It’s funny watching all the Bush administration alums on Fox despairing over the necessity of outreach to the Hispanic community. (Also at PJ Media, “Yes, George W. Bush Might Well Be the Last Republican President.”) These were the same people who refused to “dignify” the rabid coordinated leftist attacks on President Bush with a response. It would “just prolong the story,” they told us.
We are still suffering from their failure to understand the left and fight back, as seen by the fact that Ohio exit polls showed voters still blamed Bush for the bad economy. That’s what I call prolonging a story.
All the talk about “appealing” to Hispanics by rewarding the lawlessness of illegal immigration is another example of some Republicans failing to understand the enemy on the left. Racial interest groups beholden to the Democrat Party will not stand down simply because the Republican Party endorses a form of amnesty. To hope that Hispanics will politically drift to the GOP after immigration concessions overlooks the racial stranglehold groups like the NAACP and La Raza (yes, “The Race”) have over political dialogue and organizing.
I saw the same Bush-era racial naivete play out in 2006 when Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act was up for renewal. Many in the GOP viewed the renewal as a “chance to reach out to minorities.” Sound familiar?
The Bush administration and the then-chairman of the House Judiciary Committee deliberately decided to give the NAACP and the other racial groups whatever they wanted in the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act. The offer was accepted and the NAACP and MALDEF asked for the reversal of two Supreme Court cases by statute that had the effect of allowing “any” discriminatory effect to justify an objection to a law under the Voting Rights Act. (I have written about the complicated legal changes extensively here at PJ Media and will not do so again in this post.) This 2006 change was directly responsible for blocking voter ID laws in Texas and South Carolina in 2010 and citizenship verification laws in Georgia in 2009.
The Republicans were proud of their minority outreach in the summer of 2006. President Bush signed the law in a White House ceremony with the race hustler Al Sharpton and other familiar faces in attendance. Surely this “outreach” would buy peace for the Republicans, right?
Wrong. No sooner had the ink dried on the paper than all of the race groups turned on President Bush. The next two years heard a constant drumbeat in the media and from some of the same people invited to the signing ceremony that Bush was an “enemy of minority rights.” The racial groups were particularly venomous toward the administration.