Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hispanic Outreach Done Right

Romney is really impressing me. Last week, he gave a speech to The Latino Coalition at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington. In this speech, Romney showed that he understands two vital points for the future of conservatism in America: Hispanic outreach and education.

Before I get into what Romney did, let me remind you of a post I did in 2009 (LINK) in which I criticized the Republican Party for its pathetic Hispanic outreach efforts. I pointed out that the problem with the way Republicans do outreach is that they buy into liberal group-identity theory. Republicans think of Hispanics as a monolithic, single-interest bloc, and they go about trying to woo them in the same ways the Democrats do. Specifically, they try to pass the occasional bill aimed at issues the Democrats claim Hispanics care about and then they try to be seen around election time at the occasional political rally with some well-known Hispanic person. This is pathetic.

By buying into the liberal view of Hispanics as a bloc, Republicans end up reinforcing the idea to Hispanics that they are a bloc and should not try to think independently outside their group. This all but guarantees that they will see themselves as inherently liberal. Moreover, being seen once every couple years with a famous Hispanic only reinforces the idea that Republicans see Hispanics as “other people” who must be approached now and then, but who clearly are not welcome otherwise.

A real Hispanic outreach program would treat Hispanics like any other voters. Republicans wouldn’t try to appeal to them on “Hispanic issues” but would instead try to appeal to Hispanics who happened to find particular issues of interest. For example, Republicans would try to attract Hispanic parents by improving the schools their children attend. Or they would try to attract Hispanic businessmen by making conditions better for small businessmen. Etc. The idea is to appeal to different groups of Hispanics on the issues that matter to them as individuals rather than trying to appeal to “Hispanics” as a group.

In light of that, what Romney did last week was very encouraging. Rather than going to the Latino Coalition and talking about immigration, affirmative action, tuition for illegals, or trade with South America, Romney spoke about education reform. Indeed, he never once brought up immigration. Instead, he said this:

“Here we are in the most prosperous nation, but millions of children are getting a Third World education. And America’s minority children suffer the most. This is the civil rights issue of our era. And it’s the great challenge of our time.”
Then he outlined his proposals, which mimic the things done by Republicans governors who have done strong work in reforming schools, such as increasing the availability of charter schools and tying federal funding to students “so that parents can send their child to any public or charter school of their choice.” He also included private schools, though this had to be clarified later.

He also noted that he supports the No Child Left Behind Act, but wants its accountability rules replaced by state rules -- very 10th Amendmenty. About this, he said:
“Parents shouldn’t have to navigate a complicated and cryptic evaluation system to figure out how their kids’ schools are performing. States are going to have to provide a simple-to-read and widely available public report card that evaluates each and every school. These report cards will provide accurate, easy-to-understand information about student and school performance. States will continue to design their own standards and tests, but the report cards will provide information that parents can use to make informed choices.”
Then he blasted teacher’s unions for blocking school reforms, calling them “the clearest example of a group that has lost its way” and he linked them to the Democratic Party:
“The teachers unions are one of the Democrats’ biggest donors — and one of the President’s biggest campaign supporters. So, President Obama has been unable to stand up to union bosses — and unwilling to stand up for kids.”
Finally, he pointed out that these same unions have stood in the way of vouchers, which have proven successful, because “success anywhere in our public schools is a rebuke to failure everywhere else. That’s why the unions oppose even the most common-sense improvements.”

So let’s break this down. First, Romney rejected the liberal idea that Hispanics are a bloc and he instead appealed directly to Hispanic parents on an issue that is dear to them. In fact, Hispanic voters regularly place education among their top issues, even higher than immigration, and they generally support vouchers and stricter school standards. Even Raul Gonzalez of race-hate group National Council of La Raza, said Hispanics consider education a civil rights issue and Romney’s push for vouchers “likely will play well.” This means, Romney stands to peel away Hispanic parents from the Democratic Party, and he is doing it without pandering, i.e. by treating them as Americans rather than Hispanics.

Secondly, notice how he drives a wedge between Hispanics and unions by pointing out that the unions are standing in the way of Hispanic children getting quality education. Given all the fights unions have undertake to keep Hispanics out, this pokes right at a source of antagonism within the Democratic coalition which makes Hispanics ripe to be pulled away. Finally, note that he then tells Hispanic parents that the Democrats and the teachers unions are the same thing, i.e. they won’t help you.

What Romney has done here is brilliant. He has finally started genuine outreach by finding issues which actually matter to a large group of Hispanics and he has addressed those without reinforcing the liberal propaganda that they are a voting bloc. Moreover, he’s told them point blank that if they wish what is best for their children, then voting for the Democrats is a horrible idea. This is how it needs to be done, not showing up at parades and promising to make immigration kindler or gentler. Start winning these people over on issues after issue and by treating them as Americans.

