Putting the jerk in knee-jerk, Arizona State Treasurer and Republican gubernatorial hopeful Doug Ducey has rolled out a new TV ad, trying like heck to look tough on the border.
That's no small task for a guy who either has the world's worst barber or the world's worst toupee, I'm not sure which.
Plus, with that cottonmouth Toledo speech-impediment of his, an unholy hybrid between a Midwest and back East accent, the ex-ice cream mogul comes off as a guy trying to sell you two scoops with all the fixins.
In other words, General Stormin' Norman Schwarzkopf, he ain't.
Dummkopf, however...Ducey, pretending that he can do something about the border in this latest ad
Apparently Ducey missed the U.S. Supreme Court's 2012 decision on Arizona's noxious "attrition through enforcement" law, Senate Bill 1070, where the court reaffirmed the federal government's "broad, undoubted power over the subject of immigration and the status of aliens," declaring that the "federal power to determine immigration policy is well settled."
And yet, Ducey in this commercial asserts that he can do something differently regarding immigration.
First, he calls the transportation of migrants to Arizona by the feds, "inhumane and unacceptable."
Which depends on your point of view, I guess. If you're some Central American kid who hopped a train through Mexico, then crossed the Rio Grande into the U.S. because you were afraid of getting raped, maimed or killed by gangs in your home country, Border Patrol custody probably seems like heaven on earth.
Anyway, Ducey tells us that,
"Our southern border remains wide open and unprotected. As governor, I'll fight back with every resource at my command. Fencing, satellites, guardsmen, more police and prosecutors. We'll get this done."
Um, satellites? Does Ducey have a rocket launcher parked behind his mansion?
Okay, I kid Il Duce. I know he's talking about high-tech surveillance, but all of the stuff he's referring to costs mega-bucks. And the state budget, as he's well aware, is facing a shortfall of close to a half-million simoleons over the next couple of years. After we use the state's rainy day fund to cover the gap, there won't be much left.
As part of Ducey's plan for Arizona, published on his website, he promises to shrink government, while in this new video he talks about increasing the size of it for border security. Naturally, being a GOPer, he swears he ain't gonna raise taxes.
"I will submit legislation to reduce taxes every year," Ducey states on his website, "with the goal of pushing income tax rates as close to zero as possible."
How do you do that and pay for all the border-protection stuff?
As Ducey yammers on in the video, mentioning fencing and police, we watch B-roll of U.S. Customs and Border Protection vehicles, a federal port of entry manned by federal officers, and federal fencing on the U.S.-Mexico border.
What does the State of Arizona have to do with this federal show of force? Nada, amigo.
Could Ducey call up the state National Guard? Sure, but is he prepared to finance it?
If he calls up the guard under state law, state funds are supposed to pay for it. If he wants the feds to pay, then the feds will have something to say about it.
Plus, guardsmen would be acting in a support role to the Border Patrol. So again, Ducey would have to cooperate with the feds, aka, Obama.
Ducey claims that the "southern border remains wide open and unprotected."
But it ain't wide open in Arizona.
Anyone driving south of the Gila River will notice the proliferation of CPB vehicles. Suggesting Arizona's border is "unprotected" is just silly.
Even if Ducey found the money to invest in some state border security boondoggle, how would that help the situation in Texas?
Answer: It wouldn't.
More cops and prosecutors? Sounds great.
There's just one rub, aside from the cost: According to the Supreme Court's 1070 decision, "As a general rule, it is not a crime for a removable alien to remain in the United States."
Local cops can't arrest them for being present without papers, unless they've committed a crime. Again, being present without papers is not a crime. Talk to Justice Anthony Kennedy about that one. He wrote the majority's decision.
So the feds remain in charge of immigration and border security, no matter how many cops and prosecutors you hire. No matter how much state money you throw at the problem.
It's probably too much to expect pols like Ducey to actually bone up on the issues. Not when there's ice cream and illegal aliens to yap about.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
And GOP haters to woo.
Got a tip for The Bastard? Send it to: Stephen Lemons.