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Tilting at Windmills

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October 19, 2010

MAKING VOTE-SUPPRESSION TACTICS LITERAL.... Conservatives embrace a variety of efforts to suppress the votes of those who might disagree with them. The tactics are no doubt familiar by now: vote caging, ID laws, "voter integrity" squads, etc.

But in Nevada, a conservative group is taking a vote-suppression strategy to its literal ends, taking out ads telling Hispanic Americans that they just shouldn't vote at all.

The president of Latinos for Reform, Robert Desposada, is a conservative political consultant and political analyst for Univision, but he said the ad is a sincere effort to express Hispanic frustration with the Democrats failure to deliver on immigration reform.

"We're saying what a lot of people are feeling. It's the only way for Hispanics to stand up and demand some attention," Desposada said, adding that he also couldn't ask voters to support Sharon Angle.

Let me get this straight. Desposada sees Angle running on an anti-Hispanic campaign platform, and believes Angle's approach to immigration policy is racist. Desposada also knows that if Angle wins, she'll pursue an anti-Hispanic policy agenda in the Senate.

Logically, then, Desposada believes Hispanic voters should make a conscious, deliberate effort to help Angle win, so she can work against the community's interests for the next six years. What's more, Desposada believes Hispanics will have their voices heard if they stay home, refuse to say anything, and play no role in the political process at all.

Latinos for Reform, in other words, is trying to suppress the Latino vote, and make reform far less likely.

I've seen some dumb campaign strategies this year, but this might be the most inexplicable.

Steve Benen 9:20 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (16)

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Comments

Smells like astroturf/anonymous donors to me

Posted by: shoeflyin on October 19, 2010 at 9:24 AM | PERMALINK

There's nothing inexplicable about the campaign strategy. It's a conservative campaign that is designed to help the conservative win.

Posted by: Davran on October 19, 2010 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

And WHO IS FUNDING the advertisements aimed at surpressing Latino voter turnout?

Karl Rove?
Koch brothers?
Other billionaires wanting to eliminate the death tax or keep tax cuts for millionaires or eliminate federal government interference (regulation) in the oil/pharmaceutical/banking/other industry?

Posted by: AngryOldVet on October 19, 2010 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

We shall see how inexplicable it might be. Like Conway's gambit in KY, what appears to be idiotic on its face to a rational observer may have some beneficial impact for the candidate.

Posted by: dr. bloor on October 19, 2010 at 9:42 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, paid astroturf campaign, being a little too obvious this time.

I've frequently wondered how much of the non-stop whining about Obama not Fixing Everything in two years is coming specifically from astroturfers. Hard to separate from the oblivious and clueless, obviously.

Posted by: Rathskeller on October 19, 2010 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

Hear that? That's the sound of money talking. With a rich Latino accent.

Posted by: chrenson on October 19, 2010 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

Steve, Desposada is a conservative first, Hispanic second.

It's all a matter of having your priorities straight.

/snark off

Posted by: bdop4 on October 19, 2010 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK
Logically, then, Desposada believes Hispanic voters should make a conscious, deliberate effort to help Angle win, so she can work against the community's interests for the next six years. What's more, Desposada believes Hispanics will have their voices heard if they stay home, refuse to say anything, and play no role in the political process at all.

To be fair, this is the exact same argument that some people on the left have been making for years: if we just stay home and withhold our votes, then the politicians will see how powerful we are and do what we want. And if they don't, then they'll make things worse and "heighten the contradictions" and people will magically come around to the left's way of thinking.

Of course, this has been working about as well for the left as it will work for Latinos in Nevada, but I fully expect the meme to keep going.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on October 19, 2010 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

How is this guy any different from all of the principled progressives on blog comment boards insisting that they won't vote for Republicans, but there's no point in voting for Democrats?

Posted by: Another Steve on October 19, 2010 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

So Desposada had no issues with the Republicans' refusal to work with George W. on immigration reform; isn't he being partisan?

Posted by: Brian on October 19, 2010 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

What people outside the Southwest don't understand is that 'Hispanics' are not a monolithic group. There are 'Latinos' who identify more strongly with Mexico on the one hand and have a more rpogressive view of immigration, and then there are 'Hispanos' who identify more with their deep Spanish ancestry and have a strong sentiment that there is a difference between 'la raza' and illegals. I live in northern NM and many Hispanos here take a much more conservative view of illegal immigrants.

Posted by: Varecia on October 19, 2010 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

Makes me wonder why Univision is accepting the ad. If I were one of Univision's Board of Directors, I might have a word with the genius' who thought this was good for my station.

Posted by: kindness on October 19, 2010 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

Why is the AARP and the NRA powerful in this country?

Because their voters come out to vote in numbers disporportionate to their portion of the population.

If you want to be paid attention to as those groups are, you vote. You don't boycott.

And here endth the lesson.

Posted by: Lance on October 19, 2010 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

Even if buy the argument, doesn't Nevada have a "none of these candidates" option? Seems a much better to express displeasure than just staying home.

Posted by: Aaron S. Veenstra on October 19, 2010 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

Even if buy the argument, doesn't Nevada have a "none of these candidates" option? Seems a much better to express displeasure than just staying home.

I'm not aware of any state that offers such an option. Voting third party is the closest equivalent.

Posted by: Just Dropping By on October 19, 2010 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

You know what we need, but will never get? Instant Runoff voting becoming the national standard. The fact of the matter is that until someone can vote for their principles without it essentially being am impotent voice of dissent, we're never going to have a functional government. Look, right now, people are pissed at both parties, but they have no way of expressing displeasure with a democrat without, essentially, supporting someone they probably think is worse. Pedants keep saying, "Well, they should have fought it out in the primaries," but the whole stinking system is gamed to keep political power in the hands of a party that is too weak-willed to stand up to moneyed interests to advance progressive ideas, and one that outright represents those interests.

Any progressive who feels dissatisfaction with the status quo has three choices currently: vote for some pathetic representative who you have little faith in, thus supporting, at best, a status quo that gave you two more years of Joe Lieberman holding seniority; vote for someone who does share your principles, but will never win, thus supporting someone openly hostile towards your principles; or stay home, which will also only work to elect more republicans. You want to get progressives fired up again, then make Instant Runoffs a plank in the Democratic platform. Because until you do, then every disgusted voter who just can't stomach saying "Evan Byah best represents my views," every third party vote for a green candidate, essentially increases the GOP's vote tally by a half a vote.

Posted by: Sisyphus on October 19, 2010 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK
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