As much as it pains me to say this, Michael Gerson has written the best opinion piece I’ve seen on the long-term politics of the Arizona law:
The intensity of these Republican attitudes is evident not just from what activists say but also from what Republican leaders are being forced to say. Sen. John McCain, a long-term supporter of humane, comprehensive immigration reform, has run a commercial feeding fears of “drug and human smuggling, home invasions, murder” by illegal immigrants.
Never mind that the level of illegal immigration is down in Arizona or that skyrocketing crime rates along the border are a myth. McCain’s tag line — “Complete the danged fence” — will rank as one of the most humiliating capitulations in modern political history.[…]
Immigration issues are emotional and complex. But this must be recognized for what it is: political suicide. Consider that Hispanics make up 40 percent of the K-12 students in Arizona, 44 percent in Texas, 47 percent in California, 54 percent in New Mexico. Whatever temporary gains Republicans might make feeding resentment of this demographic shift, the party identified with that resentment will eventually be voted into singularity. In a matter of decades, the Republican Party could cease to be a national party.
This has already happened. There are no republican congresspeople from the Northeast, the republican senators from that region can be counted on one hand, and they’re routinely derided as RINOs anyway.
Republicans in the Northwest also look a lot like Democrats more and more each year and there are fewer and fewer of them.
OT, Sadly, No tells us that Oliver North, the perjurer has “confirmed” earlier reports that Mullah Mohammed Omar has been captured some time ago. http://www.sadlyno.com/archives/30970.html
This is the big thing in wingnuttistan right now, although nobody can tell us why Obama hasn’t paraded the capture of the Afghan Taliban leader down Pennsylvania Avenue.
Wow. Who knew Gerson could sound sane?
@soonergrunt: Of course, as long as the Dem senators (and the White House) keep negotiating with the GOP expecting good faith efforts, it does not matter if the GOP is a national party or not.
Give the Bush Republican strategists one thing: they understood that Hispanics were a natural Republican constituency, and they knew that sane immigration reform led by Republicans would be a major benefit to the party.
Love those Texas numbers btw. That state could flip in a few years.
“danged” fence. Is that a word?
Gerson is correct but he’s not delivering anything insightful here. As they say, you don’t need a weather man to tell which way the wind blows. The numbers are what they are.
From his lips to god’s ears. We need more than one viable national party, but Jim DeMint’s GOP is too crazy to trust with the important business of governing. Maybe something saner can arise from the ashes, if indeed the GOP is toast. (I’m not counting my chickens yet.)
@Comrade Javamanphil: That’s true, and I don’t know why anybody would do that. How do you negotiate with an insane person?
We’ve got the Democrats. That’s about six parties right there.
When haven’t the Republicans doubled down on stupid? After starting the war in Afghanistan, and finding themselves up to their asses in butthurt, they started the war in Iraq, pouring salt on their hemorrhoids. They’ve done this stupid shit ever since Nixon, and he was the least stupid (crooked as hell, but smarter) of them all.
Gerson’s right, solely in this instance. What bothers me about the GOP and this issue even more is that even Republicans who support “human, comprehensive immigration reform” do so because they see a political advantage in attracting a subset of minority voters. This isn’t about doing the right thing, protecting the borders, national security, or treating people with dignity. It’s a political ploy.
Most Democrats who support comprehensive reform see the political advantage, but realize that it’s the right course of action for a whole host of reasons. Outside of George W. Bush, who was surprisingly coherent and strong on this issue, I don’t see a Republican who’s actually interested in good policy. They’re only interested in good politics.
That makes them even more dangerous. Right now they feel good because they have the public on their side. What happens to the racist, xenophobic teabaggers when they realize they’re losing? They get desperate and they get their guns.
@brantl: How exactly did the republicans start a war in Afghanistan? I was alive back in 2001 and 2002. I seem to remember something happening in September of 2001, and a joint resolution in Congress and huge public support, but maybe I’m mistaken.
If you want to say that Bush inadeqately prosecuted the war in Afghanistan so that he could launch the reckless and pointless war in Iraq, go ahead. You’d be right. But claim or imply that Afghanistan was about anything other than responding to 9/11, when we know that Bush didn’t even want to do that, and no nation of the face of the earth would let an act of war on that scale go unanswered is so stupid as to be offensive. It’s the same caliber of crap that comes from the right wing about Obama wanting to bring the country down on behalf of his muslim overlords.
