December 7, 2006


Get welcome wagons out of GOP attic (David Hill, 12/06/06, The Hill)

In spite of the seeming mega-shift in the two major parties’ electoral fortunes, their primary images mostly remain intact.

To try and dig deeper into the factors that unseated the GOP majority, I asked about some seldom-examined image-traits of the parties. The most important of these asked voters which party would best be described as friendly and open. The results weren’t even close. By a 3-to-1 margin, voters perceived the Democrats as a friendlier party.

The magnitude of the Democratic advantage cut across most every demographic segment of the electorate, declining only among seniors, especially older men. But even in that slice of the electorate the Democrats maintained a solid 2-to-1 edge in friendliness. [...]

The registered Independent and non-partisan voters in this poll were the coup-de-grâce for Republicans. By a 10-to-1 margin, they consider Democrats more friendly and open.

Gee, a party that talks about deporting 20 million people isn't seen as welcoming? Go figure.....

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 7, 2006 12:00 AM

This is just old crust - the GOP has been accused of being cold since Hoover.

Do you think America believes Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, Chuck Schumer, and John Conyers would make great neighbors? Or that John Kerry and Barbara Boxer make the best barbecue guests? Or that Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann are just the bomb?

All this stuff was said when Reagan was President, and it didn't mean squat then. The only time it probably hurt was when Bush Sr. ran for re-election, and what hurt him was the same thing that hurt the GOP this time: a weak, ineffectual, and detached attitude at the top.

You wrote in a recent comment that the GOP couldn't get Bolton confirmed when they had the majority, so it's absurd to think he would be confirmed now (in the lame duck session).

In a nutshell, there's your reason the Republicans lost Congress - with a 55-45 majority, they couldn't get a simple nominee to the UN confirmed. Frist (and Bush) let George Voinovich cry his way right into minority status. It wasn't immigration, it wasn't Foley, it wasn't even Duke Cunningham. It was an accurate perception that the GOP majority in Congress was unwilling to govern. Why should an independent voter back the GOP when simps like Voinovich and Chafee (and Graham and McCain) took every opportunity to attack the head of their party?

Sure, the war was a big part of it. But had we fought more vigorously, I suspect your 2004 view that the war didn't matter would have been borne out. Because we pretty much sat on our hands from early 2005 on, the question became why should an independent voter support a party that isn't really fighting a 'war'?

Posted by: jim hamlen at December 7, 2006 1:20 AM

America doesn't know who any of those Dems are. The GOP got to define the election and it chose war and immigration.

Posted by: oj at December 7, 2006 7:49 AM

We have already determined that the country needs immigration to fulfill the demand for labor to take the places of the 43 million babies who have gone into the dumpsters.

We also know--and we read it right here a few days ago--that immigration from eastern European Nato allies is being curtailed.

So let's see. We need immigration: the Kindermord saw to that. We could get all the immigrants we needed through legal channels, yet we are barring our doors to all kinds of immigrants yearning to breathe free, but still the "friendly," "open" and "welcoming" side is the one that wants to fill the slots with immigrants qualified for peonage, the "jobs Americans won't do."

Pfui. Disgusting hypocracy, Falwell was right.

Posted by: Lou Gots at December 7, 2006 8:15 AM

The legal restrictions are just a relic of Republican racism, anti-semitism, and anti-papism.

Posted by: oj at December 7, 2006 10:52 AM

Gee, a party that talks about deporting 20 million people isn't seen as welcoming?

Talk about an "inside the Beltway" mindset. Do you really think tha the American public has the same perceptions that the few people who post to weblogs have? (Haven't you even made that point yourself in the past?) The American public doesn't know or care about the beef you anti-anti-illegal mmigrationists with the anti-illegal immigrationists in the GOP. The public gets their perception of the GOP from Comedy Central and David Letterman and Jay Leno, who as Jim Hamlen points out, have been protraying the GOP as mean for 70 years.

You really need to get a new nail.

Jim: Why vote for the Dem wannabees who can't deliver when you can vote for the real thing who will? The voters made a rational (ooh, naughy word alert) decision to chuck the GOP. (And deliver they will, as people are about to find out the hard way. Just not deliver what they expected.)

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at December 7, 2006 11:03 AM

Mr. Ortega, you know better. The American people may not be paying attention, but the twenty million new ones are. In a country as evenly divided as this one, twenty million is a Large voting block to be throwing under the bus.

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at December 7, 2006 11:09 AM

I live in DuPage County Illinois, a suburban Republican haven (I still think it is fair to say that since we actually elected a Republican to an open House seat).

