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Well, I guess you can’t expect a guy to know what’s going on inside this country just because he’s the President of the United States.

This week President Bush took a trip to Chile, where he more or less officially raised from the dead his defunct amnesty plan of last January.

I guess he missed what’s been going on about immigration politics in both the country and the Congress ever since the election.

What’s been going on is that major players in Congress have made it known that they don’t like the idea of amnesty that underlies the Bush immigration reform plan.

The most recent sign of displeasure was the refusal of House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner to support the intelligence reform bill the administration has been peddling because the White House won’t support its immigration control measures.

The main reason the bill is in trouble has to do with national security issues, but the opposition of Mr. Sensenbrenner and other lawmakers to what is a major administration and House leadership piece of legislation for reasons of immigration control ought to tell us how important the immigration issue now is.

Unfortunately, it has told the president nothing.

Even before the House conservative revolt over the intelligence bill, the White House should have gotten the message on immigration, from what its own party has been trying to explain to it ever since the election, if not from the election itself.

Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo, who speaks for dozens of House GOP lawmakers on immigration, said bluntly when Secretary of State Colin Powell first revived the amnesty plan a couple of weeks ago that the plan was “dead on arrival.”

Even that was not enough to send the White House the message.

Then California Rep. Elton Gallegly, who chairs an important subcommittee on terrorism of the House International Relations Committee, urged the president not to re-introduce his immigration plan:

“It is our hope that in future discussions with the Mexican government, you will encourage Mexico to do its part to address illegal immigration rather than encourage their citizens to illegally enter the U.S.”

Mr. Gallegly, with at least 21 other members of Congress, wrote to Mr. Bush earlier this month.

Well, as I noted, Mr., Bush has been out of the country and I guess he didn’t get the message, or messages, because when he spoke to a press conference in Chile this week after the summit conference in Santiago, he ignored every one of these warning signs that his ill-advised amnesty plan is no more popular with his own party and its leaders now than it was when he first popped it on them last January.

Mr. Bush also claimed that he had “campaigned on this issue,”presumably meaning immigration, if not amnesty itself, during the election, which is simply not true.

If he mentioned it at all in the campaign it seems to have escaped notice, save during the third presidential debate when the moderator brought it up.

And Mr. Bush then emitted one of the inane remarks for which he has become famous:

“We’d much rather have security guards running down terrorists or drug runners or drug smugglers than people coming to work.”

No doubt, but to do any of the above, we have to have a lot more security on the border, which we don’t.

What we—the American people—would much rather have is a president who betrays some faint glimmer that the border is out of control and that mass immigration represents not only a major threat to our national security and sovereignty but also a major force threatening the disintegration of our identity as a nation and civilization.

Mr. Bush doesn’t have a clue, or if he does, he is indifferent to it.

What he is not indifferent to, apparently, is what Mexican President Vicente Fox tells him to do. Mr. Fox has been badgering Mr. Bush for years to institute amnesty for Mexican illegals, and that’s what the president’s plan does. Mr. Fox has revived his efforts to get amnesty through since the election, and Mr. Bush has complied.

Why Mr. Bush seems so eager to make his counterpart in Mexico happy over this issue remains unclear, especially given the obvious unhappiness of his own party and the vast majority of Americans with the plan.

But whatever his reasons, the president has been given fair warning by his own party, as well as by various results in this month’s election.

He still doesn’t get the message.

Americans who want to stop the amnesty he is planning to force on the country need to forget the man they just re-elected and make sure their own congressmen and senators know what to do about the disastrous measure he is sending them.

• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Immigration, Republicans 
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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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After the American electorate wades through the scintillating debate about which presidential candidate is less patriotic than the other, some voters may display an interest in picking one of them to vote for.

Many have already decided, and the bad news for President Bush is that a lot of them are the people who voted for him in the last election.

A recent article in The New Republic argues that Mr. Bush’s main accomplishment as the leader of the Republican Party has been to lose the white working class base that has served as the backbone of GOP presidential victories since the days of Richard Nixon.