That’s my fear. Whip up these people into too much of a froth and you’ll get more Oklahoma City bombings.
Adam Collyer: …I don’t see a Republican who’s actually interested in good policy. They’re only interested in good politics.
They’re only interested in
good politicswinning power.
It’s definitely sober and sane by his normal standards, but if you look at the latter portion it comes down to hispanics being Republican at heart…unlike some other minority group which rhymes with Cafrican-Camericans, who are apparently awful in Gerson’s world.
Stan of the Sawgrass
Kudos, Doug– anyone who can read more than the first sentence or two of Gerson’s drooling has an iron stomach. Seriously, I try to read him now and then “for background,” but I just…….can’t.
I’m having a vision of a very hung-over Gerson, ice-bag on head, squinting at the Post opinion page and grumbling “Who the hell wrote THIS sh*t?!!”
@geg6: Yea, people forget the good things Hitler said.
Here’s what people need to understand:
Certain Big Business like Illegal Immigration – and play a “Game” to keep it that way.
They want to hire illegal immigrants, want them to stay illegal, and don’t want the immigrants to get legal status.
Why hire them? Undocumented workers are a cheap and exploitable work force. They don’t ask questions. They work long hours in bad conditions. It’s like the opposite of a union workplace. Why keep them illegal? The lower their status, the fewer demands they can make.
The “game” hurts all workers. When there’s a large group that gets low wages and bad conditions, it brings the average down for all workers. Also, because employers pay them so little, illegal immigrants often end up needing tax-supported social services just to get by.
Finally, a hostile environment towards immigrants ends up hurting all workers. Our own feelings are used against us. A hostile environment helps the companies play the Game. This environment means that the illegal workers – who are basically pawns – really can’t speak up about pay or conditions. And this environment actually keeps us stuck in the status quo, because it means a lot of people won’t support laws that let the immigrants become legal citizens (which would put a stop to the Game). So, because we’re angry at the immigrants, businesses get to keep their exploitable labor supply.
@geg6: stopped clocks, law of large numbers, and so on.
mistermix: “…they understood that Hispanics were a natural Republican constituency,”
Yes, many of the Hispanics I know are very socially conservative. They attend evangelical and fundamentalist churches. And even when they are fiscally conservative they often still believe that the government should help people with economic problems. The Republicans are blowing this group off to their ultimate detriment.
In a matter of years a lot of things can happen. But right now, the GOP is gambling that their white 65% voter turnout trumps Hispanic 48% voter turnout, and right now, that gamble is looking like a winner, not just in Arizona, but in the Mountain West and elsewhere in the red states.
The GOP knows that it can’t be a truly national party any more, but it is well prepared to be a regional party, and an intractable minority. They have gerrymandered this state, AZ, and have total control over the legislature here. They have the money here. They have organization and coordination here. They have GOTV here, and they know that the Hispanic bloc has none of those things, and as you can tell from John McCain’s 180 on immigration, they have no reservations about treating that bloc as disposable.
And those of you who live on blogs and not in the real world do not understand the border issue. This is not about whether a crime rate is going up or down. It’s about people coming out of their houses to find 20 people they don’t know camped out on their property. This happens just about daily along this border now. The border is totally out of control, the federal government turns its back, and politics will not sustain a vacuum of leadership and direction in situations like this.
We went to a Drinking Liberally meeting in Phoenix last night, and I can pass along a couple of interesting tidbits. One, the turnout for DL was twice the previous record for any DL meeting here ever. Dems are agitated.
Two, hispanic activists report that their demo is also agitated and there is a move underway to get a massive GOTV effort underway for this fall. Get people registered and get them to the polls. There are 200k eligible hispanic voters here who did not vote in 2008, enough votes to start taking the state back from the Mormons and the lunatics.
Three, leaders are trying to get a large and noisy rally going for Memorial Day weekend, just blocks from where I sit. For those in this area, that’s Steele Park, and we will be there representing BJ and making some serious noise.
