For GOP, payback will be a bitch

Long after President George W. Bush has retired to his Texas ranch, his fellow Republicans may have to deal with Hispanic voter backlash over his failed immigration reform.

In 2008, in presidential and congressional elections, Latino voters, an increasingly important demographic in US politics, will get their first chance to hand out blame for the collapse of the sweeping immigration bill last week.

Conservative Republicans in Congress, who deserted a president from their own party, and squashed the bid to grant a path to citizenship to at least 12 million illegal immigrants, may be caught in the crossfire, analysts said.

“The unified message of the Democratic leadership is that the Republicans blocked the bill — that’s likely to be the way that Hispanic voters remember this,” said Adam Segal director of the Hispanic Voter Project at Johns Hopkins University.

According to a recent poll in the USA Today newspaper, only 11 percent of Hispanic voters now identify themselves as Republicans — down from 19 percent in 2005.

That figure is especially dismaying for the party, as a record 40 percent of Hispanic voters chose Bush in the 2004 election, and the president’s political skills had seemed to have found a new seam of Republican support.

The ire of Hispanic voters may be especially pronounced and decisive in 2008 in a clutch of five southern and western states — Florida, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and Colorado.

Florida has played a central role in the last two US presidential elections, narrowly going Republican in 2000 and 2004, and on the evolving US political map, New Mexico and Nevada are increasingly significant.

“This immigration issue and other things might give Democrats the best chance that they have had in the last decade to win Florida,” Segal said.

Angry by the failure of a previous attempt to tackle immigration reform last year, and dismayed by the war in Iraq, 70 percent of Hispanic voters plumped for the Democrats in 2006 elections, as the party grabbed control of Congress.

“The breach was opened in 2006, it exists, and it is not a myth,” said Robert de Posada, president of the Latino Coalition, a policy advocacy group, at a forum last weekend of presidential candidates in Florida.

In one anecdotal sign of the potential of the issue to haunt Republicans, many of whom slammed the bill as an “amnesty” for illegal immigrants, all eight Democratic candidates showed up at the forum.

But only one Republican White House hopeful, long-shot conservative candidate and congressman Duncan Hunter, took the time to attend.

Republicans also lag behind the Democrats in efforts to woo Hispanic voters in their own language on the internet.

Most Democratic hopefuls have posted messages in Spanish on their campaign websites and some, like Senator Hillary Clinton, have started setting up a separate Spanish-language website targeting the Hispanic community.

On the Republican side, only former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney appears to offer Spanish links on his website, including a video on the candidate narrated by his son Craig, in fluent Spanish.

Several Republican presidential candidates, including former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Romney, fiercely condemned the immigration reform bill.

Their rival John McCain was a strong advocate — but his campaign on Monday partly blamed that stance for a disastrous 2007 second quarter fundraising by the Arizona senator, which has left his campaign hanging by a thread.

Hispanic voters are likely to view the Republicans with even more skeptisism in 2008, if the candidate who emerges from the blizzard of nominating contests, is a hawk on immigration, experts said.

“If that happens, no matter who the Democratic nominee is, the Democrats are going to have a significant advantage,” said Segal.

De Posada said simply that candidates who were smart enough to work with the Hispanic community could make the difference in 2008.

Had the immigration bill passed Congress, it would have granted an eventual path to legal status to some 12 million illegal and undocumented immigrants.

It would have replaced the current family-dominated immigration system with a merit-based points formula, and attempted to cut a huge backlog for permanent resident “green card” applicants.

It would also have triggered a four billion dollar drive to strengthen US border defenses.


  1. bryan mcclellan

    Yeah right, and it also would have put a multi TRILLION dollar debt over the heads of our childrens ,childrens ,children in the form of free health care, social security payments,(of which they will not have paid a fraction of the benefits they will be eligible for), burdening our already shaky school system ,driving down wages of American workers etc. etc…We have laws on the books. Enforce the border,then we’ll talk. If you are here illegally go home and get in line.And while you are at it take these bleeding heart vote grubbing scumbag politicians with you!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  2. adamrussell

    Farmers that cant afford labor without hiring illegals should just move to mexico where the labor is legal.


    In the Republican party it is politically correct to make defective shoes for Union soldiers. It is also correct to start a media campaign and sink a battleship and start the Spanish American War. It is OK to give corporations the same rights as citizens, while letting them act as secret mafias polluting everything from water and air to the economy and foreign policy. It is politically correct to attempt a coup d’etat against Franklin Roosevelt in 1933. It is correct to sell every sort of weapon to the Japanese and Germans while funding the rise of Hitler. It is right to have a financially amd politically controlled media so the bullhorn can always be used to convince Americans that there is a scary Communist or Arab or even a Jew under every bed.

    When the war in Vietnam was coming to an end, it was smart to wreck the peace talks so Nixon could run against a weak Democrat who was saddled with the anti-Communist disaster. When Republicans began to fear that Americans were developing some smarts, they launched a radio propaganda war against the middle class to render them stupid, isolated, and divided. Meanwhile, Republican “crook without border” swindles continued with union busting, outsourcing, massive immigration and every other sort of scam. Of course the greatest moment for this radical filth came on 911 when a terror stunt was carried out by Israel, Saudi Arabia and the usual Republican crooks. This kept the pentagon protection racket going for Halliburton and the Carlyle Group. This event became a licence to attack and destroy every one of our institutions from the Bill of Rights to free elections and public education. Now we have the same traitor trash trying to convince us that we need to let them establish a ruthless dictatorship so they can use the power of the state to keep everything they stole.

    John Hanks, Laramie, Wyoming

  4. SEAL

    Well done, John Hanks, but you left out the assinations of presidents and their relatives and civil rights leaders plus the music and other anti-establishment entertainment stars who were blackballed or overdosed on the quality of heroin that only the government has possession of.

    Actually it has nothing to do with a political “party” but whoever are the enablers of the ruling class that began to retake control from the middle class and their unions in the 60’s. Under the Bushites they have completed the process and returned us to the same condition of a small number of ruling class families in control of everything exactly the same as it was in 1929. Remember what the result of that was?

    The thing that no one seems to grasp is that the surest and easiest way to take complete control of a nation and its people is to deliberately bankrupt it. A depression does not hurt the ruling class, they have money. It only increases their power.

    Anyone who bothers to look it up will find that it is essentially the same group of people who own everything in the country through their corporate and banking groups. That is where we are today, at the mercy of the ruling class once again.

  5. SEAL

    Ron Paul is absolutely the worst of all the choices for president. I am amazed at the number of people posting on CHB that think he is for real. The man is a complete phoney. Always has been, always will be.

  6. Jenifer D.

    The letter all registered voters fear receiving:

    Dear Registered Voter,

    We regret to inform you that the 2008 presidential elections have been suspended until further notice and as an additional precaution, martial law has been declared to prevent any civil unrest. We are sorry for the constitutional inconvenience.



  7. Sandra Price

    Bill Stegmeier. Can you stay with us to answer some questions? I have many issues to ask Dr. Paul but need an email address or better yet, you. here for our questions.