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December 22, 2015

Why Would 12 Million Fresh Democrat Immigrant Voters Not Immediately Demand the Legalization of the Next 12 Million Democrat Immigrant Voters?

Great David Frum piece on the current raging class war between the corporate/managerial wing of the party and the working/middle class wing.

Ignore his prescriptions at the very end -- what he calls "True Reform" is a call for, basically, a more progressive policy of wealth redistribution and benefits for, allegedly, the Middle Class.

I'm surprised he didn't call for gun control and fighting climate change -- I get the strong feeling he wanted to, but I guess he realized those Boutique Urban Liberal policy prescriptions were out-of-place in an article about the party elite's contempt for the non-elite voters.

That 300 word coda to the side, the rest of the piece is a terrific indictment of the party elite.

He begins by discussing how critical one's politics has become to one's assertion of class identity -- and the deep division in the Republican Party between the "Wall Street" and "Main Street" classes.

He discusses the Great Recession and the Romney candidacy. His overall theme is that the party elite viewed the base's discontent as an endorsement of their own preferred politics -- a mistake, as there are in fact different class interests animating the Corporate Class (my term, not his), the Middle Class, the Working Class, the Professional Class, etc. But the elite seems to only chatter among themselves and with members who are of or aspire to be part of the Corporate or Professional Classes, and so they interpret every signal from the base as a confirmation that they were right all along.

After Romney's defeat -- literally hours and days after Romney's defeat -- they tripled down on all the same dogmas they'd previously doubled down on, and interpreted Romney's loss as nothing but the newest evidence that we must enact the Wall Street Journal Editorial Page into positive law as swiftly and as ruthlessly as possible.

When, in fact, the Tea Party rebellion was as much against the party's elite orthodoxies as against Barack Obama.

As a class, big Republican donors could not see any of this, or would not. So neither did the politicians who depend upon them. Against all evidence, both groups interpreted the Tea Party as a mass movement in favor of the agenda of the Wall Street Journal editorial page. One of the more dangerous pleasures of great wealth is that you never have to hear anyone tell you that you are completely wrong....

[W]ithin hours of Romney’s defeat, Republican donors, talkers, and officials converged on the maximally self-exculpating explanation....

Owners of capital assets, employers of low-skill laborers, and highly compensated professionals tend to benefit economically from the arrival of immigrants. They are better positioned to enjoy the attractive cultural and social results of migration (more-interesting food!) and to protect themselves against the burdensome impacts (surges in non-English-proficient pupils in public schools). A pro-immigration policy shift was one more assertion of class interest in a party program already brimful of them.

Nobody expressed the party elites' consensus view more assuredly than Charles Krauthammer. "Ignore the trimmers," he wrote in his first postelection column. "There's no need for radical change. The other party thinks it owns the demographic future--counter that in one stroke by fixing the Latino problem. Do not, however, abandon the party’s philosophical anchor...No reinvention when none is needed."


The Republican National Committee made it all official in a March 2013 postelection report signed by party eminences. The report generally avoided policy recommendations, with a notable exception: "We must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform." To advance the cause, Paul Singer, one of the most open-pocketed GOP donors, made a six-figure contribution to the National Immigration Forum that spring.

If all of this sounds like a prescription for a Jeb Bush candidacy for president... well, perhaps that was not an entirely unintended consequence.

One point I've been making on Twitter is that Rubio deserves to lose for believing the self-serving, ridiculous claims made by the Republican Consultant Class in the aftermath of the 2012 election. If you remember, soon after that loss, the party apparatus put forth a claimed "post-mortem" of the defeat, and talked about their plan... to do all the stupid shit they've done between 2013 and last week.

And most of us were screaming about it at the time, and we continue screaming about it.

And you who listened to us, inside the party? No one.

People like David Brat knocked off Eric Cantor and still the did not, and would not, listen.

There was simply no moving them off their ideological priors that they were going to sell the same shit sandwich they'd been trying to sell us since 2006. This time, they were going to give us the Comprehensive Immigration Shit Sandwich, and this time, they'd force it down our throats with a stick and a sponge, because this time, all the Corporate Class people were going to give Jeb Bush so much damn money he'd "shock and awe" all other alternatives out of the race.

That itself only brought in new recruits to the rebellion -- you could say that Jeb Bush's candidacy is Just What the Tea Party Wants (TM).

You could even say that the Tea Party is showing videos of Jeb Bush as a recruitment tool.

And still, no matter how much we reject Jeb Bush -- and we don't just reject him as Jeb Bush, although he is a weak candidate; we reject him chiefly as the avatar of the Corporate Class/Consultant Class' high-handedness and unearned dominance in the party -- they still don't, or rather won't, take the message.

