Joe Arpaio

Rick Perry's presidential campaign may have been a joke, but did it help decide the 2012 election?

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Lost amid the Cain campaign death watch today was this item, reported by Politico: Dave Carney is out as the top strategist for Rick Perry's campaign, replaced by former George W.

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In the spring of 2010, the Arizona legislature passed one of the harshest immigration measures in years: SB1070, which makes it a crime for immigrants not to carry documentation at all times. The law ignited a national uproar, the Justice Department announced that it plans to sue the state, and Arizona was pilloried in the press for encouraging racial profiling.

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Now that the midterm elections are over and voices of the Tea Party will soon be established in Congress, the movement’s views on foreign policy will come under closer scrutiny, and the results may prove surprising, not least to the Tea Partiers themselves. Those views are far from Republican orthodoxy. On some issues, the Tea Partiers will predictably line up with the Republican leadership, but on others they may find they have more in common with Democrats. They may even provide Barack Obama with unexpected support.

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Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s signature today enacting a controversial immigration law ripped the scab off a wound that never really healed after the failure of national reform in 2007. In those intervening years, states and localities have stepped into the breach, passing scads of measures on immigration. The Arizona law would seem the culmination of the trend. Among its most stringent and divisive tactics is the provision that would grant police the authority to stop anyone suspected of being present in the country illegally.

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