September 5, 2007


GOP drops ball on Hispanic vote (Dick Polman, September 5, 2007, Sacramento Bee)

In Rove's words, "You cannot ignore the aspirations of the fastest-growing minority in America." But the party seems to be rolling up the welcome mat, even at the risk of alienating Hispanics who have the potential to swing five crucial states in the 2008 presidential election. As conservative political activist Clint Bolick warned in an Arizona newspaper not long ago, "If Republicans continue chasing Hispanic voters away, they can kiss their national electoral prospects good-bye." Under severe pressure from the predominantly white GOP base, most party leaders have largely renounced the Bush-Rove inclusion strategy. Rove's original idea was to enact a reform law that would clear a pathway to citizenship for an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants, thereby crafting the image of a Hispanic-friendly GOP; indeed, Bush was talking about this way back in 2001. But the party base didn't buy it, nor did the talk-radio conservatives, and the reform plan died in June on the Senate floor.

That was merely the latest blow to the inclusion strategy.

Last year, when the Republicans still ran the House, they passed a bill that in essence sought to kick the illegals out of the country.

The heat on Bush got so intense that he knuckled under and backed a bill to build a border fence. Sixteen months ago, a worried Republican analyst named Matthew Continetti told me, "The optimistic (GOP) message is pro-Latino and inclusive. The pessimistic message is 'Build a wall.' And one thing we know is, optimistic messages win." Sure enough, in the congressional elections last November, the pessimistic message lost. Whereas Bush captured as much as 44 percent of the Hispanic voters when he won reelection in 2004 (a record high for a GOP presidential candidate), Republican congressional candidates drew only 30 percent in 2006. The latter figure is nine points lower than the GOP congressional share in the midterms of 2002. It also appears that '06 Hispanic voters, by dint of their growing numbers, were pivotal in helping the Democrats win four western House seats previously held by the GOP.

And being racist didn't even help hold seats like the one Heath Shuler won.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 5, 2007 5:35 PM

It really is amazing, I agree with you about immigration and you still offend me with these posts.

I just have no idea what you are trying to accomplish...

You don't tear into those who don't share your religious beliefs...

Posted by: Benny at September 5, 2007 5:49 PM

I should say, you don't tear into those who do not share your faith in Christ, why insult those who don't share your faith in Mexicans?

Posted by: Benny at September 5, 2007 5:52 PM

They're the same people.

Posted by: oj at September 5, 2007 7:08 PM

Give it up. Insults are the first resort of people who have no arguments on their side, and know it. He doesn't make an attempt to pursuade because even he doesn't believe in his own arguments.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at September 5, 2007 8:24 PM

Let's see: sounding and acting like racists (but, ahem, not being racists) will get Hillary elected, bring about Hillary-care, higher taxes, liberal judges, loss of gun rights and a castrated military. The silver lining being that those twelve million citizens in all but name will never be deported by either party, so the issue is not actually an issue at all!

Sounds like good, old-fashioned Republican policy to me!

Posted by: Randall Voth at September 5, 2007 9:39 PM

The presence of racism in any particular individual who opposes illegal immigration is certainly debatable. The electoral shortsightedness of the GOP politicians beating this drum is not.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at September 5, 2007 9:45 PM

Nativism is always racist, whether it's the Germans, Czechs, Poles, Jews, Chinese, Japanese, Irish, or Latinos the know-nothing Right is raving against. And, of course, each time you get the folks who were the objects of the hatred last time spewing it this time. It's one of the few real cancers in the conservative body politic.

Posted by: oj at September 5, 2007 11:00 PM

Yeah, it may look pretty foolish for the current crop of GOP candidates to beat the illegal immigrant drum when the illegals are part of America's biggest minority.

But that presumes that the GOP even wants to win in 2008 in the first place. And that also presumes that Hispanics/Latinos/Mexicans are as interested in politics as, oh, the folks at Redstate or are.

Those are rather foolish presumptions, to say the least.

Posted by: Brad S at September 6, 2007 7:42 AM

Trading millions of votes for the interest of a few moonbats is practically Democratic in its insanity.

Posted by: oj at September 6, 2007 10:42 AM