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Only a few days after the national election, President Bush appointed his campaign manager, Ken Mehlman, the new head of the Republican National Committee.

Shortly afterwards, Mr. Mehlman offered the world his own analysis of the voting patterns in the 2004 election and what they tell us as to why his boss won.

As the Washington Post reported, Mr. Mehlman argued that Mr. Bush won largely by “broadening his appeal among key swing constituencies, including Roman Catholics, Latinos and suburban women.” Predictably, he maintained that “the single most important number that has come out of the election” is the 44 percent Hispanic support the president supposedly won this year . [GOP Governors Celebrate Party Wins |Tutorial on Bush Campaign Strategies Shows What Went Right, By Dan Balz, November 19, 2004]

“Future Republican majorities will depend in part on the party’s ability to expand its support among Hispanic voters, and 2004 may have been a significant step in that direction if GOP candidates can build on it,” the Post reported him as telling the national meeting of Republican governors in New Orleans last month.

What Mr. Mehlman told them has already hardened in the party’s mental arteries as the gospel about the election and how to win in the future: Pander to Hispanic and other “minorities and take the white mainstream core of the Republican Party base for granted.

And to judge from the president’s immediate resurrection of his congressional amnesty plan for illegal aliens and his new Hispanic cabinet appointments, that seems to be the strategy his policies will reflect as well.

It is crucial to the future of the Republican Party to flush these misconceptions about why and how he won out of the party arteries as soon as possible, because we now know they are wrong and if they become the basis for political strategy and even policies, they will lead to Republican ruin.

The 44 percent Hispanic support for Mr. Bush has been dubious from the first day it was reported, but we now know it’s not correct. The figure came originally from exit polls reported by the Associated Press and other news services and was a national average based on similar exit polls in each state. The state in which Mr. Bush supposedly won Hispanic support most heavily was his own, Texas, where the AP reported he won a whopping and unprecedented 59 percent of Hispanics.

That, if nothing else, is what’s wrong. The Associated Press last week issued a press release acknowledging it isn’t so. Mr. Bush won only 49 percent of the Hispanic vote in Texas.

In its Nov. 3 exit polls reports, the AP release states,

“The Associated Press overstated President Bush’s support among Texas Hispanics. Under a post-election adjustment by exit poll providers Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International, 49 percent of Hispanics in the state voted for Bush, not a majority. The revised result does not differ to a statistically significant degree from Bush’s 43 percent support among Texas Hispanics in a 2000 exit poll.”

The revised poll shows that Texas Hispanic voters “voted 50 percent for Kerry and 49 percent for Bush, not 41-59 Kerry-Bush.”

And if you factor in the new 49 percent Hispanic support in Texas in place of the old 59 percent in Mr. Bush’s national Hispanic exit polls, the 44 percent national figure vanishes. What you get is closer to 40 percent of the Hispanic vote on a national level—an improvement over his 35 percent support back in 2000, but hardly the sort of seismic shift the pandermaniacs over at the RNC have been crowing over.

Moreover, if the Texas exit poll was wrong, then why should we be inclined to accept similar polls that show heavily inflated Hispanic support for Mr. Bush in this election?

In Florida, for example, Mr. Bush is said to have won 56 percent of the Hispanic vote, a result almost as incredible as the Texas claim.

Finally, an independent outfit, the Velasquez Institute, specializes in analyzing Hispanic voting patterns and concluded on election day that Mr. Bush won only 34 percent of the Hispanic bloc nationally—a result a little smaller than but more consistent with his 2000 showing. There’s no reason to think their analysis is flawed.

How many Hispanic votes Mr. Bush won this year is important, because as Mr. Mehlman acknowledges, it tells the party at which demographic groups it should direct its appeals and “outreach,” and what issues (and policies) the party should support (or avoid) that are likely to attract (or alienate) those groups.

With Hispanics, the main issue will be immigration, and unless the blood of political reality can start flowing through the party’s mental arteries again, the errors now blocking those arteries will keep Mr. Bush and his party on the wrong side of the coming immigration battle.

• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: 2004 Election, Hispanics 
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If last week’s election returns tell President Bush anything about immigration policy, it is that he ought to continue and even expand the “guest workers” program he unveiled last January. What was essentially an amnesty for illegal aliens, a reward for lawbreakers and an open invitation to the world to immigrate to this country seems to have benefited him.

That at least is the conclusion to which some—mainly the Open Borders lobby and politicians eager to believe it—are leaping.

And on its face it’s not unreasonable. In 2000, Mr. Bush won some 35 percent of Hispanics, while his opponent Al Gore won 65 percent. Mr. Bush’s share was an improvement over what GOP nominee Bob Dole won in 1996 (21 percent), but still not very good, especially compared to Mr. Gore’s landslide Hispanic support.

The Open Borders lobby claims the GOP’s poor performance with Hispanics is due to its support for immigration control. That’s dubious, but it makes good propaganda.

This year, after Mr. Bush’s amnesty proposal in January, some exit polls show Mr. Bush walked off with significant increases in Hispanic support. Nationally he’s supposed to have won 44 percent to Sen. John Kerry’s 53 percent—a majority, but not the landslide his predecessor took or what Democrats usually win. Mr. Bush, if these polls are accurate, won more Hispanic votes than any other Republican contender in history.

