Immigration Triangulation
08-12-2010
I recently wrote a post in which I at least half-seriously suggested that the Cornerstone ad Shockingly Liberal, which attacks Republican Senate hopeful Bill Binnie, could have the unintended consequence of making Binnie actually sound more appealing to moderates and independents in the general election. But Binnie of course has to get through a Republican primary first, so now we have a new ad from his campaign called English Language. In the ad, Binnie says that if elected he will insist all immigrants learn English, and concludes that Americans should have allegiance to one flag and to one official language, English. If you’ve spent even just a few minutes listening to conservative talk radio lately, you know that immigration (and its implications for American culture) has become perhaps the single biggest flashpoint for conservative anger.
 
So, this new ad represents an interesting bit of issue triangulation by the Binnie campaign. The question is whether it is a sign of fear within the campaign that the Cornerstone ad could do some real damage, hence this rightward tack by the candidate on immigration. On the other hand, with former New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly Ayotte now entertaining possible revision of the 14th Amendment on birthright citizenship, this stance on language still puts Binnie somewhere to the left of Ayotte, and closer to the median voter in our state. What we don’t really know yet is how far to the right past these fairly safe language and flag positions Binnie is willing to move.


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