My sense, though, is that the rest of the GOP simply Will – Not – Tolerate another presidential election where the Republican nominee has nothing conciliatory to show Latino voters. It may be a myth that Romney lost in 2012 because he got walloped by Obama among that group, but it’s no myth that as the Latino population grows and turnout rates improve, a 72/27 Democratic advantage would be ruinous for the GOP long-term.
The core question here has always been whether amnesty is the key to winning back some of those voters, either as a “magic bullet” (even McCain admits it won’t win any votes by itself) or as a sort of threshold issue on which the GOP needs to show compromise so that Latinos will give the rest of their agenda a fair look.
Wherever you land on that subject, I think large numbers of centrist/establishment Republicans believe immigration reform is an absolute prerequisite to rebuilding goodwill with Latinos. And I think they’re secretly optimistic that passing amnesty would be a bit of a magic bullet with Latinos as soon as 2016, not enough to cut deeply into the Democratic advantage but maybe enough to trim five points, which could be crucial in a tight election.
First off, Boehner’s lying. It’s what he does.
Second, this whole GOP political push for scamnesty (separate from the push of crony capitalists for greater access to cheap labor) is of the same cloth as all the other notions that moving deeper into the Democrate Lite territory would somehow convinces natural Democrats to vote for Republicans. That has never worked – just ask Bob Dole, and John McCain, and Mittens Romneycare – and it won’t work with immigrants, either.
Yes, I know that the Gentry GOP would love to trade its conservative base for a new base consisting of immigrants and “centrists,” but that will never happen.
–1980 Jimmy Carter, 56% Ronald Reagan, 35% +21
–1984 Walter Mondale, 61% Ronald Reagan, 37% +24
–1988 Michael Dukakis, 69% George H.W. Bush, 30% +39
–1992 Bill Clinton, 61% George H.W. Bush, 25% +36
–1996 Bill Clinton, 72% Bob Dole, 21% +51
–2000 Al Gore, 62% George W. Bush, 35% +27
–2004 John Kerry, 58% George W. Bush, 40% +18
–2008 Barack Obama, 67% John McCain, 31% +36
–2012 Barack Obama, 71% Mitt Romney, 27% +44
I think what has the GOP so totally spooked is that last number, where The Lightbringer enjoyed a 44% advantage among Hispanics. I suspect that was an outlier, though. They voted the color line is sympathy.
The other scary factor was Bush’s 40% share against Kerry. Without that much of a bulge, Bush would have lost, because by 2004, he was already losing support of conservatives, some of whom sat out that election.
But it never seems to occur to the scamnesty artists that a secure border would be one way to slow the growth and influence of the Hispanic vote, and that simply enforcing the laws against employers hiring illegals would also have the same effect.
Instead, they want to give the country to the Democrats on a permanent basis in the vague hope that such an act will somehow, in some waay, convince Hispanics to vote for Republicans.
It won’t. Hispanic immimgrants are not culturally American, and since we no longer expend any efforts in encouraging assimilation – rather the opposite, in fact – we are likely to see from them a continued and increasing level of support for the statist “solutions” they have been acculturated to since birth.
Scamnesty will only make that worse. When I was a young man and the black ghettos of America were burning, the nation worried about race war. The solution was to vastly increase the welfare state. Now the ghettoes don’t burn, but they still vote Democrat, in hopes that someday, somehow, entitlements will give them what they’ve never been able to give: Equality of outcomes.
A similar future awaits Hispanics. And the rest of us.