It looks like pandering pays, and maybe it does, but before you swallow the propaganda, look at the exit polls more closely.

There are good reasons for believing the exit poll data are deeply flawed, but even if we grant that they’re accurate, they don’t necessarily mean what the Open Borders boys say. Let’s assume they’re accurate for the sake of the discussion.

Most of the U.S. Hispanic population is centered in four states—New York, California, Texas, and Florida. If you average the Hispanic vote that Mr. Bush won in those states in 2000, you get his national average among Hispanics of that year, 35 percent. If you average what exit polls say he won this year in them, you get his national average among Hispanics last week—about 44 percent.

Mr. Bush increased his support among Hispanics in all four of these states, but in two—Florida and Texas—he did especially well. In the former, he increased his Hispanic support by 7 percent, to a sizeable 56 percent majority, and in his own state of Texas, he won a whopping 59 percent, 16 percent more than in 2000.

But in New York and California, the increases were not so large—only 6 and 4 percent respectively—to 24 percent and 32 percent in each state, well below his national support levels in 2000.

And these returns suggest a different explanation for why Mr. Bush did as well as he did among Hispanics.

It wasn’t amnesty. It was him.

Mr. Bush won Hispanics in Texas because he’s from Texas and has always run well with that community. He won some 39 percent of the state’s Hispanics in 1998 as governor and 42 percent in 2000 as a presidential candidate.

In Florida, Mr. Bush did well among Hispanics for a couple of reasons. Florida Hispanics are still largely Cubans, and they traditionally support Republicans. Mr. Bush’s brother is Florida’s governor and has a Hispanic wife and son who campaigned for him (which helped the president among Hispanics elsewhere too).

And finally Mr. Bush is the incumbent president and a wartime president, which counts for something. It probably helped him even among his least supportive voting bloc, black voters, who supported him only slightly more than in 2000.

As for amnesty and all the pandering in which Mr. Bush wallowed to gain Hispanics, it may have helped him in California and New York but not very much. If his amnesty and immigration policies explained his Hispanic gains, the increases would have shown up more evenly in all four states—not just those in which he has a personal connection.

Finally, the Open Borders propagandists who love this year’s exit polls so much don’t seem to be quoting another one, from Arizona: Immigration control ballot measure Prop 200 won with some 60 percent of the vote—and 47 percent Hispanic support. And what that tells us for certain is that it’s false that immigration control alienates Hispanics.

It’s not unusual for the Open Borders lobby to be wrong in its facts, and now they’re equally wrong in its interpretation of the facts (If they are facts).

Despite the silence on immigration in this year’s campaign, there’s every reason to think the issue is about to take wing.

Mr. Bush and his party ought to get on board now.

• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: 2004 Election, Hispanics 
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After nearly a decade of obsession with and pandering to the Hispanic vote, the leaders of both major political parties are finally being told an unpleasant truth—the Hispanic vote is overrated.

Last week William Frey, one of the country’s leading demographers and a major expert on immigration, unbosomed this lesson in an interview with the Washington Times. “The Hispanic vote is going to be a lot less important than people think,” he says. Hispanic voters’ role in ’04 seen overstated [ By Joseph Curl , Washington Times, September 21, 2004]

Whether it is or isn’t is a more important question than which party or candidate can or should pander to it the most. The belief that the Hispanic vote is critical to political victory was the main reason the Republican Party abandoned immigration control after the 1996 election. Its candidate that year, Bob Dole, won a mere 21 percent of the Hispanic bloc nationally, and the Open Borders crowd immediately blamed Republican support for immigration control as the reason.

That was dubious then and even more dubious now, but the GOP under Newt Gingrich dropped immigration control like a live hand grenade. Party strategists started yattering about how “the Hispanic strategy” would replace the “Southern strategy” as the road to party victory.

George W. Bush himself spent much of the 2000 campaign yattering in Spanish, in the belief it would win Hispanic support.

In fact, though Mr. Bush’s Hispanic support was a bit better than Mr. Dole’s, Al Gore walked off with an overwhelming 65 percent of Hispanics.

That has not stopped Republicans from continuing to pander. This year we have had Mr. Bush’s amnesty plan for illegal aliens and yet more yattering in Spanish.

It still doesn’t help. Polls show a strong preference for John Kerry among Hispanics, who is no sluggard himself when it comes to pandering.

But what Mr. Frey is telling them is that it doesn’t matter anyway.

It’s true that thanks to mass immigration the Hispanic electorate has swelled to some 7 million voters, but the numbers need to be qualified.

Mr. Frey notes that

“One-third of Hispanics are below voting age, and another quarter are not citizens. Thus, for every 100 Hispanics, only 40 are eligible to vote, 23 are likely to register, and just 18 are likely to cast ballots. For blacks the comparable number is 37, and for whites, nearly 50.”

In some states, like New Mexico, Mr. Frey acknowledges that Hispanic voters may be critical. Hispanics make up 29 percent of the state’s total population and may well swing it in November. But in other states like Arizona and Nevada, they’re simply not that important.

“In both of those states, a disproportionate number of those Hispanics are not registered or not voting,” Mr. Frey says. Hispanics make up only an estimated 12 percent of Arizona’s voters and 10 percent of Nevada’s.