Four, hispanic leaders insist that grassroots hispanic voters here support the boycott efforts despite the threat to their incomes from such a boycott. I have to believe them, absent any evidence to the contrary, and all I can say is, if they are willing to give up their pay, I am willing to get behind the boycott efforts. So for now you will not hear me bitching about that for a while.
Five, we met John Dougherty, a Dem candidate for the Senate seat McCain is running for. We invented a commercial for him if he wins the primary: Just run old McCain films, and then say, I am John McCain of 2006 and I don’t approve of my own messages any more. Theme: John, what happened to you? Why did you abandon your own principles?
Six, the largest single “pour” (total gallon sales for a route) in the United States for Anheuser-Busch is reportedly right here in Phoenix in a 65% Hispanic neighborhood. Leaders are organizing a NATIONWIDE boycott of Budweiser to slam John McCindyCain and her beer distributorship and the parent company. They think they can put a serious dent into Bud sales and hurt the McCindyCains where they live. Stay tuned on that.
Dems are waking up here. This is good news.
Yes, the GOP’s current trajectory is toward demographic implosion within several more election cycles, maybe even as little as only two or three more. Unfortunately, that still won’t be soon enough to prevent the enormous damage the wounded, angry, increasingly deranged elephant will inflict on its rampage before its energy and lifeforce are spent, and it keels over.
Nativist regressive-populist and quack-populist parties have a history of rising up periodically in this country. There’s no assurance that something equally malignant, only different won’t rise within a surprisingly short time after the GOP’s demise to occupy its place in the political ecosystem. Or that complacent coziness with the status quo big-commercial interests won’t re-corrupt the democratic party with surprising speed after the upcoming bloodletting purge of incumbents in 2010 thins them out a bit. OK, so that sort of corruption will still be there, in more muted form, I’m speaking of the more florid version that prevents any real reform from happening (which is what has really dug the dems a hole looking toward 2010, not HCR or terrorism or government spending/the deficit per se.
I wrote a diary on the GOS a few weeks ago as I was closing the door on that nuthatch behind me that posited #1 that the GOP is already done. Bush was their last President. I made that prediction 10 years ago when I saw what a complete clown he was, and very confidently told all my RW friends and coworkers that he would be the last GOP president. Considering how rapidly the GOP is hemorrhaging credibility, I stand by that prediction. This is the party that seriously thought Sarah Palin would be their savior.
#2, that the new “conservative” party will actually over time become the Democrats. This is not very far-fetched. Obama is a good President but he’s not very bold in his Progressivism. I don’t actually think he’s caving to the GOP when he stakes out these positions us raving loony lefties consider “capitulation.” I think he is making a stand exactly where he wants to. He wants to get back to governing the US the way it was done 30-40 years ago before the GOP decided to use racism, classism, fundamentalism and bigotry to build their base. Incremental steps for the public good, but not too bold in rocking the boat for the elite.
#3, that a new and genuine Progressive party will peel off from the current Democratic Coalition, sometime in the next decade at the most. The GOP are rapidly leaving a power vacuum behind them as they shoot themselves in the foot over and over and over again with the electorate. You’d think for a party out of power they’d know to just let the party in power gradually wear the electorate out, but as the majority of the liberal blogosphere has noticed, they have decided to double down on the sociopathic and racist tendencies that got them into trouble in the first place. This is alienating voters a lot faster than if they just kept their mouths shut. Leaving a power vacuum behind is giving the real leftists of this nation a chance to build a party in their place, and I think THAT party will soon emerge in a national election, probably not by 2012 but I bet by 2016. That party will then start dragging this country leftward and the GOP will be permanently extinct because you can only have two parties in our winner-take-all system.
I don’t believe the firebaggers are quite yet that party, because they are still joining themselves at the hip with one of the most loathsome sociopathic right-wing nutjobs of all time who isn’t Hitler (note to self: godwin’s law is now dead), but I do think a genuine and angry left will rush in to fill the vacuum as the GOP finishes completely imploding.
@mistermix: “Love those Texas numbers btw. That state could flip in a few years.”
It’s close enough now that with some missteps by Perry, White could take the Governor’s race. It’s still Perry’s race to lose, but this is no gimme for him.
@Nick: “They get desperate and they get their guns.”
