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Reply #22: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid [View All]

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chuck97 Donating Member (2 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-10 02:34 AM
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22. Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid
Let's all agree: King is a virulent, unrepentant racist.
Having gotten that out of the way, we can focus on a possible
significant consequence of his intended actions. King's
approach, as described above, might further split the
democrats. They are already suffering heartburns over Don't
Ask Don't Tell, Defense of Marriage Act, Cap and Trade, lack
of a public option in health care reform, tax extension for
the wealthy, Afghanistan, etc. Adding another issue to the
lot, would further tear apart the democratic base and the
democratic coalition.  

To win the White House in 2012 and to maintain majority in
the Senate, democrats must safeguard their coalition. If I
remember correctly, there are far fewer registered
hyper-liberal voters than there are registered conservative
voters. To win a nationwide election, liberals must retain
their coalition of voters. Based on issues of interest,
today's democratic/liberal coalition seems to consist of
gays, environmentalists, immigration reform proponents,
abortion supporters, some independents, and the long-term
unemployed. I suspect that there are a few others, but you
get the picture. 

If one or two coalition members secede, or is driven out, the
democratic party will significantly reduce its chances of
keeping the Senate and the White House. Add to that, the
democrats reputed lack of discipline and party loyalty--at
least, relative to that of conservatives--and you could have
the outlines of a strategy to split the democratic party
before the 2012 elections. I make this point, only to caution
my DU denizens to be wary of supporting any policy that will
have the outcome of vilifying or otherwise adversely
affecting immigrants. They are an important part of the
democratic coalition. If they go, the democratic party will
not be far behind, and republicans will happily welcome them
to the fold--even if they profess that they will not. 

Even if one thinks that there is personal benefit to be had
in the form of a job, it might very well cause the party to
lose competition for control of every other major issue for
the next 20-30 years. The issues will persist, but there will
not be enough democratic votes to move on these issues. In
exchange for moving against comprehensive immigration, you
will receive cold comfort in the form of abstract
expectations that you will win some job that is currently
assumed to be held by one or more immigrants. If that is your
hope, you might be bitterly disappointed. Again, I caution,
beware! 

I want to leave you with two thoughts: Willie Brown, former
Mayor of San Francisco, and former Speaker of the California
Legislative Assembly, pointed out that in the California
Attorney General's race, Kamala Harris, the SF City Attorney,
won 200,000 more votes in Southern California, than did Steve
Cooley, the Los Angeles City Attorney. Brown thinks that
Steve Cooley paid a price for angering Southern California's
Latino voters. Meg Whitman, gubernatorial candidate, lost to
Democrat Jerry Brown, by about 10 points, even after spending
$140 million of her own money. The Latino vote might also have
had a significant impact on the gubernatorial election,
specifically because of the thorny issue of immigration.
(Brown also swiped at the reputed disloyalty of liberals.
Effectively, he said that liberals support a particular
candidate, but only until the next shiny thing comes along.
But this post is already long enough, so let's chat about
liberal disloyalty some other time.) 

Take California's electoral experience and extrapolate it to
other states with a sufficiently sizable Latino population,
and where the election might be won or lost by, let's say,
1-3 points. States like California, Colorado, Nevada, and
Florida comes up for possible consideration. So folks, if you
want gay marriage, DADT, Cap and Trade, etc., you better get
used to the idea of comprehensive immigration. When it comes
to the matter of immigration, I am not talking about
tolerance or acceptance; I am talking about embracing a
political reality and an economic necessity. Remember that
not long ago, George Bush, Ted Kennedy, and John McCain, all
wanted comprehensive immigration. Conservatives like Cokie
Roberts and Condoleeza Rice still give their full-throated
endorsements. Ted Kennedy is no longer with us. George Bush
blames Harry Reid for the failure of Bush's efforts at
comprehensive immigration. BTW, Jeb Bush blames the democrats
for failing to enact comprehensive immigration. John McCain
now conditionally supports comprehensive immigration.
Implication: Given the opportunity, Republicans will pass
comprehensive immigration. If they do, they will own a
substantial portion of Latino votes for the indefinite
future, and Democrats will find themselves in the political
wilderness. I say woe to you, the plural you, if you allow it
to happen, in any way, shape, or form. 

As to keeping the coalition together, it must be one for all
and all for one. Noticed how the Republicans coalesced and
moved in lock-step to win big this past election cycle? Some
days you will be battered and bruised. Some days your
interest will not be at the top of the list. If you give up,
or become petulant, and you take your marbles and run home,
your name might be placed in the loss column for the next 30
years. That's such a long time; it could feel like a
lifetime. To put a little salt in the wound, you might have a
President Steve King, or Sarah Palin, and the permanent
Republican majority that Karl Rove tried so hard to engineer.
 How 'bout it? I encourage you to compartmentalize the
emotionalism, and rationally assess what you can and should
do. 
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