McInnis’ 2001 Racial Profiling Speech Makes National News

On MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show last night, with a hat tip to local radio host (and former congressional staffer) David Sirota for pulling this ’01 floor speech out of the memory hole:

Well no, it probably doesn’t get any worse than that. Obviously the new Arizona law will have some support among the hardcore Dave Schultheis immigrant-hating set, and you can expect to hear that contingent loudly supporting Scott McInnis. Unfortunately, their support comes at the clean-break expense of the Latino vote, the fastest growing bloc of voters in the United States, and many more besides who find this kind of open appeal to racial prejudice absolutely horrifying.

One irony here is that McInnis has tried to both embrace and keep at arm’s length the anti-immigrant right, personified by people like Schultheis and Tom Tancredo, recognizing their value in a GOP primary while aware of the liability they represent in a general election. But now McInnis has not only signed on to a law as polarizing as anything Tancredo has ever called for, but his own statements undermine the defense of Arizona’s new law by everybody else–all those Republicans not quite bold enough to defend straight-up racial profiling on the floor of Congress.

The disaster this represents for McInnis in the general election is not really calculable right now–but the odds that we’ll indeed be writing McInnis’ political epitaph, instead of a victory analysis this coming November, just improved dramatically. Between the “elk meat” buffoonery earlier in the week and now this truly serious self-inflicted wound, we could soon be looking back on the end of April as the moment when McInnis’ campaign went off the tracks to stay.

106 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Libertad says:

    This law brings justice for Americans seeking jobs and paying taxes, here’s what the AP has for a summary:

       Key provisions of Arizona’s immigration law, which will take effect by late July or August:

       1. Makes it a crime under state law to be in the country illegally by requiring immigrants to have proof of their immigration status. Violations are a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. Repeat offenses would be a felony.

       2. Requires police officers to “make a reasonable attempt” to determine the immigration status of a person if there is a “reasonable suspicion” that he or she is an illegal immigrant.

       3. Requires that race, color or national origin may not be the only things considered in implementation. Exceptions can be made if the attempt would hinder an investigation.

       4. Allows lawsuits against local or state government agencies that have policies that hinder enforcement of immigration laws. Would impose daily civil fines of $1,000 to $5,000. There is pending follow-up legislation to halve the minimum to $500.

       5. Targets hiring of illegal immigrants as day laborers by prohibiting people from stopping a vehicle on a road to offer employment and by prohibiting a person from getting into a stopped vehicle on a street to be hired for work if it impedes traffic.

    • Middle of the Road says:

        3. Requires that race, color or national origin may not be the only things considered in implementation. Exceptions can be made if the attempt would hinder an investigation.

      Call this whatever you like–this law doesn’t bring justice. It brings fear and singling out of a group of people that continue to feel further and further alienated from the rest of us because of the “infected band aide on a bullet wound” approach.

      Next time you’re walking w/ 5 of your buddies to the nearest bar, Libertad, make sure and let me know how moral and just it felt to you when the cops stop you and ask for your ID without cause. Of course, if you’re five white boys, you’ll never actually have that experience.  

    • Republican 36 says:

      For example, suppose a car dealer, who is licensed through the state is convicted of hiring one illegal alien. Upon his first conviction, his dealership license is suspended for at least three or ten days depending on the circumstances. Assume the dealership employs forty people and that thrity-nine are legally in the United States. Those thirty-nine people are out of work for three or ten days and loose there pay even though they did nothing wrong and just happened to be employed by the convicted dealer. Is that justice?

      The dealer in this example is also put on probation under the Arizona statute. If he is convicted again of hiring an illegal alien during the probationary period, his dealership license is terminated permanently and the thrity-nine innocent people in the example are then unemployed. Is that what we want to do to businesses and their employees. Apparently, Mr. McInnis supports throwing innocent people out of work.

      Mayor Hickenlooper is right when he states he will veto this kind of legislation. He is fighting for jobs for Colorado citizens while Mr. McInnis is preoccupied with ideological purity that costs innocent people their livelihood.

    • ColoDem Di says:

      You mean all the Americans who are lined for $8/hr jobs picking produce in 105 degree heat under the blazing sun?

      The DP had a good article on just this topic a couple weeks ago.

      The orchard owners TRY to hire Americans, but can’t.  When they do, the American workers refuse to work the long hours needed to harvest the fruit at the optimal ripeness and then half of them quit after a week.

  2. Froward69 says:

    Both sides republican AND Democrat agree it is the EMPLOYERS of Illegals. that should be targeted with leglislation. yet the new Arizona law goes straight to race and increased police power.

    what ever happened to fighting intrusive government there republicans? Mcinnis?

    fact is this law exposes all the racists (those who support it) . do not get me wrong if you are racist ADMIT IT! don’t be a douche and deny it. As if you would simply admit your racist intent you actually garner respect from me.

    the other aspect is the Arizona GOP is in trouble. as insofar as the populace AZ is currently 49% Hispanic and they vote 2/3 Democratic. Soon the AZ GOP will not have a snowballs chance in Arizona of winning elections.

    Thus this law weather it stands or is (most likely) overturned. It is about disenfranchising Potential Democrat votes.

  3. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    What’s really killed McInnis has been the ongoing series of disasters. Every campaign has a misstep. Every campaign has a problem from the past. But we’re in Bob Schaffer new self-inflicted wound every week territory here.