It should also be noted that this is an interesting position politically for several reasons. First, it suggests that Romney is not moving left for the general election as conservatives feared. Attacking teacher’s unions and advocating a national voucher scheme is deeply conservative. Secondly, this tells us that Romney really has a broad reform plan for all of government, not just for budget matters. Indeed, he could have easily ignored education and just stuck with economic matters. The fact he didn’t and is pushing this issue is a great sign. And the fact his plans mimic those of reforming Republican governors is an even better sign.

All of this continues to raise my hopes that Romney may prove to be a special president and that he may leave the country in a much better shape than it’s been in a long, long time.


Anthony said...

I get the impression that the most important issue for many hispanics is immigration, but I also don't believe that they are a single group.

I lived in Latin America (Guatemala and Colombia though I visited neighboring countries) for five years and met my wife there and there is a lot of variance both within countries and between them. In their home countries people don't all think alike, so why would they do so in the US?

Obama claims that he tighened enforcement to built up credibility he can use to get immigration reform passed, but no one who understands American politics believes such 'reform' will happen anytime soon.

Also, while school reform would be great, I doubt its a pancea. I worked with troubled kids for two years while I was an undergrad and in my opinion family and the preassure family puts on a kid to excel.

IMHO most helps Romney is the fact the contrary to his campaign promise, Obama didn't push for immigration reform (read: a path to legalization for illegals), he just tightened enforcement (while at the same time fighting state's efforts to do so).

Patriot said...

Andrew.......excellent post....again! I agree with your statement that this approach is really what conservatism is (should) be all about. Reject the identity politics and focus on the individual and their aspirations. Their are probably some human aspirations and dreams we all share. Good education, children doing better than us, strong defense, etc. By focusing on these issues, Romney, and the Republicans, can be a totally different kind of political party that individuals would want to identify with, rather than grouping us based on our supposed identities (Liz Warren, et. al.) I look forward to when my friends and acquaintances are treated like I treat them.....as unique human beings and not a member of groupthink. This pernicious identity politics must be killed and buried with a stake through it's hert never to rise again and tear us apart.....zombie-like!

DUQ said...

Andrew, I agree completely about Hispanic outreach. It's time to treat Hispanics like Americans rather than a group and I think that will help us get more than half eventually. It will also ease their transition into being more a part of American culture if they are brought in as individuals rather than kept apart as the democrats want.

Doc Whoa said...

Excellent article as always Andrew. I'm getting happier with Romney all the time too. He really hasn't moved left, which surprises me. I think that will be good for him claiming a mandate to do conservatism when he wins.

Tennessee Jed said...

I think that is right on the money in terms of treating them as individuals. Education in this country has truly gone down hill thanks in large part to coddling, union,, and liberalism. I continue to be a fan of Marco Rubio and would love to see him as V.P. You truly could change the job description and make that job a "successor in training" position. Plus, I wouldn't see Rubio as just a political bone to Hispanics the way so much of what Obama does comes across.

tryanmax said...

Andrew, you've probably noticed that my cynicism is on the rise as of late, and it's about to rear its ugly little head again (fair warning).

But before I go there, I do want to say how pleased I am about the approach Romney is taking. If there is only one thing I know about Hispanics/Latinos, it is that they regard their ethnicity in much the same way as whites do. Just as I don’t think of myself as “European” but rather as Scandinavian, German and Scottish (and I’ll begrudgingly admit English, too), Hispanics tend to identify with their country(ies) of origin as well. I’m sure each of us knows at least one Hispanic who has expressed irritation over being called Mexican when he is not. The fact that Democrats treat Hispanics as a bloc will automatically count against them so long as Republicans don’t do the same.

It’s also very smart the way Romney lays where teachers' unions stand in relation to the Democrat party. The Hispanic demographic, many of whom are immigrants, is still largely getting its political legs under it, so to speak. So what Romney does is give a sort of US Politics 101. And he does it sounding much more authoritative than the simplistic and worn "Republicans hate you" message coming from the other side. This is easily adaptable to the entire platform, so let’s hope it happens.

Now here comes the cynic. While I would never suggest that Romney forgo genuine conservative outreach to Hispanics or any other group, anymore I immediately wonder how it might backfire with the base. If Romney makes inroads with Hispanics, as I hope he does, there are bound to be suspicious types who will chalk it up to Romney going left rather than Hispanics coming right. I even can imagine some pinheaded conspiracy theory internet meme accusing Romney of putting a different campaign out to Spanish language outlets. And if it is shown that Romney gets high marks from Hispanics on a particular issue such as education, I wouldn’t bat an eye if suddenly conservative ideas (like vouchers) get decried as liberal approaches.

