You almost have to feel sorry for John Faso on this one.
We all were surprised when political unknown Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez beat powerful and once-thought-unbeatable incumbent Joe Crowley in a Democratic primary.
If a novice can use Facebook to bring down the boss of the Bronx Democrats, then an incumbent surely could wield the weapon strategically against his media-savvy opponent, Antonio Delgado.
So Faso’s campaign took to Facebook with this schoolyard challenge:
"Mr. Delgado must immediately inform the voters of the 19th Congressional District if he stands with Mayor de Blasio, Kirsten Gillibrand, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Cynthia Nixon and other fellow-progressives on the loony left by wishing to abolish ICE. Voters deserve to know whether Mr. Delgado will work to abolish the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”
Instead of consulting his media team, he should have talked to a lawyer — both he and his opponent have law degrees, after all — and reflected on one of the oldest pieces of legal advice:
Never ask a question in public if you don’t already know the answer.
Delgado quickly reminded Faso that he was out of his depth in so many ways by replying "Spoiler alert: I do not support abolishing ICE."
He went on to invite Faso to contact him directly next time instead of having “his staffer to send out statements written by Paul Ryan.”
Instead of resorting to taunts and name-calling, Delgado sounded much more like a member of Congress than the person who represents New York’s 19th District for now, saying, "I am eager to discuss our country’s immigration policies and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement with the congressman.”
We all should be eager to do that.
The calls to abolish ICE have increased ever since more than a dozen of its investigators wrote a letter last week saying that the increased enforcement efforts to detect and detain illegal migrants has limited their ability to perform some of the agency’s most important jobs such as investigating national security threats, international crime and child pornography
That’s why several Democratic lawmakers are raising the issue now, hoping not that the Trump administration and its loyal supporters, including Faso, will engage in this discussion but trying to increase public pressure for such a dialogue.
As we see in Faso’s pathetic attempt, it won’t be easy. With Sean Hannity hyperventilating once again on Fox, with our congressman echoing not Paul Ryan — Delgado was wrong on that — but the president himself with the disparaging “loony left” slur, any meaningful and thoughtful examination of this issue seems doomed to be one-sided.
Now that we know Faso is familiar with Facebook, perhaps he will click on YouTube and watch some of those chilling videos with ICE agents patrolling bus stations in upstate New York, challenging those in line to show their papers before they are allowed to get on.
As the agents wrote to the head of the Homeland Security Department, ICE now has “been perceived as targeting undocumented aliens, instead of the transnational criminal organizations that facilitate cross border crimes impacting our communities and national security.”
Nothing loony about investigating that.