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. AJStrata says:


    It had nothing to do with the size – I just hit the wrong button first. I need to de-spam your comment before I flush the queue. Normally I get it right.

  2. Enlightened says:

    I think a majority of conservatives and liberals agree there is an immigration problem that must be dealt with in no short order.

    That fact alone proves that it is a bipartisan issue – period.

    If a select minority refuses to compromise in the spirit of bipartisanship, and in contradiction to the decisive message voters just handed down – then their party will indeed fail.

  3. AJStrata says:


    Do I strike you as someone who is going to buy anything you said in that silly post? I will tell you, your assumptions about me make it trivial for me to sit back and watch you implode.

  4. stevevvs says:

    Thank You for posting the long one. The whole article is worth the time.

    OK, I’ll remove Item C. if you give me one more. I’d also like to make it manditory that to vote in the U.S., you must show a photo I.D. Additionaly, all the new Aliens are not allowed to vote for TWO YEARS. And their I.D. carry a stamp that says N.V. and a date for it to expire. I want this for one simple reason. I want them to learn our form of government and to assimilate into our society prior to getting into a voting booth. I thought 5 years origionaly, but in the spirit of bipartisonship, I reduced it by 3 years.
    I work with mostly Immigrants, all legal. But even those here for 10 years, I find, don’t know a hech of a lot about our government, the different parties, philosophy’s, etc. It takes some time when you come from totally different forms of government.
    What do you think?

  5. ama055131 says:

    To me your comment was sarcaistic at best. The only thing I can agree with you on is the Pres. Reagans immigration policy was not fool proof but most of us knew this back then and we wanted to secure the border back then. I would also like to remind you that not all illegals that come from the Mexican border are Mexicans they travel throughout South America to get here ( and the Mexican Government is not very amicable to these illegals the women are raped the men get their butts kicked yet they still try and get to the USA to try and get a piece of the American dream) and we do not pay them to come do we! As I stated earlier the border is the problem but the right has hijacked this issue to include both.

  6. AJStrata says:

    I have no problem with voter ID requirements. We have them here in VA and we vote just fine. And aliens can never vote here – only citizens.

    See – I am not all that unreasonable. Sadly I think you are the exceptional Rep Steve – not the norm.

  7. comradelittle says:

    But if you are an alien, what incentive would there be to join a guest workerprogram? If you can come here and get a job anyway, why register with the government and make your presence known?

  8. Terrye says:

    Disease? I work in the health care industryand people in this country ge more disease from hospitals than they do from nannies and roofers from Mexico.

    yes, the hard right alienated most Americans on this issue. Just like they did in the 60’s with their anti Civil Rights stance. Today it is hard for people to believe that there were intelligent people who did not have a problem with depriving blacks of the right to vote, but there were and what is more there was no arguing with them. They were right and that was the end of it. To hell with everyone else.

    And they got their asses handed to them at the polls too and now we have the same kind of mindset at play here and people are reacting to it the same way.

  9. AJStrata says:


    The incentive is to not live in fear of deportation and losing everything. Once the program is up and running, non-compliance is an immediate ticket out. You would be surprised how many would like to work under the normal worker protections and stop being subserviant to bosses who know how to play the ICE (INS) fear card.

  10. Gigword says:


    I am not against Legal immigration. Once upon a time, there was a “concept” of Legal immigration that controlled the volume of immigrants in order to prevent immigrants from living as wage slaves. Just like legal slavery, wage slavery has been economically beneficial for those that were neither wage slaves nor African American. I realize that in the past the “concept” of Legal immigration may have been administered on an ethnic or racial basis. Not everything that has been “legal” has been “fair”.

    The current system of immigration quotas being determined reactively based on those who could survive the system (of sneaking into this country via the Mexican, Canadian or the miles of our coastline) or by flying into this country on a Tourist Visa is not the best system that this country could establish.

    I will admit to preferring legal behavior. My preference for legal behavior is not limited to immigration issues. I would like to see the enforcement of contract terms in the contracts that the Beltway Bandit contractors have with the US Government. An example of one US Government contract term that I would like to see enforced is the Beltway Bandit contractor’s agreement that they will only bill the Government for time that is spent working on the Government’s contracted effort. If they blog eighty percent of the workday and spend twenty percent of the workday on the effort for the Government, the contractor employee should only bill the Government for the twenty percent of his time that devoted to the Government contract effort. It is ironic that Government employees can spend work hours reading blogs. However, if the Government employee’s job is to catch Government contractors cheating the Government with crooked billing of hours claimed on Government contracts, the Government employee’s blogging can be justified.

