by John Hawkins | October 23, 2008 5:10 am
The squishy, moderate, establishment wing of the Republican Party, which is largely responsible for ruining the Party’s brand over the last few years, absolutely insisted that we had to force through amnesty for illegal aliens.
The phone calls were running 100 to 1 against it and at one point, they got up to such a high level that the Capitol Hill switchboard melted down — but still, the establishment RINOS insisted on trying to force it through, no matter what the cost was.
As a result, conservatives were demoralized and the GOP lost a staggering number of seats and fundraising revenue. How many? It’s impossible to say, but if I had to make a wild, ballpark guess, I’d say the GOP lost at least 50 million dollars, 15-20 seats in the house, and 3-4 seats in the Senate that could be traced back, in one way or another, to the damage done during the immigration fight — but in all fairness, who can say for sure?
However you slice it, the Republican party paid a huge price for pushing amnesty — and for what? Part of the reason the squishes demanded amnesty was to please the Chamber of Commerce crowd (which may end up getting a face full of socialism starting in 2009 as a result), but the other reason was because they insisted amnesty was a huge political winner with Hispanics.
Why, if the Republican Party would just push amnesty, we’d have a majority of Hispanics locked in forevermore. Some of us (cough cough, right here, cough cough) pointed out that amnesty doesn’t swing all that many Hispanic votes and that pushing it wasn’t going to do much for the Republican Party.
For example, here’s an excerpt from an interview I did with Mark Krikorian from way back in May of 2004,
John Hawkins: Now, a lot of politicians cater to illegal immigrants in hopes of pulling in votes from Spanish-Americans. However, from what I’ve seen in elections across the US, that doesn’t seem to work. What’s your opinion on the subject? Does it work?
Mark Krikorian: Does it work as a political issue?
John Hawkins: Yeah, does catering to illegal immigrants, does that bring in a much bigger share of Spanish American voters?
Mark Krikorian: Politically, this doesn’t work…
Now, here’s what I wrote back on June of 2007,
“Additionally, why would American Hispanics tie their whole future to one party simply because it’s more willing to let in foreigners who are of the same race? For example, if someone suggested that white Americans would permanently back whichever party would allow 12 million Swedes and Germans to enter the country illegally, no one would take it seriously. So, why should we believe that most Hispanic Americans think that way?”
Here’s one more excerpt from October of 2007,
“There is very little evidence that the GOP’s position on illegal immigration has significantly hurt them with Hispanics (other than in a handful of select districts) or that supporting comprehensive illegal immigration would boost the GOP with Hispanics.
The problem the GOP has with Hispanics right now isn’t much different than we’ve had with almost every other demographic group: in other words, there was a big dip from 2004 to 2006 in the GOP’s poll numbers with Hispanics because there was a big dip in our numbers with almost every demographic group.”
…….Which brings us to the situation we find ourselves in today. We have a little real world experiment going on. You see, our nominee for President is the Republican who is most closely identified with amnesty for illegal immigrants. The bill that would have given amnesty to illegals was referred to by many people as the McCain-Kennedy amnesty bill. Moreover, although he has flip flopped all over the place on the issue, McCain is running an aggressive outreach to Hispanics, running Spanish language ads, and is still promising comprehensive immigration reform.
So, how is he doing with Hispanics? Well, in 2006, the GOP pulled 30% of the Hispanic vote nationwide. Regrettably, McCain isn’t even doing that well,
“Recent Gallup polls show Mr. McCain running far behind Senator Barack Obama among Hispanic voters nationwide, only 26 percent of whom favor the Republican.”
So, John McCain, the best person advocates of amnesty could possibly hope to have running on the Republican side, has gone backwards from where the GOP was just two years ago.
That should definitively, once and for all, kill this whole idea that supporting amnesty is going to bring Hispanics over to the GOP. Yes, we do need to work harder as a party to pull in the Hispanic vote, but obviously, amnesty does absolutely nothing for us on that front.
PS: Told ya so.
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