Thursday, October 28, 2004

EdWonk Questions Senator Barbara Boxer

Sign Of The Times
United States Senator Barbara Boxer (Dem. California) came to town today, stumping for votes. After learning of her impending arrival from a TipWonk, I simply could not resist the temptation of rushing from my classroom over to the local Eagles' Lodge. Since we live only nine miles from the Mexican border, I had a couple of questions that I just had to try to ask the Senator. To not even make an attempt would have caused me great pain.

Boxer, noted for her liberal views, gave the type of speech that one would expect of an incumbent senator that is comfortably leading her opponent. Her speech was full of praise for local candidates and the county's Democratic organization. She then went on to state how the fate of our Democracy hinges on electing John Kerry in what she termed, "The election of our lifetimes."

Afterwards, she met with local media in the back of the room and answered a few questions.

While the local media-types were serving Ms. Boxer"softball" questions about the rainy weather and how exciting it is that young people are so interested in this election, I (with tape recorder in hand) bluffed my way through various camera crews to the front of the "pack" and sought an opportunity to ask the type of question that Ms. Boxer really needed to be asked.

When Boxer asked a reporter if he had any questions, he said "Oh I don't have any questions." It was at this moment that I said, "Senator.. I do!" Boxer then turned to me.

Transcript (from audio tape)
  • EdWonk: Senator, why doesn't the Democratic Party support using our military to help seal our borders against the waves of illegal immigrants that continue coming across?
  • Boxer: Well, actually, we have a much stronger border patrol than we ever had, and I have in the past said that we should use whatever assets that we have...
  • EdWonk: Would that include our military?
  • Boxer: Unfortunately, if you talk to George Bush, he doesn't have enough military now ah.. in Iraq.. and so we've got major problems.
  • EdWonk: So, are you saying that you support using our military?
  • Boxer: No, I didn't! That's what you said.. I said...I said that we need enough people to make sure that we secure the border and I have always had that position.
Having said that, the surprised Boxer abruptly turned away, and, returning to her "talking points," began making statements to the assembled media about why its in everyone's vital interest to support John Kerry.

Boxer's remarks were just another example of an elected politician from a border state refusing to seriously address the issue of our "broken borders." The fact that so many legislators (from both sides of aisle) refuse to even discuss viable solutions to this long-standing dilemma is what Michelle Malkin has termed, "The six ton elephant in the room."

Everyone knows its there, but nobody seems willing to talk about it.

Here on the Southern Frontier, the "wide-open border" is a frequent topic of discussion. The photo-ops, the "Operation This" or "Operation That" grab some headlines and are soon forgotten. Once in a while, a federal official or two appears and promises to "beef-up" border enforcement. At times a few of our under-staffed and overwhelmed Border Patrol are temporarily assigned to the area, only to be stripped away soon after the cameras have been turned off.

Local residents treat such make-believe "media events" with the contempt that they deserve. Everyone along the border knows that nothing ever changes, nothing is ever actually done to fix the dilemma.

The huge burden on our health care and education systems has been well-documented. Perhaps the most scandalous examples are those pregnant women that (legally and illegally) cross the border simply to give birth. Their children, of course, are born U.S. citizens. In almost every case, taxpayers pick-up the tab.

And the waves of illegal immigrants continue to flood unchecked across the border.

As you may or may not already be aware, members of the Watcher's Council hold a vote every week on what they consider to be the most link-worthy pieces of writing around... per the Watcher's instructions, I am submitting one of my own posts for consideration in the upcoming nominations process.

Here is the most recent
winning council post, here is the most recent winning non-council post, here is the list of results for the latest vote, and here is the initial posting of all the nominees that were voted on.