Fred Barnes on the election

I always considered Fred Barnes the weakest link, on an otherwise impressive magazine, The Weekly Standard. (This is not to be confused with support of their neoconservative ideology, but rather an aknowledgement that their magazine brings interesting arguments into public policy discussion)

But I admire his Post Mortem on the midterm election.

The whole article is a worthy read, and he gives fair assesments on how some now-blue districts may fare in the future.

"The House seats the party lost in New York and Connecticut and Pennsylvania will be hard to win back. Just as Republicans have locked in their gains in the South over the past two decades, Democrats should be able to solidify their hold on seats in the Northeast, as the nation continues to split sharply along North-South lines.


In Arizona, Republicans dropped two House seats and Republican Senator John Kyl got a mild scare. Kyl, by the way, may be finest and most able senator in Washington. He's certainly in the top five. Meanwhile, Democratic Governor Janet Napolitano cruised to victory.

The bottom line is this: Colorado and Arizona may not be there for Republicans in the 2008 presidential race. Of course, everything depends on the actual candidates, but these two states start out as presidential swing states. This is a new development."

Barnes also, in classic Weekly Standard style, scoffs at the staunch anti-immigration positions of House Republicans.

"Already the wails of the immigration restrictionists are rising, insisting Republicans lost because they weren't tough on keeping illegal border-crossers out. Not true. The test was in Arizona, where two of the noisiest border hawks, Representatives J.D. Hayworth and Randy Graf, lost House seats. Graf lost in a seat along the Mexican border, where illegal immigrants flock.

What Americans want is a full-blown solution to the immigration crisis. And that will come only when Republicans come together on a "comprehensive" measure that not only secures the border but also provides a way for illegals in the United States to work their way to citizenship and establishes a temporary worker program. If Republicans don't grab this issue, Democrats will."

Interestingly, immigration reform now seems possible since Bush's tends to side with moderate Senate Republicans and The Standard on this issue. If Bush can do anything of substance on the legislative front in the next two years, immigration reform is it.

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