    This is really too bad. I was hoping, with either McInnis or Penry, that we would have a campaign with a significant discussion about where the state should go, how it should be managed, how it should be funded, etc. Instead we just get to watch this ongoing car wreck.

    And the responsibility for this rests on Scott McInnis. Yes he’s got some piss-poor advisers (cough Duffy cough) but McInnis is the one who selected his advisers. And McInnis is the one who has said incredibly dumb thing after incredibly dumb thing.

  4. Laughing Boy says:

    This speech wasn’t about profiling in immigration, right?  It was about security, and it was a month and a half after 9/11.

    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

      Trying to introduce facts into this tirade.

      Have you no shame, Sir?  At long last, have you no shame?

      • JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

        You can start by telling us how that makes it any better, as if I couldn’t see the date clearly stamped in the upper left of the video. Wrong then, wrong now.

        • sxp151 says:

          We were all supposed to be issued those in October 2001.

          • Laughing Boy says:

            Everybody’s a racist.  I momentarily forgot the obvious motivation for half of the country in any issue whatsoever.

              • Laughing Boy says:

                The Israelis are very successful by employing it as one of many components in air security, which is what McInnis is referring to in this speech.  Not immigration, and it’s totally disingenuous to put one up as the other.  

                Par for the course, though.

                The AZ law is dumb, but I don’t know if it’s “racial” profiling.  More like “geographical” profiling, eh?  Are Mexican citizens a race of their own?

                • sxp151 says:

                  Are Mexican citizens the only people who can be illegal immigrants? What about Norwegian citizens? Do we only care about illegal immigrants of one race? If so, I think I might have an adjective for that law somewhere around here, but you’re not gonna like it…

                  Geographical profiling? So Arizona cops are going to go down to Mexico and look for illegal immigrants there? Or they’re going to look for people who look like Mexicans in Arizona?

                  • VoyageurVoyageur says:

                    are of Latin American descent, with two-thirds of those, about half of the total, of Mexican descent.  All other races/nationalities, etc. constitute about 25 percent of illegal residents.

                      Personally, I was outraged when the Swedish bikini team overstayed their visas!

                  • Laughing Boy says:

                    Everyone’s a racist.

                    It’s so much easier than trying to find a solution to anything.

                    I said it’s a dumb law.

                    • sxp151 says:

                      and I also support finding a solution to the immigration issue. (I think the bills currently being worked on in Congress would be good solutions.) I just think this is a bad law which will encourage (and was probably meant to encourage) racism; in addition I don’t think it will solve the problem.

                      And McInnis campaigning to institute the same law in Colorado is a really bad thing, not just for his campaign but for the state. The video clip demonstrates that he doesn’t have a problem with racial profiling in general, which helps explain why he (unlike many reasonable Republicans) doesn’t have a problem with the Arizona law. That’s all.

                      Every time I mention that something seems racist, you accuse me of calling EVERYTHING racist. I don’t. You seem to have this dichotomy where people either have to believe racism is entirely gone or that everything is racist. Can’t we just point it out when we see it?

        • VoyageurVoyageur says:

          you think the proper response to the 9/11 attack, undertaken by 19 men of Middle Eastern backgrounds, was to focus entirely on grilling Norwegian grandmothers?   In short, anything that recognizes reality in any way is racist?

          I think reasonable people will beg to differ, which is why quoting McInnis reponse to 9/11 to try to paint him as a racist over the Arizona law is dirty play of the highest order, although admittedly rather par for the course.  

          • Steve Harvey says:

            that there is a salient difference in the two contexts, and that the urge to racially profile in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 is a less-offensive-degree of the same essential thing as the urge to profile to prevent illegal immigration. Leaving aside the question of whether and how much racial profiling is justified in the anti-terrorism context, I think when you combine McInnis’ defense of profiling in the aftermath of 9/11 (never qualifying his rather emphatic generalized remarks in any way, such as suggesting that it would be a “special limited exception to our well-founded reluctance to racially profile, given the extremity of these circumstances”) with his support of the Arizona law, use of the above clip in the present context is perfectly fair game, and not disingenuous or misleading.

          • BlueCat says:

            Richard Reed wasn’t a Middle Eastern sounding name and wacky blondes, like the Colorado woman recently arrested in connection with a terrorist assassination plot, could probably pass for Norwegian at a glance.

            The first thing that profiling does is encourage the recruitment of operatives who don’t fit, and lord knows there are plenty of all-American wackos out there, many of whom have already been involved in terrorist activity, in order to get around that profiling.  So you wind up needlessly making the lives of all those with a certain look or from a certain background miserable while not making anyone any safer.

            Pretty soon, people who really weren’t into hating America are feeling increasingly harassed and alienated and wondering whether America really isn’t out to get everybody like them after all.  

            • VoyageurVoyageur says:

              but if you don’t admit he was of middle eastern origin and that was obvious at a glance, then you really haven’t been paying attention to this stuff, have you?

                By your theory, the fact that perhaps 50 percent of the terrorist threat comes from middle eastern men who account for less than .5 percent of the U.S. population means we can allocate only .5 percent of our resources chasing them down.  That’s just stupid, and if you’re honest, you’ll admit it.  By your logic, if Osama Bin Laden changed his name to Wally Cox, then and only then could we investigate him.

                To repeat the obvious.  No profile can be based solely on race.  But to totally ignore reality in crafting profiles is to violate Justice Jackson’s observation that the Constitution is not a suicide pact.