The anti-immigration theme was just deadly here. My wife, who is as Right-leaning as independents get, refused to vote for Roskam after we received an ant-illegal-immigrant mailing from the RNCC. I called the Roskam campaign to establish (which was true) that they had nothing to do with the mailing, but my wife still refused to vote for any Republican because she thought the tone of the mailing was mean spirited and un-Christian. That's it for you in a nutshell. All of her friends (stay-at-home moms who almost always vote Republican) were 100% of the same mind on it. The anti-immigration push of 2005-06 was the single dumbest political move Republicans have made in my lifetime -- equalled only by the anti-immigrant proposition in 1994 that lost us California.

Posted by: rds at December 7, 2006 11:21 AM


Same thing happened in the Indiana 3rd District with the result being that Souder didn't carry Fort Wayne for the 1st time in 6 tries and had the narrowest margin of his career. That late mailing I fear ticked off the Christian Right (Souder's natural base) who are making a concerted effort to support the local Latino community. I can believe that a lot of right-leaning independents either begged off or supported Hayhurst who is pretty far left on a lot of issues but strongly anti-abortion.

I think the vehemence of the Tancredo types has caused a lot of Republican's to over-estimate their strength. Most center to center-right Americans just don't hate the Latinos in our midst enough to punish them the way the screamers think we should.

And Robert Mitchell is right too. These people lean right on social issues and according to Michael Barone have a healthy distrust of government. They are the stupid party's natural allies, but of course we're too stupid to notice.

Posted by: jeff at December 7, 2006 12:32 PM

Anecdotes are nice, but ultimately meaningless.

Those "twenty million thrown under the bus" aren't supposed to be voting in the first place. The question is how and whether they should be, and to think of them as just another group that's up for auction shows exactly what's wrong with the anti-anti-illegal immigrationist mindset that gets exhibited around here. (And against the Dems who've shown an ability to always win such bidding wars. Talk about your Stupid Party.)

One thing never in these discussions is what to do with all the millions of legal immingrants who are patiently working (and paying) their way through the system. From what I can see, they get punished and treated as chumps, as how can you give "amnesty" to someone who isn't breaking the law and shows no desire to want to break that law? Are those the people you should really be wanting in this country? And if not, why?

Maybe it's because I work with so many of those legal immigrants (or have them as friends and family members), at all stages in the system, people who've expressed their frustration with the system when they try to follow those rules (and pay the costs involved), that I've devloped my anecdotal opinion of the topic. And let's not forget how for every job I take the documentation required of this citizen born in this country to show I "have a right to work in this country" gets longer with every amnesty or "reform". If the anti-anti- types start addressing ALL of these problems, or maybe even dismantling the whole present system, then I might start taking them seriously. But they don't, they just want to complicate things further and create even more classes of people in this country. Otherwise, they're just posturing the same way as those they are reacting against.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at December 7, 2006 3:56 PM

They get to be citizens too, even though they're less dedicated and less worthy. Everybody gets to stay.

Posted by: oj at December 7, 2006 4:00 PM

Not even the Hispanic community voted (much) more heavily Democratic because of Jim Sensenbrenner.

If the GOP wants to make "nice", then go with Liddy Dole for President in 2008. Or Susan Collins.

That's a winning ticket for sure.

As Robert implied, the Republicans have to figure out how to get half of the Hispanic vote. Acting like Tom Tancredo certainly ain't going to do it, but trying to out-amnesty the Democrats won't work, either.

Besides, the real hatred for immigrants is on the left, not the right. The unions and the CBC are much more anti-immigrant than the GOP. But you won't read that in the NYT, and you won't hear Jon Stewart talking about it, either.

Posted by: jim hamlen at December 7, 2006 4:33 PM

The best Republicans, Reagan, W and McCain are nice on such issues, which is why they get to be president.

Posted by: oj at December 7, 2006 4:36 PM


I'm confused here: Who do you mean when you mention people less dedicated or worthy? And who are they less dedicated than?

Posted by: Matt Murphy at December 7, 2006 8:23 PM

the folks who are willing to wait for the nativist stamp of approval before the come here and become citizens. We want the folks who are willing to take risks and ignore the crackers.

Posted by: oj at December 7, 2006 9:05 PM

Gracious or wise is a better choice of words than nice.

And perhaps all Republican candidates should decide to start wearing pink ties (if male) or pink suits (if female). Would it help? It gave Hillary some breathing room.

Posted by: jim hamlen at December 8, 2006 12:20 AM