Is Obama Trying to Turn the Border into the Next 'Third Rail'?

If President Obama and his remaining Democratic allies get their way, border security may become a new third rail of American politics. He surely won't touch it except to use it as a wedge issue, and if state governments take any action to deal with it, he has shown that he'll use the full power of the federal government to compel them to stop. That's what the Justice Department's lawsuit against Arizona is all about. If Republicans speak out on the issue, the Democrats will slap them with the "racist" canard, with Obama himself leading the way. And this is in spite of the fact that the border is a national security problem.

It's life and death issue because while Washington plays politics there is a very bloody war raging in northern Mexico, right across the Texas-Mexico border. The latest: According to the Brownsville (TX) Herald, city residents are still on edge a few days after a major street battle in Matamoros left 47 dead:

A cloud of uncertainty remains over Matamoros as threats of violence continue to disrupt everyday life, four days after the Mexican military killed the head of the Gulf Cartel after a lengthy firefight.

Officials say that southbound traffic into the Mexican city had slowed to a trickle after widespread gunfire over the weekend left an unknown death toll that is still creating controversy.

As a result of the shootouts, the Mexican military announced Friday night the death of Antonio Ezequiel Cardenas Guillen, the man they considered the head of the Gulf Cartel.

Since then, the residents of Matamoros have been living in fear, expecting additional violence and with some of them fleeing the city.

This is just the latest in a string of hyper-violent clashes and attacks that have occurred along the border in recent weeks. In late October, for instance, there were running battles in Mexican cities near Laredo, Texas:

NUEVO LAREDO, Mexico – Mexican soldiers battled gunmen in two cities across the border from Texas on Wednesday, prompting panicked parents to pull children from school and factories to warn workers to stay inside. Assailants in a third city threw a grenade at an army barracks.

The U.S. Consulate in Nuevo Laredo warned American citizens to stay indoors. The statement said there were reports of drug gangs blocking at least one intersection near the consulate in the city across from Laredo, Texas.

The local city government and witnesses reported several more blockades — a new tactic that has emerged in northeastern Mexico, where violence has soared this year amid a split between the Gulf and Zetas drug gangs.