              • Steve Harvey says:

                between collective security and protection of individual civil rights. Constitutional criminal law jurisprudence definitely gets in the way of keeping “the rest of us” safe from all of those criminals who get off on technicalities, or are simply constitutionally protected to such a degree that there is a diminished rate of convictions as a result.

                For these reasons, your argument doesn’t automatically justify your conclusion. The question isn’t whether a particular intrusion on individual civil rights increases collective security, but rather what trade-off are you willing to make; where do you draw the line?

                That’s a reasonable debate to be had, but it’s a line-drawing exercise, with no specific answer regarding where to draw that line being an inevitable conclusion of irresistable logic.

                • VoyageurVoyageur says:

                  But I do think that the absolute insistence that reality cannot intrude in any way into law enforcement is stupid — and that is an inevitable conclusion of irresistable logic.  In my example, with 50 percent of terrorist acts coming from 0.5 percent of the population, would it be reasonable to allocate, say, 10 percent of anti-terorism resources to that 0.5 percent?

                  that is 20 times as much as allocated to norwegian grandmothers who constitute perhaps 0.0001 percent of the threat.  It’s also reasonable and clearly passes constitutional muster.  (Read Korematsu and weep.)

                  Consider Major Hasan.  Clearly, it was terror of being accused of “racial profiling” that prevented his superiors from acting on the evidence of his troubling behaviour offered by his fellow shrinks.

                  I gotta admit, I don’t normally expect Army majors to be terrorists.  But if his last name had been Jorgenson and he was a white Lutheran, I’m pretty sure he would have been nailed for absolutely legitimate reasons.

                  We can’t let political correctness blind us to reality.

                  Obviously, we can’t ignore other factors.  But to say race, ethnicity, etc. can never be even one factor in a particular profile is simply stupid, no two ways about it.

                  Suppose I was looking for the murders of Goodman, Cheney and Schwerner.   If the population of that Missississipi county was half black, would I have been justified in devoting 95 percent of the FBI’s effort investigating only white men?  Or is that vile racial profiling?  The fact is, it is using race as a factor in a profile to narrow on possible terrorists, in this case, Klansmen.   It is absolutely legitimate.    

                  • Steve Harvey says:

                    Look, there is a statistical overrepresentation of African Americans in the commission (as measured by apprehension and/or conviction, both skewed in and of themselves) of certain categories of crime. Should we then start allocating resources and directing crime prevention attention according to those statistical distributions, having police shadow “suspicious looking” African Americans? Oh, wait, we already do that….

                    Three thousand innocent people died in the 9/11 attacks, which is a horrible, horrible tragedy. But, just for a little perspective, three thousand innocent people also die from choking on their food each year in the United States, which is also a horrible tragedy for those involved. Preventing any of those deaths would definitely be a very good thing. But failing to prevent them isn’t collective national suicide.

                    Your proportion of the population argument is a red herring, since we are talking about profiling people in defiance of their overall representation in the general population, not in accordance with that representation.

                    I have no idea whether Major Hasan would or wouldn’t have been noticed more quickly had he not be of middle eastern descent, but I do know that whether he would or wouldn’t have been, I don’t want my constitutional principles to rest on that anecdotal argument, since similar ones would discredit all civil rights protections in all circumstances.

                    I’m not making an argument where the line should be drawn, just that you haven’t closed the door of reason on a debate concerning that question.

                    • Steve Harvey says:

                      I hadn’t read your Mississippi example carefully enough (I was just skimming).

                      Once again (re: that very good example), my argument isn’t that any consideration of race or ethnicity in all circumstances in inherently and irretrievably wrong, but rather that the particular place, on the particular issues, where you have insisted the line must inevitably be drawn is not so inevitable after all. I’m the one arguing against the absolutes here, not in favor of them.

              • sxp151 says:


                Reid, also known as Abdul Raheem and Tariq Raja, was born a British citizen in Bromley, South London, to Leslie Hughes, who was of white English descent, and Colvin Robin Reid, whose father was a Jamaican immigrant of African descent.

                Who’s not paying attention again?

                Al Qaeda used him and other non-Arab and non-male people precisely because it expected us to be stupid enough to only look for the people who committed the last attack.

                • VoyageurVoyageur says:

                  Google Richard Reed on Google Images.  You will see a face that obviously bespeaks middle eastern origin — and it is appearances that we are talking about here.  

                  Next, you will insist that the 19 Al Queda bombers were all Norwegian.  What is it about you lefties and Norwegians?;-)

                  • sxp151 says:

                    He’s not Middle Eastern, and he doesn’t look Middle Eastern. Neither does Jihad Jane or the crotch bomber.

                    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

                      I have of Reid make him look Middle Eastern, in part because of his dress.  But you’re off the point anyway.  I never said absolutely all, 100 percent, no exceptions, of terrorist acts are committed by Middle Eastern Men.

                      Saying that would be just as stupid as saying that Norwegian grandmothers are statistically just as likely to be terrorists as young middle-eastern men men.

                      The question is whether ethic/religious/racial or other background can ever be justified in any way as part of an inclusive profile aimed at discovering a propensity to a certain act.

                      That question can be answered Yes or No.

                       I will take the Yes side.

                       Can you honestly say: “No.”?