Not worried until I start seeing more young folks in their ranks. The general teabagger wouldn’t last five minutes in an armed standoff.
@ChockFullO’Nuts: I really appreciate hearing “on the ground” updates. I live in MD and the best I’m doing is boycotting the few AZ companies I’m aware of.
My guess is that the op-ed more or less wrote itself after Gerson watched McCain’s ad. The ad, if you haven’t seen it, is utterly pathetic– and would make me sad if I had a nano-ounce of sympathy for McCain. Which I don’t.
There can also be a GOP resurgence if there is an economic implosion because of a downgrading of the US credit rating, peak oil, soil erosion/economic calamity, or if there is another major terrorist attack. I tend to believe that peak oil and food shortages are far more likely than terrorism actually, peak oil being inevitable.
The U.S. military is warning of major oil shortages soon, so all the anger over the Gulf will probably dissipate in the face of economic hardship.
Guardian: US military warns oil output may dip causing massive shortages by 2015
People only tend to be liberal when they feel generous, and economic chaos tends to bring out right-wing scapegoating.
@ChockFullO’Nuts: “Dems are waking up here. This is good news.”
That’s how you punish the goopers for being stupid. As soon as that white 65% voter turnout is matched by increased Hispanic and other Dem voter turnout, the goopers are toast.
The GOP can keep it up as a regional party, so long as the regions still under their control can plausibly add up somewhere within striking distance of 270 electoral votes, and they can eke out slim electoral wins in enough “swing” states to win the presidency, and enough of the states within their “region” are small enough and red enough to reliably (or at least frequently enough) still elect GOP senators.
That said, all it would take to tip the GOP toward final destruction as a national party would be for the demographics to catch up to them and flip a couple of presently red states to blue or at least purple. Such as Texas. Unfortunately, they’ll always have Alabama and Mississippi and probably South Carolina, and perhaps a few other Southern states.
That is the goal. The question now is how dark we can make the toast by November of this year.
@slippy: You could be right. But to paraphrase a friend, any so-called civilized country is only an economic or national security trauma or two removed from a complete psychotic breakdown.
The disastrous presidency of GWB should have finished the GOP. The notion that a booger-eating moron like Sarah Palin is qualified to be president is laughable.
But imagine a nightmare scenario — such as an implosion of the Euro (not so very far fetched) that sends our economy into another tailspin and a 9/11-sized or worse terrorist attack between now and 2012.
I hope the US wouldn’t be dumb and frightened enough to elect a bombastic fool like Palin (or someone equally as preposterous) in response to such a situation. But with 2004 still fresh in my mind, I’m not exactly confident about that.
South Carolina? The state with the Islamic flag?
@slippy: That’s a radical change in the political environment. But it has a chance if trends continue as they are. I can see a three party environment by the end of the decade, with the Dems a national, moderate party, the GOP concentrated in the “red” states and a truly progressive party competing in the “blue” states.
soon we’ll be a 96-4 minority !!
Exactly. The trauma of WWI and the Great Depression gave rise to a number of totalitarian regimes who scapegoated minority groups around the world.
Many Americans tend to believe that this was specific to a certain place and time, but I think it’s part of human nature and don’t believe for a minute that it couldn’t happen here if the circumstances were right.
Texas will be a swing state in ten years. When that happens, the GOP is fucked as a national party.
Count this Phoenician in. :)
Come sweet comeuppance. I won’t shed any tears.
And given that Maine’s Snowe and Collins have been voting in lockstep with Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the Democrats would be fools not to point that fact out in their next campaign.
Fixed. Also, too.
I agree. It seems to me that Obama is playing a role in the Democratic party today very similar to that which TR played in the GOP of circa 1901-1908. He is the bridge between the progressive and conservative wings of the party, and his leadership is holding this coalition together, but after he retires a split is possible. A lot will depend on who succeeds Obama in 2016. If we get another Taft-esque character, look out. The other thing to look out for is somebody on the GOP side who picks up reform as an issue an woos economic populists over from the Dem side, cf Wilson in 1912. I’m very encouraged that the Dems in Congress have taken financial reform and run with it as well as they are doing so far, because I felt there was a considerable danger of the Dems becoming the party more closely identified with Wall St., and that would lay the groundwork for a GOP comeback sooner rather than later.
