Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Last Call

If this National Review editorial board piece is indicative of the GOP position on immigration (and boy is it ever) then I think I might have discovered why Republicans are basically in an untenable and unwinnable position of their own making on Latino and Asian voters.

Republican immigration reformers with an eye to political reality should begin by appreciating that Latinos are a Democratic constituency. They did not vote for Mitt Romney. They did not vote for John McCain. They did not vote for George W. Bush, and in the election before that they did not vote for George W. Bush again. In 1998, George W. Bush was reelected to the governorship of Texas with 27 percent of the African-American vote — an astonishing number for an unabashed conservative. Bush won 68 percent of the overall vote in that election, carrying 240 out of Texas’s 254 counties. Hispanics voted overwhelmingly for Democrat Gary Mauro.

And, if we are to take Hispanics at their word, conservative attitudes toward illegal immigration are a minor reason for their voting preferences. While many are in business for themselves, they express hostile attitudes toward free enterprise in polls. They are disproportionately low-income and disproportionately likely to receive some form of government support. More than half of Hispanic births are out of wedlock. Take away the Spanish surname and Latino voters look a great deal like many other Democratic constituencies. Low-income households headed by single mothers and dependent upon some form of welfare are not looking for an excuse to join forces with Paul Ryan and Pat Toomey. Given the growing size of the Hispanic vote, it would help Republicans significantly to lose it by smaller margins than they have recently. But the idea that an amnesty is going to put Latinos squarely in the GOP tent is a fantasy.

It simply hasn't occurred to the NRO folks or the GOP leadership or Republicans in general that comprehensive immigration reform that includes tough border security and a path to citizenship is the correct and humane thing to do.  Conservatives are too busy trying to figure out the calculus of pandering, and are having this conversation as loudly as possible, in earshot of Latino voters, Asian voters and you know, human beings with souls.

But AMNESTY, so there's that.

About that word. Call it “regularization,” call it a “path to citizenship,” it amounts to precisely the same thing: a decision to set aside the law and to ignore its violation. And therein lies a problem for so-called comprehensive reform: Normalizing the status of the millions of illegal immigrants already in the country, either in toto or in part, would require the development and application of standards for doing so, whether those are relatively narrow (as in the DREAM Act and similar proposals) or broad. Unless we mean to legalize every illegal in the country — including violent felons, gang members, cartel henchmen, and the like — there will be of necessity a system for sorting them out. It is difficult to believe that the same government that failed to enforce the law in the first place will be very scrupulous about standards as it goes about dealing with the consequences of its own incompetence.

Because as you know,  we've only had an immigration problem since January 20, 2009.  Guess why you're losing the Latino vote, guys?  Maybe you know deciding that Latinos are nothing more than worthless moochers and looters is probably a bad idea, right?

GOP outreach for the win.

Huckleberry Hounding, Ho!

Sen. Lindsey Graham isn't giving up on finding a way to make President Obama burn for Benghazi, and now his increasingly desperate fishing expedition is focusing on outgoing Pentagon chief Leon Panetta, as he told FOX on Monday night:

VAN SUSTEREN: Is Secretary Panetta going to testify?
GRAHAM: Well, I’m not going to — I’m going to block Hagel from going forward until he does.
VAN SUSTEREN: So you’re going to block him.
GRAHAM: Absolutely. Why would we not want to understand what happened during the attack itself? How could our secretary — what happened for seven hours? Why were there no military assets available on September the 11th.

Let's keep in mind Huckleberry here has already sunk Susan Rice, and is threatening to sink John Brennan as new CIA chief  as well.  Now he's going to stop Hagel until he gets to the bottom of this "mystery".

Only one problem, of course.  All of the above have given their answers to Congress already.

Graham’s dogged pursuit of “the truth” is undercut by the fact that many of the questions he’s asking have already been answered. Panetta and other administrations officials have repeatedly stated that due to the attack coming in two waves, and the distance between Libya and Sigonella Air Base in Italy, the U.S. was unable to send military forces to respond. Likewise, the question of the editing of Susan Rice’s Sept. 16 Sunday show statements has been previously identified as the result of an interagency process, in which the CIA itself removed references to Al Qaeda.

It doesn't matter.  Obama has to be guilty of some crime, and Graham won't be satisfied until he makes one up that fits.   And now that recess appointments are impossible, who knows how long America won't have a full cabinet to deal with various issues?

But both sides do it, right?

The Banana Splits Get Dumped

The bananas GOP plan to split swing state electoral votes by congressional district has run into a massive backlash in several key states this week.  Michigan's GOP Gov. Rick Snyder is sinking the plan, saying it's not "the right time" for it.  Here in Ohio, GOP state leaders are against the plan entirely, even Secretary of State Jon Husted says it's a bad idea.  And in Virginia, the plan didn't even get out of legislative committee, getting killed 11-4:

ProgressVirginia reported Tuesday afternoon that the Virginia Senate’s Privileges and Elections Committee killed Sen. Charles “Bill” Carrico Sr.’s electoral college-rigging bill, despite an offer by Carrico to amend the bill to award electors in proportion to the state’s popular vote. The vote was 11-4 against the bill, although it will not be official until the close of the committee meeting.

The bill, as written, would have awarded 11 of Virginia’s 13 electoral votes to the winner of each of the state’s 11 heavily gerrymandered Congressional Districts. The remaining two electors would have been awarded to whoever won the majority of Congressional Districts. Under this scheme, Mitt Romney would have received 9 Virginia electors to Obama’s 4, even though Barack Obama won the state by four points.

With 4 Republicans joining all 7 Democrats on the committee to kill the bill, it seems not even the GOP has the stomach for this plan.  There's simply no way to disguise the fact this is an attempt to steal the 2016 election, regardless of state election totals.  The GOP is passing on this for now, at least in some states.  We'll see how Florida, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania react at this point, but for now it seems this plan has been blunted.

Key words:  "for now".  It'll be back before 2016, count on it.


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