So what groups will determine the election? It’s very simple, says Mr. Frey. “This race will be determined primarily by white voters.

White voters make up 86 percent of all voters in the most competitive states, and “This election is going to be won in the Midwest, largely white, battleground states.”

If that’s true, does it carry implications for Republican political strategy?

To put it bluntly: Yes.

If the Hispanic vote were really as critical to national political success as the myth claims, immigration control would indeed be a political loser (assuming all Hispanics favor immigration, which is by no means entirely true).

No serious politician would support reducing immigration or controlling the borders if those positions meant defeat, and that’s precisely what the Open Borders crowd harped on in the past.

But if the Hispanic vote is not so important and the white vote is, then the party’s strategy needs to adjust to that reality. It needs to think hard about how to win and keep the white vote—far more than it does now.

In 2000, George W. Bush won the white vote—but only by 54 percent. In 1972 and 1984 Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan won a whopping 67 and 64 percent respectively—support that translated into a national landslide. In the 1990s, weaker candidates like George Bush Sr. and Mr. Dole carried only 40 and 46 percent of whites—which translated into defeat.

The boondoggle that the current President Bush created with his foolish amnesty plan for illegals ought to tell him all he needs to know about the politics of immigration.

If he wants to win the election, he needs to forget the Hispanics and worry about the white voters who put him in office in the first place.

And if he wants to win and keep the white vote, he needs to forget about amnesty and the idiocies the Open Borders lobby tells him and start doing something to control mass immigration.

• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Classic, Hispanics, Republicans 
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The most recent contribution of the Open Borders Lobby to the decomposition of American civilization is the immigrant gang, which has now spread itself from the inner precincts of San Diego to such places as the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

In the summer issue of the City Journal, published by the libertarian think tank the Manhattan Institute, Heather MacDonald tells the bad news. [The Immigrant Gang Plague]

Of course it’s bad news only if you think crime, violence, poverty, and individual and social crack-up are bad. If you’re part of the Open Borders crowd, you probably don’t think so, as long as the borders are porous and the wages are low. In the event you prefer the truth, Miss MacDonald has plenty to tell about the impact of mass immigration on American cities and those unfortunate enough to have to live in them.

“Hispanic youths, whether recent arrivals or birthright American citizens,” she reports “are developing an underclass culture…. Hispanic school dropout rates and teen birthrates are now the highest in the nation. Gang crime is exploding nationally — rising 50 percent from 1999 to 2002—driven by the march of Hispanic immigration east and north across the country. Most worrisome, underclass indicators like crime and single parenthood do not improve over successive generations of Hispanics—they worsen.”

Ah, well, the Open Borders nuts respond. Of course, there are temporary problems with mass immigration, but the immigrants eventually assimilate and move up the economic ladder into the middle class. Wrong again.

As Miss MacDonald also writes, there is (often) upward mobility, but “Upward mobility to the suburbs doesn’t necessarily break the allure of gang culture. An immigration agent reports that in the middle-class suburbs of southwest Miami, second- and third-generation Hispanic youths are perpetrating home invasions, robberies, battery, drug sales, and rape.”

The agent knows of college students who are gang members. As for cultural assimilation, what there is seems to be assimilation into the worst of American society.

Recruitment into gangs now starts earlier than ever, and the violence the gangs practice is increasingly lethal. Miss MacDonald cites one 16-year-old who shot a California Highway Patrol Officer picked at random “in the hope of gaining entry to Pomona’s 12th Street Gang.”Previous codes among the gangs that tried to limit violence are now obsolete . “When I grew up,” one gang investigator, himself Mexican, says, “there were rules of engagement: no shooting at churches or at home. Now, no one is immune.”

One supposed reason for the escalation of the gangs is the “disintegration of the Hispanic family.” You’ve probably heard the Open Borders lie about “strong Hispanic family values.” Miss MacDonald offers some details.

“The trends are worsening, especially for U.S.-born Hispanics. In California, 67 percent of children of U.S.-born Hispanic parents lived in an intact family in 1990; by 1999, that number had dropped to 56 percent. The percentage of Hispanic children living with a single mother in California rose from 18 percent in 1990 to 29 percent in 1999. Nationally, single-parent households constituted 25 percent of all Hispanic households with minor children in 1980; by 2000, the proportion had jumped to 34 percent.”

Teen parenthood—“the marker of underclass behavior”—is now larger among Hispanics than among blacks. Among Hispanic teenagers, the stigma of out-of-wedlock births has vanished. Not surprisingly,welfare use actually rises between the second and third generation—to 31 percent of all third-generation Mexican-American households. Illegal Hispanics make liberal use of welfare, too, by putting their American-born children on public assistance: in Orange County, California, nearly twice as many Hispanic welfare cases are for children of illegal aliens as for legal families.”

You may recall back in 1994 when neo-conservative Open Borders boosters Jack Kemp and Bill Bennett went around attacking California’s Prop 187, which would have cut off welfare to illegal aliens.

Miss MacDonald doesn’t spend a lot of time sparring with the pro-immigration nuts, but she does talk a bit about what Open Borders ideologue Michael Barone tries to claim in a recent book. [The New Americans] Hispanic immigrants today, he argues, are analogous to Italian immigrants of generations past. Just as the Italians assimilated, so will the Mexicans and other Hispanics.

