Tim Pawlenty (MN-R) is traveling Minnesota these days campaigning for re-election while touting his immigration proposal. And truth be told... it's time for Minnesotans to have a honest discussion about immigration and it's impact (good and bad) on our state. Unfortunately that's not the intention. Pawlenty is using immigration as a wedge issue like fear factor uses things that go bump in the night...in large numbers with the the intent to instill dread and fear. He focuses on crime to the exclusion of effect and resolve.
A recent Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 80 percent of Americans believe government isn't doing enough to stem illegal immigration. The poll also found that a majority, 56 percent, believe that illegal immigrants have done more to hurt the country than to help it. Wanting to be re-elected but knowing his dismal record won't help him, Pawlenty , in typically Rove fashion, has taken a valid issue and turned it into a frankenstien with a Spanish surname. As predicted, the mindless town mob has responded with pitchforks and torches. After all, we can't have Gonzalestien roaming our great state threatening our women, homes, valuables, schools, independence, freedom, kitten, hummers....well... We've all seen the movie.
Instead of calling for common sense policies promoting dignity, diversity and community, Pawlenty invokes fear and divisiveness. Instead of debating the issue, Tim is slamming and decrying crime but not causes. Still I guess that shouldn't surprise me, Tim's never been good at managing or resolving issues.
When Pawlenty first laid out his immigration proposal, he said it was time for a reasoned debate about where the nation and Minnesota stands in respect to illegal immigration. For some strange reason I thought that would include policies that addressed the issue while promoting the Minnesota quality of community.
I'm still waiting for that to happen.