ad conveniently leaves out what was said immediately after, "but they shouldn't have to pay an attorney thousands of dollars to bring somebody legally to the United States." He was leavening discussion about needing to change the law.

There is no difference between this and the way Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor's comment about appellate courts being "where policy is made," a joke that functioned as acknowledgment of the sensitivity of the issue, was turned into 'proof' that she was a liberal activist judge. So too with her "wise Latina" comment. Sotomayor was attacked by vicious, racist demagogues, and Labrador, a Latino immigration attorney, is facing the same treatment.

Suffice it to say the ad is wildly misleading about Labrador's views; it's the kind of nasty campaign spot a Republican would cut against a Democrat who is "soft" on illegal immigration.

I don't know what Minnick's views on the subject are. I did a quick Google, but the only immediate results are about the attack ad fuferaw, and it's getting late. I went to Minnick's House web page, where one would think the information would be readily available, and could not find a link to an issues page. I typed 'issues' into the search engine and did manage to come across this:

Walt Minnick is distorting his opponent's views on immigration. He is doing this to a Hispanic immigration attorney, with the implication that Labrador wants to help "his kind" break the law. And he is doing this while offering no position of his own. Ostensibly, people go into politics in order to legislate in favor of and stand for some ideal.

Yet Minnick's own page shows him to literally be standing for nothing.

He is committing character assassination to get re-elected.

It's bald-faced careerism, and I cannot in good conscience support it. Assuming I vote on an Idaho ballot in November, I will abstain from the Congressional race. If Walt Minnick is going to dance with the devil, then to hell with Walt Minnick.

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