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Biden Faces Growing Dem Defection On Migrant Crisis

Posted on Tuesday, September 12, 2023
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AMAC Exclusive – By Arthur Camman

President Joe Biden tours the Bridge of the Americas with Customs and Border Protection agents and discusses the migrant issue, Sunday, January 8, 2023, in El Paso.
President Joe Biden tours the Bridge of the Americas with Customs and Border Protection agents.

Late last month, Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey became the most recent blue-state politician to declare a state of emergency over the ongoing migrant crisis and to activate the National Guard to deal with more than 6,000 families in shelters across her state.

Healey’s move was not entirely a surprise. A month ago, she joined a litany of local and state Democrat politicians including New York Mayor Eric Adams, Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson, and New York Governor Kathy Hochul in berating the Biden administration for its handling of the crisis.

What is striking is not the actions of Healey and other Democrats, but what they tell us about the way the migrant issue is helping fuel a growing discontent and unease with Biden within the elite of the Democratic party. Governors and the mayors of key blue-state cities are canaries in the coal mine not only because they are often in touch with their voters, but also because they are historically deferential to any Democrat administration in Washington.

There is a reason for this custom. Due to quirks of history and political culture, there are few avenues for advancement for the Mayor of New York City or Chicago. Running for Congress or state legislature is seen as a downgrade, while both cities are viewed with suspicion statewide.

The role of a major city mayor often requires a successful officeholder to lobby on behalf of the interests of their city against those of the rest of the state, which makes it difficult to transition to a statewide run for governor or Senate. No mayor of New York City has ever achieved higher office since the city was consolidated, and the last mayor of Chicago to be elected governor left office in 1907.

Oddly, governors in many of these states have a similar problem. The normal path for advancement is to run for Senate or president. The latter option is always a temptation, but many of the same dynamics which play against any New York or Chicago mayor running statewide also exist when it comes to a governor of one of those states running for president. That leaves a Senate race, but these states are notoriously pro-incumbent. New York has only had three different senators in total over the last 23 years.

The result is that both mayors of major cities and governors of blue states often must look to favor in Washington for advancement, ideally for cabinet appointments.

This helps explain two phenomena more evident in the Democrat than Republican Party.

First, the high representation of former mayors and governors in Democrat administrations, and secondly, the almost slavish fawning with which state and local Democrats tend to treat the party’s leadership in Washington. In the long-run, patronage in the Democratic Party derives from Washington, D.C., and continued influence of state and local leaders can only be maintained by securing appointments there.

Many of Barack Obama’s worst decisions were enabled by the lack of pushback he received from local figures who did not want to risk worrying him. Republican Scott Brown’s upset victory in the 2009 U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts, and the extent of the disaster facing Democrats in 2010 appear to have been disguised from Obama. Similarly, in 2016, Democrat governors desperate for jobs from a famously petty Hillary Clinton avoided providing her campaign with any “bad news.”

This historical context is what makes the current revolt over the migrant crisis so interesting. We should expect Democrat politicians to be exasperated and outraged by the burden the flood of arrivals is putting on their states and cities. We should expect them to be frustrated with the indifference of the administration. What we should also expect is for them to hold their tongues, in the belief that they could still happily take jobs in Washington insisting that nothing is wrong with the border.

The fact that figures like Adams, Johnson, Hochul and now Healey are publicly attacking the White House speaks to a broader breakdown in the functioning of the Democratic Party. That can mean one of two things and quite possibly indicate both are true.

First, they could believe the administration is so detached from the day-to-day reality in the country that it should welcome “bad news” being brought to its attention without blaming the messenger. Second, it could mean that they do not see much future for the current administration, or those who staff it.

Joe Biden is currently running for reelection, largely uncontested by any sort of establishment figure. That would normally indicate both that any patronage in Washington would be dependent on him in the event he wins, and that Democrat voters would punish those who identify themselves against him.

That this is not happening tells us that these Democrat politicians believe that going forward their self-interest will be rewarded by Democrat voters for having positioned themselves against Biden. It also suggests that they believe whoever takes over the Democrat Party after Biden will not be part of the current inner-circle and therefore will not hold a grudge.

