A Crass Caluculus

The last major debate on comprehensive immigration reform exposed serious divisions within the Republican Party and its supporters.  Some argued that the Party needed to take a hard line against any reform that looked like “amnesty.”  Others worried that the inflammatory rhetoric used by some right-wing pundits and politicians could turn Latinos, the fastest-growing group in America, against the Republican Party for a generation.

We saw some of the same dynamic during the debate over the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, when right-wing pundits and Republican senators offended many Americans with their over-the-top attacks on Sotomayor.  During that debate, Pat Buchanan made his political calculus clear:

The imperative of the GOP is not to appease a city that went 93-7 for Obama, but to win back its lost voters.

In 2008, Hispanics, according to the latest figures, were 7.4 percent of the total vote. White folks were 74 percent, 10 times as large. Adding just 1 percent to the white vote is thus the same as adding 10 percent to the candidate’s Hispanic vote.

If John McCain, instead of getting 55 percent of the white vote, got the 58 percent George W. Bush got in 2004,that would have had the same impact as lifting his share of the Hispanic vote from 32 percent to 62 percent.
But even Ronald Reagan never got over 44 percent of the Hispanic vote. Yet, he and Richard Nixon both got around 65 percent of the white vote.

When Republican identification is down to 20 percent, but 40 percent of Americans identify themselves as conservatives, do Republicans need a GPS to tell them which way to go?

Why did McCain fail to win the white conservative Democrats Hillary Clinton swept in the primaries? He never addressed or cared about their issues.

These are the folks whose jobs have been outsourced to China and Asia, who pay the price of affirmative action when their sons and daughters are pushed aside to make room for the Sonia Sotomayors. These are the folks who want the borders secured and the illegals sent back….

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