Such is the mindless schizophrenia on the right.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, I'm not saying that school reform is a panacea, but it is a huge part of fixing what is wrong with our country. Right now, even the poor kids who want a good education can't get it. Getting the parents to live more responsibly through jobs rather than welfare and getting them to send their kids to school and pay attention to what their kids are doing is the other big chunk.

And in terms of attracting Hispanics, this would just be one issue. It's time Republicans started to pull away Hispanics on issue after issue. The problem is that right now they are ceding "Hispanics" as a group to the Democrats by playing into their hands.

Also, having lived in DC for many years and having Hispanic friends out there, I agree that to see them as a single group is simply wrong. They are very different depending on what country they come from, what income bracket they are in, and even where they live.

AndrewPrice said...

Patriot, I think that's absolutely right and that's what's been driving me crazy about the Republicans in the past. They claim to reject identity politics and then their "outreach" plays right into that by treating Hispanics as a group to be pandered to.

If Republicans start reaching out to Hispanics (and others) on the issues that matter to them (schools, business, etc.) they will begin to pull them away in large numbers. When that happens, the whole identity politics garbage will collapse.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, I think it's vital. If Republicans keep going down this path of telling Hispanics that they should huddle together in a group, they will become a massive Democratic voting bloc and their numbers will cause the GOP serious electoral problems. Only be treating them as individuals can the GOP prevent that.

AndrewPrice said...

Doc, Romney hasn't drifted left despite the fears of many conservatives and I think that's very encouraging. Last week, for example, he talked about defunding PBS. These aren't the kinds of things he would be saying if his plan was to run in the center.

To me, this suggests that he's actually planning a rather conservative administration and I think that's a really good sign for us.

T-Rav said...

Well, I remain pessimistic, though in this case it's not because of Romney himself but because of the media's time-tested ability to obscure positive messages such as this and cause voters to forget about them. But maybe New Media is changing that, so we'll see.

It would be even better if the GOP could direct this message at the black community as well and break their destructive relationship with the Democrats. Not going to happen, I know, and demographically it perhaps makes sense to focus on Hispanics. But if support for the Dems among all these minority groups can be weakened even a little, that could make all the difference.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Jed! I think this is the key to the future for the GOP and it impresses me that Romney is doing this. He really isn't like other Republicans of the past.

I think adding Marco Rubio to the ticket would help a lot. Showing that Republicans are actually willing to put Hispanics on the ticket rather than just show up with them at the occasional rally would be a big step. Plus, I suspect he would be very sensitive to helping continue the kinds of outreach Romney has begun rather than reverting to the standard GOP outreach.

Doc Whoa said...

Jed, I totally support a Rubio choice. He's from Florida, he's Hispanic, he's Tea Party, and he's likeable. What more could we want?

rlaWTX said...

Primary Day in Texas...

I'm afraid that the only Hispanic/Latinos paying attention are the ones who might actually already think for themselves - not the ones who have become yellow dog Democrats. Sorta like the only ones paying attention to the New Media election coverage are those of us who are hyper-interested. Everyone else seems happy taking the MSM at their word.
Maybe tryanmax's cynicism is contagious...

rlaWTX said...

[go Rubio]

StanH said...

Very astute on your part Andrew, and indeed if we sell conservatism properly the Hispanic community will be natural allies, hard working, Catholic, etc. Romney is right on not overtly pander to a group, that’s the liberal game, but to take the tact that what’s good for all Americans, is very simply, good for all Americans.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That is indeed cynical, but I can't say you are wrong. The problem is that certain conservatives view minorities as inherently liberal. And those same conservatives are not so much conservative as anti-liberal. Hence, if he does well among "liberal" minorities, then he must be a liberal. It's the same way some conservatives flipped out about Bush speaking Spanish and said that was pandering... somehow.

The truth is that Hispanics, like other groups, come in different sizes, shapes, and ideologies. And they can be convinced to join conservatism because much of what they believe is already consistent with conservatism -- conservatism doesn't need to change, it just needs to be explained and made more inviting. If conservatives do that, they will become a 60% party and dominate the country for generations. If they don't, the country will continue to shift left. And the only way to convince them is to win them over on issue by issue rather than playing into the identity politics game.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. tryanmax, I think the attempt to drive a wedge between unions and Hispanics is brilliant. If Republicans keep pushing that wedge further and further in, they will shatter the Democratic alliance completely.

This is really smart politics.

tryanmax said...

rlaWTX, sorry about that. I hope it's not the case everywhere, but I am detecting very high levels of Romney mistrust in my circles. Even when I point out how conservatively he is campaigning, the reaction is simply disbelief. It's almost a sport to see what bit of Romney minutia can be blown up to characterize him as a full-blown progressive. It's like conservatives want the left to win.

tryanmax said...

Andrew, you'll note that I refrained from using the term "conservative" in my first comment.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, That's true. Republicans need to revamp their entire outreach program for all groups. They treat blacks the same way they treat Hispanics -- pass some minor legislation which liberals tell them blacks want and then try to appear with the occasional black person at a rally.

