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Foreign Policy, Driver's Licenses for Illegal Immigrants and Federal Judgeships


By Tony Campbell - Posted on 29 March 2008

Given Senator Obama's public statements, and questions I have been asked in interviews, I wanted to share my thoughs with the group on how Republicans can take a honest look at his positions and find common ground...

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Obama and $ - taxing and spending proposals vs. The War in Iraq.

U.S. spending $100 Billion a year on a war that 70% of the American people do not want or 20% of our annual GDP.  If part or most of that money is spent on re-training American workers and businesses to be competitive in the global marketplace, educating our children, caring for our veterans, revamping social security and a healthcare system that works for all Americans, some Republicans would rather have their tax dollars spent in that fashion.

Are we safer because of this war and with the current administration's spending policies that are rooted in ideology rather than pragmatism?  No. Clearly, we are not.  The Obama plan calls for redirecting spending to those actions that will make us safer, restoring our position in the global community, restoring our economic position and investing in our citizens through education and healthcare reform.  Obama has said that his foreign policy would resemble President Reagan's.  The Obama motto is, "hope can triumph over fear ".  Ronald Reagan never invaded a sovereign country.  President Reagan ended the Cold War with a balanced approach of "peace through strength" and opening diplomatic channels with Gorbachev.

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Obama and Illegal Immigrants (Driver's License)

Senator Obama has said that this is a public safety issue.  Illegal immigrants are driving without a license.  They have to pass the test to get a license so they will have to know the traffic laws.  This also helps us to document the number and location of illegal immigrants which is impossible to do at present.  Another issue is that we should focus on securing our borders and going after the employers who are using this labor.

As a Republicans, I agree with Senator Obama in his pragmatic approach to this issue by: SECURING OUR BORDERS / DOCUMENTATION - PROVISIONAL LICENSE OF 1 YEAR / REASONABLE PATH TO CITIZENSHIP / IF NOT ACCOMPLISHED, THEN THESE PEOPLE SHOULD BE SENT BACK TO THEIR COUNTRY OF ORIGIN.

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Obama and Federal Judges

Three levels of appointees and the impact of an Obama Presidency.

  1. At the trial and appellate levels, 8 years of Obama will not tip the scales of the federal bench from a Republican (conservative) majority and a Democrat (liberal) majority.
  1. The U.S. Attorney appointment is an oversight function of the 2 Senators from each state.  The states that have a Republican member of the Senate will insist that a moderate U.S. Attorney will be appointed to the position.  Senatorial Courtesy will provide an effective oversight mechanism in these cases.
  1. The Supreme Court. John Paul Stevens (Ford - 1975) is the only justice over 80 years old.  He voted for the opposition in Bush v. Gore in 2000.  The next oldest is Ginsburg at 75 years old.  Even if Obama appoints 2 justices (highly unlikely) the conservative / liberal split will remain 5 to 4.

There has been a shift which has controlled the great majority of our politics over the past 50 years. Stevens speaks very well to that point, in particular, regarding the shift where today's conservative doesn't resemble that of the not-too-distant past who were respected for their thoughtful, considered approach to governance. In the converse, placing the title 'liberal' onto a position held or a decision cast is in need of further consideration.

From the article: Stevens, however, is an improbable liberal icon. “I don’t think of myself as a liberal at all,” he told me during a recent interview in his chambers, laughing and shaking his head. “I think as part of my general politics, I’m pretty darn conservative.” Stevens said that his views haven’t changed since 1975, when as a moderate Republican he was appointed by President Gerald Ford to the Supreme Court. Stevens’s judicial hero is Potter Stewart, the Republican centrist, whom Stevens has said he admires more than all of the other justices with whom he has served. He considers himself a “judicial conservative,” he said, and only appears liberal today because he has been surrounded by increasingly conservative colleagues. “Including myself,” he said, “every judge who’s been appointed to the court since Lewis Powell” — nominated by Richard Nixon in 1971 — “has been more conservative than his or her predecessor. Except maybe Justice Ginsburg. That’s bound to have an effect on the court.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/23/magazine/23stevens-t.html?_r=1&pagewan...

As for Reagan ending the cold war, it is my considered opinion that Pope John Paul did greatly more to bring down walls than any politician and without the need to bankrupt our domestic economy.

Furthermore, Reagan took an unprecedented step in Grenada, an independent island nation formerly governed by the UK. In responding to the invasion, Thatcher told Reagan,

"This action will be seen as intervention by a western country in the internal affairs of a small independent nation, however unattractive its regime. I ask you to consider this in the context of our wider East-West relations and of the fact that we will be having in the next few days to present to our Parliament and people the siting of cruise missiles in this country. I cannot conceal that I am deeply disturbed by your latest communication."

What is past is prologue.

War: No one wants war.   No one wants to take out the garbage or execise either...but is it necessary?   We've turned an entire continent, the mid-East, from a Black Box of unpredictability into an area that is very nearly under our control.   We went from volatility to stability in 5 years...whereas prior to Bush we were in fear of those states for almost 40.

Immigration: The majority of Mexican citizens who come here for work are not seeking citizenship.   They want money.   If they want to be citizens, there is a process.   What is missing is simply a way for them to work here.   I have proposed NAFTAL -- the North American Free Trade Agreement for Labor.   Any citizen of a North American country can travel freely in our continent, in the same way citizens of Europe can live and work in any country they please.    

We should also be examining the failures of Mexico and it's Government and economy to support its people instead of being a "co-dependent" that encourages bad policies.   Why does Mexico fail its citizens?   Should the US be pressuring Mexico to do more for its people?

 Judges: The aberration was the 50s and 60s and the use of the Court to basically enact laws for the United States in the absense of the willingness of Congress and the President to truly enforce them.   Would Brown versus the Board of Education have ever been necessary in a society where citizens could live and go to school whereever they pleased?   No.   The Court is merely returning slowly to its original role.    It is the Executive and Legislative branches that have been normalized.

ac, thanks for an informative post, as always.  It contains facts that we need when discussing Obama with our more conservative friends. 

The Supreme Court is a major issue with the Reps I talk to down here, and I'm glad to have a accurate picture of what can reasonably be expected.

Immigration is a complex issue, one that, I believe, cannot be approached with an all or nothing policy.  Obama's policy makes sense to me. 

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