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Posted by on Oct 25, 2011 in Politics | 11 comments

Latinos al G.O.P. — ¡Muéranse!

Latino voters swung Republican red Colorado to Democratic blue in voting for Barack Obama 2008, and with anti-immigrant rhetoric reaching volcanic levels among GOP presidential wannabes, the party can pretty much write off the Latino vote there and in other swing states in yet another indication that predictions the incumbent will be beaten are premature.

In 2004, 44 percent of Latinos voted for George Bush, who had advocated an amnesty for illegal immigrants that his party went on to reject, while 67 percent of Latinos voted for Obama in 2008.

Latinos are, in fact, the fasting growing bloc of voters, but any chance of a sizable number of them voting for the eventual Republican nominee went up in smoke at the president debate in Las Vegas last week as most of the wannabes piled on immigrants with a vengeance. Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain tied for the biggest demagogue awards with their proposals for a 1,200 mile border fence, double walled in Bachmann’s case and electrified in Cain’s, although the pizza mogul did not propose an alligator-filled moat as he had previously before saying it was a joke.

Mitt Romney is considered by most observers to have the best shot at unseating Obama and his views on immigration have been more moderate than most of his peers, but his criticism of a Texas law that allows some children of illegal immigrants to attend state colleges on in-state tuition means that he too is on the long list of unpalatable nominees for Latinos.

“He can make as many trips to Florida and New Mexico and Colorado and other swing states that have a large Latino population, but he can write off the Latino vote,” Lionel Sosa, a strategist in Texas who advised Bush and John McCain on appealing to Hispanics, told The New York Times. “He’s not going to gain it again.”

In a Pew survey last year, Latino voters ranked education and the economy as their top issues (memo to Republicans: abortion was well down the list), and there was strong support for state-level “Dream” acts like the Texas law and 61 percent disapproved of more border fencing.

There are 50 million Latinos in the U.S. and most are not “illegals,” as the wannabes call them, but the GOP has managed the neat trick of insulting all of them as it strives to make the party even less inclusive.

Despite Obama’s vulnerability because of the stalled economic recovery, the Republican nominee will be vulnerable on bread-and-butter, environmental and women’s issues.

Even Romney, who as Massachusetts governor engineered a largely successful health-care reform initiative, now disavows it, while all of the Republican wannabes oppose ObamaCare. That program, portions of which have not yet been phased in, is extremely popular among the elderly, the poor and infirm, as well as the parents of young adults who can now remain on their health-insurance policies through age 26.

Then there is the Republican coddling of the super wealthy and Wall Street at the expense of the middle class. Not exactly a vote getter, eh?

The wannabes oppose requiring the super rich to pay larger taxes and close tax loopholes and most of them, in addition to opposing health-care reform, want to abolish Social Security and Medicare.

The contrast between Obama and the wannabes on the environment is especially stark. Beyond global warming denial, they want dirtier air and water by defanging the Environmental Protection Agency. And fuggedabout underwriting non-fossil fuel alternatives that will create jobs and reduce reliance on Big Oil and Big Coal.

Women, who voted for Obama by a 56-43 percent margin in 2008 (men split their vote more or less equally) represent potential swing voters, but the party’s record and the wannabes’ stands on issues of concern to women who do not walk two steps behind their men are draconian, so that’s another likely write off.

Which pretty much leaves white men, who already make up a large portion of the Republican voter base. The only problem for Republicans is that there are not enough of them, and when you factor in Democratic male loyalists, as well as blacks, Latinos and women who will vote for Obama, the idea of retaking the Oval Office would seem to be illusory.

As it is, the Republicans are more than capable of blowing an history opportunity. Beyond Romney, they have John Huntsman, an eminently likeable (which Romney is not) former two-term governor and former ambassador to China.

But Huntsman is barely on voters’ radar in the latest Iowa poll with only 2 percent of respondents saying that they would support him. Meanwhile, a motivational speaker who made his nut offering free pizza toppings leads at 28 percent.