That's not outreach. And all that does is reinforce the idea that liberals are right about minorities being monolithic groups. The GOP needs to change that.

What impresses me here is that Romney has just done this, even without fanfare. I would hope he has also figured out ways to get the message out despite the MSM.

Unknown said...

Andrew: As you indicated, the Hispanic population is not monolithic by any means. Even in San Francisco strange things happen. When the city decided to try to obtain waivers for all "bilingual" students (perpetuating English as a second language), the biggest outcry was from the Hispanic and Filipino parents. They knew English was vital to their childrens' success, and should be their first language. Bilingualism was dealt a serious blow.

Romney must address immigration intelligently, since the Hispanic population is no longer in lockstep with Obama or the Democrats. They are harmed by the terrible economy in worse proportion than native whites. There must be reforms, so long as they include securing our borders and avoiding amnesty in disguise, Romney could pick up many Hispanic votes. He just has to be sure to avoid appearing anti-immigrant, and concentrate on illegal immigration.

AndrewPrice said...

Doc, Those are all very key points which would make him an excellent choice. I can't think of anyone who brings more to the table.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Watch out for the cynicism, it can definitely be contagious. :(

In terms of the ones paying attention, those are the ones you get first. And they slowly bring their friends. Not to mention, part of outreach is getting the message out there. So this speech would need to be followed up with all the usual ways politicians spread the word.

It will take time, but it can be done. Especially as Obama has proven to be no friend of Hispanics.

Yeah, I'm a big fan of Rubio for VP. It makes too much sense not to happen.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Stan! I think that's right. If we pander to them as Hispanics, then all we do is reinforce the idea that Hispanics should join the collective because we don't care about them as individuals. But disdaining that and going after them on issue after issue is the best way to start winning them over.

And you are right, they should be natural allies -- hard working, socially conservative, parents with kids, small business types, etc. Those are all traits which should help them fit in smoothly with the GOP.

T-Rav said...

Rubio's not necessarily my first pick for VP--honestly, I think it would be Jindal if it were up to me. But Rubio makes a lot of sense, and I'd be entirely happy with him on the ticket, especially as his presence keeps some of the isolationist elements balanced out.

T-Rav said...

If you all are having trouble combating cynicism, I recommend these pills I've been taking for a while. I don't know their name, but they completely block it out, sending me into a brief manic state and then....well, I tend to black out after that so I have no idea what happens next. Usually when I come to, though, it's in an alley and covered with blood, so it helps to plan ahead.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I'm seeing the same thing, particularly on talk radio and in the blogs. It's like it's become a game to find some reason for offense (real or imagined... mainly imagined) and then spin it wildly out of control until they've convinced themselves that Romney is somewhere far to the left of Obama.

It's becoming a derangement syndrome.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I did note that you omitted the word conservative.

DUQ said...

Let me throw in my support for Rubio as VP as well. It just makes sense all around.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I think that avoiding the immigration issue is probably best for Romney at the moment because that only leads the debate back to the grounds on which the MSM and Obama are comfortable. Romney is better off going after clumps of Hispanics on issue after issue rather than delving into the "Hispanic third rail."

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I think the problem with Jindal is that he doesn't really bring anything to the ticket.

Romney will win Louisiana. Florida is much closer.

Romney needs to win Hispanics, not Indians.

Romney needs someone with Tea Party credibility. Rubio has that. Jindal isn't particularly Tea Party.

Romney needs someone with proven attack-dog skills. Rubio has shown some of that. Jindal has fallen flat each time he got the chance.

I like Jindal, but he's not what Romney needs.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, LOL! Those sound like great pills.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, That seems to be the general consensus.

ellenB said...

Excellent article. I've been very pleased with Romney to date and I am starting to believe as you do that he will make an excellent president.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Ellen! I'm thinking that too. I certainly didn't like him at first, but the more I've watched, the more I've really liked.

ellenB said...

Andrew, He was my least favorite candidate until you started doing the profiles. Even then, I didn't like him until after the debates began.

AndrewPrice said...

Ellen, I'm glad I could help. :)

NightcrawlerER said...

I want to see immigration fixed. I don't know if that will help or hurt with Hispanics. But I think it's important to the country.

AndrewPrice said...

Nightcrawler, Immigration needs to be fixed, but it can be fixed without trying to make it into a big deal.

I would suggest three steps.

1. Make it illegal to hire illegals and actually punish people for doing that. That will make most go home.

2. Help Mexico become a new economic dynamo to suck people south again and divert the flow from South America.

3. Cut the number of legal immigrants allowed in each year in half immediately, and then after a few years, offer an amnesty to those who are left provided they (1) declare themselves, (2) start paying taxes, (3) get in line (they get 1/2 the immigrant slots until everyone declared is brought in), and (4) deport anyone with a criminal record or who comes after the date of amnesty or who doesn't declare themselves.