But the size of Mexican immigration today (30 percent of the foreign-born population) is far larger than that of Italians previously (17 percent of all immigrants). Moreover, immigration stopped for the most part after World War I. Today, with both major parties babbling about amnesty, there’s no prospect whatsoever of it stopping.

For that you can thank the Open Borders crowd that has simply fabricated lies about the nature of mass immigration or ignored the truth and demonized anyone who tried to tell it. Thanks to Miss MacDonald, it’s getting harder and harder to get away with that.

• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Hispanics, Immigration 
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The 2004 presidential election may turn out to be decided by racial identities. For the last decade or so, the Republican Party has abandoned all pretense of controlling mass immigration on the superstitious ground that immigration control will alienate the booming Hispanic vote. Now, as two major news stories last week suggested, that superstition is exploded as the myth it has always been.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the growing Hispanic vote, centered mainly in the far Western states, is providing new hope for the campaign of Democratic nominee John Kerry. While the Democrats have never had much of a problem winning Hispanics (Al Gore won 65 percent in 2000; George W. Bush only 32 percent), the mass immigration the Republicans have tolerated and even supported has eaten into one of their main geographical bastions in the West.

“Many new arrivals” in the Western states, the Wall Street Journalreported last week,

“are lower-income workers drawn to the booming resorts,social liberals migrating from California and, most importantly, Hispanics, who tend to vote Democratic by a two-to-one ratio. In Nevada, Latinos are expected to cast 10 percent of all votes this year, up from 3.9 percent eight years ago…. In New Mexico, Hispanics this year will cast one of every three ballots.” [New Frontier: Population Shifts In West Shape Kerry's Strategy; Jacob M. Schlesinger and Miriam Jordan. Wall Street Journal. Jul 21, 2004. [subscriber link]

Well, OK, but then President Bush has proposed what is in substance an amnesty program for illegal aliens. Won’t the Hispanic immigrants be so grateful to him that they’ll switch their traditional political allegiances and vote Republican?

No. The Washington Post last week released the results of a new poll that shows that

“At a time when Bush and Kerry are running about even among all registered voters, Kerry enjoys a 2 to 1 advantage over Bush among Latino registered voters. Hispanics give Bush lower approval ratings than the overall population does, and the poll shows that the bulk of the Latino community continues to identify with the Democratic Party.”[Kerry Has Strong Advantage Among Latino Voters By Richard Morin and Dan Balz Washington Post,July 22, 2004]

Moreover, not only do Hispanic voters not even like Mr. Amnesty himself, George W. Bush, they also don’t seem to care much about immigration.

It is a myth that the Hispanic vote is largely driven by concern over immigration and that opposing immigration will lose Hispanics.

In another new poll, only 27 percent of registered Latino voters said immigration would be an important factor in their vote for president, behind moral values (36 percent), taxes (33 percent) and the federal budget deficit (30 percent), according to the poll’s sponsors, the Pew Hispanic Center and the Kaiser Family Foundation.[PDF] The only people for more immigration are the Open Borders crowd.

The Post’s poll found much the same trends, with the economy,education, terrorism, and the war in Iraq as the top issues among Hispanics.

Immigration, let alone amnesty, doesn’t even register with most Hispanic voters.

Neither the demographics of the Western states nor the new polls prove that Mr. Bush and the Republicans will—again—lose the Hispanic vote, but they do suggest, as his Democratic opponents have already figured out, that the president is vulnerable in what should be his home base—the Southwest.

As the Journal article noted, “In the 10 presidential elections from 1952 through 1988, only two Western states, Hawaii and Washington, voted Democratic more than twice.”

Democrats have been gaining seats and votes in local and state elections in this region because of immigration, and that’s why Mr. Kerry and Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe are pushing the campaign into them.

“We as a party need to be putting stakes down in those states,”Mr. McAuliffe told the Journal. “In particular, he adds, ‘we needed to bring in Hispanics earlier than ever, so they’d feel empowered and energized.’”

Mr. Bush may not lose these states, but even he understands that if he does, he’ll lose the election.

What mass immigration has done is make the Republicans’ rivals competitive inside their own fortress. It’s the political equivalent of the D-Day landing.

So who was it that advised the Republicans to drop their opposition to mass immigration?

As with so many other blunders the party has made in the recent past, the fine fingers of the neoconservatives are smudged all over it.

Linda Chavez, Robert Bartley and Paul Gigot of the Wall Street Journal,Newt Gingrich, and Jack Kemp and Bill Bennett and their moronic decision to oppose Proposition 187 in California 10 years ago, as well as the usual gang of neocon eggheads, all badgered the party into dropping immigration control as an issue and courting the Hispanic vote through pandering.

If the Bush administration survives this election at all, it needs to consider that the neoconservatives whose advice it has followed on immigration politics have been no less disastrous than those whose counsel it took on foreign policy.

• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Hispanics, Neocons 
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President Bush can explain his Iraq policies all he wants, but he’ll need more than that to stay in the White House.

What he needs are called “voters,” and in large part because of the kind of immigration policies the president and his party have supported, he may not have enough of them to win re-election.

Mr. Bush has already alienated a good part of his conservative base with his amnesty for illegal aliens last January, and his party has alienated still more by refusing to support immigration control measures in either Congress or at the state level.

