You see some strange things in an election year -- when you see anything at all.
Too often, candidates address the tough issues in such vague generalities that their words are essentially meaningless.
Candidates -- and entire legislative bodies -- are slow to take any action that might alienate a voting bloc. Which, unfortunately, means no action at all.
That's partly what is so interesting about President Obama's move to relax deportation rules on young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally.
Sure it energizes one segment of voters.
At the same time, it antagonizes a different one.
And, unfortunately, in the long run it makes little difference to the bigger issue of immigration reform. Because, as Obama and his rivals both point out, this is not a permanent solution.
Immigration policy is probably one of the most polarizing issues the country faces, but just about everyone agrees the system we have isn't working.
But finding agreement on a solution presents a seemingly insurmountable obstacle to reform.
Staunch Republicans like our U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings and Sen. Mark Rubio, R-Fla., have been vocal in calling for immigration reform over the years.
Of course in these partisan times, they can't get behind an effort that comes from the Democratic presidential candidate. But Obama's policy change is not far afield from what some Republicans have supported.
Early this year, Rubio presented his version of the DREAM Act, which would have allowed some young illegal aliens to remain in the country legally while they worked toward legal status.
In 2010, Hastings told the Herald, "I have been very clear about my position on this issue, having long supported a complete solution that strengthens control over our borders, ends illegal immigration and improves the guest-worker program so that it is enforceable and functional for our local agriculture economy."
While Obama's new policy has problems, we like two things about it.
We like that it gives kids a chance -- kids who were brought here when they were too young to make their own decision and kids who have clean records.
Many of them have a Mexican citizenship but are as American as the Anglos who are born in this country.
We also like that it at least does something on the immigration front. This topic has been stalled for too long. The unwillingness of Congress to find a comprehensive solution has stalled all progress on the issue for years.
Our elected officials are afraid to touch it -- especially in an election year. And in the House of Representatives, it's always an election year.
We agree that Obama's approach is not a permanent solution. We know a much larger problem still needs to be fixed. But as least it's something.
And for thousands of youngsters who want to contribute to the only country they've really ever known, something is much more than nothing.