    What is “fair” and what is “legal” is not always the same thing. I am for things being both legal and fair. However, I do not like racial pandering to any ethnic group even if it is my Hispanic group. However, ethnic pandering is legal and works well for sleazy politicians. Calling people who are for “Legal” immigration anti-American or un-American requires very little effort, and must “feel” so good.

  11. ama055131 says:


    Your comments keep on changing no resaon to respond to someone
    who keeps on vacillating!

  12. MerlinOS2 says:


    There was an excellent article at RCP about the time of the illegal marches that was written by a former Regan administration worker who was involved with the paperwork process of certifying the people under the amnesty program.
    Due to the numbers being processed then, the limited staff basically rubber stamped whoever came threw the door because they had no budget or means to checkup or verify anything.
    How much would it cost to administer a program to document 20 million illegals?
    Where are you going to find enough people to staff the offices?
    This year estimates show that our economy will yield a non legislated 20 billion dollar foreign aide package to Mexico and other central American countries. This a massive drain on our GDP that is not reinvested here.
    Plus you have costs incurred for the care and welfare of the illegals.
    Don’t confuse me with being anti immigration. That would be totally wrong. Put me in the category of those for a guest worker program to supplement workforce shortfalls. But to allow the status quo, we are in a statistical death spiral that has to be dealt with.

  13. comradelittle says:

    Mr AJ. I will readily concede your point about not having to live in fear. For now. But it strikes me that immigrant registration would be much like gun registration. One would be safe as long as a benevolent government is in power, but if those eeeevil rightwingers would ever come to power, they would know right where the immigrants were and could load them into boxcars and send them back over the border. I am being facetious here but I can imagine an immigrant thinking that. As for noncompliance being a ticket out, please…. don’t insult my intelligence. They don’t enforce immigration law now, what makes you think it will change with a guest worker program? On top of that, we will gave to hire an army of federal bureaucrats to process all the paperwork. Who will pay for that? Not the immigrants. But that’s Bush’s way. More and bigger federal government. Having said all that, we are witnessing a migration of historic proportions. And looking back through history I haven’t found any civilization that has stemmed a large migrant flow. Maybe somebody knows of one? In the end I think a guest worker program simply gives political cover to the POTUS and Congress. I just don’t see much other practical effect.

  14. AJStrata says:


    There are endless excuses not to do something. I for one have never been impressed with that approach to solving problems. Probably because that is just one way to avoid them.

  15. Ken says:


    So you believe the immigration dillemma is hopeless from a
    GOP-beneficial point of view.

    Let me offer you a shade, you might never have considered.
    It might be helpful not to merely quantitatively analyse
    voters but also qualitiatively judge them.

    The voters you describe as having a “closed to the world”
    point of view? They also tend, long term, to those disposed
    to militancy if the immigration problem is not ameliorated.
    More so than the “moderates” of your description tend to
    any decisive action.

    Just take that into consideration. First “Buchanan Party”, to
    use a previous label of yours, then patriotic defense of their
    folkways if that fails.

  16. ScottNY says:

    Absolutely. Bravo.

    Scott Moon

  17. Gigword says:


    You said, “Your comments keep on changing no reason to respond to someone who keeps on vacillating!”

    Thanks for emoting. Concepts that (to you) seem to vacillate may have a pattern that you have not been able to detect. Keep emoting. Don’t bother trying to understand what I have written.

    Can you guess where my line of reasoning is going next? Is there any way that the people of the United States could help the people of Mexico that is better than to have them pluck chickens for the Tyson family at an “on the books” rate of six dollars an hour or clean AMA’s toilets at an “off the book” rate of four dollars an hour?

    Well, not if Tyson Foods is going to continue to “lose money” on cattle futures trades at the same time, same rate and at the same broker’s office where Hillary is “making an identical amount of money” on her cattle futures trading. There is money to be made in the wage slave trade. In addition, there are votes available to sleazy politicians who pander to wage slaves. “In ten years or so, we shall set you free!” “Just keep plucking chickens and cleaning toilets and remember to vote for us.”

