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. HaroldHutchison says:

    I’d be very interested in seeing what you come up with.

  2. lurker9876 says:

    Reagan / Bush conservative? Hhhmmmm….would be interesting to see what you come up with.

  3. ama055131 says:

    The problem is not only the hard right in congress but many of the talking heads on talk radio. Unfortunately many of our elected Reps. still think that the radio crowd is the base (they really are behind the times) with all their crap about how illegals are the reason we lost the election. They have transformed the idea of securing our boarders and attached illegals with that idea. We are told how much money it is costing the tax payers of this country, what they fail to understand is how much money do they think it would cost to round up 10-20 million people. They also fail to understand that the GOP will never get the black vote no matter how the GOP proves we are not and never have been the party of racism. But I do have faith in Pres. Bush as I had with Pres. Reagan when he pushed to get his immagration plan through in the 80s.

  4. kathie says:

    The Pat Buchannan libertarians are part of the immigration is ruining American croud.

  5. For Enforcement says:

    Even if Pres Bush puts forth a plan and the congress passed it and he signed it, the Democrats would get credit for passing it. Even if the majority of the voters in the congress that were responsible for passing it were Repubs. The reason I say this is the formerly MSM controls the thought of the average person in this country and whatever they say, the un-informed majority believes. We see this regularly in the Black vote. The Repubs have been generally better at passing legislation that benefits blacks, but as long as the blacks think it is the Dems, they will get their vote.

  6. Retired Spook says:

    “GOP Could Be Mortally Wounded”

    I think that statement’s a little harsh as well as premature, especially given that there is no viable alternative at this point. There are at least as many DON’T-CONFUSE-ME-WITH-THE-FACTS people on the far Left as on the far Right. I think history has generally shown that Conservatives may be slow to learn from mistakes, but most eventually do learn. OTOH, the only lessons the Left seems to learn from history are: we didn’t spend enough money and we didn’t get our message out.

    Like many who post here, I’m a Conservative first and a Republican second. If I look at the issues (on the national level) that are important to me, the current incarnation of the GOP represents the my view on roughly 75% while the Dems represent roughly 0%, so I’m not anxious to write the GOP’s obituary until Crosspatch gets the Common Sense Party up and running on the national level. Come on, Crosspatch, times a wastin’.

  7. kathie says:

    croud, should be to be crowd

  8. djl130 says:

    I completely agree with AMA – Also – AJ- I can’t wait to read what you come up with. Sometimes I feel that the GOP and conservatives are fighting against the swiftly rising tide of a Tsumani of “liberal” thought. It is present in my daughters generation. She is 20. I am what I call a “rational conservative” but this up coming generation has been inculcated by the media , MTV by liberal, liberal universities and also a life experience that is unlike their parents or garndparents. They really do not understand what all the fuss is about concerning gay marriage (many have gay couples as close friends, they see the reality of this issue, it isn’t abstract: it is Paul and Tom, two great guys or Beth and Caitlin, who are in love. It is as acceptable to them as living together was acceptable to my generation in the 70’s 80’s – it is not a problem.) Also, they see illiegal aliens as people who want a nicer life and stem cell research as their hope to avoid breast cancer. These new sets of values are ingrained in many, many younger adults. Go ahead and refute it, but I am among young people and it is palpable. There are many who are voting for the first time and in some cases, feeling like they put candidates over the top – see George Allen in VA – a student organization feels it was their 7000+ votes that made the difference.
    Anyway, I agree that conservatives need to re-evaluate and revisit priorities. I think the new priority of the conservative needs to be salvation of western civilization. This is why I am conservative. Because I think Political Correctness is killing us. Death by a thousand cuts. I think we have to find a way to handle the border and assimilate those who are here – how do you deal with all the US citizens babies attached to the illigal moms and dads? Also- find a way with Gays – civil unions for any and all- but “marriage” for men/women. (not enough space to explain this thought). Anyway, there is a reckoning coming – the talking heads and pundits need to wander among the populace and listen carefully.

  9. stevevvs says:

    Leo W. Banks at Tucson Weekly has written some very good article on this subject:

    Matter of Numbers – Experts say it’s only a matter of time before an animal disease disaster strikes the unsecured U.S.-Mexico border (01-19-2006)
    Susie’s Letter to Mexico – A family is tired of witnessing the suffering of immigrants abandoned by their own government (11-10-2005)

    Images From the Battleground – Ranchers 75 miles from Tucson say bad border policies have resulted in a daily invasion of drugs, death, pollution and violence (08-11-2005)

    Catastrophe in Care – Hospitals are being crippled by the costs of treating migrants–and that could be just the start of an immigrant-related health crisis (06-02-2005)

    Under Siege – As illegal immigrants surge across Southern Arizona, life for ranchers living near the border has become a living hell (03-10-2005)

