Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

May 3, 2010

DRIVING AWAY A GROWING CONSTITUENCY.... Republicans officials are well aware of the fine line on immigration politics -- satisfying the demands of the party's far-right base, or cultivating ties to Hispanic-American voters, a growing American constituency that's often considered a "swing" group of voters.

It's become apparent that the GOP isn't walking this fine line very well.

Many Hispanic-Americans say they feel stung by a law they allege invites racial profiling, incites hatred and discriminates against all Latinos.

The law in Arizona was passed by a Republican legislature and signed by a GOP governor. Republican lawmakers in Texas, Utah and several other states have said they would consider introducing laws similar to the one passed in Arizona.

Conservative Hispanic voters, in particular, say they feel betrayed by Republican Party leaders who have supported the law.

Texan Massey Villarreal, the former chairman of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly, , said, "It's insulting to have Republican leaders across the country applauding this racist law. I'm sure this is going to hurt the Republican Party."

That's a reasonable prediction. Indeed, the electoral consequences in the near-future may prove to be significant -- Latino voters are the fastest growing demographic group in the country, and as recently as 2004, the Bush/Cheney ticket's success suggested Republicans were making gains with this constituency.

Those GOP gains are now fading very quickly, giving Democrats a possible boost, particularly in states like Arizona, New Mexico, California, Texas, and Nevada.

Steve Benen 9:35 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (35)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

Welcome to my big white tent.

Posted by: john R on May 3, 2010 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

Yep. That was the one really intelligent thing that Karl Rove ever did: trying to get the GOP to see sense on immigration reform. But since they haven't and they've given full reign to their vicious nativist side, they will become a minority party of southern Whites. They will have representation in congress and in some states, but they won't ever win a national election with platforms like this.

Posted by: Rathskeller on May 3, 2010 at 9:42 AM | PERMALINK

Ted Nugent to the rescue:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/may/03/immigration-lesson-for-numskulls/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter_must-read-stories-today

Posted by: martin on May 3, 2010 at 9:42 AM | PERMALINK

So, is Villarreal still a Republicsn? If so, why?

Posted by: MsJoanne on May 3, 2010 at 9:49 AM | PERMALINK

I wonder how long it will be before we discover that Arizona's pool of registered voters has been tinkered with by these fine, upstanding examples of whitey-ness?

Posted by: S. Waybright on May 3, 2010 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

Two words: Prop 187.

This is among the politically stupidest things Republicans have ever done. But then, they're catering to the Stupids, who are a big and active part of their base.

All I can say is, keep it up!

Posted by: bleh on May 3, 2010 at 9:54 AM | PERMALINK

I wonder if this will make Texas Gov. Rick "Goodhair" Perry soften his rabid teabagger seccessionist rhetoric. He's got a decent challenger in popular former Houston mayor Bill White.

If the Rethugs get tarred with being the anti-Latino party, they can kiss their dominance of Texas politics goodbye.

Pass the roasted corn, with extra mayo, sourcream, and hotsauce.

Posted by: Winkandanod on May 3, 2010 at 9:56 AM | PERMALINK

And, many of those petulant losers of Prop. 187 moved to Arizona in disgust.

Posted by: berttheclock on May 3, 2010 at 9:59 AM | PERMALINK

Re: Martin and the Washington Times piece:

And they wonder why nobody wants to buy that piece of shit paper...

Posted by: Swarty on May 3, 2010 at 10:00 AM | PERMALINK

So, how are those Cinco de Mayo celebrations shaping up in Arizona and Texas bars?

Posted by: berttheclock on May 3, 2010 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

S.Waybright asks "I wonder how long it will be before we discover that Arizona's pool of registered voters has been tinkered with by these fine, upstanding examples of whitey-ness?"

See gregpalast.com. He's got the dirt on the current governor (Jan Brewer), who was the former Secretary of State who got elevated to the governorship by Janet Napolitano's move to Washington.

According to Palast, Brewer as SoS purged some 100,000 (Hispanic, Democratic) voters from the rolls during her tenure.

Posted by: Zandru on May 3, 2010 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

And let's not forget that there are plenty of non-Hispanics (and non-minorities, even) who find the Arizona law offensive.