Biden and his team should be worried by the diversity of those politicians who are speaking out, as they represent vastly different constituencies. Eric Adams and Brandon Johnson are both African American but represent opposite ideological poles. Adams is a former police officer who ran to the right of the rest of the field. Brandon Johnson was affiliated with Democratic Socialists of America and linked to movements favoring abolishing the police. That both are speaking out indicates that Biden’s name carries little weight either on the right or left of the party, nor with those who think Biden is too friendly to migrants and those who think he is not doing enough for them.

Healey provides an even more interesting example. Healey is the personification of the upscale, high-earning, degree-heavy Boston suburbs. The former state attorney general and Massachusetts’s first Lesbian governor, Healey’s voters are the very constituency (whites with postgraduate degrees) which is keeping Biden’s numbers from a total collapse. If the current Democratic Party can be said to have a cultural core, it would be Healey.

Healey’s criticisms also illustrate the difficulty of Biden’s position. While denouncing “a federal crisis of inaction that is many years in the making,” her solution was to call for the federal government to expedite work permits for the migrants, rather than to suspend her state’s right-to-shelter law, as Adams tried.

Here lies a hint as to Biden’s paralysis and why things will only get worse. Those on the right of the Democratic Party such as Adams feel that they can gain political points by denouncing Biden for not being tough enough on migrants. Those on the left, with aspirations to market themselves as its representatives, such as Johnson, feel they can denounce Biden for being cold and indifferent. Technocratic liberals like Healey feel they can float “technical solutions” and blame the administration for not appointing people like them to implement them.

Any effort by the administration to appease one set of complaints will only strengthen the others. A failure to respond to any reinforces the image of indifference and weakness which encourages all factions to campaign against the administration on the issue.

A strong president would choose and act. Biden’s approach has been to allow drift, and as with foreign policy since Afghanistan, the fear of alienating anyone has resulted in giving everyone a grievance while advertising an image of weakness which encourages those grievances to be aired. In this case, he cannot even respond to those grievances by crushing dissent at its source. To do so would require picking a side, and the rationale for his current approach is to avoid picking a side within the party.

The greatest danger for Biden is that the migrant issue will combine with others to reinforce the wider perception that the administration is incapable of decision-making, and a punching bag for every aspiring politician or demagogue, at home or abroad. There are dangers with selling yourself on who and what you are not. Not least, you end up being perceived as nothing at all.

Arthur Camman is the pseudonym of a regular writer on current affairs who has taught history at the University level for eight years. He has worked on Capitol Hill, and is familiar with the historical development of the American and British political systems.

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PaulE
PaulE
9 months ago

All this so-called defection from various Democrat politicians is nothing more than the Dems gearing up for the main event. Listen very carefully to what these various Democrats are saying and the language they use, because they are literally spelling out the big game plan almost every time.

The Democrat politicians are gaslighting the American public once again with what they want you to believe is actual concern about the runaway mass importation of illegals into this country to gain 10s of millions of new Democrat voters. All this talk, by these various Dem politicians, is designed to simply stoke so much anxiety in the ignorant half of the American public, that they can get sufficient popular support for a mass amnesty with a fast track to citizenship and voting rights for the approximately 50 million illegals that currently reside in this country. It’s what the Democrats routinely call “comprehensive immigration reform”. That 50 million figure comes from estimates documented by our own federal government agencies tasked with keeping track of such things.

Part of the mass amnesty legislation will of course be a huge federal bailout of the Democrat-run cities and states, yet again like during Covid to reward those states for their extended lockdowns, so the huge expenses associated with housing, feeding, schooling, and perpetually caring for all aspects of the illegal alien population doesn’t negatively impact the Blue state and city already bloated budgets used to prop up the rest of the social welfare system. So please try to be a little smarter about what is really going on than some of the authors of these articles that erroneously believe some Democrat politicians are coming to their senses. They’re not. This is all part of the larger game to ensure Democrats automatically win every election in the future.

Bill Luzzi
Bill Luzzi
9 months ago

In my 70 years I have never seen a president and his administration as poor as Biden. Here is a president who obviously has broken many laws with his influence on lawmakers and courts, blocked any charges of law breaking against his son who (I will bet my life on this)bribed the Ukraine government for his and his fathers monetary gain. What is Hunters job? does he wrk as we do?

C. Benson
C. Benson
9 months ago

AMAC and others need to stop using the left’s phony name for illegals. They are not migrants. They are ILLEGAL ALIENS. If you even want to use the name migrant, to be truthful it must be preceded by the word illegal to show their legal status as not only non-citizens but as criminals breaking the laws of our country.