K said...

Excellent observations Andrew - I commend your political acumen.

Your three steps are also pretty good, but number one has been tried at the local level and gets you quickly kicked from office. A lot of businessmen depend on illegals and they don't take kindly to missing out on the cheap labor, so it would have to be done on a national level and actually enforced.

T-Rav said...

Andrew and K, I pretty much agree with the three steps, and if you're determined to go through with immigration policy, I suppose you would just have to make a virtue of necessity and use the backlash from Step 1 to show you can think outside the box and aren't totally beholden to "those evil businessmen." I don't know whether the benefit would be worth it--having worked with county GOPs and local Chambers of Commerce, I'd be hard put to say which is the most inbred or defensive--but it's a possibility.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks K!

I know that each step will actually be unpopular, but I think it's the best way.

Businesses will complain about loss of cheap labor, Hispanic/Democratic groups will complain about cuts in the level of immigration, and the public will complain about the amnesty. But in the end, everyone will be happy 5-10 years down the road.

I think this would need to be done at the federal level, through the agencies where few people either won't notice the changes or can't lay the blame on any particular politician. And it probably needs to be during on a second term for the President. If thing go right, they could actually complete it right at the end of their four years.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, This would take someone with a lot of foresight who wasn't beholden to anyone. But difficult policies always do.

I would suggest getting the eVerify system in place, cutting legal immigration levels, and helping Mexico around year 1-2 of Romney's first term. I would probably combine it with eliminating the labor tax write-off for anyone who doesn't get use e-Verify rather than criminal sanctions at first.

Then you make the eVerify system mandatory on day one after the election to the second term. Then you use the leverage of that and the ensuing drop in illegals and legals to announce the other steps at about the 2.5 year mark of the second term.

If you're lucky, the number of illegals and legals will have dropped and you can justify an amnesty along with the rest. And hopefully, you get it in the lame duck Congress session at the end of the fourth year.

Then people have two years to see the world didn't end before Congress stands for election again and you had 8 years of significantly reduced immigration to make people comfortable.

DUQ said...

Andrew, I would add beefing up the guest worker program to quiet the concerns of farmers in the south and maybe even shuffle illegals into that on the condition that they go home again periodically.

In any event, conservatives will go ape shit when you say amnesty. But if you can show that the number of illegals fell by a couple million and that you aren't applying it to criminals and the overall number of immigrants is lower than expected, then people might accept it.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, That's a good idea. I understand that part of the illegal problem in Texas actually has to do with migrant laborers who are afraid that if they return home, they won't be able to get back in because our system has gotten so fuzzy. If we cleaned that up and made it clear they could keep coming back so long as they had jobs, then they would have an incentive to return home like they did before.

Allowing a lot of illegals in under the work permit on condition they leave again each year might also help us sort out who is just here for the money and who is trying to stay.

A lot of conservatives will positively flip out. That's why I would invite people like Rush and Hannity to the White House and confidentially explain to them what the plan is when it first starts so they don't freak out when it all starts to happen.

Anthony said...


Are there any studies which indicate how much of an impact Romney as VP would have? The handful I've seen (including the recent one below) indicate that his appointment wouldn't be a big deal even in Florida (where Cubans make up a bigger chunk of Hispanics than anywhere else in the country).

The poll below indicates a boost smaller than the poll's margin of error.


But there's a catch, Brown noted: The 2-percentage point boost is not "statistically significant in the 1,722-person poll, which has an error margin of 2.4 percentage-point error margin.

Don't get me wrong, I think Rubio's an ideal VP pick, I just don't know if he is going to be a shifter of votes.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, I haven't trusted the polls I've seen because they were done by Democratic-leaning organizations and they "surprisingly" seems to find that Romney needs to pick the most poisonous candidates.

In general, I don't think VP picks sway the population. Or at least they aren't able to swing states. BUT I believe Rubio is different. For one thing, he will bring in some Hispanic voters on a racial pride basis -- whether we like it or not, minorities often do vote for members of their own race.

But more importantly, Rubio shows that Republicans aren't afraid of electing Hispanics to high office. I think that is key to the relationship between Republicans and Hispanics, so long as Romney continues to romance them.

Third, Rubio gives Romney solid Tea Party help, just like Palin helped McCain with conservatives. So he shores up Romney's weak right flank and will bring a lot of enthusiasm to the ticket among the rank and file.

Fourth, I understand that Rubio is a unique guy in Florida in that he unites both the redneck north and the Hispanic south. And if he's even worth 1-2%, that could be the deciding factor.

So while I can't say that there is any polling which shows a boost, I think the underneath intangibles well be huge. But I admit that's just my opinion, i.e. I have no proof.

