Nov 17 2006

GOP Could Be Mortally Wounded

I have beaten the immigration issues to death, and while the debate ranges in the comment sections, it seems the far right has no capacity for compromise or seeing the views of the rest of us. RCP has one really important editorial up regarding the situation for the GOP’s future. The hardliners who decided to punt on immigration in the House lost Congress in their closed off world views. They could broker no outreach to immigrants. They could think of endless reasons why immigration was 100% bad and narry an idea how to fix the problem so we came out with immigrant guest workers who no longer toiled in an underground economy. This myopia should have been re-assessed once the voters sent the message they did. But instead of re-evaluation, all we get is retrenchment and denial and blame elsewhere. Here are the hard numbers of reality from that editorial:

Republicans drew barely 30 percent of the Latino vote last week, down from 44 percent in 2004. Democrats, by contrast, saw their numbers jump. They drew 69 percent, compared with 53 percent in 2004. Given the GOP’s hopes nationally, including in Latino-heavy states such as Texas, it can’t ignore the decline.

A bipartisan survey just days before the election reported that 51 percent of Latino likely voters said immigration reform was important to their vote. Democratic pollster Celinda Lake claims the issue moved Latinos more than any group.

President Bush has polled anywhere from 35 to 49 percent of the Latino vote in races in Texas and for president. And he has not backed down from trying to improve the nation’s immigration system.

Add to these the other ‘races’ who felt the immigration stand was over the top and you have a pretty could thumping. Again, I think Bush’s last minute efforts and Kerry’s terminal foot-in-mouth-disease turned a tide that was ready to swamp the Reps. Personally, if the far right cannot agree to allow a guest worker program then there is no hope for the Republican party. None. I have heard all the rationalizations and they are nothing but reasons not to compromise. Heck, if the amount of energy going into denial was refocused on fixing the compromise bill (like one strike your out tolerance for serious crimes) we would be sailing to a good 2008.

But the far right has no capacity for reaching out. None. The country may have ridden the conservative tide with the Reps as far as we can or as far as we need to. Taxes are low and dems are loathe to raise them. Liberal dems must hide their intents behind conservative sounding sound-bites. If Bush can work with Snowe and McCaskill and Coleman and Lieberman and Menendez to fashion the next round of controlled conservatism, then I guess that is what us voters are left to work with. We need to get the comprehensive Bill passed and thankfully now we have a way to get it done. I can tell the far right is not going to budge, they are a lost cause. And with most lost causes, there is no reason to ponder what could have been. The GOP, at least in my eyes, is not showing any capacity to correct their flaws – the worst of which is their presumed superiority. The same superiority that brought them a resounding win in this election cycle. The “guest worker program” will kill the party off. Being against guest workers who work in the open economy is just ridiculous. To fix this, the GOP has to be for a guest worker program, work out details and live with what is always an imperfect result. If that is unacceptable – the party is finished. It will continue to hemorrhage support.

Addendum: I am going to post later today on what I think will be the new centrist voter which will be ups for grabs this year. Echoing what many of my readers have said, I will try and describe the “Bush Conservatives” (note: This group will be broad based conservatives first, not far right Republicans). Check back later today if you are interested. I will be interested in seeing the comments on this possible new pool of conservative voters.

45 responses so far

45 Responses to “GOP Could Be Mortally Wounded”

  1. Gigword says:


    “Because of this heavy reliance, agriculture experts say, a major effort to crack down on the hiring of illegal workers could disrupt the nation’s food industry. ‘This would really cripple the system,’ said William Heffernan, professor of rural sociology at the University of Missouri who has studied immigrant labor. “In the communities where these plants are located there isn’t an alternative work force. They’d have to raise wages and improve the conditions.” Until 15 or 20 years ago, meatpacking plants in the United States were staffed by highly paid, unionized employees who earned about $18 an hour, adjusted for inflation. Today, the processing and packing plants are largely staffed by low-paid non- union workers from places like Mexico and Guatemala. Many of them start at $6 an hour.” See the article at “Meatpackers’ profits hinge on pool of immigrant labor “by David Barboza 12/21/01 News Report — The New York Times

    Please provide a web link to an article that supports your statement that, “tyson farms and big business are not the main employers it is the small farmers who need the so called cheap labor.”

    Your phrase, “so called cheap labor” may be an indication that you believe that you have a natural right (or is that a divine right?) to hire illegal immigrants to clean your toilets after they have raped and beaten while entering the US under the current Uncontrolled Wage Slave Immigrant System.

  2. Bikerken says:

    I apologize in advance for this being a long rant, but please bear with me. I want to answer the critics of the “Anti-immigration far right”.