                       If so, this dialogue is over.  Hell, it’s over anyway.  Obviously, these factors can and indeed must be considered.  The question is only to what degree they can be considered.  Anyone who denies that obvious fact doesn’t live on my planet and isn’t worth wasting any more electrons on.

                    • sxp151 says:

                      you start posting the nastiest insults. Why do you do that?

                      I only post nasty insults when I’m winning an argument. 🙂

                    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

                      So, why is it every time you lose an argument, you start playing the victim?

                        Yes or No:

                        Do you believe it is wrong under every and all circumstances to consider racial or ethnic factors in any way in crafting a behavior profile?  Yes or No.


                    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

                      So, when the FBI rounded up several thousand German-Americans in World War II to reduce the risk of sabotage, they did an evil thing.  Obviously, they should have rounded up Frenchmen in equal numbers to Germans, because considering reality is always an evil thing.

                        At least I know where you’re coming from.  And thank God, you don’t work for Homeland Security.

                    • Ralphie says:

                      on the government rounding up Japanese and keeping them in captivity until the end of the war?

                    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

                      It did, however, pass muster with tyhe U.S. Supreme Court.  Korematsu v. U.S. (I just read it last week.)

                        There was legitimate reason to look with extra attention at the German-American and Japanese-American communities.  Both had subversive organizations at work in them: the German American Bund and the Black Dragon Society, to name the two most prominent.

                        The FBI did the right and logical thaing by profiling Germans — ie using their ethnic background as a reason to look twice at them.  But, properly, race was only one factor in German Americans.  If they found additional factors, such as Bund membership, they might seize them  (not all Bundists were bad guys, but by 1941, those still in the Bund were mostly shady characters.)

                       It was a reasonable use of race in a law enforcement profile.  The tragedy is that the government didn’t use similar discretion in the Japanese.  It would have been reasonable to have looked twice at them because of their racial background.  If that second look turned up membership in the Black Dragon Society, haul them off to the camps.  Alas, they just took all Japanese-including those American born- and hauled them off to the camps if they lived on the West Coast.  (those living in the interior, like Colorado, were left alone.)

                        Wise use of racial/ethnic profiling resulting in far less than 1 percent of German-Americans spending the war in detention — including, obviously, a few who were loyal.  Mass hysteria led to rounding up virtually 100 percent of the Japanese on the West coast and interning them.

                        Stupid and even vicious policies can pass constitutional muster, as Korematsu proves.  But by refusing to let reality intrude into profile decisions in any way, you would preclude the ability of the government to make the wise response it did to German Americans.  

                       Inteerestingly, J. Edgar Hoover opposed the mass internment of Japanese.  It was the Army that drove that one.  

                    • Steve Harvey says:

                      something akin to racial profiling was reasonable:

                      Some muslim travelers laid out their prayer rugs in an American airport and started praying. Security (politely, as I recall the story) pulled them aside after being notified by concerned fellow travelers, and determined that they were just doing their normal prayers. That was appropriate, even though it may have had an ethnic component to it. And I found the outrage in response to that “incident” to be a bit ridiculous. Shortly after a terrorist attack involving planes hijacked by young Arab men, belonging to organizations that had announced their intention to continue such attacks, airport security shouldn’t check out a couple young Arab men praying right before getting onto a flight?! Come on.

                      But, despite your passion and your certainty, I honestly disagree pretty strongly on where, and how, you draw the line. It should require massive necessity, in my opinion, to single out any Americans (or presumed Americans) on the basis of their ethnic or racial identity, even if failing to do so may come at some cost. And I don’t think that the opinion I just expressed is “stupid” or from another planet. It’s simply an opinion that places different relative weights than you do on protection of civil rights, on the one hand, and security against potential acts of criminal violence, on the other.

                    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

                      It should hardly require “massive” threats to justify minor inconvenience, such as being asked a few extra questions in a security line.  

                         but your example undercuts your argument.

                      Where is the “massive” threat posed by five pious muslims?  

                        As for protection of civil rights, my right not to be blown up is one I value rather highly.  Frankly, I think you’re going out of your way to prolong a didactic exercise.  You excuse the use of race/ethnicity as one of several factors in at least some situations, even if you do cite a dubious example in support of that premise.   Having, unlike SPX, granted the validity of that point, it serves little or no purpose to quibble about where along the continuum a supposed line can be drawn.  

                    • Steve Harvey says:

                      your arguments are absolutely indistinguishable from any argument anyone makes to justify diminished civil rights in exchange for increased security. Given how reasonable you generally are, I don’t understand why you can’t see that.

                      What you call “a minor inconvenience,” others experience as systematic racist harassment of a kind that has been all too common in this country’s history. “Your right not to get (mortally wounded)” can be invoked to justify any movement of the line away from civil rights and toward a police state.

                      You’re right about my example. There are several variables involved: The degree of necessity, the degree of intrusion on civil rights, and the degree of likelihood of an instantaneous relevance of ethnic identity, to name the ones I can think of off hand. Deciding how to apply them would involve a factor analyss of some kind. My point was that our nationally sacred abhorance of intrusions on civil rights should be weighted quite heavily, despite the ever-present temptation to subordinate them to “your right not to get blown up.” It’s precisely the strength of that temptation that requires a very strongly reinforced commitment not to succumb to it too easily.

                      My “didactic exercise” is in response to a false certainty inflexibly asserted that the line should be drawn in favor of ethnic profiling without other factors than supposed rates of commission of a crime recommending it. That, in my opinion, is a very dangerous place to choose to draw the line, and has been used in the past for very indefensible purposes.

