Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Musings on Rubio and Immigration

The position of the Republicans viz Immigration is not a happy one. It is quite like the position a Thanksgiving Turkey is put in : do you want to be deep fried or baked? The wiser heads of the Republican Party can see the demographic freight train coming. They can see the hurt coming. They can look at the situation of the California Republican Party and see how the national party could become just as irrelevant.

Obama won because he crushed the Republicans in specific demographics. The biggest part of that butt-kicking came with Hispanics. They are a growing slice of the nation and they are going over to the Democratic Party in droves.

So what to do, what to do? And that is the dilemma the National Republicans face. The TEA Party folk are dead set against any kind of amnesty. They are still fans of "self deportation' and other really brilliant ideas like "securing the border." The big ideas being that if the nation will just build a bigger wall and act even more despicably to undocumented workers everything will come up roses.

The flaws to that ideology are at least two. There is no wall long, deep, and wide enough to keep undocumenteds out. You can only make the idea of building a wall plausible to people in U.S. because their geographic skills are so atrocious. Build the dang wall? Look at a map genius; thousands of miles of border with multiple areas where the landscape is impossible to guard and then thousands more miles of coastline with similar issues. Building a wall is nothing more than passing a Coyote Full Employment Act.

The other flaw with the ideology is that undocumenteds have already self-deported, thank you very much, and are not in the mind to do it again. They came here for better opportunities. They came here for jobs. They put down roots; they are not leaving. No matter how mean and vicious we become, we are not going to match the conditions these people left. If you have actually seen the Third World up close and personal, if you have had a even a small taste of what a developing nation looks, smells, and taste like, you know that no cruelty we can dream up will exceed what these people left.

But those inconvenient truths are even less palatable for Republicans than the 800 pound gorilla residing on the couch of national politics. Plainly put, the Republicans brand has no appeal for Hispanics. Thus a man like De Mint has a point. Why let these people become citizens, citizens that vote, citizens that vote Democratic? The awful truth for TEA Party Republicans is that they die a quick and ugly death if DREAMers and others get the right to vote. The TEA Party will be as dead as a stuffed Dodo.

But for the National Party the optics are different. The longer the TEA Party rules the roost on immigration, the longer the trek in the wilderness for the National Republicans becomes. Again, the example of California looms, dark and ominous, for the National Republicans. All during the 1990's the California Republican Party went on an immigrant bashing tear. And that is why in the early 21st century the CA Republican Party can not find a non-white vote for love or (tons of) money. Republicans can rock the white vote from now to rapture (and they still do, comfortably) but still loose because whites are now just another minority and because the Republican Brand is so toxic to the other minorities in CA.

In a way I don't envy Rubio's position. His personal and political argument is that the Republican have to accept quite a bit of pain now to avoid a whole world of hurt later. It's a hell of a high-wire act. Plus there is the added bonus that even if he succeeds, he is not going to have much to show for it in the form of Hispanic votes. Immigration is not the only thing that turns off Hispanic voters from the Republicans.

Personally I see Republicans acting to type. Obama Derangement Syndrome will kick in and De Mint will get his scalp to hang on the wall. I see some rather large chickens coming home to roost. I see chickens the size of Airbus A350s heading in. A whole generation and then some have been fed a toxic witch's brew of bigotry, resentment, fear, and hatred. They have lashed out in ways large and small. They have made the politics of resentment the national sport, the norm. And while doing this they have left a ton of people hugely pissed off. You don't work off that kind of karmic political debt with one bill. Deep down all Republicans know this. They know a reckoning is coming and they don't like it one little bit. But much like a cornered rat, the default will be to lash out as much as possible, to do as much damage as possible, to hold on to as much power as long as possible, and damn the consequences.

In the end I think the Republicans will refuse to give Obama a win, any kind of win, even if such a win is in the long term interest of the Republican Party. It is not even just about Obama. The Republican Party still believes in the Rove-ite dream of a one Party state, a nation solely ruled by the precepts and programs of the Republican Party. They don't accept any Democratic president as legitimate. They don't accept the Democratic Party as legitimate. In such a zero sum ideology, where your loss is my gain, any "win" for Democrats is unacceptable. I fear 10-12 million people are going to have to wait for the Elephants to finally, irrevocably be swallowed up by the coming demographic tsunami before any real reform comes their way. 
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