Republicans risk alienating the country's fastest growing voting bloc.
by Fred Barnes
08/18/2007 12:00:00 AM
AS EVERY REPUBLICAN knows, Democrats are short-sighted in their views on national security, pursuing antiwar arguments that are bound to come back and haunt them politically. This was the case with the clamor among Democrats to pull out of Vietnam and may be the case now as well with their calls for American troops to flee Iraq. The result of this antiwar noisemaking is a reputation for weakness on national security.
Yet Republicans are doing the same thing on another issue, trading away long-term gain for the immediate joy of pleasing voters who may (or may not) decide the winner of the Republican presidential nomination in 2008. That issue is immigration. (That's WRONG Fred, the issue is ILLEGAL immigration. That issue will decide the election by either bringing the base out or NOT)
By dwelling, often emotionally, on the problem of illegal immigration as a paramount issue and as if nothing is being done to deal with it, Republicans are alienating Hispanic Americans, the fastest growing voting bloc in the country. What's worse is many Republicans are oblivious to this or insist that losing Hispanic voters doesn't really matter because they'll never be reliable Republican voters anyway. These Republicans buy the notion that a sizable majority of Hispanics are and always will be Democrats. (It is a paramount issue, and it is not being dealt with. Only those inside the Beltway actually believe this issue is being handled. We do not think a sizable majority of Hispanics are democrats. LEGAL Hispanics by their nature are conservative, but ILLEGALS are in the same manner leaches on our society in other words Democrats)
This defeatism is wrongheaded. Hispanics are not lost to Republicans, as President Bush showed by winning more than 40 percent of their votes in 2004 and half their votes in 1998 when he ran for re-election as governor of Texas. The fact is Hispanics are conservative on cultural issues, entrepreneurial on economics, and intensely patriotic. They are a winnable constituency for Republicans. (Fred without knowing it proves my point. LEGAL immigrants and Natural born American Hispanics do vote Republican. ILLEGALS first of all can't vote and they already are here working the system costing us billions of taxpayer dollars like any natural democrat.)
But not if Republicans continue to concentrate on bashing illegal immigrants, as the party's presidential candidates have. Just this week, Mitt Romney spent day after day zinging Rudy Guiliani for opposing deportation of illegal immigrants when he was mayor of New York. Guiliani fired back that Romney, while Massachusetts governor, had tolerated so-called sanctuary cities that protected illegals.
Two potential candidates, Newt Gingrich and Fred Thompson, have increased their emphasis on illegal immigration. Gingrich declared himself "sickened" by the failure of Bush and Congress to confront the issue "while young Americans in our cities are massacred" by illegal immigrants. He was referring to the killing of three college students in Newark, New Jersey. An illegal immigrant is among those arrested in the murders.
Gingrich said Bush and Congress shouldn't have gone on vacation this month. And, rising to rhetorical heights, he said "the war here at home" against illegal immigrants is "even more deadly than the war in Iraq and Afghanistan." Whew! (yeah Fred it is American Civilians are being preyed upon by ILLEGALS more Americans are murdered, raped and attacked in the US by ILLEGALS than our soldiers are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Look at the population of the California prisons and in the Felony warrants in just that state alone. You are in Beltway Denial Fred)
There's a distinction to be made here between opposing the immigration reform bill that died in the Senate several weeks ago and the obsessive emphasis by Republicans since then on unlawful immigration. There were legitimate reasons for seeking to defeat the bill, though I favored it. But now the heated talk about illegals has drifted into demagoguery. (no it hasn't, you were wrong in your support of the bill and you are wrong in how you are viewing this entire issue.)
Which is why Republican national chairman Mel Martinez intervened this week to ask presidential candidates to cool their rhetoric. Martinez, a Cuban-American, is worried about driving Hispanic voters away from the Republican party and with good reason. (ILLEGALS CAN'T VOTE and legal Hispanics don't like ILLEGALS either)
Illegal immigrants are an easy target, he said. And many Republicans act as if nothing is being done to impede their illegal entry into this country. In truth, the number of illegal immigrants has declined in the past several years and those detained at the border are now sent back, rather than released. Still, stronger steps to improve border security are needed. (that is pure bullshit, Beltway dwellers may buy into that spin but those of us whose neighborhoods have been invaded know that it is just that SPIN. Build the damn fence, then MAYBE someone will believe this crap)
A key question is why would Hispanics who are American citizens respond unfavorably to attacks on illegal immigrants? After all, they're here legally and polls show they oppose illegal entry.
The reason is simple: they see the issue as focusing entirely on Mexican and Central American immigrants. Illegals from other parts of the world who overstay their visas are largely ignored by Republican critics. (that is also a lie. We want ALL ILLEGALS GONE. Once again Fred is buying into the beltway MSM spin of we are all Bigots)
So the message to Hispanics--or at least the way they perceive it--is that Republicans don't want to see more members of your community pouring into this country. Republicans don't want them as workers or as neighbors and don't want them to have the opportunity to become citizens. (That's because that is the Spin from the left echoed by the MSM and inside the beltway fools)
Maybe Hispanics shouldn't feel this way. Many Republicans argue that it's unfair for them to be cast in this light as if their objections are racial or ethnic. They oppose illegal immigrants, not immigrants in general. While that may be true, their fixation on the issue leads Hispanics to think otherwise. (MAY BE TRUE, Fred your an ASS. It is FOOLS like you and Martinez that are reinforcing these UNTRUE impressions. Instead of standing up for the base and pointing out that the issue is LEGALITY you add to the problem and prove that you have been inside the Beltway for too long.)
Many Republicans may want their party to be famous for making illegal immigration a top priority and a passionate cause. But they should also recognize there's a political price to pay for this. (Yeah it's called VICTORY)
As Karl Rove has said, the Republican party will gradually decline--and won't return as America's majority party--if it lets the Hispanic vote slip away. And it will if Republicans, like antiwar Democrats, permit short-term gain to threaten long-term gain. (Doing the RIGHT THING will never drive away a single Legal Immigrant)
Fred Barnes is executive editor of THE WEEKLY STANDARD. (and an inside the Beltway FOOL)