    At War on the Border – First drug dealers, next a wave of illegal immigration, then fear of terrorists–and now the rise of vigilantism. It’s just a matter of time until blood is spilled in Cochise or Santa Cruz counties. (12-19-2002)

  10. Gigword says:


    You have convinced me that the guest worker program is a wonderful idea. However, I believe that a guest worker program that is based on granting entrance into the program to people (who have been successful in illegally entering our country) is unfair. Why do you want only to pander to one ethnic group? Because Mexico has been successful in exporting ten percent of its population into the US due to the non-enforcement of the last comprehensive immigration reform, we should be fair to the citizens of those countries that could not sneak in to this country due to transportation costs. Therefore, I believe that a simple ten percent rule should apply. Every country in the world should be allowed to export ten percent of its current population to the US to participate in guest worker program. How did the Republican Party do during the last election with the African American vote? Because not every country in the world can afford to cover the cost of exporting ten percent of their population, this country should cover the cost of transportation for the citizens of the poor countries. Let us not forget the all-important Islamic voter block. How did the Republicans do with the Islamic voter block? Most Islamic countries have very poor citizens. Therefore, free transportation for those citizens would be a winner. Of course, people from overseas will need housing and other living expenses for at least their first year while they are in this country. I believe that Government per diem rate would be fair. Then to make it fair to the Mexican voter block, we should pay retroactively Government rate per diem for the time that they have been living illegally in the US. Of course, the transportation costs of African Slaves was previously paid by business entities but the living accommodations were not so great, so Government rate per diem should be paid retroactively beginning from the date of the first known African Slave to arrive in the current territory of the US. The payment should be made to every African American that is alive at the effective date of the AJ Strata Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007. We are the world; we are the children; we are the Racial Pander Party!

  11. ama055131 says:

    It seems to me you are anti immagration which is really anti American ,this country is a melting pot and always has been. Immagration is the cornerstone of what America is. People come here to try and get a piece of the American way, if they could do better from the country they came from do you think they would not stay their. Securing the border is and should be a main issue but not at the expense of 10-20 million people that are here. I don’t think anyone wants to give just a virtual pass to those that are here I believe most of us in AJ’s camp also want rules so they will assimilate into our society

  12. Retired Spook says:

    but this up coming generation has been inculcated by the media , MTV by liberal, liberal universities and also a life experience that is unlike their parents or grandparents. They really do not understand what all the fuss is about concerning gay marriage (many have gay couples as close friends, they see the reality of this issue, it isn’t abstract: it is Paul and Tom, two great guys or Beth and Caitlin, who are in love. It is as acceptable to them as living together was acceptable to my generation in the 70’s 80’s – it is not a problem.) Also, they see illiegal aliens as people who want a nicer life and stem cell research as their hope to avoid breast cancer. These new sets of values are ingrained in many, many younger adults.

    DJL, I can relate to your comments. You just described my oldest daughter and son-in-law (both 37). They have gay friends, and one of my grandsons was born with defective kidneys. At the age of 20 months he received a transplant of one of his dad’s kidneys, but my daughter and son-in-law view stem cell research as the final solution to him living a long and health life. And they don’t much care where the stem cells come from. They think I am an old fuddy-duddy because I don’t agree with them. I’m not sure where they stand on the immigration issue — I’m afraid to ask.

  13. stevevvs says:

    I figured out a way I could sign on to your Ideas of Comprehensive Reform. See if You could agree:
    1. First, we must build a Fence across the entire Southern Border.
    2. All Illegal here now can stay under the following Rules:
    A. If ANY Alien committes a Felony offense within 10 years, they are automatically deported.
    B. All Aliens must learn English within 1 year.
    C. ANY Alien with a deadly disease is deported as soon as medically possible.
    D. All Government forms, All National Chain Stores, ATM’s, etc. deal only in English. We don’t pander to Asians, Indians, etc. We should not pander to any group of people.

    That’s a start, I took in countless Millions, and Compromised. Could You live with that in the “Hard Middle”?

  14. stevevvs says:

    OOPPS! One More:
    Any Alien Caught using False Documents from the day Amnesty is granted is also Immediately Deported. This too, MUST Stop!

  15. az redneck says:

    I am a conservative voter and eager to identify areas/problems for which solutions need to be negotiated. I would hope, however, that there is more acceptance of diverse views than there has been at this site on the subject of immigration. I have seen you give on one issue–deportation for felons–and that relatively late in the discussion, while there are a myriad of problems with the Senate bill which several of us have tried to point out, and have been lumped with those idiots in the House who decided to “punt” on immigration for our efforts. And we have been for a guest worker program all along!

    Please recognize that “presumed superiority” works in two directions and that rational discussion requires mutual recognition of positions along a continium, rather than black or white.

    And oh, yeah! Let’s celebrate that conservatives CAN compromise as adults, where bipartisanship means adult, rational discussion, rather than the Dem leadership for which it’s become my way or else.

