Spitzer Beaten by Rhetoric

Governor Eliot Spitzer dropped his plan to extend driver’s licenses to undocumented sojourners today, beaten by a barrage of hyperventilating rhetoric coming in a wide range, from formerly obscure Assembly Minority Leader Jim Tedisco to America’s Hyperventilator-in-Chief, Lou Dobbs. 

Tedisco’s kickoff was memorable:

“Osama bin Laden is somewhere in a cave with his den of thieves and terrorists, and he’s probably sabering the cork on some Champagne right now, saying ‘Hey, that governor’s really assisting us.’ ”

Meanwhile, America’s Xenophobe-in-Chief, Colorado Congressmember and presidential candidtate Tom Tancredo, came out with a new ad this week. It’s getting quite a bit of internet buzz, mainly because of its over-the-top fearmongering:

Clarissa Pinkola Estés has identified the twisted logic in this:

Two  serious errors in the root logic of the ad, one of which infers that if our Southern and Northern Borders were closed tight like a vacuum-sealed coffee jar, it would prevent terrorism… it wouldn’t. The 9-11 terrorists were all here legally, had come right through government daylight channels.

The second wobbly inference in the ad, that others come illegally to take ‘our jobs’… it’s hard to imagine that the souls who scale the fence are also carrying a Daytimer and know how to run Vista (We can hardly run Vista ourselves, come on).

Eliot Spitzer wanted to be able to identify who’s driving on our roads. Tedisco kicked off the opposition with precisely Tom Tancredo’s twisted and spiteful rhetoric. Before long everybody was jumping up and down like the hominids in 2001: A Space Oddysey. Eliot didn’t have a chance. As the Times Union put it:

… his favorability rating had fallen below 50 percent for the first time ever, a remarkable fall for a candidate who swept into office with nearly 70 percent of the vote a year ago. Even fellow Democrats joined in bashing Spitzer, giving resonance to poll responses that showed just 25 percent of New Yorkers would vote to re-elect the governor and 49 percent would prefer to elect “someone else” in 2010.

Look at Tancredo’s ad, New York, and then look into a mirror. They say New York is  Blue State, but underneath the surface, we’re looking pretty red right now.

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