Sunday, February 01, 2009

The Drive To Irrelevance

My first response to this editorial in today's NY Times was delighted laughter. A group that has designated itself the "true" GOP met and conferred and decided that the last two losses were caused because Republicans were too soft on immigration.

Last week at the National Press Club in Washington, a group seeking to speak for the future of the Republican Party declared that its November defeats in Congressional races stemmed not from having been too hard on foreigners, but too soft.

The group, the American Cause, released a report arguing that anti-immigration absolutism was still the solution for the party’s deep electoral woes, actual voting results notwithstanding. Rather than “pander to pro-amnesty Hispanics and swing voters,” as President Bush and Karl Rove once tried to do, the report’s author, Marcus Epstein, urged Republicans to double down on their efforts to run on schemes to seal the border and drive immigrants out.
[Emphasis added]

Sounds like a plan to me! With the increased registration of Latino voters, it's possible that the Republican Party, if led by American Cause, will soon be as viable as the dodo bird.

The members of the group who showed up to present their report should give some indication of the philosophical underpinnings of American Cause: Bay Buchanan, sister of Pat and an advisor to Tom Tancredo; James Pinkerton, the aide to the first President Bush who claims credit for the Willie Horton ad; and Peter Brimelow, who is described in the editorial in this fashion:

...even more telling was the presence of Peter Brimelow, a former Forbes editor and founder of, an extremist anti-immigration Web site. It is named for Virginia Dare, the first white baby born in the English colonies, which tells you most of what you need to know. The site is worth a visit. There you can read Mr. Brimelow’s and Mr. Buchanan’s musings about racial dilution and the perils facing white people... [Emphasis added]

Earlier I mentioned that my first response was one of delighted laughter. Upon further reflection, however, my mood changed to one of disgust and of concern. The election of an African American president, while an indication that a majority of Americans were ready to move beyond race as a qualifier for national leadership, certainly did not foreclose the possibilities of nativism and rank racism, especially during a time of deep economic trouble. It is possible that those who have been laid off from their jobs will see the lines of Latino day laborers at the designated safe zone and go ballistic. I hope not, but it's certainly not outside the realm of possibility, especially with the likes of American Cause whipping things up.

To offset that possibility, the Obama administration and the 111th Congress will have to drop the gloves and get to work on the kinds of bold proposals which will pull the nation out of its economic funk and which will enable all Americans, regardless of their ethnic background, a shot at a job with a living wage, access to health care, and educational opportunities for their children. That is, after all, what we hired them to do.



Blogger Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

The election of an African American president, while an indication that a majority of Americans were ready to move beyond race as a qualifier for national leadership

does it mean that?

I somehow doubt it, actually.

fewer than 43% of whites voted for Mr.O.

I am coming to regard Mr.O as our political equivalent of Febreez, or if you prefer the visual to the aural metaphor, Photoshop: He makes "us" look/smell better, but only cosmetically. The same filth, venality, corruption, racism and mendacity that are ALWAYS there are STILL there, but their stench is covered up, the blemishes air-brushed out.

7:20 AM  

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