Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Michael Gerson, former Bush administration speech writer and now one of many Neocon columnists at the Washington Post had this to say about Republicans, immigration and John McCain:
[I]t would be absurd to deny that the Republican ideological coalition includes elements that are anti-immigrant -- those who believe that Hispanics, particularly Mexicans, are a threat to American culture and identity. When Arizona Republican Senate candidate J.D. Hayworth calls for a moratorium on legal immigration from Mexico, when then-Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) refers to Miami as a "Third World country," when state Rep. Russell Pearce (R), one of the authors of the Arizona immigration law, says Mexicans' and Central Americans' "way of doing business" is different, Latinos can reasonably assume that they are unwelcome in certain Republican circles.
The intensity of these Republican attitudes is evident not just from what activists say but also from what Republican leaders are being forced to say. Sen. John McCain, a long-term supporter of humane, comprehensive immigration reform, has run a commercial feeding fears of "drug and human smuggling, home invasions, murder" by illegal immigrants.
Never mind that the level of illegal immigration is down in Arizona or that skyrocketing crime rates along the border are a myth. McCain's tag line -- "Complete the danged fence" -- will rank as one of the most humiliating capitulations in modern political history.
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Republicans have now sent three clear signals to Hispanic voters:
California's Proposition 187, which was passed in 1994 and attempted to deny illegal immigrants health care and public education before being struck down in court; the immigration debate of 2006, dominated by strident Republican opponents of reform; and now the Arizona immigration law. According to a 2008 study by the Pew Hispanic Center, 49 percent of Hispanics said that Democrats had more concern for people of their background; 7 percent believed this was true of Republicans. Since the Arizona controversy, this gap can only have grown. In a matter of months, Hispanic voters in Arizona have gone from being among the most pro-GOP in the nation to being among the most hostile.
Immigration issues are emotional and complex. But this must be recognized for what it is: political suicide. Consider that Hispanics make up 40 percent of the K-12 students in Arizona, 44 percent in Texas, 47 percent in California, 54 percent in New Mexico. Whatever temporary gains Republicans might make feeding resentment of this demographic shift, the party identified with that resentment will eventually be voted into singularity. In a matter of decades, the Republican Party could cease to be a national party.
The media villagers and Beltway bloviators are sticking to their pre-conceived election narrative that "Republicans are resurgent" in 2010 (because we media elites say so), while failing entirely to report the actual story here, that the coalitions which make up the Republican Party are engaged in internecine warfare for control of the party and that the GOP is imploding from within.
There is historical precedent for this. The Whig Party was undermined by its own version of Tea Party conservatives, the anti-immigrant Know Nothing Party, and both of these political parties imploded from within giving rise to the Republican Party in the 1850s. Political realignment is always accompanied by public unrest, which is what we are seeing today.