Ed said...

tryanmax's cynicism is indeed contagious. I like what Romney has done, but until I see it done consistently, I won't believe it.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, That's a wise policy and it's certainly true the Republicans haven't earned a lot of trust.

tryanmax said...

Here is something interesting: the Wikipedia article on Hispanic and Latino Americans basically lays out a case that Hispanics are not discriminated against in any meaningful way. They even have a lower instance of being targeted for hate crimes than whites.

The part I find most interesting discusses voting habits. As a group, Hispanics seem to vote corresponding to the geographic areas where they live. In other words, the reason Hispanics lean heavily Democratic overall is that they are unequally distributed with greater numbers in Democratic areas. This suggests that Hispanics base their voting decisions on something other than race and a different distribution would yield different demographic results.

Andrew, if I wrote that in a confusing way, maybe you can clear it up for me. I'm off to have a root canal. Fun. :(

rlaWTX said...

I think Jindal would be awesome - stepping stone to Presidency. But I don't count him because he has been soooooo adamant about not being VP AND he just won that huge reelection and isn't done cleaning up Louisiana.

As for Rubio, I think he'd have a stronger impact on anti-Romney GOPers than on Dems or even undecideds - and unfortunately, I think those antis are going to be an important demographic. Although I hope that as November approaches, they'll get less dogmatic, cuz we gotta get rid of TOTUS!

As for Andrew's #3, Romney couldn't do this and get reelected. As soon as the "a" word was mentioned, he'd be pilloried by the RW media - and they would spin being asked into the Oval Office as Romney trying to buy them, not as sensible political maneuvering. He'll have to hope for getting 1 & 2 started - along with border enforcement!
BUT, how to do the second one????? Mexico is so banana-republic-corrupt that I don't know how you'd help them without restructuring the govt.

T-Rav said...

tryanmax, it shouldn't be a surprise that they don't suffer discrimination, should it? They are "white Hispanics" now, in case you hadn't noticed. ;-)

rlaWTX said...

T-Rav, they'll turn brown again right before the election when TOTUS's pandering hits its all-time high.
(oh, where'd you get those groovy sounding pills?)

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, You're right about #3, that's why he would need to do it in a second term. I think the key would be laying the ground work early by doing the things that are needed to (1) stop the influx and (2) reduce the numbers who are here already during the first term.

If you could show that over the first five years, you reduced the number of illegals from 11 million to 8 million, and that you slowed the total number of immigrants by 3 million over that same period, then you could probably sell an amnesty to people IF you convinced them that this amnesty won't just lead to the next wave afterward -- hence, the rules about waiting to be let in, forcing them to declare themselves, and fixing a cut off date... mixed with lots of deportations for those who don't follow the rules laid out.

It would not be politically easy by any stretch, but it would be the kind of thing which would make people happy 5-10 years down the road. A president in a second term could take the hit.

Fixing Mexico would require investment (private and government) mixed with demands for restructuring to make it more like the US (less regulation, more reliable legal system), and probably a lot of help in winning their drug war. It could be done. Mexico has a lot of natural wealth it needs to learn to use.

On Rubio, you're right that in the election he will help more with the right than the left, but in the bigger picture he will also help start to swing Hispanics to the right.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Good luck getting your canal rooted! Yikes!

If I'm reading you correctly, that means that Hispanics are responding to local conditions. It also means that Hispanics are not at all monolithic. I wonder how much of this is because there are so many in California and so many are low income? Perhaps the key is to help them all become middle income?

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Yes, those dirty, murderous white-Hispanics. LOL!

Actually, believe it or not, the census is talking about eliminating "Hispanic" as a choice entirely, which will effectively make them all white or black.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, The MSM already thinks they are in the tank for Obama. I think what would be interesting would be watching them dance around Rubio's race. I'll bet we'll be flooded with articles about how Rubio isn't really Hispanic because he's too white.

rlaWTX said...

Andrew, I see your thought now. Def a 2nd term project at best. And the GOPer running after that had better step carefully... So, it'd have to be early 2nd term - since he'd have that special "flexibility" hahaha - in order for results to start showing up for the next election.

I don't know if Mexico is fixable. They need a benevolent but firm dictator who is interested in a short-term job (10-15 years!) to quash the corruption. :/

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, I think the key would be getting the result early and without drawing a lot of attention to the plan. Because people will accept amnesty ONLY if you can prove to them that you have got the rest under control and are fixing it. Then you can present them with the reasons why you need that last step.

Mexico is one time I would agree about needing a benign dictator. If it were me, I would restructure the court and legal system, replace the judges to end corruption, sell off the assets of the state petroleum business and use the money to build infrastructure, impose libertarian-like business laws, fix taxes at 10% flat, sell off public lands to the public cheap, send the army after the drug lords, and then retire where no one could find me.

rlaWTX said...

