Sunday, June 11, 2006

Heineman Embarasses Himself on Immigration

by Kyle Michaelis
In what was an otherwise quite impressive run-down by the Lincoln Journal-Star's Don Walton of the topsy-turvy political landscape on the issue of immigration upon President Bush's arrival in Omaha last Tuesday, one player stood out above all others for sheer patheticness and weakness of character, doing everything in his power to avoid taking a stand on this hottest of hot button issues.

That politician - in the worst sense of the word - was none other than Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman.

See if you can decode the following:
“It’s a federal issue,” said the Republican governor....

“I haven’t reviewed these proposals in any detail,” Heineman said. “I try to keep my focus on state issues.

“But there’s no question immigration is of great concern to Nebraskans,” the governor said.

Excuse me, but how can a sitting governor get away with saying that immigration is a federal issue and he, essentially, has no opinion on the matter? How can a man who wants to lead Nebraska for the next eight years show so little respect for the voters and their concerns that he would dare dodge this issue in such cowardly fashion?

What's even worse is the proven calculation behind Heineman's positioning. quoted Heineman before Bush had even arrived laying the groundwork for his mealy-mouthed non-response:
“I’m going to greet the president on the tarmac and welcome him on behalf of the people of Nebraska,” Heineman said in a brief interview Tuesday. “Since it will be at the end of his day, I don’t think any policy issues will come up. I think he might be more likely to ask me about the College World Series.”

“The likelihood of my having an opportunity for a serious talk with him about immigration is slim and none,” Heineman said.

So, not only does Heineman know too little about the issue of immigration - not only does he dismisss it as if it were none of his concern - but it was also going to be too late in the day to talk about anything important.

Wow. That's some fancy choreography on the part of Heineman. He covered all of his bases - ignorance, disinterest, and the President's early bed time - to make darn sure he wouldn't have to take an actual stand on this issue.

After all, that might cost him a vote. No, Heineman couldn't allow that - not this Governor who has allowed every decision during 17 short months in office to be dictated by the single principle of maximizing his electability.

Thankfully, David Hahn - the Democratic gubernatorial candidate - was willing to call Heineman on this total failure of leadership, releasing the following statement:
"Governor Heineman used one of the oldest and most cynical gimmicks in his bag of political tricks. He ducked the illegal immigration issue by saying he would leave it up to Congress.....

"Heineman's next insult to the intelligence of Nebraskans was saying that he wouldn't bring the issue up with President Bush because he wouldn't have time.

"If Dave Heineman couldn't find 30 seconds to mention Nebraskans' deep concerns about illegal immigration, he let down the people of this state and apparently only functioned like a doorman at the country club."

Them is fightin' words!

That Hahn proceeded to balance his well-justified assault on Heineman with an actual plan of action for what he will do - as Governor - to address Nebraskans' immigration concerns is only the latest example of how very different Hahn's style is from those of the do-nothing Johanns/Heineman Administrations that have had no other objective over the last eight years but pleasing special interests and winning elections while leaving Nebraska dying on the vine.

Seriously, Nebraska cannot survive eight more years of endless pandering and politicking in the Governor's Mansion. We need a man willing to take a stand. We need a man who will solve problems rather than avoiding them. We need a man with the courage to communicate his beliefs and those of his constituents - even to a President who may not want to listen.

Hahn is that man. Heineman isn't. Any questions?


Blogger Knightn said...

Heineman is a frickin joke, which most of us have known for some time! Immigration is a huge STATE issue. Nebraska is heavily impacted by it due to the beef industry here. There is so much documented evidence that shows this. Heineman thinks he can play Nebraskans for stupid b/c he as a (R) by his name. Thanks for calling attention to this.


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