Latino Groups to Take Campaign Directly to Anti-Immigrant Pols

As I noted last month the Republicans' anti-immigrant positions and rhetoric have already begun to take a real tole on the GOP's ability to win elections, particularly in states with relatively large Latino voting populations. But even with these overall trends, in the absence of an organized effort it's far from a foregone conclusion that the immigration issue would necessarily have an adverse affect upon the reelection hopes of a particular Republican legislator. It is for that reason that today's news from The Politico's Carrie Budoff of a move to go directly after some of the Senate Republicans up for reelection in 2008 who voted against comprehensive immigration reform could spell good news for the Democrats.

The goal was to work within the halls of Congress. Now, immigrant-rights groups want to replace the lawmakers who walk them.

Labor unions, immigrant advocates and Democratic activists have spent the two weeks since the Senate squashed a comprehensive immigration overhaul bill constructing the early framework of a political payback plan. Capitalizing on the Latino voting bloc and its disaffection with the Republican Party, the groups intend to use the recent debate as a rallying shriek in the 2008 election.

[...]

The multipronged effort is still taking shape, but interviews with a half-dozen leading immigration proponents suggest a combination of targets.

Senators such as Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas), who are up for reelection next year and opposed moving the bill to a final vote, will likely find themselves in the immigrant community's cross hairs. The whole Senate will be singled out this week as the Coalition for Comprehensive Immigration Reform places full-page ads in ethnic newspapers listing senators by name, party affiliation and their vote on the Senate bill.

The devil, of course, is in the details. And it remains to see just what type of effort will be made to go after Senators like Coleman and Cornyn who demagogued on the issue and eventually voted against the compromise (however flawed it was). It's good to hear, for instance, that this group is beginning to run ads attacking Senators opposed to immigration reform by name around the country, but I hope that this is not the full extent of the effort at this point. Though it is certainly important for groups to have the resources to run campaigns immediately before elections, so too is it important to speak to issues when the iron is still hot. Just as is the case with judicial nominations, groups would be best served by laying the groundwork with grassroots action and targeted expenditures today that can be followed up with a more robust effort come the later stages of the electoral cycle.

Looking at the names listed as potential targets, it seems that there really is an opportunity for success -- not only in the bluish purple state of Minnesota but even in the significantly redder state of Texas. Currently in Minnesota, Coleman's approval numbers don't look terribly good, and the fact that he was outraised for the quarter by a potential Democratic challenger, Al Franken, does not instill much confidence in his hopes at securing another term. And the numbers for Texas might in some ways look even worse for its freshman Republican Senator, Cornyn, whose approval numbers are even worse than those of Coleman and who, according to DSCC polling, has reelect numbers south of 50 percent. Apropos this story, in particular, a move to rally the Hispanic community against Cornyn -- a community that played a major role in helping the Democrats secure their 233rd seat in the House back in December -- could cause a real headache for the Republican Senator, as well as the NRSC, as it may cause the candidate and committee to spend more and earlier than they had previously expected.

There's more...

Republican Nativism Already Taking its Toll on the Party

A lot of people spent a great deal of time both before and after the November 2006 midterm electiosn noting the very real possibility that the Republicans' overtly anti-immigrant rhetoric would come back to bite them in the behind eventually. Indeed, while Democratic House candidates carried the Latino vote, as defined by exit polling, but just a 55 percent to 44 percent margin, Democratic candidates in 2006 won over that same population by a significantly greater 69 percent to 30 percent margin in 2006. And judging by new USA Today polling conducted by Gallup, it appears that 2006 might not in fact have been a low water mark for Republicans.

According to poll of 502 Hispanics in the field from June 2 through 24, President Bush's approval rating among this population is 29 percent -- low, but not significantly lower than the 32 percent showing Bush puts up among all Americans in Gallup polling. However, when we move from topline results on down to some more internals from the poll, the problems for the Republicans become more clear.

The Gallup survey indicates that 42 percent of Hispanics self-identify as Democrats while a mere 11 percent self-identify as Republican; 39 percent self-identify as Independent. When Independents were asked towards which party, if either, they lean, the Democrats' numbers go up to 58 percent among Hispanics while the Republicans' climb to just 20 percent -- a remarkable spread. When polling one potential head-to-head contest, that between the Republican Rudy Giuliani and the Democrat Hillary Clinton (who by far garners the greatest support among Hispanics in a Democratic primary, though that could be a facet of her significantly higher name recognition), Clinton leads 66 percent to 27 percent -- a far greater margin than the 50 percent to 45 percent spread by which she leads Giuliani among all Americans.

The inability to pass legislation creating a path towards legalization for those currently here illegally could hurt the Democrats, decreasing their potential gains among Hispanic voters. But at the same time, the very loud nativism of congressional Republicans certainly is not popular among Hispanics. So there is still, I do believe, an opportunity to build on the gains of the last cycle this year to help build an even larger coalition of support for both a Democratic President and a Democratic Congress.

And by the way... The fact that the Republican presidential candidates opted to snub a major conference of Hispanic leaders isn't going to do much to reverse this trend.

There's more...

M Gandhi, racist and nativist, H-1B opponent

In the movie "Gandhi", M Gandhi makes his own clothes.  Here is a brief bit of the dialogue from that section:

Gandhi is seeking to inspire his followers with patriotic fervor and to inspire self-reliance.