Then there are the results of immigration itself—namely, the growing number of Hispanics who vote, who vote as a bloc, and who do not and will not vote Republican at all.

Last week Terry McAuliffe, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, told a gathering of Democratic Party Hispanic activists that John Kerry can win the election if he has the votes of at least two-thirds of the 3 million new Hispanic voters registered since the last election. [McAuliffe: Hispanics hold White House key, May 16, 2004, Associated Press]

In 2000, Al Gore won 65 percent or so of the Hispanic vote nationally, so if Mr. Kerry can keep that percentage, he’ll win. There’s no reason he shouldn’t be able to keep it, and there are several reasons why Mr. Bush won’t.

Moreover, the new voters happen to be concentrated in what used to be Republican strongholds—southwestern states like Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico. They are all small states with few electoral votes, (a total of only 17 for the three just mentioned), but critical in a close election. Mr. Bush carried two of the above states in 2000 and won the election by only five electoral votes.

If the rising Hispanic tide votes for his adversary this year in those states, there will be a new president—even if the old one does win Florida.

Speaking of Florida, Mr. Bush does better among Hispanics there—mainly because the largest single bloc of Hispanics in the Sunshine State are anti-communist and economically successful Cubans who like Republicans. A recent poll conducted by a Democratic-leaning polling firm, Sergio Bendixen and Associates, shows that while Mr. Kerry is leading among Hispanic voters in the three key southwestern states, Mr. Bush leads among Hispanics in Florida—but not with all of them.

As News Max reported, quoting a research analyst at the polling firm,

“The Cubans born in Cuba are supporting Mr. Bush with 80 percent of the vote, and 12 percent for John Kerry. The U.S. born [Cubans] are supporting Mr. Kerry with 54 percent, and only 33 percent for the president.” [Poll: Bush's Surprising Latino Draw , May 21, 2004]

In other words, Cubans who actually experienced communism and who are probably older, better off and whiter, prefer the Republican. Younger Cubans are more like other Hispanics and prefer the Democrat.

This trend does not augur well for Republican command of the Cuban vote—or of the state of Florida—for the future.

In 2000, Mr. Bush won only a third of the Hispanic vote nationally, and he won that many only because he barely won 50 percent of the Florida Hispanic vote to Mr. Gore’s 48 percent, and he won that mainly because Cuban-American voters were angry with the Democrat over the Clinton administration’s policy toward Elian Gonzalez.

In 1996, Mr. Clinton did unusually well among Cuban voters in Florida, so they’re a bit more in play than Republicans and their propagandists like to think.

The Achilles heel of the Hispanic vote, for Democrats at least, is that they often don’t vote at all. As an official at the DNC told the Associated Press recently, in California, 3.4 million Hispanics were eligible to vote in California in 2000, but only 1.5 million did—less than half.

Obviously, if it’s in the interest of the Democrats to get these voters to the polls, it’s in the interest of the Republicans to keep them away and issue their main appeal to the white voters who are the GOP base.

One difference between the two parties is that the Democrats learn the obvious lesson—which is why they push voter registration efforts for Hispanics—and the Republicans don’t.

Despite the clear pattern over time that Hispanics support the Democrats and its repetition every election year, the Republicans cling to the hope that next year they’ll win Hispanics.

That gives them a plausible excuse for refusing to control immigration, on the claim that doing so would alienate Hispanics.

Sooner or later even the Republicans may wake up to the reality that if they do not start controlling immigration soon, they and whatever remains of what they purport to believe in will be swamped by their Democratic rivals riding the rising Hispanic tide.

• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Hispanics, Republicans 
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With no fewer than three lead articles on the California election in the next issue of the Weekly Standard, the neoconservative spin on the election’s meaning is pretty much complete.

As usual, the neocons manage to miss (or mask) the real meaning,misdirect conservatives and Republicans who pay attention to them and desperately try to clamber on board what geniuses like me have been telling them for years.

The most interesting of the articles is one that ridicules the belief that California’s 1994 ballot measure, Proposition 187, harmed Republicans.

Prop 187, which terminated welfare benefits for illegal aliens, passed by some 60 percent of the popular vote but was later killed by the courts.

In the Standard, columnist Debra J. Saunders announces, “It is an article of faith among political journalists that Proposition 187 … was poison to the Republican Party.” And she’s right. [Pete Wilson's Vindication, October 20, 2003]

She’s also right that the article of faith is wrong, as I have argued ever since the days nine years ago when the measure was on the ballot.

Since California victor Arnold Schwarzenegger backed Prop 187 at the time and still won this month’s election, it could not have been very poisonous.

But what’s interesting is that among the political journalists who were wrong about Prop 187—then and, until this week, now—were the neoconservatives for whom Miss Saunders is writing.

The most prominent neocons who denounced Prop 187 as poison were Bill Bennett and Jack Kemp, who held a news conference just before the vote to call on voters to reject it. In the Nov. 3, 1994 issue of Roll Call, columnist Morton Kondracke, who also opposed the measure and prematurely celebrated its defeat, told us why the two did what they did.