The New Republic, of course, is a liberal and pro-Democratic magazine, and it’s to be congratulated on discovering what I have been saying for years. But what’s interesting about the article, “White Flight” by John Judis and political scientist Ruy Teixeira, is why the president has lost this base: The war in Iraq. [BUSH LOSES HIS BASE. White Flight by John B. Judis & Ruy Teixeira [free version] 08.02.04]

As the authors note, “Alienated by the civil rights movement, and later by antiwar protestors and feminists, white, working-class voters began transferring their loyalty from New Deal Democrats to conservative Republicans in the 1960s,” and the white working class—Middle American Radicals as some started calling them not long after—“gave large majorities to Richard Nixon in 1972, Ronald Reagan in 1980 and 1984, and George H.W. Bush in 1988.”

As late as 2000, Al Gore lost these voters like most of his recent predecessors. Today those happy days may be gone forever.

Patriotism and dislike of anti-American forces—communist or Muslim, foreign or domestic—are among the main sentiments that drive these voters, which is why they dropped away from a Democratic Party that seemed to flirt with treason. When the 9/11 attacks came along, no group was more supportive of strong measures against the nation’s enemies than white Middle Americans, and no group liked Mr. Bush’s initial response more than they did.

In June, 2003, as the authors note, just after the war with Iraq was over, Gallup polls showed that “65 percent of white, working-class voters thought it was ‘worth going to war’ in Iraq, while only 33 percent disagreed.”

But by late May, 2004, a year later , “only 52 percent thought the war was worth fighting, and 46 percent thought it was not.”Among white workers with some college background, the swing “was even more dramatic ,” with approval of the war dropping “from 70 to 30 percent in favor of the war to only 52 to 46 percent, a 34-point swing.”

That swing on the war doesn’t necessarily tell you who these voters are going to support, but there are polls that do—or might, if the Republicans don’t wise up.

“In late May and early June [of this year],” the authors write,“Gallup polls showed white, working-class voters, who had favored Bush over Gore by 17 percent in 2000, favoring him over Kerry by an average of only 50 to 42 percent.”

Mr. Bush still leads, but nowhere close to where he used to be among these voters—or where he needs to be if he’s going to win the election.

And the news for him may be even worse than the figures show.

As Mr. Judis and Mr. Teixeira point out, these Middle American voters “make up the bulk of voters in many battleground states.” In states like West Virginia, Missouri and Pennsylvania, they are anywhere from 60 percent to 74 percent of the electorate. “If Bush wins white, working-class voters in the battleground states by more than ten points, he should carry most of them. But, if his advantage falls below this margin, he will be in trouble. And that’s what seems to be happening.”

The Gallup poll figures they cite, as they also acknowledge, are national figures, but in the battleground states Mr. Bush needs to win, these voters are traditionally more Democratic anyway. There “one has to assume Bush’s margins are even smaller—and perhaps non-existent.”

That’s the arithmetic. The flesh and blood of the question is more graphic, as the interviews the authors had with Middle Americans show. Most say they supported the war at first, and most continue to sport flags and patriotic bumper stickers.

But their views of the war have changed. “They shouldn’t have gone over there,” says one man; “But now I don’t think we had any reason to go over there,” says his wife. “I don’t think it is helping us at all,” says another. “I have just one thing to say,” a housewife tells them. “Bring my son home.”

These are not left-wing peaceniks. They are the spinal cord of the nation—and of the GOP.

Thanks to George W. Bush, that cord is beginning to snap.

• Category: Ideology • Tags: 2004 Election, George W. Bush, Republicans 
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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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Six months before the election, and some 20 percent of Republican voters say they are not necessarily committed to voting for George W. Bush. Welcome to the club, but meanwhile, Republicans are doing everything they can think of to insure their maximum leader goes the way of his dad and Bob Dole, among other recent losers. They are accomplishing this by stabbing immigration control activists in the back.

Not only did the president himself unveil a lame brained amnesty plan for illegal aliens last January, but more recently the GOP establishment in California and Arizona has tried to scuttle immigration control measures on the state ballots this year.