Posted by: MattF on May 3, 2010 at 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

This just proves how cunning Harry Reid is -- immigration reform only came up now because he raised the possibility of the Senate working on this bill. It doesn't hurt that this wedge issue also helps his own reelection campaign. I would not count him out yet.

Posted by: Reginald Perrin on May 3, 2010 at 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

I think it may be a little more complex, and thus harder to predict, than it may seem. Here in New Mexico, Hispanos are not a monolithic group. Many are very much offended by the law, but others have always taken a much more conservative view toward immigration issues, because ethnicity and ethnic identity is a VERY complex thing here in New Mexico. It also depends on distance from the actual border. There has been a lot of chronic trouble in areas nearer to the border and that might color one's view of the issues.

Posted by: Varecia on May 3, 2010 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

I cant believe that Im defending Governor Rick Perry (R-Texas)but he has come out AGAINST the Arizona law stating:

"I fully recognize and support a state's right and obligation to protect its citizens, but I have concerns with portions of the law passed in Arizona and believe it would not be the right direction for Texas,"

Shockingly, I think the WSJ might have just made it up with regards to other states getting on the same bandwagon as Arizona.

Posted by: Litterbox on May 3, 2010 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

Varecia, one might, indeed, have a more nuanced view of the issue, but it is hard to find any nuanced view in the Arizona law. No one has yet identified what constitutes "reasonable suspicion" of being in the country illegally -- anyone can see what it will mean in practice.

Posted by: Barbara on May 3, 2010 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

Republicans have adopted a political strategy that is doomed to failure in the long run, but will (unfortunately) succeed quite well in the short run. Forget about reaching out to new voter groups. Instead, work on jacking up their share of the white, Christian, non-Hispanic voters. Right now, around 60% of those voters vote Republican. If they can get the WCNH voters to go 80% Republican, the way that African-American voters go 80% Democratic, then they have enough votes to stay competitive for at least a decade or so. After that, the strategy fizzles, when WCNH voters cease to be the majority in America.

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on May 3, 2010 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

Of course Villarreal is still a Repub. He knows which side of his bread his patrones have buttered.

Posted by: gdb on May 3, 2010 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

Mets catcher Rod Barajas told The New York Times, "If they happen to pull someone over who looks like they are of Latin descent, even if they are a U.S. citizen, that is the first question that is going to be asked. But if a blond-haired, blue-eyed Canadian gets pulled over, do you think they are going to ask for their papers? No."

And that ladies and gentlemen is what is also known as RACIAL PROFILING!!

Posted by: yESmAN on May 3, 2010 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

yESmAN -

But Ingrid Persson isn't an ethnic name, nor is Sean O'Malley, or Karl Schmidt.

Posted by: freelunch on May 3, 2010 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

@yESmAN, In 1985, the old INS made a 5 AM sweep of the Del Mar Race Track, which is just above San Diego. They came onto the main track with spotlights glaring as horses and jockeys were conducting early morning workouts. The great Willie Shoemaker was aboard Lord at War on the main track and the horse came close to bolting. The INS said they were only looking for illegals and there was no profiling. Yet, a friend of mine, who worked the back side, said he knew of two Europeans who were here without papers, were never questioned as the agents walked past them to speak with brown skinned employees. I do tend to agree with the comments by the INS as I remember all of their sweeps up and down Rodeo Drive. Or was that East LA? Hmmm?

Posted by: berttheclock on May 3, 2010 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

I honestly think the Republicans plan is based on a very low voter turnout and the lunatic fringe of their base would be enough to score them big gains. But in the process of kissing Tea Party ass they're really pushing just about everyone else away...and giving them reason to vote.

Posted by: SaintZak on May 3, 2010 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

@ berttheclock -

Truth be told, I wouldnt have a problem with sb1070 if it will be applied accross the board. Everyone should be asked to provide/produce their papers upon any contact with law enforcement, be you white, brown, blue or indigo. The selective application(which is what inevitably will start happening once it kicks in) is what makes it stink to high heavens.

If you are going to be a police state, be a police state! To all citizens!

Posted by: yESmAN on May 3, 2010 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

As long as they possess their Proper Party Papers and dues are current.