In a matter of decades, the Republican Party could cease to be a national party.
Already there, and it’s demise is welcome.
@soonergrunt: This. How quickly we forget. As incredible to think of now, I thought BushCo could handle it at the time, and even said out loud where others could hear, “Maybe its a good thing the Republicans are in charge.”
And I still thought that right up until the first utterance of the word, “Iraq.”
The GOP is already dangerously close to being not a functioning political party but a cult or some Vonnegutian granfalloon (“a group of people who outwardly choose or claim to have a shared identity or purpose, but whose mutual association is actually meaningless”).
DougJ – You can take heart that while Gerson understands that demographics are a bitch, he still doesn’t understand the root of the GOP’s problem with race.
Yeah … All you need to do is pick-up the phone and badda-bing! The black folk support you. Please. Goldwater voting against civil rights was a problem, but Civil Rights legislation would have died without significant northern Republican support. It’s what happened AFTER civil rights legislation passed that tipped African Americans to the Democratic Party for generations. The Dems incorporated civil rights into the fabric of their party in policy, power, and representation. The Republicans courted … well we all know the story.
How large is the Republican Congressional Hispanic Caucus? Five guys? Maybe six? Mostly Cuban. How many in their African American caucus? Zero? Token representation won’t cut it. People know when they’re not wanted.
He got his vocabulary from this dude.
I still would like them consider the real problem with a fucked up immigration law like Arizona, were does it end? They want to apply the law fairly then everyone needs their papers. I know the teatards think it only applies to people with brownskin but after the courts are down with it, it has to apply to everyone or it is BS.
“But imagine a nightmare scenario—such as an implosion of the Euro (not so very far fetched) that sends our economy into another tailspin and a 9/11-sized or worse terrorist attack between now and 2012.
I hope the US wouldn’t be dumb and frightened enough to elect a bombastic fool like Palin (or someone equally as preposterous) in response to such a situation. But with 2004 still fresh in my mind, I’m not exactly confident about that.”
Basically you are saying that we could produce Iranian regime change by bombing them – a ‘worse terrorist attack’.
Exactly wrong. When we are attacked we turn to our present leaders and grab on to them, just as we know that the Iranians would turn to THEIR present leaders rather than throw them out if we attack them.
External attacks ALWAYS help the present leadership.
@soonergrunt: Invading Afghanistan looks like the objective, not the strategy. If Osama bin Ladin and his gang was the objective, Republicans could have done it with a few phone calls: freeze all the oil royalties extra-national finances; sequester and threaten to nationalize all their extra-national holdings. “Yes, we know you’ve disowned bin Ladin, and we’re sure that none of you had anything to do with this, but you have friends…”
At the time, even Switzerland might have supported it. The US had the sympathy of the world, and other wealthy countries had reason to fear attacks on their own.
McCain does not possess any sense of shame. His “honor” has been one of the biggest political myths of recent history.
Decades? Maybe two, tops. Could be less. That position offends an awful lot of young and middle aged people, as well as hispanics.
interesting to watch ex-bushie gerson see the demographic reality, while watching ex-bushie frum reject any form of minority outreach..
gerson tries a little slight of hand with some numbers in his essay by writing that “kerry’s hispanic support had dipped into the 50’s.”
actually kerry got at least 59% of the hispanic vote [other polls had him at 60], and mike doesn’t mention obama’s numbers which were back up in the 67%-69% range..
however, the most important numbers involving hispanic voters are in florida…that group did a 14 point shift from bush to obama, turning the state blue…if the gop can’t flip them back, 270 is impossible
[ps: if texas hispanics voted in the same percentage that they currently represent within the population, the state would be in play quite a bit sooner…]
I don’t agree. I think Obama really is on the left in a national scene that has been pushed so far to the right that, from the POV of most of the “Progressive” left, he looks like he’s not on the left. Yes, he’s to the right of the DFH, that’s for sure.
Far from the DFH wing of the Democrats peeling off and forming a new party, I believe that they are nearly equivalent to the Tea Party on the right, but not nearly so conspicuous or important to the fate of the party because the Democratic Party is so much more diverse, controls (well sort of) all three branches of government, and has favorable demographics. I think what is more likely is that, as the Obama wing of the Dem party becomes stronger, it will move gradually to the left, but never anywhere near enough to the left for the DFH.