I have come to believe that all this arguing about who could win the general is cynical and wishcasting. Because I don't believe the elite care, really, who can win the general election. Frankly, Mike Huckabee, a guy I don't like and neither does the Corporate Class, could be well-positioned to win a general, but I don't hear the Corporate Class agitating for him.

All this crap about Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio being great general election candidates is cynical, dishonest nonsense designed for one goal: To "Win" the argument on immigration without having to have the argument at all.

There are people in are party who favor Open Borders. They simply do. But they don't argue in favor of it; rather they argue on collateral matters, such as Marco Rubio's alleged strength in a general election, so that they'll win on the immigration issue on unrelated issues (the issue of the supposed electability of Marco Rubio and unelectability of all persons not named Marco Rubio).

Thus, they win the argument without ever having to have made the argument in the first place.

If I saw a Republican making the open borders argument straightly and forthrightly I think I'd plotz.

Instead it's always this passive-aggressive, around-the-edges nonsense about "electabiity." But as David Frum notes, most Hispanics don't vote Democrat because of Democrats' stance on illegal immigration (and note that Hispanics who vote aren't here illegally -- at least the ones legally entitled to vote).

Most Hispanics vote Democrat because they are Democrats -- they favor more social spending and a bigger government. They also, increasingly, favor the Democrat position on social issues.

The crackpot notion of the Republican Consultant Class was that Hispanics were all ultra-Catholic (that's itself a broad generalization which would be called "racist" by sensitive or cynical souls) and that their natural social conservatism would draw them into the Republican camp, and make them more favorable to economic conservatism.

Instead, the exact opposite has happened, which was always predictable: Hispanics' general support of economic progressivism has drawn them into the Democrat camp, and made them more favorable to social progressivism, on top of their already-baked-in-the-cake support for economic progressivism.

So, they already were Democrats on economics and the role of government, and now they're becoming Democrats on gay marriage and other social issues too.

But if we offer up a lukewarm version of the Democrats' Open Borders policy, they'll suddenly start voting Republican?

Why? Why would they do that?

As many people have noted, you can't beat the Democrat Party when it comes to pandering with government money or government favors: Not only are they willing to bribe voters, they are ideologically committed to the idea that bribing their voters is the entire raison d'etre of the Democrat/Socialist cause.

They're eager to get into a bribery match with the GOP.

Why would the GOP also be eager for this contest?

My fear is this: It is already perilous to cross the Hispanic vote, as the Consultant Class (correctly) tells us.

Now, if we increase that bloc by 12 million in a go, you tell me how it becomes, somehow, easier to resist further demands for an open border policy, and further demands we stop all border enforcement.

What I fear, and many others fear I think, is that this 12 million will certainly not be the last: In fact, they're the tipping point to vote in the next 12 million, and then they'll combine together, 24 million demanding the inflow of 24 million more, and on, and on, and on.

Why wouldn't that happen? If the consultant class is right, and the open borders is a crucial issue to Hispanics, why would they stop wanting open borders after 12 million, or 24 million, or any other arbitrarily large number of millions of new immigrant citizens?

If a man believes that bread is crucial to his diet, why would he stop at just 12 loaves?

And still the Corporate Class natters on, singing the same old song: Just give people who favor the Democrat Socialist-Welfare state the right to vote, and somehow, this will result in them voting a party which supposedly stands against the Democrat Socialist-Welfare state, out of gratitude or feeling "accepted" or whatnot.

That's not going to happen. Giving 12 million illegal immigrants -- among the poorest of workers, already primed to be natural Democrats based on cultural assumptions and expectations of government's purpose -- will make 11 million new Democrat voters and 1 million persuadably contrarian independent voters, who we could bring over to our side if we "moderate" our already moderate economic prescriptions.

That's the consultant and corporate classes' plan for success.

As I said, this has nothing to do with winning. This only has to do with their class-based more that anything having remotely to do with race must be "racist," even if one's reasons for a position are offered on very straightforward non-racial grounds.

It's about them feeling uncomfortable at dinner parties -- and that's all it is.

That's all it is. That's all it's ever been. In fact, that's 90% of politics -- politics, especially now, is more about a declaration of one's social and cultural mores than about actual policy.

And I get that, and I understand human vanity and I understand the human need to comport with the herd. And I don't really think that makes people "sheep;" in practical terms, one probably is more impacted (on a gut level) by the reactions of people you actually know to your politics than to the actual economic and legal effects of politics.

But that still doesn't make the Go Along To Get Along Swelly At Cocktail Parties Republicans right.

Thanks to Comrade Arthur/Arthur K., who tweeted me a mess of good quotes from the piece.

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posted by Ace at 02:16 PM

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