    For thinking (vice emoting) people, interesting information is available at the website as follows:

    “The Mexican Constitution prohibits direct ownership by foreigners of real estate within 100 kilometers (about 62 miles) of any border, and within 50 kilometers (about 31 miles) of any coastline. In order to permit foreign investment in these areas, the Mexican government has created a trust mechanism, in which a bank has title to the property, but a trust beneficiary enjoys the benefits of ownership. However, U.S. citizens are vulnerable to title challenges that may result in years of litigation and possible eviction. Although title insurance is available in the Baja Peninsula and in other parts of Mexico, it is virtually unknown and remains untested in most of the country. In addition, Mexican law recognizes squatters’ rights, and homeowners can spend thousands of dollars in legal fees and years of frustration in trying to remove squatters who occupy their property.

    “Crime in Mexico continues at high levels, and it is often violent, especially in Mexico City, Tijuana, Ciudad Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, Acapulco, and the state of Sinaloa. Other metropolitan areas have lower, but still serious, levels of crime. Low apprehension and conviction rates of criminals contribute to the high crime rate. Travelers should always leave valuables and irreplaceable items in a safe place, or not bring them. All visitors are encouraged to make use of hotel safes when available, avoid wearing obviously expensive jewelry or designer clothing, and carry only the cash or credit cards that will be needed on each outing. There are a significant number of pick-pocketing, purse snatching, and hotel-room theft incidences. Public transportation is a particularly popular place for pickpockets. U.S. citizen victims of crime in Mexico are encouraged to report the incident to the nearest police headquarters and to the nearest U.S. consular office.

    “Visitors should be aware of their surroundings at all times, even when in areas generally considered safe. Women traveling alone are especially vulnerable and should exercise caution, particularly at night. Victims, who are almost always unaccompanied, have been raped, robbed of personal property, or abducted and then held while their credit cards were used at various businesses and Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs). Armed street crime is a serious problem in all of the major cities. Some bars and nightclubs, especially in resort cities such as Cancun, Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, and Acapulco, can be havens for drug dealers and petty criminals. Some establishments may contaminate or drug drinks to gain control over the patron.
    U.S. citizens should be very cautious in general when using ATMs in Mexico. If an ATM must be used, it should be accessed only during the business day at large protected facilities (preferably inside commercial establishments, rather than at glass-enclosed, highly visible ATMs on streets). U.S. and Mexican citizens are sometimes accosted on the street and forced to withdraw money from their accounts using their ATM cards.

    “A number of Americans have been arrested for passing on counterfeit currency they had earlier received in change. If you receive what you believe to be a counterfeit bank note, bring it to the attention of Mexican law enforcement. Kidnapping, including the kidnapping of non-Mexicans, continues at alarming rates. So-called “express” kidnappings, an attempt to get quick cash in exchange for the release of an individual, have occurred in almost all the large cities in Mexico and appear to target not only the wealthy, but also middle class persons. U.S. businesses with offices in Mexico or concerned U.S. citizens may contact the U.S. Embassy or any U.S. consulate to discuss precautions they should take.

    “Criminal assaults occur on highways throughout Mexico; travelers should exercise extreme caution at all times, avoid traveling at night, and may wish to use toll (“cuota”) roads rather than the less secure “free” (“libre”) roads whenever possible. In addition, U.S. citizens should not hitchhike with, or accept rides from or offer rides to, strangers anywhere in Mexico. Tourists should not hike alone in backcountry areas, nor walk alone on lightly-frequented beaches, ruins or trails.

    “All bus travel should be during daylight hours and on first-class conveyances. Although there have been several reports of bus hijackings and robberies on toll roads, buses on toll roads have a markedly lower rate of incidents than buses (second and third class) that travel the less secure “free” highways. The Embassy advises caution when traveling by bus from Acapulco toward Ixtapa or Huatulco. Although the police have made some progress in bringing this problem under control, armed robberies of entire busloads of passengers still occur.
    “In some instances, Americans have become victims of harassment, mistreatment and extortion by Mexican law enforcement and other officials. Mexican authorities have cooperated in investigating such cases, but one must have the officer’s name, badge number, and patrol car number to pursue a complaint effectively. Please note this information if you ever have a problem with police or other officials. In addition, tourists should be wary of persons representing themselves as police officers or other officials. When in doubt, ask for identification. Be aware that offering a bribe to a public official to avoid a ticket or other penalty is a crime in Mexico.
    “It is increasingly common for extortionists to call prospective victims on the telephone, often posing as police officers, and demand payments in return for the release of an arrested family member, or to forestall a kidnapping. Prison inmates using smuggled cellular phones often place these calls. Persons receiving such calls should be extremely skeptical since most such demands or threats are baseless, and should contact the U.S. Embassy or closest U.S. consulate, or the Department of State for assistance.

