“(Update) ‘Amensty’ Scare Tactics,” by Daniel McKivergan, Worldwide Standard, 8 November 2006, http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TWSFP/2006/11/update_amnesty_scare_tactics_1.html.
“Minority Leadership in the Senate,” by Kathryn Jena Lopez, The Corner, 13 November 2006, http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=ZGJlNWE1NzE2ZWU0YzQ3YjY0MDBiYjBlMTYzMTQ5MGE=.
“Bush’s Hispanic Panic,” by James Crabtree, Comment is Free, 13 November 2006, http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/james_crabtree/2006/11/the_republican_hispanic_crisis.html.
(The claim that the president and the Senate supported an immigration “amnesty” bill was always bogus, but that didnâ€™t stop some Republicans from making that canard the centerpiece of their campaigns. The three most vocal House candidates to do so â€“ in Colorado-7, Arizona-5 and Arizona-8 â€“ lost, 55-42, 50-46, and 54-42, respectively. Also, according to the Washington Post “about six in 10 voters said that they believe illegal immigrants working in the United States should be offered a chance to apply for legal status, a position that was supported by Bush but rejected by House Republicans who have pushed an enforcement-first approach to controlling illegal immigration. Democratic candidates won support from 61 percent of those who backed a path to citizenship, according to the [exit] poll.”)
It worked. The proportion of Hispanics voting for conservatives doubled in under a decade, rising from around 2 in 10 in 1996 to around 4 in 10 in 2004. This election, things couldn’t have been more different. Even a president attuned to the importance of the Hispanic population could not stop his party rushing towards an intolerant and ineffective immigration policy, or convince them that such a strategy would be an electoral loser. And so it turned out to be. A post-election poll conducted by pollster Stan Greenburg showed that the share of Hispanics voting for the democrats jumped more than any other single group, up 13 points from 60% to 73%. Hispanics deserted the Republicans in their millions.
The appointment of Martinez now must be placed next to the removal of Donald Rumsfeld as a sign that the president’s people understand two of the big reasons behind his defeat. And the decision is just as interesting for who was passed over. Republican Michael Steele, a brilliant and charismatic African American, had indicated his interest. Steele just ran a slick, impressive campaign to become on of Maryland’s two senators; he lost, but showed himself as a future star of American politics. Yet the Republicans passed him over, preferring to appoint a Hispanic politician.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the next best thing (by a little) to making Kevin Phillips the new RNC Chair: Bonehead Martinez. Yes, that’s right, Bonehead, who with a five-point Bush win in trending-Red Florida at his back, barely managed to beat one of the more anodyne, bland Democrats to run for the Senate outside of Massachusetts; Bonehead, who managed to take a dicey political situation in the Terri Schiavo affair and make himself into a Google search result; Bonehead, who if asked to eat eggs over easy and shave at the same time, would end up with shiny whites and yolk smeared in fork-tine streaks across his face; Bonehead is going to be the RNC Chair.
INGRAHAM: “Will the GOP minority in the Senate, Senator Kyl, filibuster the president if he agrees with a broad coalition of Democrats and pro-illegal immigration Republicans on pushing temporary workers and a path to citizenship? Can you see that happening?”
KYL: “I would certainly hope that the majority of Republicans in the Senate would not be complicit in passing legislation that is not wise, that for example, would put everybody on a path to citizenship and say that temporary workers get to get U.S. citizenship, and so on. I would certainly hope that we would have the 40 votes to be able to stop that [with a fili, but, I don’t know, we’re going to have to wait and see; it’ll be very close.