When a new party forms, it will be to the right of the Dems, like it was 40 or more years ago, but not all that far. In other words, it will be something like the old GOP. But I agree that the present GOP is finished, and this process may not take all that long.
This fails all kinds of logic tests and also ignores the HUGE potential backlash elephant in the room.
Gerson fails to distinguish between Latinos who are citizens or legal residents and those who are illegal immigrants.
And while many progressives want to OD on some sentimental open border fantasy, that a Latino majority might be composed of a large number of non-citizens will not be happy news to many Americans, even those who are sympathetic.
A recent Univision poll shows how already a hardening in attitudes is intensifying:
This demographic shift doesn’t mean very much if Latinos lack political power. Nor is it inevitable that one can predict what path their children might select. Worse, we will inevitably see more attempts to deny children of illegal immigrants birthright citizenship, lest they vote the presumed proxy interests of their parents.
“not saying anything insightful . . . ”
I realize that the numbers tell the whole story to someone like yourself and therefore his comments came across as a bit redundant.
However, a lot of conservatives I have known cannot draw conclusions from data such as statistics. They need to have the significance explained to them.
And Gerson, in this article, did a very good job of that.
DFH no. 6
You know, I’d love it if the overall theme here — “the GOP is doomed, doomed I tells ya, cuz they just can’t help themselves with all the racist shit!” — was true, but count me highly skeptical.
For one thing, Gerson postulates (as have others) that due to a conjunction of changing demographics with racism (he doesn’t call it that, but of course that’s what it is) the Republicans could cease being a national party “in a matter of decades”.
Really? Decades? What the hell good is that? Might as well be prognosticating the 22nd century.
Crystal-balling electoral politics is usually pretty murky in any given election cycle, let alone across decades. Too many variables across too much time, some of which have been mentioned here, others not yet dreamed of. Events, for insance, can be just as important as demographics and identity politics of whatever stripe.
Would Reagan have been elected in ’80 without the Iranian hostage crisis, or Dumbya re-elected in ’04 without being a “war president” due to 9/11 (or “elected” the first time without the Florida debacle and an unprecedented involvement of the SCOTUS)? Maybe, but very likely not, IMHO.
For another, we’ve heard this tune before, and quite recently, I might add. Like, oh, about a year ago or so. Reports then of the imminent decline of the GOP to a “rump party” of mostly Confederate yahoos look to have been greatly exaggerated. Obama’s at a 50/50 approval rating, and Congressional Dems are probably gonna get their asses reamed this November. By the craziest, most incompetent collection of right wing boobs of my lifetime (I’m 55), which is really saying something.
All because of the stupidly short memory of the American electorate (i.e., remembering who fucked things up to begin with), the fact that Obama is not actually the Messiah, and the unfortunate situation that elected Democrats haven’t magically fixed the economy by the very neat trick of less spending and less government involvement.
GOP “toast”? It would be pretty to think so, but…
They said exactly the same thing about the Republicans in 1936 when Alf Landon went down to the worst electoral loss in history. Only Reagan’s win in 1984 came close to that.
I think you seriously underestimate the size and power of Dumbfuckistan. Bush was just so bad that he eroded their normally solid voting bloc, but just put up another republican who finds a different wording for “compassionate conservative” and they will suspend their disbelief and flock to him.
@geg6 wrote: Wow. Who knew Gerson could sound sane?
yeah, that’s what i thought.
i mean: stating affirmatively that “the skyrocketing crime rates along the border are a myth”.
i guess he finally ran out of koolaid.
@soonergrunt: Just because we needed to do something in Afghanistan, doesn’t mean that what was done is smart, Grunty. Republicans had a hard-on to do this in the worst possible way, and wanted a base in the middle-east, started the war in Afghanistan in bad ways, prosecuted the initiative in bad ways and ran away to Iraq, as fast as they could.
They didn’t light any fire under Bush to do the right thing, because they didn’t care if he did the right thing, they just wanted to pound brown people, guilty of anything or not, and sit on (and in) their countries. This was showing how tough they are, not doing anything useful. If you think the war in Afghanistan has done anything useful, why didn’t they make a point of getting Bin Laden? You know (I hope you know, it doesn’t show here) they didn’t, I know they didn’t.
