Roger Simon writes in Politico that if John McCain wins California in the fall, he wins the presidency, and that he could win California by assuming a strong anti-immigrant stance in the state. Specifically, Simon focuses on the drivers’ license issue for undocumented workers, which originates in a provision from the 2005 Real ID Act.
Posturing aside, McCain would still lose California by assuming the tom tancredo/duncan hunter mantle. Here’s why. California no longer opposes drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants, as it might have a couple years ago.
Reality has intervened. Governor Schwarzenegger has realized that the Real ID drivers’ license is a stalking horse for a national id card, and that Californians do not want a national id card, which enhances the frequency of identity theft and enables the routine tracking of individuals. The governor has been made aware of the prospect of incredible bureaucratic nightmares resulting from Real ID, which the state, in large part, will have to pay for.
In fact, the state of California recently requested an extension from DHS, which the guv carefully suggested did not mean the State would eventually comply with Real ID, which holds the drivers’ license provision in question. In its letter to DHS, the State (DMV) said,
“California, along with forty-five other states, requested an extension of the initial implementation date, which clearly highlights the complexities of the unresolved issues. While we acknowledge that a workable REAL ID program may create positive results, a significant number of outstanding issues need to be addressed before we can make any kind of recommendation to our Administration regarding implementation of REAL ID in California. California?s request for an extension is not a commitment to implement REAL ID, rather it will allow us to fully evaluate the impact of the final regulations and precede with necessary policy deliberations prior to a final decision on compliance.”
Things– like the reality of governing– have a way of changing superficial posturing. So let McCain claim the position that Schwarzenegger held two years ago, which is a lifetime in politics. It’s a bankrupt anti-immigrant/ pro surveillance society posture, a sure loser.