« Stewart on Dockworkers Injunction | Main | Bush Opposing States Rights »

October 10, 2002

Amnesty, Partisanship and Pandering

House Minority leader Dick Gephardt addressed a rally in D.C. in support of amnesty for millions of undocumented workers, taking the bold move of identifying the success of the Democratic party with the cause of amnesty:

"If we want to get earned legalization passed, we need a new agenda in your House of Representatives," he continued. "We need a Democratic majority to get this up and get it done."
Now, when a leader of a party highlights a controversial issue like this one as a reason for partisan voting, you'd expect the media to be all over it. Oddly, only the most conservative media, such as NewsMax even ran stories on the rally and Gephardt's comments.

Conservatives are accusing Gephardt of "pandering" and all I can say is all praise pandering in our democracy. What is fascinating is how the Democratic Party has moved from a moderately anti-immigrant point in the 1980s with the 1986 law enforcing employer sanctions to a more ambiguous position a few years ago now to full-throated support for the rights of the undocumented. It's a textbook example of democracy in action-- as latinos massively turned out to register and vote in the wake of Prop 187 in California, it has forced a sea-change in politics, especially among Democrats who once took them for granted. That labor allies of the Democrats have equally shifted to a strong pro-immigrant position due to the same upsurge of latino mobilization has only reinforced this revolution in the politics of immigration.

Posted by Nathan at October 10, 2002 08:19 AM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


See a Tapped response to my post and my followup response at http://www.nathannewman.org/log/archives/000443.shtml#000443

Posted by: Nathan Newman at October 11, 2002 11:37 PM

Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)