“Credit for Prop 187′s swift decline,” wrote Mr. Kondracke, “goes mainly to defeated California Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron Unz, who convinced influential national conservatives Bill Kristol, Jack Kemp, and Bill Bennett to come out against it…. Kristol then convinced Bennett at a lunch in New York to reverse his position on 187, and Kemp joined him in leading a charge against it.”

And what does Bill Kristol do today? He’s the editor of the Weekly Standard, of course, where Miss Saunders’ article ridiculing those who denounced Prop 187 appears.

If Mr. Kristol after nine years of delusion has at last grasped what was obvious to me, Arnold Schwarzenegger, California Gov. Pete Wilson, presidential candidate and commentator Pat Buchanan and 60 percent of California voters, I’m happy to hear it, but don’t tell me the Republican Party should pay much attention to him and his magazine in the future.

Another major article spinning the California results is one published a week later by Standard Executive Editor Fred Barnes, who mainly wants to see the election as proof a Republican majority has finally emerged. [The (Finally) Emerging Republican Majority, October 27, 2003, by Fred Barnes]

Maybe so, but in reaching that conclusion (from a rather unique election), he manages to make the same blunder neocons made about George W. Bush.

With Mr. Bush, who won re-election as governor of Texas in 1998 with about 39 percent of the Hispanic vote in his state (not “half,” as Mr. Barnes claims), the neocons prophesied he would carry a “majority”of Hispanics nationally in 2000.

In fact, he won only 31 percent in that year.

Now, with Mr. Schwarzenegger having won almost the same percent of Hispanic voters in California that Mr. Bush did in Texas in 1998, Mr. Barnes leaps to the conclusion that Hispanic voters are “in play” and can be won by the GOP.

Together with Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom McClintock, Mr. Schwarzenegger won about 41 percent of the state’s Hispanic vote. Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante won 52 percent, considerably less than the Democrats usually get.

But if you add Mr. McClintock’s share to Mr. Schwarzenegger’s, it’s only fair to add the portion of the Hispanic vote won by Peter Camejo of the state’s Green Party—3-5 percent—to Mr. Bustamante’s share.

That means something like 55 to 58 percent of California Hispanics did not vote Republican, so it’s just a bit of a stretch to claim the returns show they are “in play.”

In fact, California Hispanics remain solidly Democratic and liberal.

The neocons’ strategy in making up their political analysis as they go along is not only to paint themselves as winners but also to smother any talk of serious immigration control.

By making Republicans think they have a chance to win Hispanics if only they shut up about immigration, they aim to keep the issue out of political discussion entirely.

The Republicans may well fall for it, but whether the voters who backed Prop 187 and want real immigration control will fall for the new neocon propaganda line is another question.

• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: California, Hispanics 
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Does the California election prove that Republicans can now win the Hispanic vote? That’s what some pundits are claiming because of the comparatively low support won by professional Hispanic candidate Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante (54 percent) and the supposedly high support captured by winner Arnold Schwarzenegger (30 percent).

As usual, of course, the pundits are full of fly specks.

First of all, Senor Bustamante’s relatively low Hispanic support doesn’t mean his Republican opponents did unusually well. The headline of a post-election article in the Los Angeles Times last week crowed that GOP makes gains among Latinos,“[By Rich Connell and Daniel Hernandez, October 11, 2003] though the body of the story is a bit more subdued.

It turns out that the “gains” won by the two Republican candidates, Mr. Schwarzenegger and state Sen. Tom McClintock, were mainly among upper-income (indeed, high income) Hispanics.

“Half of Latino voters in homes earning $60,000 to $100,000,”the Times story reports, supported one of the two Republicans, while “in Latino households with earnings above $100,000, 57% supported the recall and 60% voted for Schwarzenegger or McClintock. The pattern followed that of voters overall.” So why is that surprising?

As I noted in a recent column, 25 to 30 percent of Hispanic voters in California have always voted Republican, and 37 percent voted for Proposition 187 in 1994, a measure widely regarded as anti-Hispanic and anti-immigrant because it cut off public benefits to illegal aliens. Probably most of the Hispanics who do vote Republican are upper-income, and the portion of the Hispanic vote won by the two Republicans (39 percent) is hardly unusual or new.

But, as for the GOP now having a good chance to win more Hispanic votes in the future, don’t bet your annual income on it. As the Timesalso notes , “Statewide, low-income Latinos opposed the recall and supported Bustamante by the widest margins: In each case more than three out of five voters in households earning less than $40,000, according to the poll.”

And the point is that in California, thanks to the mass immigration imported by the Open Borders lobby, lower income Hispanics dominate in the Hispanic electorate.

The real reason Mr. Schwarzenegger won, as both I and UPI political analyst Steve Sailer have pointed out, is that he won the white vote, which remains critical for any Republican victory. He took the white vote by 51 percent, and the two Republicans together took 65-67 percent of it. Mr. Schwarzenegger’s share was not so impressive but better than earlier Republican gubernatorial candidates in the state’s last two elections, who won well less than 50 percent.

Taken together, the two Republicans’ share in this election means simply this: Whites have largely deserted the Democrats, and that’s the real reason they lost.

Moreover, it’s why the Republican won, though you might find it hard to persuade him of that. A new poll sponsored by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) shows that Democratic Gov. Gray Davis’ support for letting illegal immigrants get driver’s licenses was a decisive factor. The poll shows that “30 percent of voters said Davis’ approval of the bill influenced their decision to support the recall,” CNS News reported this week. Since Mr. Schwarzenegger was opposed to the bill, it makes sense the voters who agreed with him on that issue were attracted to him.