In California, where veterans of the movement to pass Proposition 187 in 1994 have tried to put a revised version before the state’s voters, the Republican leadership effectively strangled the proposal in its cradle. This is not too different from what happened before.

In 1994, Prop 187 forbade public benefits being paid to illegal aliens. The Hispanic lobbies, the Open Borders crowd and the neoconservatives were outraged, and neocon point men William Bennett and Jack Kemp denounced the measure only days before the vote. The voters ignored them, passing Prop 187 by a landslide 60 percent or more. A federal judge later struck it down, killing what the neocons couldn’t kill by themselves.

Prop 187 not only passed overwhelmingly but also pulled Republican Gov. Pete Wilson from a yawning political grave and put at least five new Republican congressmen into the House, the year the GOP won Congress.

Today, the Stupid Party still hasn’t learned the lesson.

For the last year or so, grassroots supporters of 187 have tried to put a similar measure on the ballot. They failed, unable to gain the nearly 600,000 signatures by the deadline last month.

Why did they fail? Ron Prince, leader of the original Prop 187 movement, knows why.

“The Republican Party in California was vocal in its opposition and not supportive,” Mr. Prince told the Washington Times recently.“Behind the scenes, it was pressuring people not to support this.”

What Mr. Kemp and the Virtue Czar couldn’t accomplish and the federal courts couldn’t stop, the Stupid Party did all by itself. [State ballot measures on illegals founder, By Valerie Richardson, WashingtonTimes, May 16, 2004]

The Times also reports the party is doing the same thing in Arizona, where a similar measure is enjoying more success in gaining support, but not because of the Republicans: “The state’s Republican congressional delegation opposes the initiative, but delegates to the Arizona Republican Convention bucked the leadership in February to endorse the measure.”

But if the party leadership from the White House to the state capitols is determined to commit suicide, there remain some rising Republicans who won’t let it happen.

“Immigration is turning into an election battleground among Republicans,” the Times reported last week in another story, “with several challengers running primary campaigns against leading congressional supporters of legalizing illegal aliens.” [GOP incumbents face challenges on immigration By Stephen Dinan The Washington Times, May 19, 2004]

In Utah, incumbent Rep. Chris Cannon is facing a tough battle for survival from immigration control advocate Matt Throckmorton, who opposes the legalization of illegals that Mr. Cannon supports. “It’s the biggest issue in the race,” Mr. Throckmorton says of the immigration issue. Mr. Cannon failed to win more than 60 percent of the vote in a party nominating convention recently, undoubtedly as a result of his flaccid position on amnesty.

It’s also a big issue on other states. In Arizona, Rep. Jim Kolbe and Jeff Flake, both amnesty peddlers, face strong opposition from anti-amnesty (it should be called pro-law enforcement) challengers Randy Graf and Stan Barnes.

Both incumbents have sponsored a guest worker bill that amounts to little more than mass amnesty for the illegals who have been terrorizing Arizona ranchers and border residents for years. The GOP incumbents are on the side of the illegals.

In North Carolina black conservative Vernon Robinson is running against illegal immigration in an open-seat primary, and in Kansas immigration is an issue in the Third District congressional race.

What all this proves beyond any question is that, even today, with books, government reports, and repeated public opinion polls for years showing both the costs of mass immigration and the strong popular support for reducing and controlling it, the Republican Party leadership is living on the thither rings of Saturn.

Even with the obvious example of the first Prop 187 helping to give it a congressional majority, it still doesn’t get it.

There’s only one word for a party like this—stupid.

• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Immigration, Republicans 
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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 
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The dim idea of the week comes from Washington Times columnist Arnold Beichman, a 90-year-old neo-conservative wonderboy who has suffered a brainstorm–that the way for President Bush to win the election in 2004 is to demote Vice President Cheney to national security adviser and put current national security adviser Condoleezza Rice on the ticket.

The purpose, you see, is to at least “split” the black vote because Miss Rice, being black, is certain to fetch in some votes from other blacks.

