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GOP Turd Polishing–Hispanic Edition

April 2, 2013

The Republican National Committee, to their credit, attempted to dissect the Republican lack of performance in the last election and come up with a prescription to avert a repeat performance (The full document can be found at http://growthopp.gop.com/default.aspx).

Although the document has some common-sense advice (“don’t be offensive to minorities”), it is largely an exercise in turd polishing and wholly delusional about the root cause of the GOP’s collapse in 2012. Although it might be helpful at the margins not to be so aggressively stupid and condescending, it is mostly unhelpful because it is largely delusional. As long as the party remains in control of the radicals, especially in the primaries–a process that gave us spectacular candidates such as Newt “Moon Colony” Gingrich, Rick “Church Lady” Santorum, Herman “Beki-Beki-Beki-Stan-Stan” Cain, Ron “Abolish the Fed” Paul and of course, Mitt “47%” Romney. Reasonable and thoughtful Republicans such as Jon Huntsman never had a chance as long as the radicals made sure that the debates and the primaries would be played out in Tin Foil Hat land. As long as Republicans insist on learning the wrong lessons, we can look forward to the 2017 version of this same document. Should be a great read.

But back to the RNC’s prescription for repair. The RNC has attempted to target groups that fled the GOP like the plague and what can be done to lure, at least some of them, back. The problem is that the prescription has nothing to do with the illness. The polish being applied is in great conflict of the actual policies being pushed by the radicals in the party, especially at the State level. This especially ironic in that the RNC document has high praise for Republican governors:

Republican governors are America’s reformers in chief. They continue to deliver on conservative promises of reducing the size of government while making people’s lives better. They routinely win a much larger share of the minority vote than GOP presidential candidates, demonstrating an appeal that goes beyond the base of the Party.

It is time for Republicans on the Federal level to learn from successful Republicans on the state level. It is time to smartly change course, modernize the Party, and learn once again how to appeal to more people, including those who share some but not all of our conservative principles.

But the policies that are turning off the very groups that they would like to woo are being carried out by the radicals at the State level. This is the first of a series that will look at the divergence of the PR polish with the turds of those policies. Today’s edition: Hispanics.

The Polish:

Hispanic Americans hear that the GOP doesn’t want them in the United States, they won’t pay attention to our next sentence. It doesn’t matter what we say about education, jobs or the economy; Hispanics think that we do not want them here, they will close their ears to our policies. In essence, Hispanic voters tell us our Party’s position on immigration has become a litmus test, measuring whether we are meeting them with a welcome mat or a closed door.

The Turd:

Arizona, Jan Brewer and “Papers Please” law, as well as similar laws throughout the old Confederacy, all passed by Republican legislators and signed by Republican governors. While they are at it, they need to do something about Sherriff Joe Arpaio, who is currently under Federal investigation for abusing prisoners (mostly Hispanic, of course).

There are a variety of loose cannons rolling around the Republican decks, like the Alaska Representative referring to Hispanics as “wetbacks” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/29/don-young-wetbacks_n_2976351.html?utm_hp_ref=politics).

The Republicans are very cozy with contributions from the for-profit prison industry in the South and Southwest, where locking up Hispanics is a profit center (http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-prison-industry-in-the-united-states-big-business-or-a-new-form-of-slavery/8289, and http://d1lj51l9p3qzy9.cloudfront.net/handle/10207/bitstreams/6001.pdf).

On health care and budget deficits, the Republicans are chronically out of step with the Hispanic electorate. (for the entire analysis from which I quote, see: http://www.laopinion.com/Consistent-in-general-Latino-voters-opinions-vary&template=voto2012#.UVceyr9uGFJ.)

House Republicans keep repealing the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), in fact take an odd pride in this doomed effort, much like the pride the South takes in the mythology of the Lost Cause of the old Confederacy. Yet, the reality with Hispanics

…with regard to maintaining or revoking the Affordable Healthcare Act, 61% of Latinos nationally support it and it goes even higher in several key states: 72% in Colorado and 63% in Nevada and Ohio. By contrast, in Florida, another state that will be crucial in this election, that figure drops to 51%, in Arizona to 54% and Texas to 58%.

Also interesting is the difference between men and women on whether to keep this current health care law. While both sexes support its permanence, this figure is 64% among Latino male voters and 58% among Latino female voters. Meanwhile, 27% of the Latino women voters surveyed believe that the law should be abolished, a position supported by 23% of Latino men. However, 66% of the Catholic Latino voters surveyed support the act while only 21% prefer its annulment.

The Republican insistence on addressing the budget deficit by spending cuts alone is out of step with the Hispanic electorate:

The idea of just addressing the deficit through spending cuts advocated by Republicans was favored by 12% nationally, 15% in Nevada and Texas, 14% in Arizona and Florida, but only by 11% in Colorado, Virginia and North Carolina.

As Republicans at the State level continue their assault on access to legal and safe abortion medical services, they are ignoring this prevailing attitude with Hispanics (http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/11/latinos-endorse-legal-abortion/):

Big majorities of Latinos across the country and other voters agreed that abortion should be legal, including nearly equal shares of men and women, according to exit polling.

Exit poll results found that about two-thirds of Hispanics (66%) said that abortion should be legal while 28% disagreed. Among all voters, a somewhat smaller majority (59%) would allow legal abortions while 37% were opposed.

There is no gender gap on views on abortion among Hispanics or among all voters, according to national exit polling. About two-thirds of men (64%) and Latino women (67%) would permit legal abortion, as would 58% of all male voters nationally and 60% of women.

The list goes on. 59% of Hispanics support marriage equality (http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/11/majority-of-latinos-support-state-recognition-of-gay-marriage/). The House Republicans are spending over a million tax-payer dollars to defend the Defense of Marriage Act.

69% of Hispanics support stricter gun laws (http://www.mayorsagainstillegalguns.org/html/media-center/pr038-11.shtml). All the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee voted against gun reform legislation. Ted Cruz embarrassed himself by trying to pull a cheap high school debater’s trick on Senator Feinstein in committee hearing which backfired completely.

The Republican efforts to restrict access to voting (aimed, no surprise, at Democratic constituencies) could disenfranchise 10 million Hispanic citizens:

(http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/24/us-usa-campaign-hispanics-idUSBRE88N01I20120924). The message is we want you, we just don’t want you to vote.

Republicans such as Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz can put an Hispanic face on these fundamentally tin-eared and anti-Hispanic policies. But so far, this just looks like part of the polish. They can shine this thing up to a bright gleam, but it still smells.

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