                      It’s not that you disagree with me on that that bothers me, but that you tolerate no disagreement by others who have a different point of view.

                    • Ralphie says:

                      Even Dred Scott v. Sandford passed constitutional muster.

                    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

                      Dred Scott was overturned by the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments.  Korematsu is still good law.

                    • BlueCat says:

                      It passed and was then overturned.

                    • Ralphie says:

                      The amendments didn’t overturn the decision, they made it moot.

              • BlueCat says:

                of Lebanese and Armenian descent who have looks that fit the profile. In the wake of 9/11 many second and third generation Americans of Indian descent were harassed because to many, “they all look alike”. Many Jews and Arabs do not look much different from one another.  

                I can recall no instance in which Muslims praying or heard speaking Arabic and were then kicked off of a plane due to paranoia saved anyone from terrorists but I do recall various Americans of non-middle eastern descent who have been arrested for connection with Islamic terrorist activity.  

                Your flight of fancy involving percentages bears absolutely no relation to anything I said or suggested so no need to address that.

                Here in America we talk a lot about being willing to fight and die defending our freedom.  Those too frightened to accept the degree of risk that is the price we must be willing to pay to maintain our personal freedom should shut about how damned freedom loving and tough they are.

                Those who don’t have dark hair, brown eyes and olive or brown skin shouldn’t have more personal freedom than those who do. Isn’t this supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave? What’s brave about throwing away our freedom loving way of life? Suck it up or go live in a nice secure police state. Don’t turn our country into one because you don’t have the guts  to stick to our values when it gets a little scary.

                • VoyageurVoyageur says:

                  I obviously don’t have the “guts” you do.

                  When was your military service? Mine was 1968/70.  

                  With all your guts, you obviously were in mujch longer.  The rangers, maybe.;-)  

                  • Middle of the Road says:

                    Why don’t you all just find a ruler and start measuring your dicks because that’s what this conversation is rapidly devolving into.

                    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

                      The numbers are larger and hence, more impressive, when expressed in millimeters.

                      That said, I admit I don’t think it takes a lot of “guts” to be a blowhard on a blog, which is why I called out Blue Cat.  Carrying arms for your country is a bit more legitimate as a measure of intestinal fortitude.  

                    • redstateblues says:
                    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

                      I only use pie charts to show that my ego is far larger than that of other, less accomplished, egotists. 😉  

                    • RedGreenRedGreen says:

                      it’s a flat pie chart, not a 3-D one. You know who will have to comment if you use one of those.

                    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

                      my ego is far too large and expansive to be expressed in only two dimensions! I’d need at least four dimensions to do it justice.


                    • Middle of the Road says:

                      which is why I feel such a burning need to mention that I can’t read graphs and I love pie charts. I think the graph thing goes back to geometry, yet another math class I flunked.

                    • sxp151 says:

                      I care what you think. Plus I’m genuinely sorry you had trouble with your math class.

                      If there was any interest, I could do some “math for poets” diaries, like basic discussions about math as it comes up in politics. I haven’t written a diary here since my last fiasco… And I could probably do it without being a dick, so that’s a plus (for some people).

                    • Middle of the Road says:

                      I had one really great math professor in college and it was the first time in my life that I not only understood algebra but actually found it fascinating.

                      I’m more of the English/History/Biology type–I totally get the humor in Garrison Keilor’s English Major Guy on Prairie Home Companion.  

                    • sxp151 says:

                      What did you especially like about that professor? I always like to know why people like a certain teacher and dislike another; it feels very subjective to me, but I think that may just be a lack of data to base a generalization on.

                      I enjoyed English and History a lot, but could never really “get” Biology. That may be because I hated my 7th grade teacher and really never recovered from that; he used to complain about smart kids and tried to convince us that there had to be a Creator, and when he gave me a D on a project I’d worked really hard on, I never forgave him or the subject generally.

                    • Middle of the Road says:

                      in on educational conversations. It’s also why I am hesitant to gut tenure. You can be the greatest teacher on earth and have one asshole student that can ruin your life.

                      I had several professors in college and 2 in high school that I thought were just brilliant. What they all had in common was an enthusiasm for what they were teaching. And they related the subjects in a way that made you want to know more, instead of wanting to tune out.

                      Specifically, the algebra teacher had a way of making math understandable–some professors seem to go out of their way to speak over you. I don’t know, maybe it’s an ego thing. Not this woman–she would stop in the middle of teaching a method and say “Now, is everybody still with me?” And I loved that mostly because I usually was just about to get really lost and when I don’t understand something, I become extremely frustrated with myself.

                      I really started to like algebra, loved working things out. Problem, solution. Love that kind of thing.

                      I majored in Forestry for 3 years–if I had been subjected to someone like your Biology teacher, that would never have happened. It would have turned me off permanently and completely to the subject.

                    • Middle of the Road says:

                      I flunked that portion of math. Could not for the life of me make the conversions.  

                    • BlueCat says:

                      It doesn’t take a lot of guts to be a blowhard on a blog.  It takes a reasonable amount of guts to stand by civil rights and liberties when doing so might be risky. Not that there is a shred of evidence that the kind of profiling you support will actually even reduce our risk but that’s beside the central point.  

                      If we can’t feel secure enough without relegating some of our citizens to a life of annoyance, harassment, even false imprisonment, sometimes for long periods, based on not looking white enough then what you were defending during your days in service is gone.  No need to bother defending something that doesn’t exist.  