Leave aside the implicit bigotry of Mr. Beichman’s strategy, which assumes that blacks are both sufficiently dumb and sufficiently racially obsessive to vote Republican if and only if a black is on the ticket. Leave aside also the implicit assumption, insulting to both Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney, that they can’t possibly win black votes by themselves, and consider the brazen kick in the pants to even a pretense of principle.

“With Ms. Rice on the ticket,” Mr. Beichman gloats, “there is every chance the African-American vote would be split, especially when a Bush victory in 2004 would surely mean a Rice presidential nomination in 2008.” Mr. Beichman ignores what sorts of policies Miss Rice might support, admittedly a minor consideration when all you care about is winning the election, but nevertheless a matter that might sooner or later come up, especially since the grand design involves Miss Rice ascending to the presidency a few years later. [GOP ticket option? By Arnold Beichman, July 9, 2003]

The Republican obsession with winning the black vote is mainly a contribution of the neo-conservatives that has swallowed the GOP mind ever since these frauds invited themselves to run the party back in the 1980s. It didn’t work then, it didn’t work in 2002 when Mr. Bush won only 8 percent of the black vote, and it shows no sign of working any time in the future. The victory strategy for the Republicans, with all due respect to Mr. Beichman, lies in winning the white vote—period.

If anyone understands this, it’s the NAACP itself, which this week convened in Miami Beach to roast Republicans and threaten those Democrats who don’t kiss its toe with sufficient reverence. The keynote was struck by the apparently deathless Julian Bond, who denounced the Republicans and the White House for representing the “dark underside of American culture,” appealing to those “who reject democracy and equality,” and whose “idea of equal rights is the American flag and Confederate swastika flying side by side.” “We are and always have been nonpartisan,” Mr. Bond added, reportedly keeping a straight face the whole time.[Full text of speech PDF]

But the vituperation about Republicans was only the warm-up. Some Democratic presidential contenders failed to show up at the convention because of other commitments. Tough. If you don’t abase yourself and scrape and bow low enough, you don’t get black votes. “When candidates choose to ignore the NAACP,” President Kweisi Mfume spouted, “they have no legitimacy when they go into our communities later asking for our votes.”

That was tantamount to a political death sentence for the missing Democrats – Reps. Richard Gephardt and Dennis Kucinich and Sen. Joseph Lieberman—who cannot expect to win the party nomination without solid backing from the black voters who now essentially dominate it. The 85 percent of the black vote Al Gore won in the 2000 Democratic primaries got him the party’s nomination, as did the 70 percent Bill Clinton took in the 1992 primaries.

But Mr. Mfume’s naked threat, like Mr. Bond’s earlier blustering, ought to tell all Americans something significant. First, it tells us that the NAACP has appointed itself the chief arbiter of how black voters are supposed to vote. Since almost all black voters do in fact seem to defer to the NAACP and its pronouncements, it is probably correct in that claim.

Secondly, obnoxious windbags like Mr. Bond and Mr. Mfume also show how the NAACP and its leaders intend to use their power—in much the same way as African despots like Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe use theirs, to demand the most abject groveling and humiliation from those unfortunate enough to come under their sway. Those who fail to exhibit such public displays of obsequiousness can forget the black vote.

And thirdly, the grim truth is that it is precisely because of the black racial solidarity on which the NAACP insists that the NAACP has any power at all. Whatever their flaws and misconceptions as leaders, gentlemen like Mr. Bond and Mr. Mfume know perfectly well that it is only through racial solidarity that a solid black vote for whatever Democrats have sufficiently groveled to them can be delivered. That’s why there’s not going to be any significant black vote for Mr. Bush and—among several other good reasons—it’s why he should ignore Mr. Beichman’s ill-considered advice.

• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Blacks, Condi Rice, Republicans 
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The South remains a breed apart.

You really have to tip your hat to American academics, who display an imperishable talent for rediscovering the obvious.

The major discovery announced this week comes from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where an erudite soul named Scott Keeter, speaking at the school’s Center for the Study of the American South, has found—that the South is more conservative than the rest of the country.