Yeah, that last bit would be awfully important. Along with finding totally loyal security forces for the duration... But I love your reform proposal! Now, where to find a dictator - can you advertise on monster or craig's list for those?

AndrewPrice said...

Sadly, yeah, the last part would be the key. :(

I'll tell you what though, I think those changes could turn Mexico around fast if they would be implemented.

Monster.com! Yes, under "Tyrants -- benign". LOL!

Anthony said...

Its worth keeping in mind that Hispanic is an ethnicity, not a race. I've met Hispanics clearly of African descent (including my wife, a Garifuna), Hispanics clearly of European descent and Hispanics clearly of Asian descent.


Anthony said...

Andrew said:

rlaWTX, The MSM already thinks they are in the tank for Obama. I think what would be interesting would be watching them dance around Rubio's race. I'll bet we'll be flooded with articles about how Rubio isn't really Hispanic because he's too white.
I doubt the MSM would be foolish enough to attack someone in 2012 on the grounds of racial purity.

I think their line of attack will be that Cubans are in a very different situation than other Hispanics due to 'wet foot, dry foot'.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, I think it's interesting that in the culture, "Hispanic" is considered such a separate identity -- not like Italian but more like the difference between black and white, i.e. a distinct race rather than an ethnicity. Yet the census is looking to eliminate the category entirely. It strikes me as a strange position to take.

On Rubio, I don't think the media would openly attack him on racial purity grounds. They know better than that. They would instead do a subtle "he's not like you" smear campaign, like they are doing with Romney's Mormonism. For example, right now there are a steady stream of articles each day playing up the worst aspects of Mormonism's ancient history and talking about rumors of ancestors who engaged in polygamy or followed prophecies. The idea is to make it sound like a cult without ever actually coming out and using that word or linking it to Romney personally.

I think the attack on Rubio would be similar. They would first go after his father and mother as "European descendents." Then they would try to call them part of some rich elite who were driven out of Latin America by the real Hispanics who represented "indigenous peoples." They would emphasize his schooling at "white schools" and make it sound like he was raised at a Martha's Vineyard Whites-Only Prep school. They would probably examine his prior girlfriends to find as many Euro-whites as possible. And it wouldn't surprise me if they suddenly started running articles about how most of Cuba is actually black or black-Hispanic.

The idea would be to constantly suggest that while Rubio may technically be Hispanic, he's not really Hispanic. . . "he's not like you."

Individualist said...


Good Post.... oddly enough immigration seems to be an issue that Hispanics are for until you go to South Florida and talk about Haitians and Slavic immigrants.

I think overall there are a lot of hispanic voters that have very conservative leanings.

The liberals are only successful in forming a "hispanic" voting block when they can get a large number of illegals to cross the border and settle and then they can try to use welfare to enslave them the same way they have used it with blacks and poor whites in urban areas.

Once you get away from areas where this is happening, the border states and come to Florida they have a great deal more difficult time creating a monolithic block especially because what they ask many these people to support is anethma to their culture. They are hard working (Carlos Mencia's jokes about who you will find at home depot trying to get a jobb are an example) and thus don't support welfare, as you point out they are agaisnt the policies of the NEA and ceeratinly abortion or attacking Catholic bishops is not a winner with them.

The thing I find funny is the claim that being "Hispanic is a Race". I have been to Brazil and they are in many areas more diverse racially than the US (and they speak Portugese not Spanish as well).

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Indi!

My experience with Hispanics is twofold. In Colorado, you meet Mexicans. There are no other Hispanics out here. They are hard-working but poor and they seems fairly easily enticed by Democratic promises. In the DC area, you meet Hispanics from all over South and Central America. They range in income from very rich to very poor. They speak Spanish or Portuguese and often do their business in English because it's a common tongue. That makes it rather obvious that they aren't a single group any more than "Asians" or "whites" are a single group.

And even within areas like Colorado where they are all Mexican, you soon learn that they have a lot of different interests as well and that most of them just want the American dream like everybody else.

That's what conservatives need to learn. These are individual and they can be won as individuals on an issue by issue basis. And when you find enough common issues, they will join you and you can work on the rest.

Unfortunately, right now, too many conservatives just see them as a single group who only cares about opening the border to let more Hispanics into the country, and that colors everything conservatives do to attract them. That's what needs to change if we want to win them over and secure a conservative future for America.

tryanmax said...

My face is numb!

Andrew, that's close to the interpretation I had. I think that Hispanics aren't so much responding to local conditions as they are responding--and conforming--to local attitudes. In other words, they are assimilating, contrary to Democrat notions that they don't want to (and shouldn't) assimilate.

I'm seeing the Hispanic gap in favor of Democrats as a purely geographic phenomenon. The ethnic group has a different dispersal than other ethnic groups, with a preponderance in blue states. This just underscores the correctness of Romney's strategy, which is to take on issues rather than ethnic groups. That is the best chance of turning states from blue to red and Hispanics along with them.

