Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tough Talkin' Tancredo

Andrew Sullivan doesn't like this Tom Tancredo advertisement:

He compares Tancredo to Rudy, characterizing this tactic as one favored by "small men in search of a balcony," his favorite tag for Rudy. Sorry, but this ad actually has a couple of things going for it. The first is honesty: it uses the phrase "Islamic terrorists," identifying the likely source and motivation for a major terrorist attack. Give Tancredo credit for that, at least.

The second is that Tancredo's proposed security measure -- better border security -- actually has some likelihood of achieving beneficial results. Unlike, say, harassing innocent photographers, or the idiotic security theater at airports, it is actually possible that potential terrorists might seep through our lax border security and commit terrorists acts.

Of course, there's no particular reason for likely Islamic terrorists to go to the trouble of swimming the Rio Grande, or risk heat stroke in the Arizona desert, when they can just get a student visa, like the 9/11 terrorists did. The Bush administration has done all sorts of really stupid things in response to the 9/11 attacks -- undermining the liberty of millions of Americans. Denying student visas to Saudi and Egyptian nationals would have been both simple and effective, and it would neither have expanded government power nor invaded the rights of Americans. So of course the Bush Administration didn't even consider it.

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