The Republican Party figured that out some decades ago, and if the Republicans can understand it, there’s no reason eggheads in the universities can’t.

Nevertheless, Mr. Keeter’s discovery remains significant—if only because it ought to tell Republicans and other heavy lifters how to deal with Southerners.

Mr. Keeter, associate director of the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, doesn’t quite play his discovery this way, though that’s what it really comes down to. What he says he’s discovered is that while “The historical belief was that the South was a world apart,” this is no longer true. Due to national marketing, television, and the rise of a nationally directed pop culture, Southerners are converging toward the same set of inane beliefs and habits as everyone else.

But it’s not completely true, and Mr. Keeter chose to dwell on the differences that make Southerners what the Virginian-Pilot, reporting on his speech, calls “a breed apart.”

[Dixie still whistles a different political tune, Margaret Edds,Virginian-Pilot , June 8, 2003]

While both Southerners and non-Southerners have become “more tolerant,” as the Pilot’s story puts it, nearly 60 percent of white Southerners say it is all right for blacks and whites to date.”Nearly 80 percent of non-Southerners say so.

More Southerners think the country has “gone too far in pushing equal rights,” while non-Southerners are “a bit” more willing to “do everything possible to improve the position of minorities, even with [racial] preferences.”

But race relations are not the only issue on which Southerners remain more conservative than their Northern counterparts: “On issues from race and sexuality to immigration and military force, polls still detect a distinction between Southerners, black and white, and other Americans.” On a range of issues, Mr. Keeter found that “white Southerners [are] more conservative every time: schools should have the right to fire gay teachers; the U.S. should restrict immigration; the best way to ensure peace is through military strength; and prayer is an important part of daily life.”

And they’re not all that divided by race on such issues. Mr. Keeter found that “Southern blacks tend to be more religious, more committed to military solutions, more socially conservative than non-Southern blacks.”

But Mr. Keeter could find “little or no distinction among Southern and non-Southern whites on environmental protection, government regulation and social welfare.” He hypothesized that “Southerners have become more satisfied with government as welfare reform, privatization and other conservative reforms have taken hold.”

You’d need to know a little more about what the exact questions in the poll were to leap to that conclusion, but it’s not entirely improbable it’s correct. There is a major difference between the kinds of issues on which Southerners remain more conservative and those on which they’re not.

The conservative positions are centered around culture—race, sex, manners and morals, immigration, the use of force, religion. They deal with who you are, where you come from, and where you think you might go. They center around the norms by which people—a distinct people—live or should live and without which they would cease to be a people and become—sort of like much of the rest of the country—merely a population.

The other matters on which Southerners maybe aren’t so conservative tend to be what Washington types call “policy wonk” issues that few but experts care much about: how to protect the environment, how much welfare we should have, how much government should do to regulate the economy. The answers you give them don’t define you as a people.

What Mr. Keeter has shown in his polling is that the South remains not only a culturally distinctive part of the country but also the core of the country’s conservatism. Mr. Keeter found “slightly stronger identification with the Republican Party by Southerners than non-Southerners. The distinction is only a few percentage points, but it has been steady for the last three years,” and he points out “The South has grown and now provides a majority of the electoral votes to the GOP.”

You wouldn’t know that from the way the Republicans have courted and pandered to blacks, Hispanics, Moslems, homosexuals, and women in the last couple of elections.

You’d only know it if you actually looked at the election returns and broke them down by those categories.

The Republicans might try doing that some time, before the South decides the next election.

• Category: Ideology • Tags: Republicans, The South 
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One of the chief reasons for the quick and dirty defenestration of Trent Lott as Senate Majority Leader was to induce more black voters to cast their ballots for Republicans. To that end, President Bush went so far as to issue a “Happy Kwanzaa” greeting from the White House and this week was preaching on the virtues of Martin Luther King to a black audience in Maryland.

None of the above will gain many black votes. But an even more important phantom that haunts the Bush White House is the fantasy of the emerging Republican Hispanics.