  18. ama055131 says:

    it is olny obvious that you will only read what you want ,in my comments i have stated the facts for you but you are only interested in your point of view and not what others have said so one last time i will try and explain the facts
    1 10-20 million are here now should we round them up and throw them out and if you say yes how do you propose to do this and at what cost to the american taxpayer.
    2 tyson farms and big business are not the main empolyers it is the small farmers who need the so called cheap labor.
    3 The border is the real problem tight control will insure that we will finally stop mass immigration
    I could go on but its late you have your own opinion and until you can tell me how you would solve the problem nothing else has to be said. ( and I would suggest you read what I have said in the above comments we are not that far apart but I suspect you are afraid that moderates will take those precious votes away from what ever cause you support. I thought Americans were of a tolerant nature trying to help others out, further if you would like to clean my toilet i’ll give you 6 dollars a hour!

  19. trentk269 says:

    First we’re told in this blog that the ‘Pubs would hold the line. They obviously didn’t.

    Then we’re told that the election was lost by “far right” extremists who didn’t vote the way AJ thinks that they should, despite the fact that AJ consistently tells us that this is a fringe element (AJ also tells us that Virginia is at the forefront of the immigration issue).

    Now, the fact that this fringe element is undeniably at odds with the Bush administration is undeniable, AJ tells us that the GOP is “mortally wounded,” obviously because these far-right extremists just won’t do what they can to get along with the flood of illegal immigrats flowing into this country.

    If the Republican party was able to mine the votes AJ claims they’ve lost, they wouldn’t be in the minority. You can’t call people who oppose illegal immigration a fringe element and at the same time claim that they cost the Republicans an election. I remind all the nodding heads to this post that independents voted 4 to 1 against the Republicans in last week’s election. While it is true that some people sat this election out, it is difficult to reconcile that with the fact that Republicans in most precincts enjoyed a 3-5 percent increase in turnout over 2004, which was in itself a large turnout election.

    I’ve watched AJ consistently emote on this subject, name call, and blame everyone he doesn’t agree with for the Bush debacle last happened last week.

    If the pro-immigration segment of the Republican party thinks that it can win elections by saying “me too” along with the Democrats, then by all means continue to sing the same tune that failed last Tuesday.

    In California, we’ve watched intensive care units close all over the state because illegal immigrants are coached by activists (that think just like AJ) to go to trauma centers for band aids and Pepto Bismol. Our state expenditures for education 30 years ago were just shy of 60 percent at the state level, and well over 60 percent at most local levels. Even with the addtion of gambling royalties from the state lotto, most school districts are now treading water.

    The reason? Illegal immigration has skyrocketed over the last 20 years. Anyone who complains about this is called a racist or an idiot or an extremist, usually by people like AJ who live a continent away from the problems created by the Federal government’s refusal to recognize the problem they’ve created, and by right-leaning liberals who believe that there should be no border at all. The unions, the school districts, large employers, and both political parties have turned their backs on this situation because it is economically and politically expedient to do so.

    The Republican Party has a fairly clear choice: attempt to win over Hispanic voters (who, by the way, vote 80% Democratic when they bother to show up) an alienate a significant portion of the disaffected native-born that vote for their party, or to consider Hispanic voters a largely lost cause and support a realistic immigration policy, including enforcement. I doubt that people in Virginia realize that the police in California are prohibited from asking a criminal suspect about his residency status, as are schools, hospitals, and welfare offices.

    I’d like to remind everyone replying to this post that enforcement of immigration laws and borders gets a perenially high favorable polling response from the public, despite what you may read in the LA Times or in this blog. Therin may lie a lesson for everyone, pro-immigration Republicans included.

  20. Gigword says:


    You said, “I thought Americans were of a tolerant nature trying to help others out, further if you would like to clean my toilet i’ll give you 6 dollars a hour!”

    As I expected, you reveal that you believe that I should clean your toilet because I am Hispanic. In addition, you believe that you are a “tolerant American” because you will “let me” be your servant. Is your offer of six dollars “your on the books rate” or must my employment be “off the books and in cash only”? As part of the Reagan Comprehensive Immigration Law, there was a system setup for the legal hiring of Mexican migrant labor. It provided standards for housing and safe transportation that farmers must provide for their laborers. Some of the plantations in Southern California currently follow the Government regulations (work standards) and file the appropriate paperwork when they legally hire the migrant farm labor. However, many of America’s owners of large plantations prefer the contractor crew “ask no questions method”. Is your position that small farmers should be able to hire illegal immigrants at wage slave rates with a sleep in the barn provision because that is the “tolerant American” way to do things?