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  • ShannonLeee

    And lets not forget that though McCain’s rhetoric during his campaign was anti-amnesty, he was a strong supporter of certain forms of amnesty for quite some time…quite possibly the most influential Rep with that POV.

    The next nominee won’t have that background, which will make it even tougher for them to pull in the Latino vote.

  • DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist

    I think you’re right ShannonLeee, about McCain seemingly less strident on either extreme, although here in Ariz in some years back, many were angry with McCain… some of the latinos and white people for what he did or did not do. The latinos and the whites here, (who actually are from many other heritages often than just the USA) are not monolithic and have differing points of view about immigration, amnesty and onward. There are many points of view depending on several socioeconomic differences, I think.

    also, re title here, there are many ways to tell people, in the Spanish language, to go get lost. One is Muéranse, which is a fairly strong go drop dead, inferring by some interpreters–depending on where they come from in the Spanish speaking world… Cubans different than El Salvadorians, Southern Mejicanos different than East Coast Mejicanos: thus some interpret as, go jump in the lake and dont come back. There are in Spanish and other ‘romance’ languages, including the non-romance language of English, many many words and phrases used to say ‘ya basta, enough already, we’ve heard enough, go be eternally quiet now.’ We see this frustration in many languages across the blogosphere daily as people from all backgrounds and opinions express they have had enough of x or y now, esp with politicians for whichever reason.

  • ShannonLeee

    Shaun started with the generalizing…blame him 🙂

  • JSpencer

    I suppose these are the concerns that keep Pat Buchanan awake at night. Let’s not forget the recent anti-immigration laws in Alabama. The attitudes that fostered that legislation certainly aren’t confined to that state, and they are attitudes that won’t sit well with legal immigrants. By the way, that particular bit of nonsense is starting to bite Alabama in the you know where:

  • Allen

    If a group votes as a block, are they generalizing or being specific? I find it very revealing, if it is true, that latinos are voting primarily for liberalized immigration reform specifically for latinos, but not for other peoples around the planet whom want to come here. This may be true for other “blocks” not quite as large as well. Though there is no evidence what-so-ever that blacks are voting in “blocs” to allow more African immigration. Nor for Irish. Nor for German. Nor for Oriental. Nor for any other that I can see.

    This is why we have immigration laws to begin with. To make the immigration process fair for everybody and to prevent growth of violent cultural and political conflicts within our borders. I truly do not understand why those of you whom want liberalized immigration reform cannot see this obvious threat. Unless you don’t care about the rest of the nation and just want what you want in “bloc”.

  • EEllis

    Well if “Latinos” are one issue voters then yes right now the GOP would be chasing them away tho not all Latinos seem to feel the same on immigration issues. Of course on almost every social issue they tend to align more closely to the GOP then Dem’s so we’ll see. Personally I do think the rhetoric goes to far and the focus should be on fixing the system not demonetization of those who are here illegally. Mind you we need to secure the border better and we should know who is here but I admit I don’t like all the arguments some use.

  • DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist

    EEllis, i like that last two sentences you wrote. I wondered about the word ‘demonetization’ in your comments, thought maybe you meant ‘demonization’? BUT, demonetization is actually far more interesting a point and accurate… if one takes earning power away from certain groups, those in that group have no money to buy goods, food etc here, and GNP drops even further?

  • EEllis

    I was trying to say demonization, spell check, and I don’t believe demonetization is quite right either. There is an effort to push illegals outside our daily society. As if since we cant make them leave then we can at least punish them by removing any chance of leaving the shadows of our society.

  • Allen

    Dr.E, what the heck is the “GNC”…

    Do you mean GNP…?

  • DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist

    yes allen, the same spellcheck that brought eellis ‘demonitization’ got GNP too. Fixed. Thanks.

  • Quelcrist Falconer

    Of course on almost every social issue they tend to align more closely to the GOP then Dem’s so we’ll see.

    So do African-Americans, but that does not stop them from voting Democratic at a 90 percent rate.

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