                      What I want is for your service and sacrifice to mean something and in order for it to mean something we, on the home front, have to be willing to share the risk you endured to keep our American way of life with all of its rights and responsibilities, alive.  For you and everyone like you and everyone who doesn’t come back, we can’t allow ourselves to be terrorized into doing the terrorists job for them, destroying everything the United States of America is supposed to stand for, saving them the trouble of even having to mount a costly attack.

                      I apologize for causing offense.  

                    • Steve Harvey says:

                      Extreme racial profiling. If they’re muslim, and accused of anything by anyone, lock them up, torture them, ignore their humanity and the probability (in most cases, for the origninal detainees) that they are innocent of any crime. And watch half the country applaud that as the right and necessary steps to defend our security.

                      Hell, why stop at half measures? We should just conquer the world outright, reduce everyone who isn’t an American citizen to some inferior subject status, and in that way pre-emptively secure our most sacred of all rights: Not to get blown up.

            • Anything that sounds, to someone who hasn’t really considered the problem deeply, like it might increase security and will give them comfort that we’re “doing something about it”.

              Profiling does exactly what you say: it promotes the recruiting of people who don’t fit the profile, and it hurts innocents who fit the profile but aren’t part of the problem, whatever it is…

              Same thing goes for color-coded security alerts, border fences, and to a large extent the deployment of 20,000 border patrol agents along a combined 7500 miles of land border.  While they may have some effectiveness (e.g. actual security measures added during heightened alert states), they’re also in large part “feel-good” measures whose effect in the minds of the general populace far outweighs their effectiveness in reality.

              • VoyageurVoyageur says:


                While they may have some effectiveness (e.g. actual security measures added during heightened alert states), they’re also in large part “feel-good” measures whose effect in the minds of the general populace far outweighs their effectiveness in reality.

                 Your argument boils down to the fact that since these measures are not 100 percent effective, we should do nothing at all.\

                That argument isn’t worth the electrons cut down to print it.

                • You could spend your money on devising a color-coding system for your alertness state system, or you can spend it on scanning containers at our nation’s ports.

                  You can spend money on creating a market for 11 foot ladders, or you can spend it to create a modern employment verification system.

                  You can spend the good will of your police force going after citizens who happen to look like illegals, or you can spend it getting information on people who are criminals.

                  We spend far too much time and money investing in crap that causes as much harm as it prevents, just because in the process it makes someone feel more secure.  Instead, we could be addressing the actual problems, or at least enacting more targeted and effective solutions.

          • Middle of the Road says:

            But what he has said in the past becomes much more relevant when he now declares that

            he would implement a “very similar” law in Colorado if elected governor in 2010.

            It shows a pattern with him.

            AZ’s law is disgusting. The reform is based on a very particular race of people. In my book, that makes it racist. It doesn’t make every single person that sees it differently a racist–agreed with you on that. It doesn’t make McInnis a racist.

            But it does make him a guy who thinks it’s a good bill. It makes him a guy who would like to pass the same type of law in Colorado. He’s now the candidate that has basically said that he doesn’t agree with the US Constitution when it comes to federal versus state regulation of immigration.

            It makes him a guy I will never, ever vote for.

            And since he’s interviewing with every single voter to be the next governor, context becomes a lot more important when you discover prior remarks that pertain to the current conversation.

          • Gilpin Guy says:

            and reiterate his support for said searches without probable cause?

            The back story of him wanting racial profiling dating back to 9/11 just adds emphasis to his comments yesterday that he supports blaming these economic refugees for fleeing bleak conditions in Mexico rather than the businesses and corporations that exploit them here in the United States or Mexico which has failed to address the root causes of poverty and the need to migrate somewhere else in search of work.  His comments yesterday can not be taken out of context and his comments post 9/11 show a consistent attitude towards immigration policy.

    • Early WormEarly Worm says:

      Also important to the context is the fact that McInnis is a former cop. I do not think that his first reaction to problems (terrorism or illegal immigration) is to protect civil liberties.  On the contrary, like many of his  ilk that espouse limited government, he is all in favor of the expansive use of police powers when the individuals suffering the brunt of those (potentially abusive) powers are, in his view, probably guilty of something anyway.

  5. thethinker says:

    but, according to a recent Rasmussen Poll, 60% of Americans support the Arizona law, including 50% of Democrats.  And today’s Denver Post poll indicates 63% support and 35% against.  Are they all racists?

    I agree with the poster who said that the best way to address illegal immigration is to enforce laws against employers hiring illegal workers.  That is many of us support legislation requiring all employers to utilize the E-verify system.  Just such a bill was defeated in a Colorado Senate committee with 3 Democrats against and 2 Republicans for.  At the national level, neither party is doing much on this and the Obama administration, like Bush before him, are doing a lousy job of enforcing existing laws.

    Based on a lot of the comments I’ve see, most posters on this site live in a far-left bubble disconnected from reality. And many like to show how self righteous they are instead of having a real discussion.

    I am a Democrat and like many Democrats, actually believe in limiting immigration and enforcing our immigration laws for primarily economic and environmental reasons.  I think pandering to one race just because they represent future voters is inherently racist.

    So, go ahead and call anyone who disagrees with your open borders ideas racist, xenophobic, nativist, yada, yada, yada.  The American people see through your own hate filled rhetoric.

