For the Wall Street Journal, columnist Gerald F. Seib contends that the 2014 elections are “policy-free.” But with his assessment, Seib seems to completely ignore the issue of immigration that has driven this election for months.
In an October 28 Washington Wire blog post Seib laments that the 2014 elections offer nothing for those who care about policy.
“If you like an election campaign in which the candidates offer detailed policy plans explaining how they propose to address the nation’s basic budget and entitlement challenges,” Seib wrote, “well, this hasn’t been the election year for you.”
Seib goes on to note that one of the most important issues that will rear its head in the next decade will be that of entitlement reform. But this issue, he says, is non-existent on the campaign trail today.
His claim, such as it is, may be correct on that point. Entitlement reform really hasn’t been a big issue this year. But he is not correct to say that the 2014 elections have been free of serious issues.
An important issue that has driven the 2014 elections is Obama’s utterly failed immigration policies. Voters have not so soon forgotten the tens of thousands of illegal immigrants who swamped our southern borders over the summer, nor have they forgotten the thousands of illegal aliens that Obama secretly distributed throughout the country without the knowledge of state governments. They have also not forgotten the thousands of illegal children forced onto our local school systems, nor the hundreds of American children sickened by Enterovirus D68, likely brought into this country by those very illegal immigrants Obama sent into every corner of the nation.
The importance of the issue is most obvious in the fact that President Obama decided not to push amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants despite promising to do so, because he came to realize that mass amnesty would have doomed the chances of nearly every Democrat up for election.
Even in New Hampshire, a state often unfriendly to Republicans, Senate candidate Scott Brown has made immigration a central issue in his campaign. And at the very least, it hasn’t hurt his campaign as polls show he is closing the gap with incumbent Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. Brown is down two points in the Real Clear Politics poll results, and another poll shows Brown up by one.
Incumbent Democrat Senator Kay Hagan has also had trouble with the immigration issue. She has studiously avoided siding with Obama and his pro-amnesty supporters, but that tactic backfired at one of her own rallies when pro-illegal immigrant activists swarmed the stage where the Senator was appearing. Polls in North Carolina are nearly dead even between Hagan and GOP challenger Thom Tillis.
Certainly the Journal’s Gerald F. Seib is right that few are talking about entitlement reform this election year. But he overstates his position to imagine that there are no important issues forming any part of this campaign cycle.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston, or email the author at email@example.com.