Today is already a watershed day. Barack Obama just cast a vote for himself as the dem candidate for president. Of course, an Obama victory would tear down an historic racial barrier. But in addition to electing America’s first African American president, voters will also have an opportunity to step away from the scapegoating hate of immigrants. In Pennsylvania’s 11th CD, Lou Barletta, mayor of Hazleton, PA, is running for Congress against Ron Kanjorski, his democratic, incumbent opponent. Barletta stands a good chance of reversing the democratic wave, at least in this coal region of Pennsylvania. Barletta gained notoriety a couple years ago for ushering in the country’s first anti-immigrant ordinance that would have punished employers and landlords for entering into transactions with undocumented immigrants. Although the court’s subsequently ruled against the ordinance (appeal was heard last week), Barletta was subsequently endorsed by David Duke, FAIR and Minutemen who support his desire to expel undocumented immigrants from locales around the country.
Obama’s election today would mean that America may have passed an important threshold today, but Barletta’s election to Congress would mean it still has a long ways to go.