A Look Back At The Republican Victory – In 2008

James Pinkerton, writing in Newsday, has a cautionary tale for Democrats on how to lose in 2008. I don't necessarily agree across the board with him, but one section really strikes me:

On immigration, the GOP finally exorcised itself – rejecting the president's not-so-well-disguised amnesty plan. Whereupon Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) presidential prospects were blown away; the Arizonan seemed to disappear in a dust-devil of four-letter insults aimed at fellow Republicans.

Opponents of the 2007 immigration bill, led by Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), forced a series of votes on hot-button issues: Should English be the official language of the United States? Should illegal aliens be able to collect Social Security benefits? Should bilingualism be protected? Should dual citizenship with Mexico be expanded?

In each instance, The New York Times counseled the Democrats to vote in favor of "sophisticated" open-borders liberalism. And, of course, Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.), each hungering for The Times' presidential endorsement, were eager to please. But the "Reagan Democrats" – the folks who had elected populist Democrats such as Jim Webb and Jon Tester to the Senate in 2006 – were not so pleased.

So when the Republicans finally found their voice on immigration, the Reagan Democrats were re-Reaganized. Finally, Republicans were speaking about realism and the national interest, always a winner for them.

Obviously, anyone familiar with this blog knows this is pretty much where I stand on the issue of illegal immigration. It's amusing, in a sad sort of way, to see the same people who tout polls on Iraq as being the reason for their attempts to cut and run completely ignore the huge, huge poll numbers that say that the voters want the border controlled first. If that is done everything else can be worked out. This will be a huge issue in the 2008 elections.

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3 Responses to A Look Back At The Republican Victory – In 2008

  1. Former Republican says:

    Interesting to compare this post with the post on Europe’s demographic problem. If we cut back immigration a lot, we are going to have a long-term demographic problem, since the reproduction rate of native-born Americans is well below replacement rate. If we control our borders and cut down immigration to a trickle, our population will (eventually) start declining.

    Immigrants to the US are heavily Hispanic. Relatively few are Muslim. So it would be possible, theoretically, to control our borders and yet allow in Hispanic and other non-Muslim immigrants on the same massive scale as in recent years. I suspect that wouldn’t go down very well with people who want to “control our borders.”

    I see a dilemma here for you, Gaius. How do you resolve it?

  2. AB says:

    Why is it that people always conflate ILLEGAL immigration with all immigration?

    The issue, Former Republican, is controlling illegal immigration and controlling the porous borders. I myself am an immigrant, going for my citizenship interview in the next month, and I am insulted each time people like you equate law-abiding immigrants like myself to everyone else who doesn’t play by the rules.

    So, why don’t you stick to the specific topic of illegal immigration, instead of dragging all immigrants into the mix to give your arguments some semblance of credibility?

    P.S. And while we’re at it, can we please stop calling Democrats and leftists “liberals” and call them by their proper name: “socialists”?

    My theory as to why immigrants tend to vote for Democrats is because it’s all a matter of semantics. Many immigrants come here from oppressive countries. They want to participate in a democracy. They see a party called Democratic Party, with the members referred to as liberals. Ergo, they should be Democrats. It’s like a default setting.

    It’s not as far-fetched as you might think. I have a Ph.D. in engineering and pretty well-read, but I initially identified with the Democrats during my first few years here (as a graduate student, and not very politically-interested at that). Now I know better.

  3. Former Republican says:

    AB, if you were insulted by my post, I am sorry. I certainly didn’t mean to insult people like you, and I don’t think you can reasonably claim I did. Gaius’s original post was about Europe’s demographic problem. My point was that we will have a similar problem if we cut back on total immigration. It’s a demographic problem, so it’s not important whether the immigration is legal or illegal. Both types of immigration increase our population. That’s why I didn’t differentiate between the two. Right now we have a level of immigration that means the US population will keep growing. Most of it is illegal. If we stop all illegal immigration, and keep legal immigration at the same level it has been at, our population will eventually start shrinking. If you think I am wrong, tell me why.

    What’s with the business about liberals, leftists, Democrats? Seems a bit off-topic.

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