    I’ve been seeing a lot of criticism about conservatives who were against the “Comprehensive” Immigration Bill. There were a lot of provisions in that bill that were not discussed much at all. The original bill provided for over 190 million people coming into the country over the next 20 years. That would be guest workers and their families. After that was exposed, it was cut down to 66 million. That is still a tremendous number of people to bring into the U.S. in that short amount of time and we’re not even taking into consideration the number of births in that time period that will add to the population. What I’m saying here, is that we will have a population explosion in America that we couldn’t possibly manage. In 1986, when they did this, (at least they were honest and called it what it was, amnesty), most of the Mexican people who continued to come did not come through regular channels as was touted, they continued to come across illegally, as they will continue to do. In the twenty years since, we have picked up at least another twelve million. Now we proposed with the new amnesty bill to multiply that problem by five and make them all legal! Where could the population in the U.S. grow that fast without causing total chaos? There was also a provision that required guest workers to earn wages comparable to union scale. That would have essentially raised minimum wage, (only for foreigners mind you) to union scale. Doe’s anyone really believe that would work? Wouldn’t most American workers want that? If we can’t give it to them, why give it to foreigners? Employers would not do this anyway, they would just hire other illegals who are not in the guest worker program. Isn’t that what’s happening now? There were also provisions to pay social security benefits to them. Benefits on what wages? Most have been using various ssn’s over the last several years and probably don’t have any record of what they were or what they earned. Are we just going to take their word for it? For those who were somewhat honest and got a TIN, (Taxpayer ID Number), I would have no problem giving them benefits that they could prove they paid for. No one is going to solve the illegal immigration problem until they start asking the right questions. If we started using the term “Unidentified Immigrants” instead of “Undocumented Immigrants”, it would help describe the problem better. At some point, this is going to boil down to illegals walking into an immigration office, presenting some form of possibley forged ID and the immigration office essentially having to take their word for who they are. The hole for identity fraud here is massive. I could go into three different immigration offices and establish three brand new ID’s. The kind of biometric tamper proof ID system that would be required to patch this hole was not in the bill! There are millions of Mexicans, and others, who have come into this country and obtained their ID from the streets in Santa Ana. We don’t really know who they are. Many work under the table and pay no wage taxes. If they work at a job where they need to provide a social security number, they make one up. It usually takes a few weeks to get kicked back as wrong so they change a number and submit that one, and again and again. Employers know but they don’t care.
    One selling point of the bill was that they would be made to pay back taxes. I have done taxes for many people and I can tell you that if they have no record of how much they made, and we have to take their word for it, they are going to get a big fat check back for EIC refunds. (If you claim to be married and support two kids and earn in the low tens, you would be eligible for a refundable EIC payment of between three and four thousand dollars for each year you claimed to be here. For ten years you could be due a refund of thirty to forty thousand dollars, and that’s only for my first new identity. See what I mean about the perils of trying to document the undocumented. You think the Katrina cash handouts were a boondoggle? This would make that look like penny theft.
    I haven’t even begun to mention the societal problems of non-assimilation. They are not assimilating in many places, instead, they are colonizing. Many of the Mexicans down here don’t believe this is America. Look up the term Aztlan, or Reconquista, and you’ll find out what they mean when you see them on tv yelling Si Se Puede, (Yes we can). Did it ever occur to anyone to ask, “Can what?” I live in California near the border and I see the problems we have with this every day. There are areas around here where a gringo just doesn’t go after dark for fear of finding a stray bullet. I’ve been across the border many times over my sixteen years here and the Baja coast is beginning to resemble the worst parts of Columbian drug wars. If an illegal here has any kind of run in with the law, they can go back to Santa Ana and get another identity. If they kill someone and make it back across the border, Mexico will not extradite them if they face the death penalty. There are a few cop killers living down there now. The estimates of the cost of healthcare for these people runs between 1.5 and 4 billion a year, just in southern California. Several emergency rooms have had to close in LA in the last few years because they cannot operate for free.

    That’s my rant. Now, obviously, it would be much better if we had a tamper proof ID system for documenting these people, AND THEY ACTUALLY DID IT! We need to realize that not all of the people coming into the country illegally want to be accurately documented. I would be all for a real guest worker program that did not have the pitfalls that I have pointed out. But is that really possible?

  3. For Enforcement says:

    Bikerken some thought provocating statements, I hadn’t thought about that angle of having 3 or 4 identities and qualifying for 30 – 40
    thousand on each identity in child care credit. Very interesting. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. With that kind of bonus, maybe there would be a lot of new homes sales and it would spark the economy.

    Is there a silver lining?

  4. Gigword says:


    You said, “With that kind of bonus, maybe there would be a lot of new homes sales and it would spark the economy. Is there a silver lining?” The answer is yes. The $120 to $160 K would buy the “unidentified immigrants” nice homes in Mexico. They would have nice homes to live in while they wait for the next crop of Mexican manufactured forged ID cards. Then they would be able fly first class from Mexico City to Washington, DC using tourist visas. At some point in time the “multiple identities -unidentified immigrants” would be able hire Americans to return to Mexico with them to clean Mexican toilets. You were on the right track but you had the wrong economy in mind.

  5. For Enforcement says:

    Gig, thanks for straightening me out