Since he also had supported Prop 187 itself and had its chief backer, former Gov. Pete Wilson in his campaign, Mr. Schwarzenegger really didn’t have to say much about immigration at all. Voters assumed he would be tough on it. They assumed wrong.

Presumably voters who opposed driver’s licenses for illegals are also opposed to amnesty, yet the fact is that Mr. Schwarzenegger endorsed amnesty during the campaign. He avoided the word, but in his first press conference after the election he made his position perfectly clear.

The governor-elect endorsed the stealth amnesty bill sponsored in the U.S. Senate by Sen. John McCain that would allow illegal immigrants to gain “temporary” work visas.

“I want to make all undocumented immigrants documented and legal in this country,” he said.

That’s why Mr. Schwarzenegger doesn’t seem to grasp why he won or the latent racial dynamics of the election. Whites supported him (and Mr. McClintock, who took much the same position on drivers’ licenses but a somewhat tougher one on illegal immigration) because of those positions. They supported the recall and deserted the Democrats for the same reason.

And what that means is that the Republicans don’t need to chuckle over how swell they did among Hispanics or worry what one or another GOP candidate might say against immigration.

What they need to worry about is whether they can keep the white vote—especially after Mr. Schwarzenegger essentially betrayed his own white voters by endorsing the amnesty they thought he opposed.

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If recent polls on the California gubernatorial race are at all accurate, Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante will not win the election, but he will certainly come closer than most other candidates. That’s because Mr. Bustamante enjoys an advantage most other candidates, including the (still) likely winner, Arnold Schwarzenegger, don’t—namely racial solidarity.

Because Mr. Bustamante is Hispanic and exploited that identity in the campaign and because, thanks to the mass immigration the Open Borders lobby has helped import into the state, some 14 percent of the California electorate today is Hispanic, and because Hispanics in California (and most other states) vote as a racially solid bloc, Mr. Bustamante is slated to win their support by an overwhelming margin.

A Washington Post story last week made clear that the lieutenant governor “has three times more support among Latino voters than any other major candidate in the election.” That may not be enough—this time—to elect him governor, but it puts him well ahead of most of his rivals.

The story also makes clear, though it doesn’t quite say so, why Hispanic voters are so keen on Mr. Bustamante. It’s because they think of themselves as a unit—”we”—and of Mr. Bustamante as “one of us.” [ For Latinos, Recall Is a Rare Opportunity | Bustamante Strongly Favored in Community, By Rene Sanchez, Washington Post,September 30, 2003]

“It’s a chance we’ve never experienced before,” one Hispanic lawyer told the Post. “We’ve never been this close.”

Another Hispanic voter bubbled happily at the prospect of racial power Mr. Bustamante’s campaign offered: “We’re no longer the minority in California, but I still feel like we’re 20 years behind everyone else.”

With the exception of black voters, there is no other sizable ethnic group in the state or the country that identifies as “we” more strongly.

What the Hispanic “we” feels is not at all the same thing Irish Americans, for example, felt when John F. Kennedy was elected (if “elected” is quite the right word for the way Kennedy became president). Americans of Irish descent who felt joy at Kennedy’s victory did not plan to take over the country or claim the country was now “theirs.” But that’s exactly what Hispanic voters in California seem to express.

As the Post reports, “In Latino communities across the Central Valley, some activists are preoccupied with promoting Bustamante’s candidacy, not saving [Gray] Davis. They are going door-to-door and deluging voters with phone calls in the hope that will spur a huge turnout at the polls.”

It would be stretching to claim that most Hispanic voters share the bizarre anti-Americanism of the Voz de Aztlan, the racial nationalist newspaper supporting MEChA, the Chicano Student Movement for Aztlan, that has just endorsed Mr. Bustamante and whose endorsement he has not rejected.

Nevertheless, its language is worth quoting.

“Next Tuesday October 7, Nuestra Raza [Our Race] will have an unprecedented and outstanding opportunity to elect one of our own as Governor of Alta California. It has been a very long struggle since the invasion of our territories and this election will not be handed to us in a silver platter. We must do everything humanly possible to bring out our gente to vote on October 7. Every community committee and MEChA Chapter throughout the state must work diligently and tirelessly next Tuesday to bring out the vote on behalf of Cruz Bustamante. Remember ‘Dump Davis – Elect Bustamante.’”

“Throughout the recall campaign, Cruz Bustamante has proven himself to be a loyal soldier for La Raza,” the editorial exults.

And indeed so far Mr. Bustamante has said and done nothing to suggest he is not a loyal soldier for his race.

No other candidate in this campaign or, except for most black candidates, in the rest of the country enjoys the kind of racially driven voter support that Mr. Bustamante possesses, nor does any other court political support on the basis of race as brazenly. No white group of any kind supports Mr. Schwarzenegger or his rival Tom McClintock because he is believed to be “a loyal soldier for his race.”

And no white candidate could receive an endorsement from a white group because of race without being forced immediately to reject the endorsement and denounce the group. White racism or even the hint of it is enough to get Rush Limbaugh canned. Anti-white racism is OK.