Posted by: berttheclock on May 3, 2010 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

Even before the AZ fiasco, immigration was a potential winner for the Dems in the November elections, which is probably why LG pitched a fit about it being put before the energy/climate bill, which would have had a potentially big downside for Dems this Fall.

Posted by: CDW on May 3, 2010 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

Can't understand how the GOP can be so bad at recruiting Hispanic voters when a good percentage are conservatives. The GOP actually seems to go out of its way to INSULT Hispanics at every opportunity.

Posted by: J on May 3, 2010 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

My wife and I vacationed at the Grand Canyon a couple of years ago.
We really enjoyed AZ. We were thinking seriously of retiring there.
Too bad we can't ever go back.

Posted by: efgoldman on May 3, 2010 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

Let the wingnut Nazis go right ahead on. It was Proposition 187 that consigned the California Republican Party to permanent minority status.

Posted by: TCinLA on May 3, 2010 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

My step-brother said the law-enforcement has been doing those type of stops, asking for papers, etc., for a long time. Now they have the law enacted to back them up.

Posted by: Schtick on May 3, 2010 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

You people need to come to your senses. Ever hear of a concept known as rule of law? The requirements of the AZ law is a reflection of Federal Law enacted during the FDR adminstration. "Papers, please" has been the law of the land for over 60 years, people. The fact the Feds have refused to enforce the law is a shame.

Go to Mexico and see what happens if you can't show your presence in the country is legal. This whole "racism" thing is to laugh.

Rove was an idiot who was all for turning the country over to the Dimocrats. Do a minscule amount of research and you will find illegals don't vote Republican, when they do vote. They vote Dimocrat, as do the overwhelming majority of the legals from Latin America.

Posted by: Quartermaster on May 3, 2010 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

Go to Mexico and see what happens if you can't show your presence in the country is legal. -Quartermaster

This is not Mexico, nor is it a convincing argument to say that other countries have laws or practices that are stricter and more heavy handed. In America, our goal is not to be slightly better than Mexico.

"Papers, please" has been the law of the land for over 60 years, people. -Quartermaster

That's not quite true. Law enforcement is able, with probable cause, to ascertain someone's status. This bill does away with the probable cause requirement and supplants is with an unknown legal entity, reasonable suspicion.

Ever hear of a concept known as rule of law? -Quartermaster

I'll believe that conservatives believe in the rule of law as soon as they call for an investigation and trial pertaining to the previous administration's constitutional violations and lying to congress.

Posted by: doubtful on May 3, 2010 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

Two words: Prop 187.

And if the history of Prop 187 is any guide...the Arizona law's impact will be limited to Arizona. Sure, Prop 187 damaged the CA GOP irreparably over the long term - but didn't really do any harm to Republicans nationally. I expect the Arizona law will play out the same way.

After all, we're talking about a state law that state Republicans advocated - so, what relevance does it have in the other 49 states not named Arizona?

Add in the fact that many prominent conservatives have either condemned it outright, or at least expressed strong ambivalence toward it (Marco Rubio, Connie Mack, Mike Gerson, Peter Wehner, Karl Rove, just off the top of my head).

Posted by: m1 on May 3, 2010 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

"It's insulting to have Republican leaders across the country applauding this racist law. I'm sure this is going to hurt the Republican Party."

Yeah, when they thought these Republicans were only biased against "those" people (African Americans) they never dreamed they could be considering them. Hispanics have their fair share of bigots and racists as well and to actually think that they would be accepted by a group of people who do not see them as White which in meaning Hispanics eyes means they have been accepted is truly pathetic.

Sometimes it takes a cold hard slap in the face to wake you up and to realize that the "other" is you.

Posted by: SquarePeg on May 3, 2010 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

What did conservative Hispanics think? That the rethugs wouldn't eventually turn their knives on them?

With the "base" being default racist and the slavers/country club being default crony capitalism, it was only a matter of time before the Latinos felt their ire.

You know the phrase about sleeping with snakes, right?

Posted by: agentX on May 3, 2010 at 11:02 PM | PERMALINK

"With the "base" being default racist and the slavers/country club being default crony capitalism, it was only a matter of time before the Latinos felt their ire."

You do an awful lot of tarring there, agentx. This sounds EXACTLY like how conservatives talk about liberals.

Why do we need such vitriol?

Posted by: J on May 4, 2010 at 7:40 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly