The terrorist attacks in Paris have translated stateside into a heated, often farcical debate over whether the U.S. should take in refugees fleeing the war in Syria. While Republicans have led the charge, combining the politics of xenophobia with the politics of the war on terror, they are not alone.
As Politico notes, President Obama’s insistence that the U.S. uphold its (already meager) commitment to take in 10,000 refugees by next year is “driving a wedge through the Democratic Party, pitting liberal stalwarts against nervous Senate candidates and some senior lawmakers.”
Those nervous politicians include New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan and former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, both of whom plan to challenge Republican Senate incumbents in 2016. They have called for a pause to the resettlement program.
This may be smart politics, unfortunately. A new poll from Bloomberg shows that a full 53 percent of respondents say the U.S. should not accept any Syrian refugees, compared to the 28 percent who agree with Obama’s position.