As expected, such a pithy observation has elicited howls of outrage from the left. The comment was made by Alabama Republican Congressman Mo Brooks, who used the phrase in a purely political context — that the GOP’s immigration stance wouldn’t hurt the party, while the Democrats’ push for immigration reform was politically stupid.
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) doesn’t think that the hardline stance Republicans have taken on immigration could hurt the party’s standing with Hispanic voters. Instead, he thinks Democrats are hurting their prospects with white voters.
“This is a part of the war on whites that’s being launched by the Democratic Party. And the way in which they’re launching this war is by claiming that whites hate everybody else,” he said during an interview Monday with conservative radio host Laura Ingraham. “It’s part of the strategy that Barack Obama implemented in 2008, continued in 2012, where he divides us all on race, on sex, greed, envy, class warfare, all those kinds of things. Well that’s not true.”
Brooks was responding to comments made by National Journal’s Ron Fournier, who told Fox News host Chris Wallace on Sunday that “the fastest growing voting bloc in this country thinks the Republican Party hates them. This party, your party, cannot be the party of the future beyond November if you’re seen as the party of white people.”
Brooks responded by saying that all demographic groups in America support securing the nation’s border and a wide range of Americans would be affected by an influx of undocumented immigration.
“It doesn’t make any difference if you’re a white American, a black American, a Hispanic American, an Asian American or if you’re a woman or a man. Every single demographic group is hurt by falling wages and lost jobs,” he said.
“Democrats, they have to demagogue on this and try and turn it into a racial issue, which is an emotional issue, rather than a thoughtful issue,” he added. “If it becomes a thoughtful issue, then we win and we win big. And they lose and they lose big.”
Ingraham didn’t seem to be on board with Brooks’ “war on whites” remark, telling him it was “a little out there.”
I’m not sure the comment is “out there” at all. The exaggeration comes when trying to describe the Democrats’ identity politics: slice and dice the electorate into nice, neat little boxes and target them with ads and talking points demonizing Republicans for each group. Blacks are told the GOP wants to return to the days of Jim Crow. Hispanics, that Republicans want to deport them even if they’re legal. Single women, that the GOP wants to take away their birth control pills and make life miserable for them. Even if those specific charges aren’t used by Democrats, they are broadly hinted at.
And Republicans play right into the stereotypes. Rep. Brooks is mostly correct in his analysis of the immigration issue, although Hispanics support the DREAMers and an end to deportation that would break up families among other parts of the immigration reform legislation. But he exaggerates when he says Democrats claim all whites hate everyone else. And the administration’s border and immigration strategy constitutes a war on anyone who values the rule of law and the belief in our sovereignty. In that respect, race, creed, or sex doesn’t matter. Otherwise, the record is clear that President Obama has won two straight elections using a particularly vulgar form of identity politics that includes turning the middle class against those Americans who are successful by portraying the rich as greedy plutocrats who don’t deserve what they’ve achieved.
The irony is that Brooks will be vilified for racially dividing America when it’s the Democrats whose deliberate political strategy of cleaving the electorate by skin color has done more to damage and divide America than anything this back bench Republican could ever do.