  16. AJStrata says:


    I accidentally deleted your long comment. I am truly sorry. It ended up in the spam queue and I went to salvage it and hit the wrong button. Please feel free to repost it, if you have the time.


  17. Gigword says:


    You said, “It seems to me you are anti immagration (sic) which is really anti American ,this country is a melting pot and always has been.” Please quote the words in my above “Racial Pander Party” comment that is spoken against “increased legal immigration”. Which word in “increased legal immigration” do you find offensive? Is it the word “legal” that is offensive to you?

  18. stevevvs says:

    Thank You AJ. I saved it. I’ll try to whittle it down some more.

    The threat illegal immigration poses to American public health plays out every day at Arizona’s hospitals. Until recently, the issue remained only marginally public, a problem medical people batted around among themselves, not with the media.

    The Copper Queen Hospital in Bisbee, one of the hardest hit, helped break that barrier when CEO Jim Dickson began returning reporters’ calls, even though the subject, as he puts it, has become “like the third rail. You don’t want to touch it.”

    But his problem had grown severe. Dickson’s uncompensated costs for treating illegals rose from $35,000 in 1999 to $450,000 in 2004. His total shortfall now sits at about $1.4 million, a hefty deficit for a 14-bed hospital. To make ends meet, he had to close, in June 2000, the Copper Queen’s long-term care facility, and cut back on staff and hours, forcing some employees to take second jobs to survive.

    The central issue, though, remains in place–the hospital has had to scale back health services to American citizens to treat illegals. Bisbee isn’t alone.

    The most comprehensive study on the subject found that 24 counties in four states bordering Mexico wracked up $190 million in unpaid emergency medical bills caring for illegals in the year 2000. The study, commissioned by the U.S.-Mexico Border Counties Coalition, found that California spent $79 million of that; Texas, $74 million; Arizona, $31 million; and New Mexico, $6 million.

    Bear in mind that these numbers, the best available, are from 2000. We can assume, with increasing rates of crossings since then, the costs are considerably higher today. Nor do the above figures take into account non-border counties.

    The counties in the above-mentioned study spent an additional $13 million in 2000 on emergency transportation, such as helicopters and ambulances, to pick up illegals injured after sneaking across the line.

    The Bisbee Fire Department’s ambulance responds to about one of these calls a day during the summer, says Chief Jack Earnest. Asked how many of these patients pay up, Earnest wasn’t sure, and recommended contacting the billing office in Sierra Vista. The billing office knew exactly how often illegals pay their ambulance bills–never.

    But there’s another category–Mexicans injured in Mexico who call American ambulances for help. By federal law, they have to respond, which makes Bisbee’s Copper Queen the trauma center of choice for Sonora’s northern frontier.

    The calls come from Naco, Sonora, the town across the line just south of Bisbee, where, in spite of widespread poverty, cell phones are popular, and everybody knows the Americans are bound by law to treat them.

    “When we get a call we go, and we don’t ask where the person’s from,” says Earnest. Naco residents needing care go to the port of entry and declare an emergency to American officials. When they’re waved through, they’re transported to the Copper Queen’s ER in Bisbee’s ambulance, or they drive themselves in private cars.

    The policy is called Compassionate Entry, and it applies to hospitals up and down the line. The Copper Queen averages about five such cases a month. Some abuse the privilege, says ER Manager Josie Mincher.

    “It’s not unusual to have one UDA (undocumented alien) cost $5,000, and we know we’re not going to get that back. We’re playing with monopoly money here.”

    Here’s an example of how one patient can wrack up a huge bill:

    A young Mexican man had a bad auto accident across the line and was taken to Douglas’ Southeast Arizona Medical Center with severe neurological problems. After being stabilized there, he was transferred to Barrow’s Neurological Center in Phoenix.

    He spent a costly month there, courtesy of the Center, and was transferred–with a tracheotomy tube in his throat and supplies to clean it, also provided gratis by Barrow’s–to a hospital in Hermosillo. That facility kept him less than a day before releasing him to his home in Naco. But for reasons no one can explain, the Hermosillo hospital kept his trach kit and cleaning supplies.

    As a result, he became septic–a bad infection–and came through the Naco port under Compassionate Entry to the Copper Queen. He spent three days there, then the staff sent him off, with more free supplies, to a clinic in Agua Prieta for continued care.

    How much did this fellow cost the American health care system? A figure of a quarter-million dollars would surprise no one. Cost to the Copper Queen? Almost $6,000, and they got none of it back.

    In its spring 2005 issue, the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons reported that between 1993 and 2003, 60 California hospitals closed because, for several reasons including EMTALA, half of their services became unpaid.

    As with most issues related to the illegal invasion, those who live along the Mexican border, the scene of the crime, have the best view. Where health issues are concerned, it’s not a pretty sight.

