Bush v. Paleocons on Immigration

(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.

Oh, Joyous Day,” by Thomas, Red State, 13 November 2006, http://www.redstate.com/stories/the_parties/republicans/oh_joyous_day (from The Corner).


(The claim that the president and the Senate supported an immigration “amnesty” bill was always bogus, but that didn’t stop some Republicans from making that canard the centerpiece of their campaigns. The three most vocal House candidates to do so – in Colorado-7, Arizona-5 and Arizona-8 – 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.

2 thoughts on “Bush v. Paleocons on Immigration”

  1. Democrats didn't campaign on comprehensive reform because if they had, they would have lost. In Arizona the Republicans lost ground, but look what initiatives passed there: making English Arizona's official language (74%), denying bail to illegal aliens (78%), barring illegal aliens from winning punitive damages (74%), and denying in-state college tuition to illegal immigrants (72%).

    Your thesis that the Republicans sounded to harsh doesn't square with that data. More likely, Democrats often copied Republican retoric against illegal immigration, while saying nary a word about comprehensive reform (or as in the case of some newly elected democrats, completely dissavowing amnesty). Add to this the confusion of Bush's support for comprehensive reform. How many marginally politically aware voters knew if thier Republican candidate differed with Bush on the issue? With all these factors taken together, some voters might be forgiven for thinking a vote against the Republicans was a vote against amnesty, a guest worker program and porous border enforcement. If you think I am full of sh**, go read the percentages by which those initiatives in arizona passed one more time.

  2. PJGober,

    I like your comment, because it gets to the real issue. I don't think many anti-immigration conservatives care much about the macroeconomic issues, and I don't think many are really that upset over granting “amnesty” to the legal equivalent people who speed “illegally” [1]

    I think there's a big concern over culture, and language. Conservatives defend what works, and for us that has been our English legal heritage. Official English laws get right to that. That's why I support them. [2]

    But ultimately, our culture, our power, our language does best when we expand and do not sit in bunkers. [3]

    The world is waiting. Our continent is waiting. Destiny is waiting.

    Let's seize it.

    [1] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2006/05/26/tony-snow-is-right-illegal-immigration-is-like-speeding.html
    [2] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2006/06/15/an-economic-and-political-union-of-fifty-member-states-even.html
    [3] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2006/04/12/the-manifest-destiny-of-the-american-nation.html

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