President Obama has announced that the government will no longer deport some children of some undocumented workers under some conditions, and Republican politicians, predictably, are sputtering with outrage - their usual modus operandi for winning votes in red meat states. Needless to mention, Obama's policy shift has brought into sharp focus the GOP's barely-concealed distaste for Hispanic-Americans in general and Mexican-Americans in particular. Tea Party activists have been hollering like Klan members at a lynching, accusing our Commander-in-Chief of every conceivable evil. (But then, aren't they always doing that?) Steven Thrasher at the Village Voice reminds us of the bald hypocrisy of conservatives who continue to place former President Ronald Reagan on a shopworn pedestal:
Whatever happened to the three million people Reagan granted amnesty to a quarter century ago? Did they succeed in ripping the nation to shreds, destroying American industry, and murdering gringos left and right, much as Reagan’s disciples predict would happen if such a bill would become law (or even Obama’s much more tepid stopgap executive order) today? Actually, quite the opposite. Those immigrants, like most who get legal status, bought homes, sent their kids to school, and participated in a record period of economic expansion and growth. In 2010, back in those halcyon days when Arizona was first debating S.B. 1070, the Voice profiled three of those immigrants and talked to them about how legal status affected (and, largely, improved) their lives, their family’s lives, and the lives of their communities.
Just imagine Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio reading that, drooling and gnashing his teeth like a cartoon bulldog. (The Grand Canyon State is facing multiple legal battles over its cruel and unconstitutional anti-immigration laws.) In fact, picture the entire Republican Party base frantically ripping pages from history books - a routine occurrence here in Texas.
Yesterday, Romney dodged questions about the President's stance on immigration. He's been getting mixed signals from his handlers, and he's sending mixed signals to Latinos, an impressive voting bloc not to be trifled with.
According to a public opinion poll released on Sunday, Hispanic voters are beginning to realize that they will find no succor inside the GOP's ever-shrinking circus tent. Elise Foley reports for the Huffington Post: Polling firm Latino Decisions and advocacy group America's Voice found that 49 percent of Latino voters in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Nevada and Virginia are more enthusiastic about the president after his directive, which will grant two years of reprieve from deportation to some undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children if they meet certain requirements, such as being college students or members of the military. Mitt Romney said he opposed the decision... A majority, 59 percent, of Latino voters polled said Romney's statements made them less enthusiastic about him.
No surprise there. Unless he pulls a conservative Christian/Cuban out of his magic underwear when it's time to choose a running mate - such as Florida's anti-gay senator Marco Rubio - Rich Mittens can kiss the Hispanic vote goodbye.