As if we needed more proof that John Boehner has all of the intellectual firepower of an addled goldfish, not only did he begin negotiating against himself this week, but he also floated the idea of an “amnesty” deal.
This is the brainchild of a panicked Republican establishment, suddenly concerned that demographic changes are responsible for Mitt Romney’s shocking loss.
Sean Trende, writing in Real Clear Politics, has already done an excellent job of debunking that assertion.
In the 2008 final exit polls (unavailable online), the electorate was 75 percent white, 12.2 percent African-American, 8.4 percent Latino, with 4.5 percent distributed to other ethnicities. We’ll have to wait for this year’s absolute final exit polls to come in to know the exact estimate of the composition this time, but right now it appears to be pegged at about 72 percent white, 13 percent black, 10 percent Latino and 5 percent “other.”
Obviously, this surge in the non-white vote is troubling to Republicans, who are increasingly almost as reliant upon the white vote to win as Democrats are on the non-white vote. With the white vote decreasing as a share of the electorate over time, it becomes harder and harder for Republicans to prevail.
This supposed surge in minority voting has sparked discussions about the GOP’s renewed need to draw in minority voters, especially Latinos, usually by agreeing to comprehensive immigration reform… [But] I think these analyses are off base. First, there are real questions about the degree to which immigration policies — rather than deeper issues such as income and ideology — drive the rift between the GOP and Latinos. Remember, passage of Simpson-Mazzoli in 1986 was actually followed two years later by one of the worst GOP showings among Latinos in recent history…
…in terms of the effect on the electorate, [any demographic shift] is dwarfed by the decline in the number of whites. Again, if our assumption about the total number of votes cast is correct, almost 7 million fewer whites voted in 2012 than in 2008. This isn’t readily explainable by demographic shifts either; although whites are declining as a share of the voting-age population, their raw numbers are not.
As The Manhattan Institute’s Heather Mac Donalid explains, pandering to Hispanic voters on the issue of immigration reform is a suicidal strategy for the Republican Party.
It is not immigration policy that creates the strong bond between Hispanics and the Democratic party, but the core Democratic principles of a more generous safety net, strong government intervention in the economy, and progressive taxation. Hispanics will prove to be even more decisive in the victory of Governor Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30, which raised upper-income taxes and the sales tax, than in the Obama election.
And California is the wave of the future. A March 2011 poll by Moore Information found that Republican economic policies were a stronger turn-off for Hispanic voters in California than Republican positions on illegal immigration…
…And a strong reason for that support for big government is that so many Hispanics use government programs. U.S.-born Hispanic households in California use welfare programs at twice the rate of native-born non-Hispanic households. And that is because nearly one-quarter of all Hispanics are poor in California, compared to a little over one-tenth of non-Hispanics. Nearly seven in ten poor children in the state are Hispanic, and one in three Hispanic children is poor, compared to less than one in six non-Hispanic children. One can see that disparity in classrooms across the state, which are chock full of social workers and teachers’ aides trying to boost Hispanic educational performance.
The idea of the “social issues” Hispanic voter is also a mirage. A majority of Hispanics now support gay marriage, a Pew Research Center poll from last month found. The Hispanic out-of-wedlock birth rate is 53 percent, about twice that of whites.
Mac Donald concludes that amnesty for primarily low-skilled immigrants — most of whom are dependent upon government services — will create what I call a “Democrat Vote Factory”.
Furthermore, aside from those simple truths, an idiotic deal by Boehner and the GOP establishment would serve only to enrage the Republican base of Constitutional Conservatives.
Writing at Protein Wisdom, Jeff Goldstein offers the only rational course of action for Republicans:
It’s clear the left wishes to keep an open border in order to bring in future Democratic voters — specifically, those who make most use of government services and whose lack of social capital, from struggles with the language to poor education, from the start prevents them from moving into higher-paying jobs. That is, the left is importing future clients, whose votes can be had for a growing of the welfare state.
That the tone-deaf leadership in the GOP and the “conservative” opinion outlets are even considering the pragmatism of identity politics pandering is already quite depressing. But even more so is that they are in such a rush to copy the left’s playbook that they can’t even be bothered to understand what their own should be telling them. That goes for the editorial board at the WSJ, too, whose open borders stance is less about principle than it is about cheap labor.
The way forward with the Hispanic vote is to seal the borders, preach first principles, reaffirm the necessity of assimilation, show the way out of dependency, and reject things like “comprehensive immigration reform,” which won’t help you with Hispanics and will most certainly cost you what’s left of your base.
And I’ll add the following:
John Boehner needs to go. He is an intellectual midget, the antithesis of a statesman, and has proved to be an utter disaster at building on the momentum of the 2010 midterms that shoved him into power.
I will support (and marshal friends) to support anyone who opposes him for House Speaker.
Hat tip: Mark Levin.