    The fact is that your rhethoric like yours is turning off many middle of the road Americans.

    If you’re going to just attack anyone who disagrees with you, why don’t you just make this a private website and you can have all your own little internal diatribes without the benefit of other opinions.

    • Aggie says:

      I don’t think the problem is that AZ is trying to limit the effects of illegal immigration, and/or enforce the law. It is a real problem that must be addressed on the national level.

      It is the method that is the problem.  This creates a law that can only realistically be enforced by singling out people for investigation because they look hispanic.

      The 14th amendment does not allow this. Race and or national origin is a suspect classification. It would result in enequal enforcement of laws based on race and is almost certainly invalid.  A law that is neutral on its face but is administered in a prejudicial manner is not constitutional.  See Yick Wo v. Hopkins.  This law can ONLY be administered in a prejudicial manner because the only way to suspect that someone is an illegal immigrant is if they look like they are from a different country (which could implicate the national origin or racial suspect classifications.)

      Not to mention this is just bad policy.  Is America a country where we want to be stopped, and forced to show papers?  THIS IS INSANE!  How can a conservative support this????

      • sloanslake says:

        but, according to a recent Rasmussen Poll, 60% of Americans support the Arizona law, including 50% of Democrats.  And today’s Denver Post poll indicates 63% support and 35% against.  Are they all racists?

        I don’t support this horrendous law and I’m very middle of the road — I also grew up in Colorado and am definitely NOT from the far left. Our country is built on immigrants from all over; especially Mexico.

        Mexican immigrants have brought a wonderful history, culture, and character to our state. As I mentioned elsewhere already, the very name of our state “Colorado” is a spanish word that comes from the early mexican explorers & settlers (and someone else pointed out that the name “Arizona” is also a spanish word as well…

        this whole anti-immigrant sentiment smacks of racism and hypocrisy from a small group of ignorant angry people

      • thethinker says:

        the federal government under several different administrations has shown an unwillingness to enforce laws.  Thus, Arizona and other states are forced to act.

        And, IMO, Comprehensive Immigration Reform, as currently proposed, is unacceptable.  Most people are not going to believe that the government is going to enforce laws until they actually demonstrate the commitment and ability to do so.  So, many people will not bite on the “trust us, we’ll give amnesty and then start enforcing the law” approach utilized in the past.  The government must earn the trust of the people on immigration laws.  In addition, any changes to immigration law should dramatically reduce immigration, as opposed to current proposals which would increase it.  We currently allow about 1.2 million legal immigrants into the US, and this mass immigration, combined with their descendants, are responsible for 80% of the

        projected US population growth, which is projected to grow from 310 million to 460 million by 2050.  In a world of limited resources and where we value a living wage for all, we cannot and should not continue to add people to the US population.

        The Arizona law closely mirrors existing federal laws and does not allow racial profiling.  It requires a “reasonable suspicion” that someone is here illegally.  And race by itself does not provide a “reasonable suspicion.  

        Will Latino’s be “targeted’ more then others with this law?  It depends on how they implement it.

        The fact remains that the vast majority of illegal immigrants in Arizona are Latino, so if this or any law against illegal immigration is enforced, they will be impacted more then other races.  Does that mean that immigration laws should not be enforced?  I think not.  In fact, to not enforce immigration laws because most illegal immigrants are minorities, is giving preferential treatment to one race, which is racist by itself.

        What methods of enforcing immigration laws do you support if you don’t support the Arizona law?

        And finally, all of us are subject to showing our “papers” periodically.  I am asked for my drivers license at the airport, when I rent a movie, when I cash a check, if I’m pulled over for a traffic violation, etc.  If I’m in a foreign country I have to keep my passport with me.

        So, while this law isn’t perfect, I don’t think it is as terrible as some portray it.  And, I think it puts the onus on those who don’t like it to come up with acceptable ways to enforce our immigration laws.  As it is now, some people don’t want ANY of the laws enforced by anyone – arguing against E-verify, workplace raids, enforcement by local officials and enforcement by ICE.

        Thanks for the discussion.

        • Republican 36 says:

          First, the law gives local police and sheriffs departments the responsibility for locating and transporting illegal aliens to federal detention facilities for deportation. That may be fine in theory but in practice it will require a tremendous increase in the number of police officers and deputies to actually make a dent in illegal immigration. Local law enforcement is usually completely tied up in solving crimes. As a practical matter, they aren’t going to put a great deal of time into the duties this law imposes upon them. They simply don’t have the resources and the new Arizona statute does nothing to increase those resources.

          Second, local law enforcement officers all over the United States have been against these kinds of laws because such statutes hinder their ability to solve other crimes. In many instances, local police officers through prolonged efforts have built trusted relationships within the local Hispanic community. Those relationships are utilized to obtain information during investigations which leads to the arrest of criminals. If the local ethnic communty believes the officers are their to deport them, those relationships and the ability to solve, at least some crimes, will be badly damaged.

          Finally, if local police and deputies have the choice of putting resources into a murder investigation or tracking someone’s immigration status, they are going to put the time in on the murder investigation because it will, as a practical matter, be deemed far more critical to the safety of the local citizens.

          Constitutional problems and issues aside, the new Arizona law has no chance of practical widespread enforcement unless the Arizona legislature and Governor are determined to provide the resources necessary to see it enforced. Thus far, they haven’t indicated any intent to provide the necessary resources which leads one to question whether this whole legislative exercise was more posturing than a serious attempt to address immigration issues.  