From the script: (after the jump)

There's more...

Getting Beyond the Civil War

I found this portion of the transcript from Shirley Sherrod's interview on CNN in the wake of Andrew Breitbart's deceitful editing of the NAACP Freedom Dinner video rather interesting.

HARRIS: The reaction to your reaction to essentially being condemned by the NAACP?

SHERROD: That hurts, because if you look at my history, that's what I'm saying. I've done more to advance the causes of civil rights in this area than some of them who are sitting in those positions now with the NAACP.

They need to learn something about me. They need to know about my work. They need to know what I've contributed through the years.

HARRIS: What was the point of the story you were telling to the NAACP in March? What was the point?

SHERROD: The point was to get them to understand we need to look beyond race, to look at working together. I've said to audiences here, not just that one -- and, in fact, I spoke at a housing conference in a county just south of here, and I said, "Look, we need to get beyond the Civil War."

This November will mark the sesquicentennial of the election of Abraham Lincoln to the Presidency and next year will mark the sesquicentennial of the start of the American Civil War. Six hundred thousand Americans would die during that conflict between North and South and it remains as the noted writer Shelby Foote noted "the defining moment, both good and bad" in American history. 

To many Southerners, it remains the War of the Northern Aggression or the Second War of Independence and having lost it on the battlefield a segment of Southern society has spent the last 150 years trying to win that war in the history books, in the media, in the Congress, in the courts, and in the court of public opinion. Some of the questions those of us outside think the war settled, in the minds of many Southerners remain open questions.

For a large number of Southerners, the Civil War is an obsession but for most of us outside the South we are unaware of their obsession. How many non-Southerners know what the Morrill Tariff Act of 1861 is? I would hazard not many but to many Southerners it is a cause célèbre even if some of them wrongly believe that Morrill Tariff Act was the cause of the war. So, Mrs. Sherrod's plaintive exhortation resonates in part because a fair number of Southerners have not gotten beyond the Civil War and it is an issue that is both perplexing and troubling. 

The war was a watershed. Before the war, Americans would say 'the United States are' implying that the United States was a collection of independent sovereign states but after the war, grammatically that changed to "the United States is" signifying a change in one's own self-awareness and perception of nationhood. Certainly when Thomas Jefferson spoke of his country, he meant Virginia. There are, no doubt, those today who think themselves Texans, to pick the most flagrant case, before they think themselves Americans but before the Civil War that was a common sentiment no matter which part of the country you hailed from. Today, that sentiment is largely confined to Southerners, to a few in far-flung Hawaii or Alaska and perhaps a Vermonter or two. 

There's more...

Getting Beyond the Civil War

I found this portion of the transcript from Shirley Sherrod's interview on CNN in the wake of Andrew Breitbart's deceitful editing of the NAACP Freedom Dinner video rather interesting.

HARRIS: The reaction to your reaction to essentially being condemned by the NAACP?

SHERROD: That hurts, because if you look at my history, that's what I'm saying. I've done more to advance the causes of civil rights in this area than some of them who are sitting in those positions now with the NAACP.

They need to learn something about me. They need to know about my work. They need to know what I've contributed through the years.

HARRIS: What was the point of the story you were telling to the NAACP in March? What was the point?

SHERROD: The point was to get them to understand we need to look beyond race, to look at working together. I've said to audiences here, not just that one -- and, in fact, I spoke at a housing conference in a county just south of here, and I said, "Look, we need to get beyond the Civil War."

This November will mark the sesquicentennial of the election of Abraham Lincoln to the Presidency and next year will mark the sesquicentennial of the start of the American Civil War. Six hundred thousand Americans would die during that conflict between North and South and it remains as the noted writer Shelby Foote noted "the defining moment, both good and bad" in American history. 

To many Southerners, it remains the War of the Northern Aggression or the Second War of Independence and having lost it on the battlefield a segment of Southern society has spent the last 150 years trying to win that war in the history books, in the media, in the Congress, in the courts, and in the court of public opinion. Some of the questions those of us outside think the war settled, in the minds of many Southerners remain open questions.

For a large number of Southerners, the Civil War is an obsession but for most of us outside the South we are unaware of their obsession. How many non-Southerners know what the Morrill Tariff Act of 1861 is? I would hazard not many but to many Southerners it is a cause célèbre even if some of them wrongly believe that Morrill Tariff Act was the cause of the war. So, Mrs. Sherrod's plaintive exhortation resonates in part because a fair number of Southerners have not gotten beyond the Civil War and it is an issue that is both perplexing and troubling. 

The war was a watershed. Before the war, Americans would say 'the United States are' implying that the United States was a collection of independent sovereign states but after the war, grammatically that changed to "the United States is" signifying a change in one's own self-awareness and perception of nationhood. Certainly when Thomas Jefferson spoke of his country, he meant Virginia. There are, no doubt, those today who think themselves Texans, to pick the most flagrant case, before they think themselves Americans but before the Civil War that was a common sentiment no matter which part of the country you hailed from. Today, that sentiment is largely confined to Southerners, to a few in far-flung Hawaii or Alaska and perhaps a Vermonter or two. 

There's more...

Diaries

Advertise Blogads