Today's L.A. Times riffs on the rift over "competing visions for how to rebuild and maintain a base of loyal Republican voters." Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) were both booed by Republican crowds in their home states over support for the compromise immigration bill.
"I believe that not to play this card right would be the destruction of our party," said Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.), the Cuban-born general chairman of the Republican National Committee, who helped write Senate legislation creating a path to citizenship for most of the nation's estimated 12 million illegal immigrants. "Hispanics make up about 13% of our country and by 2020 will be closer to 20%. It is a demographic trend that one cannot overlook."Good luck with that.
Directing his criticism squarely at [Rush] Limbaugh, Martinez added, "He has emotion on his side, but I think I have logic on mine."
While Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) tries to leverage animosity towards illegal immigrants into a viable presidential bid, he's inflaming the GOP base while turning off Latino voters. The LA Times reports that Latino support for Republicans has slipped from 40% to 30% between 2004 and 2006.
"We're getting close to the point where we will no longer be a national party if we try to define it as a white male, cul-de-sac, gated-community party," said John Weaver, McCain's chief strategist.Good luck with that too.
UPDATE: Immigration bill divides GOP from the rest of the country
Friday's story on the New York Times/CBS News poll shows a strong consensus behind the kind of reforms in the compromise immigration bill. The accompanying NYT graphic shows a persistent 30% +/- opposed to the proposed plan. (Is it just a coincidence that that's about the same as the president's approval rating?)
"Amnesty!" they cry when immigrants face fines for breaking the law. (Though that's seemingly acceptable for American businesses who employ illegals.) Apparently, anything less than deportation will satisfy Justice. Or is deportation amnesty too? After all, U.S. laws have been broken. Perhaps they should all be jailed?
Will amnesty-phobes put their wallets where their emotions are? Would they support a tax increase to support the international spectacle of rounding up millions of illegals, putting them on busses and trains (if not in jails), and for building and manning hundreds of miles of border fences? After all, it's for securing our freedom, America, and all she stands for.
Maybe we can buy some fencing -- surplus -- in Berlin.
[h/t Scrutiny Hooligans]