Another month, another fifty-state report by SurveyUSA on Senator popularity. Our senior member stays in the top half of the Senate with a 58% approve/35% disapprove tally. You can see her tracking numbers here, where the most notable thing is a slow but steady climb in her negatives, and the population splits here. Note that she's a fair amount more popular than John Cornyn, and notice also that both of them are in negative territory among Hispanics. Just a guess here, but I'd say that KBH's recent silliness on immigration has taken a toll on her, with perhaps a spillover effect onto Cornyn, who has publicly distanced himself from her idea of using local police as volunteer immigration enforcement.
On that score, it's a few days old, but this op-ed in the Marshall News Messenger is pretty cutting.
While we agree with most of what Sen. Hutchison proposes, this is one of those ideas that sounds good, but is actually terrible.
We hope she takes a second look at the pitfalls and decides to pull it back for further review. Then maybe it will get lost in a desk drawer.
[O]ur police are busy enough. Period. While we acknowledge that there are not enough INS agents to keep out the flood of illegal aliens, asking already over-worked police officers to do the job isn't the answer.
Not only that, but it heaps the cost of such enforcement on local governments. Much of this cost would be "unseen," but it would still be there.
When an officer is doing the work of the INS, he isn't doing the work of guarding against crime that endangers our citizens.
Then there is the question of just where the illegal aliens would be kept while we are waiting for them to be picked up by INS.
If every police force in the nation were to begin arresting these people, the back-up would be tremendous.
We could wind up holding deportees for days, weeks or even months before they were taken from us. And just who would pay for those medical bills while in our custody?
It is possible that the INS would reimburse the counties for holding the prisoners (we wouldn't suggest counting on that), but that would not help us in Harrison County where our jail is already so overcrowded that we have to send our prisoners elsewhere.
This is a bad bill that many will support for emotional and pure political reasons, but when logic is applied, it simply doesn't make any sense. It should be disposed of as quickly as possible.
One cannot pick and choose when a charge is justified. Lying to investigators and grand juries is not a technicality. Our system of law depends on the ability of law enforcement to get at the truth, both in interviews with investigators and in sworn testimony in court. The penalties can be personally devastating and often do not hinge on other crimes. Former San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros continues to be dogged by a decade-long investigation set off by his admitted lies to FBI agents vetting him for a Cabinet post about how much money he had paid a former mistress, an act that was not a crime.
If Hutchison found perjury and obstruction reason enough to throw a president out of office, surely those offenses would be sufficient cause to charge people if they obstructed a probe of a potential violation of national security laws. The unmasking of a covert CIA operative can have life and death consequences for previous associates met over the years in countries around the world.
Public officials such as Sen. Hutchison do not enhance their stature when they seem to support one standard of justice for officials of the opposing party and another for their own. What was good for the Democratic goose in the Clinton impeachment trial should be good enough for the Republican gander in the Plame investigation.
Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, speaking Sunday on "Meet the Press," appeared to offer a preview of administration strategy if indictments come.
She said, "I certainly hope that if there is going to be an indictment ... that it is an indictment on a crime and not some perjury technicality."
That is extremely disappointing coming from Hutchison because perjury is not a technicality. It is lying under oath.
It also sharply varies from her comments in 1999 when the topic concerned perjury and testimony by then-President Bill Clinton.
According to the Washington Post, she said, "I don't want there to be any lessening of the standard (regarding obstruction of justice and perjury). Because our system of criminal justice depends on people telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth."
Hutchison was right then. She is wrong now.
I sometimes think that the main reason Kay Bailey Hutchison is so widely considered to be a popular moderate is because for the first eight years of her career she had Phil Gramm out in front of her hogging up all the spotlight. The more we see, the less there is to like.Posted by Charles Kuffner on October 26, 2005 to Election 2006 | TrackBack