    • sxp151 says:

      but I’m pretty sure you are. Hope this helps.

    • BlueCat says:

      Fifty-one percent of those polled nationwide who said they have heard of the new law favor the measure, which grants police to right to ask to see proof of citizenship from anyone they suspect of being an illegal immigrant. Thirty-nine percent said they oppose it.

      Three-quarters of the Republicans and half of the independents polled said they approve of the law. Only 34 percent of Democrats said the same. (my emphasis)

      Seventy-eight percent of the people contact by Gallup said they had either heard a “great deal” or a “fair amount” about the state law.

      Gallop is usually not nearly so far out of line with averaged polls as is Rasmussen. And one thing’s for sure.  The number of Hispanic voters will only grow. The number of organizations and municipalities that will be unwilling to have conventions in or do business with Arizona because of this will only grow. Fine by me. Rasmussen won’t change that.

      • Raphael says:

        is this bill a racist piece of dumb-ass shit?


        Does supporting this bill and racial profiling harm one’s electoral chances?

        Not necessarily.

        Supporting this bill isn’t a clear win for McInnis since only 51% support it, but it’s necessarily a loss either. Yes hispanic voters are the fastest growing demographic, but they can offset (in this election at least) if enough people support this kind of crap. Which, it appears from the Gallup poll, they do.

        • sxp151 says:

          A Hispanic voter on the fence could easily decide to oppose a candidate just based on his endorsement of this bill. On the other hand, a supporter of the bill is less likely to decide to support a candidate just based on that. There may be a lot of people who like the fact that McInnis is endorsing this crap, but I don’t know if it’s actually going to change votes in his favor. I could definitely see it changing votes against him.

          • BlueCat says:

            for Arizona. Maybe some who now think it’s a great idea will start hearing about the economic hit Arizona is sure to be taking, start hearing about the damned if they do, damned if they don’t position this puts law enforcement in when they start getting sued both for stopping and for not stopping people under the provision that says they can be sued for not detaining someone if they have a reasonable suspicion.  

            How is anything that vague going to work?  Won’t American citizens who are stopped and jailed because they don’t have papers on them since, being citizens they didn’t think they needed them, sue as well?  The media could be full of fiascos resulting from this monstrosity going into the election. It probably will not be so full of tales of concrete gains in security.  

  6. Gilpin Guy says:

    that is going to be the real killer is the total lack of controversy surrounding Hickenlooper.  Hick is flying along below the radar and doesn’t even have to go elk hunting to stay out of trouble.  McInnis is bringing all of this scrutiny of his past on himself.  He is the one can’t stay out of the public eye for questionable reasons.  Hickenlooper is just piling up the cash and staying cool away from the media glare.  McInnis’ unfavorables are bound to go up after this kind of exposure.

    • redstateblues says:

      I think not! Didn’t you hear that hizzonner gave a bunch of money to charity? Can we really afford to have someone in the governor’s mansion who just gives away money?

      If he’s so cavalier with his own money, just think of what he’ll do when he’s in charge of all of our money.

      *paid for by the committee to find a better attack against Hickenlooper.

      • Ralphie says:

        It will be Hick’s fault.

        He IS the mayor, after all.

        • BlueCat says:

          I couldn’t stand to watch after the shaky situation around half and with Nene limping off court.  When I worked up the nerve to tune back in during the 4th I didn’t know whether to be thrilled (Hope!) or bummed (why couldn’t they have played like this before they dug themselves that hole?) Maybe tomorrow I’ll just have a few fortifying cocktails before tuning in around the 3rd.  

  7. but my question is, what is the sole basis for imprisonment/arrest/conviction under this law?  if a bunch of Irish college kids on vacation go to Phoenix and get pulled over, are then unable to produce “proof of citizenship”, because you know, they’re visiting, are they then arrested for not “being a citizen”?  this assumes they don’t have a green card or visa, just hopped on a plane with a passport and came over here.

    furthermore, do you really think they’re going to go all MIA video on white people, or is it more likely (read: absolutely true) that they will only pick up guys with a 50% or higher melanin count?

    • sxp151 says:

      Not everyone who’s here illegally sneaks across the border. A fair number just visit or get jobs or go to school, and then overstay their visas.

      I suppose those Irish tourists would need to carry around their plane tickets at all times, and the police officers would need to know what all the visa rules are for visitors from each country. That’s a lot of training; could get expensive.

      Probably easier to just arrest everyone with an accent and let the immigration courts sort it out over three or five years.

  8. Kevin Jones says:

    This looks like a non-issue to me.

    Frivolous accusations of racism just make people jaded to the accusation.

    If you go after illegals in Arizona, of course you target Hispanics. If you go after them in Boston, you target people with Irish accents.

    And if you go after terrorists, yes you go after Arab-looking people and Muslims.

    Not exclusively of course, but it’s a better way than pretending that midwestern grandma is just as likely a terrorist as Mohammad Atta’s lookalike.

    As for the title of the original post,  Maddow’s “national news” gets what, one million viewers? National news ain’t what it used to be.

  9. fragiledem60 says:

    Hickenlooper looking good

    Let Mcinnis beat up on mayes and let Mcinnis ruin himself, and hick will easily win over who ever comes out of the fight.  Great raising numbers so far should be a sign of a sealed deal in november.

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