Right and Left Criticism of the Spitzer Plan

11 11 2007

Paul Krugman tells us in 2004 we were taught to fear GayMarriedTerrorists. Now in the lead up to the 2008 election, we are being told to fear IllegalImmigrantTerrorists.

Case in point, conservative criticism of Governor Spitzer’s plan to provide driver’s license for all New York state residents regardless of immigration status. Check out a flier that Republicans circulated on the eve on of this year’s November 6 elections in upstate New York.

There you have it. Undocumented immigrants want to take your job, get on welfare, launch more terrorist attacks and elect Democrats.

And from the left the American Civil Liberties Union has equated Spitzer’s plan to be more compliant with the REAL ID Act as bring all of us one step closer to national security state. They had this to say on their blog:

In a hastily scheduled press conference on Saturday morning, Spitzer stood side-by-side with Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, and announced that New York would comply with the federal Real ID Act, a 2005 law that would create the first true national ID card in the U.S., as well as a massive database of personal information on Americans, exposing us all to increased government tracking and identity theft. I’ve written about Real ID here before, so I won’t list all the problems with the Act (they are detailed on our website, Realnightmare.org). But over and above the dangers it poses to civil liberties and the massive cost — $23 billion nationwide according to the Department of Homeland Security — Spitzer’s endorsement of Real ID is a shocking example of poor governance and the very backdoor dealings he promised to root out of his home state…..

Spitzer may now have temporarily resuscitated Real ID, which was crumbling under opposition from far braver public officials. When a supposedly independent, tough, Democratic Governor stands side-by-side with the head of the agency that brought us the federal government’s response to Katrina, and endorses a half-baked security proposal from the Administration that gave us the Patriot Act, warrantless wiretapping, and torture, one has to wonder, who’s steamrolling whom?

Gov Spitzer recently defended his approach by suggesting this is part of the natural order of things in the policy making world and nasty brutish politicking:

Look, what I think I should say is, we have a plan, we think the plan is right, it’s obviously not a plan that everybody out there supports….You know, the notion of, the way policy gets created, you put out ideas, most of them we’ve succeeded in implementing from the education agenda, the health care agenda, and on and on over the course of the year. Sometimes you put out an idea and there isn’t so much support, and you try to persuade people and you see where you go. This is the way the world works.

Somehow I doubt many people will buy Spitzer’s explanation.

One thing is for sure Team Hillary is out there taking notes on how all this has unfolded.

(H/T: Gothamist)




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