16 September 2007

Adios, Muchachos!

I am curious about Republican strategy for the future. Apparently I am not the only one. The Wall Street Journal has an editorial today titled 'Hispanics and the GOP.' It hits on a topic I've mentioned several times: if the Repubs are seen as anti-illegal immigrant, plus anti-legal immigarnt, how can it avoid being seen as anit-Hispanic? And since Hispanics make up about 8% of the electorate and will be 20% by 2020? And how will this bode well for the Repubs when they have seen their edge among Hispanic voters rise to more than 40% in 2004 only to drop down to less than 30% in 2006? Right now it seems that 51% of Hispanic citizens favor the Demos to 21% for the Repubs.

To understand this remarkable erosion of Latino support for Republicans, look no further than the most recent Presidential debates. While GOP candidates debated the urgency of erecting a fence from California to Texas along the Mexican border, Democrats debated in Spanish on Univision.


... getting people to vote for you is easier when you're not likening them to Islamic terrorists, or implying that Latino men are hard-wired for gang-banging. Unlike blacks, who have hewed to Democrats in large majorities for decades, Latinos are proven swing voters, and Republican energies would be better employed trying to win them over instead of trying to capitalize on ethnic polarization to win GOP primaries.

There's precedent here. In the mid-1990s after California Governor Pete Wilson embraced Proposition 187, which denied education and health-care benefits to the children of illegal aliens, Latino support for Republicans fell to 25% from 53%, and GOP support among Asians and women declined as well.

BTW, as an example of the delusional thinking and denial that goes into this, I have seen some Republican commentators simply deny that Proposition 187 had anything to do with the implosion of Republican votes in California.

But wait! We are only talking about illegal immigrants here, the law breakers who deserve this negative rhetoric!

Well, no.

... but when the target of scorn is the mother or brother or cousin of someone here lawfully, that becomes a difference without much of a distinction politically. Moreover, Tom Tancredo, the pied piper of restrictionists in Congress, wants a "time out" on all legal immigration, and Hispanic voters are wise to the fact that it's not because he thinks there are too many Italians in the U.S.

And then there are the Irish! Once regarded as even worse than the Hispanics! Really.

Es la verdad.

Just curious, but would that time out on legal immigraion include Canadians? Cubans (who overwhelmingly vote Repub)?

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