May 8, 2006


Bordering on Defeat: Immigrant bashing is for losers (Stephen Moore, 06/28/2004, Weekly Standard)

When Ben Nighthorse Campbell unexpectedly announced his retirement from the Senate and popular GOP governor Bill Owens announced he would not run, many people assumed Rep. Tom Tancredo--by far the best-known member of Colorado's congressional delegation and a solid fiscal conservative--would coast to an easy win in the primary. But Tancredo, the leading anti-immigration voice on Capitol Hill, pulled out. It turns out that while Tancredo's crusade against immigration has gained him a loyal following among like-thinking conservatives, his political negatives are also in the stratosphere. [...]

So Republicans are now torn between divergent ideologies on immigration--a nativist stand represented by Tancredo and a welcoming one represented by Bush. The tensions are palpable. Pat Buchanan, who wants to bar as many people and goods from coming into the United States as possible, predicts "another Goldwater moment in the Grand Old Party, like 1960, when the grassroots began to rumble and rise in rebellion. . . . Immigration is the most explosive [issue], as is seen in the stunning recoil to Bush's amnesty early this year."

But if conservatives are "recoiling" from what Buchanan calls the "immigrant invasion," where is the electoral evidence? (Buchanan himself, recall, mustered a grand total of 1 percent of the presidential vote in 2000.) The answer is that there is none. In virtually every congressional race in recent years where the issue came up, it has been the candidate who wants to drape a "No Admittance" sign over the Statue of Liberty who lost the election--even in Republican primaries.

Restrictionist themes have been tried many times over in the wake of the 9/11 attacks (as if denying visas to Mexican migrant workers were going to protect us from al Qaeda). On almost every occasion the seal-the-border candidates have fallen. Last year, it was state representative Carl Isett in Texas's 19th congressional district, running in a special election. This March, it was hard-charging, dynamic state senator Rico Oller in the GOP primary in the third district of California who hammered Dan Lungren mercilessly for supporting "amnesty" in the mid-1980s. Lungren won.

Most recently, in the Republican primary in Illinois, Senate candidate Jim Oberweis spent millions of dollars on immigrant-bashing TV and radio ads but still finished a distant second place, to Jack Ryan, who is pro-immigration.

Buchanan touts upcoming GOP primaries in Arizona and Utah in the coming weeks, where anti-immigration zealots backed by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) are hoping to oust pro-immigration incumbent congressmen Jeff Flake, Jim Kolbe, and Chris Cannon. Their alleged sins: endorsing the Bush "amnesty" and alleged political indifference to the tide of illegal immigration. Despite all of the hullabaloo, all three are expected to win their races with relative ease.

The problem is that even to the extent that anti-immigrationism is politically popular, those politicians who are obsessed by it are too off-putting to succeed in America. You can't win elections wearing your pathologies on your sleeve.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 8, 2006 3:36 PM

I don't think it's just the pubbie base angry. There's some interesting letters and responses at

Posted by: Sandy P at May 8, 2006 3:49 PM

Americans are cowering from the onslaught immigrant criminals such as this.

Posted by: h-man at May 8, 2006 4:56 PM

Somebody let the cat out of the bag that the May Day Illegal Alien rally was organized and funded by the international communists. What happened next was that Cinco de Mayo turned into Gringo de Mayo and when the doors opened for the party on the 5th nobody showed up. Who'd have thought we've got so many anti-communist racists in this country? I predict that unless the Republican party bows to the will of the people and does something about the border, punishes the Mexican Fox for being so disrespectful of our laws and delicate sensibilities of right and wrong that when they hold the 06 elections nobody is going to show up for that either.

Now I gotta go and get my sheets out of the cleaners and go sign up for the Minuteman Project.

Posted by: NC3 at May 8, 2006 4:57 PM


I got dibs on hiding Vanessa.

Posted by: Brad S at May 8, 2006 5:17 PM

This is an example of a Most Wanted list that has many nativists freaking out:

I'm definately pro-immigrant, but such info is disturbing.

Posted by: Patrick H at May 8, 2006 5:45 PM

Not at all Brad, knock yourself out. But if I were you I'd count all of your appendages before you go to sleep.

Interesting note, I noticed that the FBI when compiling crime statistics counts the Hispanics in among white folk but every other agency notes a racial difference. I think it would be interesting to know what the violent crime rate for white guys would be if they'd break that down and not give the white boys credit for all those extra crimes.

Posted by: NC3 at May 8, 2006 5:55 PM

Note they only caught the lazy native.

Posted by: oj at May 8, 2006 7:03 PM

When immigration is outlawed, only outlaws will immigrate.

Posted by: Joseph Hertzlinger at May 9, 2006 1:25 AM