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Opening Arguments

The Big One

Today's "well, duh" entry:

The immigration proposal pending in Congress would transform the nation’s political landscape for a generation or more — pumping as many as 11 million new Hispanic voters into the electorate a decade from now in ways that, if current trends hold, would produce an electoral bonanza for Democrats and cripple Republican prospects in many states they now win easily.

I don't think many legislators of either party are just "trying to do the right thing" with immigration reform; there are plenty of political calculations going on. It's pretty easy to see the Democratic strategy -- with all those new Hispanic voters, the whole country will look like California and there won't be much point in Republicans even running candidates.

So what in the world are Republican supporters of reform -- and, let's be candid,  amnesty-- thinking? Ah:

To support the measure virtually guarantees millions of new Democratic voters. But for Republicans to oppose immigration reform invites hostility among Hispanic-Americans who already are punishing the GOP and imperiling its electoral prospects.

This reality, say many Republican strategists, gives the party no long-term alternative but to welcome the new voters and hope this allows the party to compete for Hispanic voters in ways that are closer to how President George W. Bush performed in 2004.

Ain't gonna happen. And if it does, I fear it won't be because the GOP has convinced Hispancis, who at heart are conservative, that their sentiments are much more in tune with Republicans than Democrats (we're startiing to hear this kind of thing more often). It will be because the GOP has come up with some new, slick version of "compassionate conservatism" hocus pocus to prove they aren't heartless by giving away goodies as fast as the Democrats do.

So the only competition we'll have is Big Government Party D vs. Big Government Party R.