    Residents say they’ve come across ground dotted with discarded pills, syringes containing nobody knows what, and used needles. Some report riding horses along creek beds, popular pull-up areas for groups heading north, and finding 70 or 80 piles of human feces, some of it blackened and running with blood.

    It’s as disgraceful as it is disgusting–and it raises a question: What happens when rain washes all this into the water supply? Is it a threat to spread diseases such as hepatitis? Some believe it might be.

    What happens when cows drink from these contaminated creeks? And what happens when this constant flow of Third World humanity goes north, fanning out all across Arizona and the country? What kind of diseases do they bring with them?

    ER workers like Mincher live with that question every day. “We protect ourselves best we can,” she says, “but if somebody comes in with a contagious disease, I might as well buy the farm, because I don’t know what it is. A lot of times, they don’t know what they have either. If they came off a ranch in southern Mexico, they’ve had no immunizations, no health care, nothing.”

    The Web and print media are full of stories about the diseases illegals carry, and their effect on American health. But some writers make alarming claims with sketchy evidence at best. In the cases of two diseases, however–Chagas and tuberculosis–the evidence is clearer that they’re indeed coming across our border.

    Chagas, a potentially fatal illness spread by contact with the feces of the reduviid bug, called the “kissing bug,” is prevalent in South and Central America. Fifteen million people in that region are infected with the parasite, and 50,000 die of it every year, according to the World Health Organization. A person can be infected for 10 or 20 years or more before showing symptoms, making it particularly insidious. At its most severe, the disease can cause the heart to fail, and literally explode.

    In the United States? Louis Kirchhoff, of the University of Iowa Medical School, estimates that between 80,000 and 120,000 Latin Americans with Chagas live here. Matching prevalence studies and immigration numbers, Kirchhoff figures about 10 Chagas-infected persons entered every day from Mexico alone in the 1990s.

    The disease can be transmitted four ways, but for Americans, the most worrisome is the blood supply. In the United States overall, the chance of contracting Chagas from a blood transfusion is small, one in 25,000, according to David Leiby, a research scientist at the American Red Cross in Washington.

    But in cities with high populations from Latin America, the numbers fall to much riskier levels. In Miami, for example, the chance is one on 9,000. In L.A., 1 in 5,400.

    “Chagas is overlooked by the health care system in the United States. Our physicians aren’t aware of it and wouldn’t recognize it in most cases.”

    Tuberculosis, which also shows up in high rates in Mexico, is migrating north as well. Many assume a place like Cochise County, right on the border and overrun by illegals, would have a high incidence of TB. But it doesn’t, says Edith Sampson, of the Cochise County Health Department. “The immigrants only pass through here on the way to Atlanta, or whatever city they’re going to,” she says.

    Exactly the problem–which is a big reason why 53 percent of the TB in the United States in 2003 was among foreign-born persons, up from 29 percent in 1993, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In L.A., again because of its huge illegal population, the figure is closer to 80 percent.

    The State Health Department says that Arizona had 295 reported cases of active TB in 2003, a jump from the previous year. Why the increase? More of the disease was found among kids under 5 years old and prisoners. The latter were mostly Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees–in other words, illegals.

    Sixty-eight percent of Arizona’s foreign-born TB cases are from Mexico, says state health.

    I redused it by 30% or so. Thanks AJ.

  19. Carol_Herman says:

    I don’t blame people for their opinions.

    And, I think professional politicians have all sorts of ways around the speech patterns, where most of us know a load of crap when we hear it; but the social conservatives DON’T.

    If you think either Bush president is and or was a conservative, have I got news for y9u!

    In 2000 when there was a choice, and McCain could have won the White House without James Baker; and his “winning” arguments about Florida, you would have gotten the same judges up on the Hill. And, you wouldn’t be licking wounds now THAT ARE SELF-INFLICTED.

    In other words? George Allen probably won Virginia. But with such a small margin of votes, you’d win nothing at all if you fought over the fraud. And, the DNC knows this! It’s their roadmap!

    While there are no professional politicians who will do more than pay lip serves to nutso constituents.

    While the GOOD MANAGMENT SKILLS, that Guliani brings to the table; where he MANAGES from his office, to the heads of departments where their problems are made public; is not something you see in the very secretive, and ultimately very disasterous behaviors of the BUSH TEAMS. Out of luck. Soon to be out of time.

  20. AJStrata says:


    Kill C in your list and now you think just like me (there is no way to determine if the immigrant brought the disease, and if they did it was not intentional, and the last thing you do is let the person go free – you must quarantines – and cure if possible). I am not for being soft on immigrants. I am for being reasonably tough. And I never expect perfection out of a Congressional Bill. I gave up on that when I gave up on believing in Santa Claus. Asking for perfection in a Bill is another dodge.