Second Thoughts on ‘Those Pesky Demographics’? (Updates)
The New York Times has now confirmed that President Obama received the overwhelming support from those Americans who identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual. To be more precise, exit polls “showed that 76 percent of voters who identified as gay supported Mr. Obama last week, and that 22 percent supported Mr. Romney.”
R. Clarke Cooper, the executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans, a group that pushes for gay rights, referring to the Republican Party’s overall platform said, according to the Times, “We have a very good message, a good plan…But it’s been drowned out by the cacophony and the noise that is perceived as anti-immigrant, or anti-L.G.B.T., or anti-women.”
“Perceived,” he says?
But the Times adds:
Republicans in Congress “will tell me behind closed doors that this is the direction we need to go as a party,” Mr. Cooper said, “but publicly they’re not doing that.”
If the Republican Party does not make inroads among gay voters along with other minority groups, he said, the party risks going the way of the Whigs or becoming a regional party.
Mr. Romney’s loss, Mr. Cooper said, is a sign that broadening the Republican Party’s appeal is imperative. “There’s nothing fun about saying I told you so,” he added.
Some wise advice in the Washington Post to the GOP on why it “needs to pass immigration reform now.”
The Republican Party is beginning to succumb to the demographic reality that confronts it: Just as Latino voters are deserting the GOP in near-record numbers, the Latino vote is quickly becoming hugely important to winning elections.
So it’s no surprise that Republicans now sound keen on doing comprehensive immigration reform; they need a healthy share of Latino votes going forward, and they’re not getting it.
But when it comes to Republicans and immigration reform, it isn’t so much that the GOP needs to do it, as much as that it can’t afford not to be a part of it.
The question from there is whether Republicans are viewed as participants or obstructors. If reform does get done, and the vast majority of the GOP didn’t take part, you can bet it will only exacerbate the party’s problem with Latinos.
We saw in the 2012 election what happens when it looks like the GOP is standing in the way of immigration reform. President Obama reaped huge benefits from his executive order preventing the deportation of young illegal immigrants, while Republicans stood by and debated whether it was a good idea.
The stakes are big and growing quickly.
This is not the time to have second thoughts, GOP.
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After the resounding vote for Obama by Latinos/Hispanics, African-Americans, Asians, gays and lesbians and other minorities on Nov. 6, it appeared as if the GOP was undergoing some serious and genuine introspection, not necessarily into the root causes for such a massive defection, but into how to “make nice” to these minorities in order to garner more of their votes in 2016.
In other words the GOP appeared to have realized that “it is the demographics, stupid.”
Even before the election, some Republicans, such as Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) had cautioned the GOP, “The demographics race we’re losing badly…We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term.”
Immediately after the election, the chorus grew louder.
With the exception of a few blowhards such as Rush Limbaugh and Laura Ingraham who do not believe that the GOP needs to attract more minorities into their “Big Tent,” — or to do anything about it — several prominent Republicans, including Speaker John Boehner, Charles Krauthammer and even Fox radio talk show host Sean Hannity have been making noises on ways to “make nice” to Latinos.
Even ultra-Conservative Grover Norquist is talking immigration reform. This is what he said in his keynote speech at the Midwest Summit:
It’s the most important thing to focus on if you’re concerned about the future of the country both as an economic power and as a serious leader of the world, or simply as a successful society…It’s not only good policy to have more immigrants in the United States — dramatically more immigrants than we do today, to having a path forward for those people who are here. It’s not only a good idea, but it’s good politics.
In his address he also argued that Republican candidates who champion restrictionist immigration policies are betting on a losing horse. “We have tested this issue again and again and again,” he said. “It’s not like 10 times we win, 10 times they win. These dice are fixed, guys. The pro-immigrant, pro-comprehensive position keeps winning on this.”
Joshua Culling, a member of Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform staff, referring to past injustices to people of Mexican heritage, argues, “Future immigrants will be more open to the Republican Party because, unlike many immigrants who are already here, they won’t have been harmed or insulted by Republican politicians.”
Of course, most Americans are hoping that such soul-searching and consequent reforms by the GOP will be from the heart and intended to genuinely improve justice, equality, economical and other conditions and issues for Latinos and other minorities — not just politically motivated, not just to grab votes…
But, alas, it appears that some — and not only Republicans — are having second thoughts on this issue.
Calling the Grover plan “more cowbell,” Mickey Kaus at the Daily Caller pooh-poohs any such ideas as crazy, wacky and “wackier.”
In his own words:
Suppose Republicans conspire with Dems to bring amnesty to the 10 or 11 million unauthorized immigrants who are already here. Eventually they become citizens. Will they be ready to wipe the slate clean and vote Republican? Or will the Dems figure out new ways to gin up their ethnic base at election time?
In other words, if I understand Kaus, he fears that the Republican Party’s real or purely-for-votes “make nice” with Latino voters efforts may backfire at election time and only increase the Democratic minorities votes margin.
I say, “If I understand Kaus,” because he is a very interesting political personality. Kaus, who identifies himself as a neoliberal, supports social equality, universal health care, but has been a proponent of welfare reform and is a critic of immigration reform, according to Wikipedia.
I suggest a close reading — a study — of his article “The Grover Plan: More Cowbell!” but I would not be surprised if his views and fears on immigration reform, as a consequence of the “demographics debacle,” become contagious in Republican circles.
Anyway, please read Klaus’ interesting — intricate may be a better word — article, critical of Joshua Culling’s piece but at many levels and for many interesting reasons.
For example, “Republican attempts to suppress minority votes have been inspiring African American turnout for a century. Why can’t they inspire Latino turnout too?”
And his conclusion:
The argument Culling is making, though, isn’t that amnesty followed by greatly expanded immigration is the best thing for America. It’s that amnesty followed by greatly expanded immigration is the best way to elect Republicans. That’s the part that seems insane.
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