The other side of the coin is that, so long as the bulk of Hispanics live in California and New York, the Hispanic gap is pretty much meaningless.

T-Rav said...

rla, I know a guy who knows a guy....

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Numb? Did you dentist beat you?

That's the other thing to consider -- where you live matters for voting. When all the liberals are piled into a couple states, they effectively lose their voting power. And right now liberals are hugging the coasts. So it doesn't really matter how Hispanics vote in California or New York. But it does matter in Florida and Texas.

In any event, the best way to handle this is clearly to try to pull them away little by little rather than trying to move them as a single unit. Moving them as a single unit would be impossible for a number of reasons and it plays into liberal hands. It's better to let Democrats play the racial-solidarity card while Republicans promise them a way to join a better America and help them slip off the Democratic plantation.

The same strategy should work with blacks and Asians as well.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, LOL! Isn't that how it always goes?

AndrewPrice said...

By the way, Romney just clinched the nomination. I suppose everyone probably knew that was coming. :)

Jen said...


FYI--thanks to you, I DID vote for Romney in the primary (you convinced me). I'm also fine with Rubio as VP.

In my industry, illegal immigration and its cheap labor is a concern with those who need those kind of people on their farms, so they will be the first to scream at the suggestion of illegals being deported, etc. It has been a big deal every time the subject is brought up whether it be amnesty, guest worker programs, or whatever.

AndrewPrice said...

Jen, I'm glad to hear it! :)

I understand that American farming really relies on Mexican labor. And I think that needs to be considered in any attempt to reform the immigration system.

I would recommend extensive guest worker programs for farms be included in any program. In fact, as DUC suggested above, that could be an excellent way to bring a lot of illegals out of the shadows -- by legalizing them through this guest worker program. They would get to work legally (and pay taxes) and we would get to know who they are and they would have to agree to return home when the work ends. To me, that is a great way to solve one aspect of the illegal problem.

Jen said...


Yeah, I saw DUQ's comment, and the problem isn't just in the South. I lived in Michigan for a few years, and a lot of the grapes, blueberries, melons, cucumbers, and such were picked by migrants. We used to drive to the farm on weekends before moving there. Some of the roads had little shacks/houses along the roadside that migrants lived in, and boy were they tiny.

What would you suggest for the farms (non-migrant/seasonal type work) that need year-round help?

AndrewPrice said...

Jen, It shouldn't really matter. The guest worker program (like the one we have now) allows people to stay for as long as the work is there on the condition that they return home when it ends, i.e. they have no path to citizenship. So year-round or seasonal work shouldn't make much difference.

The key would be just that (1) these people have an ability to move freely back and forth so they have no incentive to stay hidden here for fear of not being able to come back and (2) these people have the right to be here to work, but can't become citizens through this program.

Jen said...

Andrew, I didn't know what was in the current guest worker program because it didn't pertain to me. I just never paid much attention to it except that it exists.

One thing that did bug me was where I used to work. On Fridays, a lot of the Mexicans (non-migrants) would go to customer service with their paychecks, and Western Union paperwork to wire money "back home".

AndrewPrice said...

Jen, Almost all the money goes back home. That's why they come here because after a few years here, they hope to raise their standard of living back home... "remittances".

I'm not completely familiar with all the rules for the current program. I believe they are required to go home each year briefly and I think the maximum permit is five years, but I'm not sure.

I know one of the problems there were having was that the workers became afraid to go back home after 9/11 because we were making it very hard to come back. So instead of returning home each off-season, they stayed here and brought their families. Apparently whole towns in Northern Mexico were emptied out because of that.

Designing the new system carefully would be something which needs to be handled by the experts on the system, but it could definitely be an excellent tool to make this whole immigration-fixing issue as easy as possible for everyone.

Doc Whoa said...

Andrew, I've been thinking about your position on immigration and I think you're right. I think that may be the only solution.

Individualist said...


There is another problem that the guest worker program solves. it eliminates under the table wages below minimum wage. IF the alien under a guest worker program is not paid minimum wage he can go to the courts and sue the employer for damages.

This will of necessity eliminate jobs that are only for illegals. It will force farms to automate to be more competitive.

I remember my International Business class where Australian wineries were gaining a competitive advantage on California. The reason was that they spent more effort automating because they did not have access to cheap labor. Now that they have automated they actually have a cost advantage over the US despite the lower wages.

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, The prime reason for bringing illegals out into the public sphere is to stop all the gray market stuff and to get them "on the grid." Right now, they don't pay taxes, can't call the cops to report crime, and drive without insurance. Each of those things is bad, and finding ways to legalize them would eliminate those.

And you're right, it would force American industries to step up its game a bit if wages went up.

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