Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Chuck Todd and the gang at MSNBC's First Read are reporting on a new poll that says the GOP is rapidly losing Hispanic support, although the new Arizona immigration law appears to be a winner with the general public. From a purely pragmatic, cynical standpoint, I've expressed skepticism about the Obama administration's apparent strategy of very visibly opposing the new law -- the Hispanic percentage of the voting population is increasing, but not by all that much or all that fast (it's projected to reach 29% by 2050), and the short-term impact is likely to be white backlash -- but hey, maybe I'm looking at the numbers wrong and this is really going to be a winner for Democrats sooner than I think.

Whatever the truth is, Hispanics are definitely flocking to the Democrats now -- though Todd et al. issue this warning:

And what if Obama is unable to pass comprehensive immigration reform ...? Could the Latino vote swing back?

Excuse me: do you understand what's going to happen if Democrats push for an immigration bill this year? Were you awake during the health care fight?

If there's an attempt to pass immigration reform, we're going to have a thorough, high-decibel airing of the views of teabaggers, wingnut media blowhards, and Republican pols from all-white, deep-red districts -- and what we're going to be told is that illegal immigrants are a bigger threat to America than Osama bin Laden, Kim Jong-il, and the Iranian nuclear program combined. The newest protest signs from the tricornered-hat crowd aren't going to demonize Obama and Pelosi alone; instead, we're going to see Jose and Maria and Melquiades and Juana with Hitler mustaches. Every undocumented immigrant is going to be depicted as a machete-wielding rape-mad gangbanging drug kingpin.

It will be glaringly obvious which party all of this is coming from. Do you really think Hispanic citizens are going to have trouble grasping the difference between the two parties?

... Well, they will if Democrats try to head right to chase the Republicans. And given the likelihood that all this bombast will keep angry white suburbanite voters motivated for November, Dems might just do that.

But if they really want to stay in Hispanic Americans' good graces, all they'll have to do is wave a thumb at the Republicans and say, "We're not them."

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