Jeri
Jeri
9 months ago

Send more and more and more illegals to blue states, cities, neighborhoods. Keep sending until they cry uncle, and for good measure send more so they never forget. Stop only when they publicly condemn the open border and present administration.

TPS
TPS
9 months ago

So, their party creates the problem, and they only realize it when it’s on their doorstep. Now that appears to be the true meaning of lack of leadership! Time, they demand joe and his ilk not weld border wall gates open but close the border completely to illegal crossings. IMO

Rik
Rik
9 months ago

So, Democratic Governors have finally realized that accepting thousands of ILLEGALS is not only becoming a huge financial burden but now starting to cause thousands of Democratic voters to realize it’s causing their local economies to rise because of the local burden of housing, feeding, clothing, language and work issues. NO SYMPATHY HERE, you went along with it, NOW DEAL WITH IT! Jackass Joe Biden HATES AMERICA and is trying to CONVERT it to “SOCIALISM”! Proven by his IGNORING the 9/11 MEMORIAL CEREMONIES. So maybe they’re realizing that “Socialism” is phony crap that will marginize the populace to servitude status to power hungry politicians! But I’m frustrated because I haven’t heard one Republican Leader refer to Democratic leaders as being PROGRESSIVELY COMMUNIST!

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
9 months ago

OMG a few thousand arrive inntheir cities and it’s a “CRISIS”? Meanwhile several million cross and live in the border states each year. Whiners.

Eudora
Eudora
9 months ago

This practice of presidents & administrations being corrupt started sometime ago, clintons, obamas & bidens are bolder & getting away with more crimes; when will the Constitution and Law of the Land be upheld?????????

DenvilleSr
DenvilleSr
9 months ago

Thank you Governor Abbott for delivering misery to the doorsteps of those voters who prize open borders as long as the problems associated with open borders stay in border states. It is easy to virtue signal the “need” for an open border policy and feel good about yourself for delivering “hope” to so many people who live in countries defined by PresidentTrump in terms I can’t use here. When illegal aliens, untested for disease and not vetted for criminal history, are living in tents next to your kid’s school, the impact of your virtue has sudden, negative and personal impact. When there are children in your schools that don’t have vaccinations that your children are required to have, you get worried. Liberal mayors and governors of northeastern states being “blessed” with the incursion of the beneficiaries of their own virtue are not able to to dump on the misguided policies of the Biden administration that they previously publicly praised. As my parents used to warn, be careful what you wish for.

Gabe Hanzeli kent wa
Gabe Hanzeli kent wa
9 months ago

you can only lie about the problem for so long after it actually starts affecting you. democrats lie about everything.
Examples:
We do not have a “homeslessness” problem as the democrats love to say, We have a drug addiction and alcoholism problem which enhances the pre-existing mental illness problems.
they are not zygote or parasites; they are babies. it is not an abortion; it is murder.
The schools are activity grooming our children even though the lefts denies it. Far far more children are molested in the schools by school school then all the catholic priests ever. IF the left actually cared about children they would stop talking about preexists and start pushing school vouchers.
Contrary to the democrats claims public employees unions do harm the public. the teachers union is a perfect example.
Trump have the border secure. The border is not secure and it was made that way by biden.
The trump indictments are election interference and are political attacks.

Myrna
Myrna
9 months ago

I think you are right. Issues are obvious to both left and right: the border, oil and gas. The BIdens have blown their opportunity.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
9 months ago

Bravo to see Dems Civil War

Tory
Tory
9 months ago

New program for first time visa applications to rush process . Illegals. Stop the steal.#bidencorruption

Jim Johnson
Jim Johnson
9 months ago

So what? The Democrat party is engaged in a war with the country. They slaughter 1.5 million Americans every year and support foreign invasion. The civil war never ended, just switched to different tactics. From the Indian Removal Act thought civil war, the Ku Klux Klan, lynchings, concentration camps during both world wars they’re responsible for at least 70 million dead Americans. The only political organization with more death on their hands are the Chinese Communists. So the chickens come home to roost!