And, Soonergrunt, the country of Afghanistan didn’t start a war with us, a distinct minority did. Taking on the Taliban, on the ground, was Bush’s choice. Tactics were left to him, as the executive, as they always are.
Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony
That is happening now. This is what the Tea Party is all about. During the Bush years, they really believed that America was what they wanted it to be. Obama’s victory was a shock. They woke up and realized that America really is changing all around them. They are terrified.
Huh? Nope — I’m speculating that it’s possible people would blame the administration if there were a catastrophic security failure. It’s not like there aren’t multiple media organs and an entire political opposition party devoted to telling people the administration is soft on terror 24/7. I don’t think the situation in Iran is analogous.
DFH no. 6
I’ve lived in Arizona (Phoenix area) for almost 30 years. Damn straight there’s no “skyrocketing crime rates along the border”. That’s not the case now, and never has been (well, maybe back in the days of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, though no doubt even that was way overblown).
The Southwestern border is almost entirely a giant, empty desert. Kinda hard to have “crime rates” of any note in millions of acres of mostly dead brown nothing (as my daughter pretty accurately refers to most of the country hereabouts).
The very few border towns are small and even they are not particularly crime-ridden (in fact, places on the border like Douglas and Nogales have actually seen falling crime rates over the past decade).
That’s why when one border rancher is murdered while he is out roaming the range it’s a big fucking deal — because it almost never happens! What crime there is a bit further away from the border in cities like Phoenix and Tucson has fuck-all to do with “illegal immigration” and everything to do with the various causes of crime anywhere in America (poverty, easy access to guns, drug laws, etc.).
People in Phoenix and Tucson are not “beseiged” by crime any more than anywhere else in the country (which means, not much).
The recent claim that Phoenix is supposedly the “kidnap capital” just shows how little kidnapping there really is. You say that to people around here and they invariably reply, “Really? I had no idea”. I regularly (and foolishly) read the hometown rightwing rag, and I can’t remember the last time I read about a local kidnapping. Doesn’t mean it never happens, but the idea that it’s part of some “skyrocketing crime rate” — particularly one due to “illegals” — is just bullshit. Or does anyone really think McCain is giving them “straight talk” in his absurd commercial where he’s walking along the border fence?
No, the concern about “illegals” coming up from Mexico (and the reason about 70% of Arizonans approve of SB 1070) has little to do with crime.
What it’s really about is this: the resentment expressed by good, conservative white folk everywhere across the land that they are unfairly being burdened with paying for poor, shiftless, not-like-them minorities of any hue, from light tannish to darkest black. It’s the exact same reason for their opposition to HCR.
I live and work with these nice, Christian “regular” Americans, and that’s the real bottom line (the fact that ghetto blacks and barrio Latinos are poor, often unemployed or underemployed, and have much higher than average incarceration rates just proves their point).
Kathy in St. Louis
In keeping with the Arizona theme AND combining it with the Facebook thread above, I recently refriended a woman I haven’t seen since we went to school together many, many, many years ago. (Yes, it IS a lot of manys) I really don’t think I need to know this woman’s feelings on Mexican immigrants, nor do I need to hear about all the people she is busyily praying for while rooting for the demise and incarceration of every Mexican who crosses our borders illegally. Yet, since friending this woman a few weeks ago, I’ve really gotten a whole lot on this subject.
I am a political junkie, but I never post my political thoughts on Facebook. By the same token, I don’t post pictures of my grandkids here or on HP. Never the twain should meet. Jesus, folks, it’s almost abusive to put casual friends in the position of a captive audience who needs to read your various petty hates several times a week. If you are social networking keep it light.
Excellent description of the current situation. Bravo!
I think the Republican Party has concluded that losing the Southwest is worth the advantages of gaining the nativist vote in other parts of the country. They may be right. (Then again, if that means Texas and Florida slipping into the Blue column, they may also be wrong).
I applaud Arizona’s new legislation, requiring police to help with immigration enforcement. This country is overpopulated, and fifteen million Americans are out of work.