Just after last fall’s elections, the GOP’s spin artists warbled gaily about how many Hispanics the party had fetched into the voting booths. Party officials and their propagandists boasted that “Hispanic voters were a driving force” behind the Republican victories in House and Senate. Conveniently, a massive election-day computer failure at the Voter News Service, which usually tabulates such results from exit polls, allowed these claims to evolve into unquestioned axioms.

Now the axioms are being questioned good and hard. UPI [andVDARE.COM!] political analyst Steve Sailer has long challenged the claims of an emerging Hispanic Republican majority. Only last week an entirely new study, by political scientist James Gimpel of the University of Maryland, hurls yet another torpedo into the myth’s hull.

The Gimpel report, published by the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington and based on Fox News election day polls in 10 states, found that the Hispanic vote for the Republicans was about the same in 2002 as in previous years: Approximately one-third of the nation’s Hispanics voted Republican, though gubernatorial candidates did somewhat better by winning nearly half the Hispanic vote.

But the study also found that the Hispanics who voted last year tended to be higher in income and education than the Hispanic electorate as a whole. Hispanics of lower income and education showed much lower voter turnout in 2002, which may explain why Republicans won as many of their votes as they did: “Latino voters who identify themselves as ‘independents’ are, in fact, likely to vote Democratic. The fact that many of these independents stayed home in 2002 helped Republicans.” [Latinos and the 2002 Election| Republicans Do Well When Latinos Stay Home, By James G. Gimpel, Center for Immigration Studies]

Hispanic voting behavior is important not only because of its national political impact but also because of what it means for immigration policy. Republican and conservative supporters of mass immigration say Hispanics will vote Republican – if only the party gives up on trying to crack down on immigration. Hence, the party has muted immigration reform for the last several years, abandoning an issue that has demonstrated mass appeal to its natural base among white native-born Americans.

But giving up on immigration control has gained the Republicans little, if analysts like Mr. Sailer and Professor Gimpel can be believed. In fact it has brought them losses they may never make up.

By refusing to control the mass immigration that has swollen the Hispanic bloc, the Republicans may have created yet another solid Democratic constituency — a low-income, low-education, racially conscious bloc that wants bigger government and more stuff from taxpayers.

But Professor Gimpel argues that there is no “Latino” voting bloc as such, one based simply on ethnicity. Hispanics in his view vote along party, income and educational lines, just like all other voters. Controlling for these variables, “there is no difference between Latino voting and the voting patterns of non-Hispanic whites in either the Senate or gubernatorial races of 2002.”

That may be, but if Hispanic immigrants tend to be low-income and low-education, they will, simply by those variables, wind up voting for the Democrats like similar income and education categories.

Last year’s voting patterns tend to bear this out: If the Republicans won about a third of the Hispanic vote, the Democrats win about two-thirds. If Republicans did well in some races because Hispanic turnout was low, how will they do when Hispanic turnout rises – as it surely will in the future?

The Republicans’ idea of wooing Hispanics is to spend more money on TV ads in Spanish and to campaign with a few salsa bands strumming on the podium — the equivalent of appealing to black voters by praising Kwanzaa and Martin Luther King.

The Democrats gain these groups’ votes because they give them things — more benefits, more privileges, and more attention as victims of “racism.”

The Republicans can start winning Hispanics when they’re willing to throw overboard entirely their party’s conservative principles and get down in the mud with the Democrats.

It would make a lot more sense for the Stupid Party to forget about Hispanics as a bloc they could win from their rivals, start thinking about how to control immigration, dump the ads in Spanish and start speaking the language of the white middle class that really keeps them in office.

• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Hispanics, Republicans 
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Whatever else emerged from the crisis endured by Republicans because of Strom Thurmond’s birthday party, intellectual coherence didn’t. The controversy within the Republican right itself over what Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott meant and what should be done about it merely served to confuse even those who pronounced their opinions on the matter. Mainly what emerged as more confused than ever was the very meaning of the terms “conservative,” “paleo-conservative,” and “neo-conservative.”

