Thursday, February 15, 2007

Regrettable Remarks

I'm not quite sure what to make of Governor Ted Strickland's comments regarding the news that the US is preparing to accept 7,100 Iraqi refugees. From The Morning Journal:

Strickland opposed the U.S. war in Iraq as a congressman, and when asked about the refugee plan yesterday, he reportedly said, ''I think Ohio and Ohioans have contributed a lot to Iraq in terms of blood, sweat and too many tears. I am sympathetic to the plight of the innocent Iraqi people who have fled that country. However, I would not want to ask Ohioans to accept a greater burden than they already have borne for the Bush administration's failed policies.''

While it is true that Ohioans as well as the rest of the nation have paid a tremendous price for the fool's folly that is George Bush's Iraq War, I must respectfully disagree with Governor Strickland's remarks.

This is really something pretty stupid for the governor to say. First of all, we're not talking about the Mariel boat lift here where Castro opened up the prisons to ship them along with anyone who wanted to go out on a raft to the US. Most of the people likely to integrate are highly productive individuals that helped out our doomed cause in Iraq and because of that can't really stay now. These people are unlikely to be a "burden" on the people of Ohio. We don't even know if any refugees are planning on a life in Ohio anyway.

Secondly, this reeks of intolerance if not outright racism. I don't know who exactly Strickland is pandering to here, but it certainly isn't to a good deal of the people who voted for him. What's next? English only legislation?

Lastly, there really isn't anything Strickland can do to stop any refugees from settling here after they arrive in the United States. Are we going to check IDs at the state line?

This is where the real political lesson is to be learned for Strickland. Never spend political capital on things that do not concern you. Things left best unsaid can sometimes be the best statement you can make when it's not your political fight to make. Strickland is wrong here and should apologize for these remarks. Then we can chalk this up as a lesson learned, hopefully one he only has to learn once.

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