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October 24, 2006


Many pundits thought that immigration would be a great issue for the GOP. They did not reckon on two things. First, the nativists felt unleashed, and went overboard, as is their wont, especially on talk radio. This got spread around in the Latino community, and now there is a backlash.

Second, there is an irreconcilable conflict between the needs of business for cheap labor and the desire on the part of some of the GOP base to exclude people who are "different." Business was always the one that would win out, in that even if there is some cosmetic bill like the fence bill, there won't be any serious enforcement.

When times are good, people overlook that they aren't getting everything, but when times are bad, they realize they aren't getting much of anything. That has happened with all the GOP constituencies except big business and the very rich. Even people who thought they were in on the con now see they weren't really. And put Iraq on top of this, and we see wholesale defections.

Lordy, Coach DemFromCT.

You say our Rivals only have two feet, and sometimes they trip over one of them. And they might miss a foul shot as well? ...

Well, we are enthused and will go out and stomp both their feet, and foul the heck out of them.

What a pep talker!



on those fundamentalist "values" voters... I was interested recently to see this ad called Pete's Couch coming from the Office of National Drug Control Policy. It says that marijuana is not bad for you -- although it might make you a slacker. Not exactly a surgeon general's warning. And a far departure from previous ads suggesting drugs would fry your brain or that buying pot helps the terrorists, as this Slate piece reminds us.

I can't imagine those values voters are thrilled about this (more truthful) tack. That's my instinct, anyway -- when I tried to look into it a bit, to see how much the Christian right really cares about keeping kids off the marijuana, I didn't see much of anything about it on their websites or elsewhere -- for already disgruntled fundamentalists will this ad be an issue, a latent issue if highlighted, or just not an issue? I'm not sure, but I'm guessing one of the first two.

Mimikatz, the other issue on immigration is that they did such a fouled-up nonsensensical job of it. You generously ascribe this to the fact that there's an 'irreconciliable difference' between the business faction and the xenophobic faction of the Republican party. I tend to think they are just unable to write good policy that actually does anything, without turning it into hometown pork and lobbyist sugar. Either way, whatever votes an anti-immigrant platform might or might not have won, a $6 billion fence that covers a third of the border is not going to be a winner with anyone except the contractors.


I seriously doubt that drug ads are going get the attention of the Christianist right. Illegal drug use, for a variety of complicated reasons, has completely fallen off the political radar for those folks.

William, that's my sense of it too. I was surprised to realize it though. It seems to be the case for the leadership, and I wonder if it is true for the fundamentalist rank-and-file as well.

This from a previous thread.

"John Zogby , an independent pollster, said his data shows the Democrats poised to pick up 25 to 30 seats, even though the party has not offered a detailed agenda; rather, a confluence of events has turned voters against Republicans.

"If the Democrats win, it will be a Forrest Gump victory, with things swirling around them over which they had very little control," Zogby said


Naturally Zogby was villified here, and his wisdom roundly refuted.

I tend to agree with him.


Until they do they will be at the mercy of the whims of the winds, and waiting for the Republicans to run their swift ship ashore as they drink too much champagne up on the bridge, and lose their navigation.

Democrats need to change. The country needs it. In fact the Republicans need it too. They don't have to show too much character, and concern for the "downtrodden masses" when the Democrats are way out in (pardon) left field observing the cloud formations in the sky as ball after ball falls around them.

Jodi, check out EJ Dionne, who you should be reading every time he writes something.

Rising Radical Center

This incipient Democratic alliance, while tilting slightly leftward, would plant its foundations firmly in the middle of the road, because its success depends on overwhelming support from moderate voters. That's why a Democratic victory in November -- defined as taking one or both houses of Congress -- would have effects far beyond a single election year.

I think the reason they couldn't do an immigration policy is precisely the fundamental contradiction. The nativist wing doesn't want more Spanish speakers or people who are different (dark), period. James Sensenbrenner epitomizes these people, along with the Minutemen. But lots of businesses hire immigrants, from farm labor to construction to landscaping, house cleaning, childcare, restaurant work etc., to say nothing of household help. The meatpacking industry in the midwest in particular uses illegals in plants with substandard wages and conditions.

The GOP House refused to consider the Dem/McCain bill and trashed those who supported it. So only the silly fence bill passed (with a wink and a nod, because the money isn't really appropriated. But the GOP got people's hopes up, and they will be the ones to pay. Business got their second choice (no change) and so did people who wanted real reform.

DemFromCT, you are right.

"There has long been talk about the rise of a "radical center," made up of voters essentially moderate in their philosophical leanings but radical in their disaffection with the status quo. This looks to be the year of the radical center. If it is, the Democrats will win. And if they win, their task will be to meet the aspirations of a diverse group of dissatisfied and disappointed Americans. Not an easy chore, but one that certainly beats being in the opposition." - EJ Dionne

I have already ordered up some "Center Right" buttons. It was a toss up between "Radical Center" and "Center Right." The Center Right sounds less scary. Without the bottles of gasoline and the cloth wick.


The Center Right sounds less scary.

Only where you live. it's Center Left in CT. Call it what you will (your centrist is my moderate), it's an improvement on where we are now.

Actually, the Republicans are playing the Latino and Black groups totally true to form. From Reconstruction into the 1930's the GOP owned the Black Vote, small as it was. Harding (1920) got something like 97% of it, limited as it was to Black Precincts in Northern Cities -- but the promises remained just that -- unfilled promises. The Black vote began to migrate beginning in 1924 -- first to the third party movement led by LaFollette, and then in 1928 to the Northern Democrats, largely because Al Smith was known to have campaigned well in Harlem, and he was culturally more in tune with Black interests. In 32, FDR made little progress in the Black Community (they didn't know what to make of him), but by 36 he had 50% of the Black Vote, and virtually all the Black Press endorsements except for those papers actually owned by Republicans. 1948 was the turning point -- the Convention fight indicated the Democrats were willing to offend the southern racists by adopting the Stronger Civil Rights Plank, and letting the Dixiecrats go their own way, and in the end it was the Black Vote in Industrial States that put Truman over the top. Republicans kept putting civil rights in their platforms, but for some reason they never delivered. The Democrats had lovely fights about it all, but in the end they tended to deliver. A Democratic congress will provide committee chairs by seniority (Rangle, Conyers), the go-to man in DC will be the very secular Vernon Jordan, and the Movement Hero, John Lewis will stand out as a kind of conscience of it all. All the Republicans have are the fake promises to some preachers, who will probably begin to sit outside politics as they will be viewed as having swallowed the bait.

Aside from some of the older Cubans, the Latino groups see much more opportunity inside the Democratic Party for them to elect at the state and national level than they do in the Republican playing field. They cannot trust the Republican Party not to sell them out to its nativist base, and this has long term implications. Don't think Latino's don't understand Republicans running last minute campaign tactics such as accusing Democratic Candidates of supporting Social Security for Illegal Immigrants as crass prejudice, and an effort to use Nativism against their interests. Don't think the voter suppression effort against Sanchez in Orange County doesn't register. These things mean much more in the long term than do small grants to Pentacostal Churches -- given that the vast majority of Latino's are Roman Catholic.

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