Jackie
Jackie
9 months ago

In their usual selfishness, Democrats are fine having as many illegals flowing across the border as can get here as long as they don’t have to deal with them! They don’t want the illegals any where close to their state even though they have declared themselves a sanctuary state/city but that doesn’t really mean that they want anything to do with them especially when it comes to the financial end of their being here!! It’s about time they shared the experiences and financial woes with the southern states!!!

anna hubert
anna hubert
9 months ago

Migrant crisis might be dealt with This is an unstoppable tsunami of invaders Transformation not migration is taking place

Tim Toroian
Tim Toroian
9 months ago

This BS of relieving the problem with work permits is a scam against the American people to depress wages but will attract more of the under-educated. And more of them cost us more money. The deficit is projected to be TWO TRILLION dollars which is about double the previous deficits. As an important aside, there are only about four countries with annual BUDGETS of more than two trillion USD.

jocko
jocko
9 months ago

DEPORT ALL liberals, illegals AND THE ONCE HONORABLE, fbi, cia, doj AND OF LATE, THE secret service, TO THE NEW AUSCHWITZ FOR ROAS…… TO MAGA

Fred Noel
Fred Noel
9 months ago

Every thing was good for these Democratic States and cities. Until there States and cities became Border cities and states. Now it boo woo, poor us.
The interesting thing is the Mayors and Governors aren’t demanding that the border be secured, the laws enforced and the wall be completed. No they want more federal money sent to them so they can deal with it. Deal with it means hiring relatives as consultants. Than they’ll ask for more money.
I live in Arizona. Enough of by state and local taxes are being spent on illegal aliens. Now they want my federal tax money also.

Thinking
Thinking
9 months ago

The secure borders ole Joe keeps talking about is nothing more than getting more dem voters. By the end of his presidency he is going to make all of them citizens by executive order.
The dems plan is going forward no matter who is in the White House. All the world elites are standing behind them.

Sandy Harris
Sandy Harris
9 months ago

BRAVO!!!!!!!!!

Rita
Rita
9 months ago

DuH!!! The SLOw ???? PARTY!!!
Kill AMERICA by selling us OUT
To ALL our Enemies. The WELCOME DOOR is OPEN. Especially to foreigners … THE DOORs are OPEN. Thanks Joey n Kammie Sue Do????

Doc
Doc
9 months ago

He knows “NOTHING” he never takes a question unless it’s scripted,.he’s not in any way shape or form the people’s president, but a total embarrassment to the USA. Impeachment, although probably not convicted, by this senate can’t come soon enough.

phoenix
phoenix
9 months ago

lol. You think he knows? He knows nothing. But those who do want it this way.

Slick Rick
Slick Rick
9 months ago

Democrat socialist are very smart people. They know how to lie and manipulate the naive and uninformed (low information voter as Rush called them) people of this country. And when they can’t persuade enough of those people to win elections they figure out a way to illegitimately win elections. Republicans better wise up fast, get some backbone, and start countering this movement or they will be no more and we will no more be a free country.

Barrett Smith
Barrett Smith
9 months ago

Correcting this invasion will be our nation’s biggest challenge.

teresa
teresa
9 months ago

biden is a disaster – everything he does is a failure for this country. these illegals never should have been able to come to this country, only if they are vetted. we have enuf Americans who rape, kill, still we don’t need outsiders too. it’s terrible! new york is complaining, duh didn’t you think it wouldn’t work – now you got what you ask for!! SEND THEM ALL BACK

Hdrydr
Hdrydr
9 months ago

As long as the dims have “mail in” voting and the ability to stuff ballot boxes, they will win elections. Thank the RINO garbage for allowing our CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC to be destroyed.

Kim
Kim
9 months ago

It’s about time! Did her brain finally engage?? We can only dream.

I don’t understand the blind, mindless, lemming like behavior from the dims. Dims, as in not bright.

T
T
9 months ago

Yeah it was all good until the “sanctuary cities” had to eat their words.

Frank Anderson
Frank Anderson
9 months ago

When push comes to shove they will tow the party line and vote for him. They deserve everything they get.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase
9 months ago

These political analyses are very telling in that no part of the equation includes doing what is proper for our country and citizens. Clearly the voters do not count except as useful stooges. Otherwise we would not select people like Adams, Johnson, Hochul and Healey in the first place. They certainly do not represent the people!

Rick
Rick
9 months ago

I don’t think they’re really worried about an influx of dimocratic voters at the border, they’re just greasing the skids wanting huge amounts of federal money to “fight” the problem- which dimcrats in Congress will gladly see that they get! Texas won’t see any of it, though, only the dimocratic cesspools created by the dim machines in those cities will get it!

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