June 15, 2006

Owens' Special Session Threat Puts Democrats In "Political Pickle"

Or an extreme case of CYA by trying to cover all the bases while doing the splits on immigration:
If Republican Gov. Bill Owens makes good on his threat to call lawmakers back to the Capitol to address immigration reform, he will put Democrats in a political pickle, observers say.

A special session would force Democrats - who will be struggling in November to keep their slim margin of statehouse control - to strike a tough balance between appeasing their liberal base without looking soft on immigration.

"They're going to have to oppose what Owens is going to do, but ... they can't come out in favor of illegal immigration. He's put them in a tough spot," said Bob Loevy, a Colorado College political science professor.
Call it the state GOP's "nuclear option." The Democrats must pander to their leftwing-activist base--those most inclined toward viewing the "undocumented workers" as "victims" of socioeconomic circumstance, racism, and any other disadvantages--while attempting not to offend the greatly coveted Colorado independent bloc. Voters across the board appear to favor legislation that targets illegal immigration or its consequences (English vs. Spanish, taxpayer burden, human trafficking) to some degree or another, as evidenced by the Democrat's willingness to engage some bipartisan immigration bills in the last session. Neither party can afford to offend the swelling Hispanic/Latino/Mexican voting contingent, but holding a political line cornering the enforcement aspect of immigration can only be a net positive for the GOP, and consequently puts the Dems in a very interesting bind come this fall in races across the board.


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