In the midst of a generally worthwhile piece about Iowa’s inflated role in the presidential selection process (especially as relates to 2008), Ryan Sager returned to his usual shtick about Jesus-loving rubes scaring away the Interior West and dragging the Republican Party down to defeat. Perhaps to spice up the routine a bit, he argued that Iowa’s version of the GOP is “full of hatred toward immigrants.”
Now, I’d be the last person to deny that border hawks sometimes say over the top and offensive things about immigrants as a whole. I’m sure you could find some examples on the ground in Ames. But concern about illegal immigration is a fairly maintream position — in-state tuition and drivers’ licenses for illegal aliens were both unpopular even in Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts. And even Tom Tancredo opened his Ames speech with praise for a legal immigrant cab driver he met when he went to speak to the NAACP.
In fact, judging from most reports I’ve read and my own impressions from C-Span, Tancredo got his loudest applause when he talked about the rules of engagement in Iraq, not immigration. So I’m not sure where the immigrant hatred was, unless anyone who disagrees with Sager about immigration policy is automatically a hater.
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