That’s one lesson the Bustamante campaign ought to drive into the feeble minds of whites dumb enough to have welcomed the mass immigration that now begins to swallow them.

But another lesson of the anti-white racial nationalism now nearing triumph at the polls is what it means for the dwindling numbers of whites in the state.

What it means, to put it as bluntly as possible, is cultural and political subordination to the new “we” now emerging as California’s—and eventually the country’s—ruling race.

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With the presidential election only thirteen months away, the ten little Democrats are not the only ones running. President Bush is also cranking up for the race, and soon we can expect to hear from him and his surrogates how much of the black vote they expect to win next year.

In the last election, Mr. Bush and his campaign planners gabbled incessantly about how much they were doing for blacks, Hispanics and other ethnic minorities, and despite the massive support such voters gave the Democrats, there’s no indication the Republicans have learned anything.

A good deal of Mr. Bush’s Africa policy—his intervention in Liberia, his trip to Africa last summer and his huge financial support for AIDS treatments there—is clearly shaped by his desire to win black votes.

Yet as I and political expert Steve Sailer among others have insisted, the future of the Republican Party lies not in trying to win more black and Hispanic votes but in increasing their already majority share of the white vote.

Republican officeholders and strategists don’t like to embrace this tactic, at least in public and they much prefer to boast of how “color blind” they and their party are.

But now the evidence is beginning to suggest that Republicans are not quite as color blind as they’d like everyone to think.

The Washington Post this week ran a story about Republican redistricting plans in Texas, where the party won every elective office in the state last year and controls both chambers of the state legislature. Like most political parties when they get into power, the Republicans want to redraw the electoral districts to undercut their rivals and boost their own chances.

But in this case their plans are not just political. They’re also blatantly racial. [Stalking Democrats, GOP Hits Minorities | Tex. Plans Affect Black, Hispanic Voters by Lee Hockstader, Washington Post, September 30, 2003]

The plans Texas Republicans have concocted so far envision redrawing districts that now return liberal white Democrats so that the racial minorities that elect them—mainly black—will be diluted in new districts dominated by white voters.

The Democrats of course are wise to this game and have been quick to scream “racism,” but whether it is or not is not quite my point.

The point is that the GOP’s redistricting plans prove that the party and its leaders understand full well the political significance of race in American politics—that whites will tend to vote Republican (54 percent did so for Mr. Bush in 2000 and that’s less than most victorious Republican candidates have won in the past) and non-whites (blacks and Hispanics) will vote Democrat (90 percent and 67 percent respectively in 2000).

For all the Republican gabble about “reaching out” to blacks and Hispanics, the reality is that the party depends on winning the white vote at least as much as the Democrats depend on the non-white. And the Texas plans prove that the party leaders know it.

Thus, in Texas’ 9th District, around Galveston, about 40 percent of the voters who elected Democrat Rep. Nick Lampson in 1996 are non-white. The Republican plan would carve up the district and dump some 85,000 blacks and Hispanics into the “overwhelmingly Republican”district that elects House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. Another 100,000 would be shipped into a heavily Republican bastion in the Houston suburbs.

There is no talk in Texas of “reaching out” to the non-white voters who will find themselves redistributed into Republican fortresses. If they vote Republican, swell, but the purpose is not to win them over so much as to jackhammer the bloc votes that keep the Democrats in office.

Is that fair? Well, you know what they say about love and war, and the Post itself acknowledges that the practice (called “cracking”) is a “tried and true method of redistricting for partisan advantage” and that “Democrats themselves did it to Republicans in the past.”

But the point is still not whether it’s fair, right or wrong, but what it tells us about what Republicans really know.

What it tells us is that the Stupid Party may not be quite as stupid as it looks and acts after all.

For all their pandering to blacks and Hispanics, all their jabbering in Spanish during campaigns, and all their refusal to resist affirmative action and immigration, they know very well on which side of the racial bread the political butter lies.

And it also tells us something else as well: Even though they know that their party depends on the white votes they are trying to cluster into new districts, the Republicans continue to moo about “reaching out” to non-whites and pander to them just as much as ever.

In other words, they take the white vote for granted, because they also know that white voters now have nowhere else to go.

• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Hispanics, Republicans 
Sam Francis
About Sam Francis

Dr. Samuel T. Francis (1947-2005) was a leading paleoconservative columnist and intellectual theorist, serving as an adviser to the presidential campaigns of Patrick Buchanan and as an editorial writer, columnist, and editor at The Washington Times. He received the Distinguished Writing Award for Editorial Writing of the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) in both 1989 and 1990, while being a finalist for the National Journalism Award (Walker Stone Prize) for Editorial Writing of the Scripps Howard Foundation those same years. His undergraduate education was at Johns Hopkins and he later earned his Ph.D. in modern history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

His books include The Soviet Strategy of Terror(1981, rev.1985), Power and History: The Political Thought of James Burnham (1984); Beautiful Losers: Essays on the Failure of American Conservatism (1993); Revolution from the Middle: Essays and Articles from Chronicles, 1989–1996 (1997); and Thinkers of Our Time: James Burnham (1999). His published articles or reviews appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, National Review, The Spectator (London), The New American, The Occidental Quarterly, and Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, of which he was political editor and for which he wrote a monthly column, “Principalities and Powers.”