Thus, neo-conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer drew the line between “paleo-conservatives,” who defended Lott; “traditional conservatives,” like those at National Review; and neo-cons like himself who demanded that Lott get the boot because, as former liberals, they have “staked their ground for decades on colorblindness and a reverence for the civil rights movement as originally defined.” [Lott and the Right, By Charles Krauthammer,Washington Post, December 20, 2002]

A writer at National Review challenged this analysis, declaiming that “paleo-conservatives” are simply racists and anti-Semites and not legitimate conservatives at all. Finally, there was a person called Max Boot writing in the Wall Street Journal who confessed that he didn’t understand why people still use the term “neo-conservative” at all. ["What the Heck Is a 'Neocon'?" By Max Boot, December 30, 2002]

If the whole misinformed discussion proved anything, it was that virtually no authentic conservatism remains intact in the United States, or at least not one visible in such establishment forums as the Journaland National Review. Mr. Krauthammer’s column denouncing Sen. Lott, for example, was virtually indistinguishable from that of liberal E.J. Dionne, which the Washington Post published on the same page the same day.

Mr. Boot’s contribution to political philosophy disclosed the same mentality. First, Mr. Boot made sure there was plenty of distance between himself, on the one hand, and the terrible “paleos” and their leader Pat Buchanan, whose views he generously characterized as “nativist, protectionist, isolationist,” on the other. And, predictably, Mr. Boot at last got down to anti-Semitism, a subject never far from the neo-con mind.

“When Buchananites toss around ‘neoconservative,” he wrote, “—and cite names like Wolfowitz and Cohen—it sometimes sounds as if what they really mean is ‘Jewish conservative.’”Therefore, “neo-conservative” is really merely a codeword for “Jew” and those who use the term critically are themselves anti-Jewish. Mr. Boot’s command of logic is breath-taking.

In fact he merely constructed a rather thin straw man and then knocked it down by pointing out that many neo-cons aren’t Jewish anyway and that “support for Israel,” a “key tenet of neoconservatism,” is strongest among the Christian right. No one, least of all paleos, would disagree. But since neo-conservatives are not necessarily Jewish, how can it be a codeword for Jews? No one but Mr. Boot says it is.

Yet neo-conservatism, as Mr. Boot finally allows, does have a meaning. “It stands for a broad sympathy with a traditionalist agenda and a rejection of extreme libertarianism”—a shoe so wide it would fit virtually any foot in American politics. Show me the political leader anywhere who boasts of being against all traditions and calls himself an extreme libertarian. But lest anyone imagine Mr. Boot is too wedded to neo-con dogmas, he hastens to make clear, “There is hardly an orthodoxy laid down by Neocon Central. I for one am not eager to ban either abortion or cloning.” That’s swell. Now that we know what you aren’t eager to do, which happens to clash with what the overwhelming majority of real American conservatives believe, why not tell us what you are eager for?

Well, you see, neo-conservatism is really “Hard Wilsonianism,” at least among some proponents like Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz (there you go with the anti-Semitism again). “Soft Wilsonians” want to rely on international organizations and treaties, but “Hard Wilsonians” want “to use American might to promote American ideals.”

Swell again, but any kind of “Wilsonianism” is of the left, driven by a passion to reconstruct the world, including one’s own country, along utopian lines. That’s why liberals and neo-conservatives agree in their “reverence for the civil rights movement,” a utopian crusade that sought to reconstruct the country along egalitarian lines, as well as why they also agree on foreign policy goals and disagree merely on the means. Finally, it’s why paleo-conservatives disagree with both.

Mr. Boot never bothers to tell us what “American ideals” are, how you know what they are, which ones we should promote, or how to tell whether the means of promoting them (waging war, for instance) might or might not be appropriate to achieving the goal. In order to tell things like that, you need to know something—about history, political theory, law, human nature and the nature of civilization—instead of regurgitating bromides swiped from the establishment left. That’s where a body of thought known as “conservatism” comes in. Mr. Boot and his fellow neo-cons might want to read up on it some time.

• Category: Ideology • Tags: Neocons, 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.”