Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Republican Response to Trump's Immigration Policies

I haven't written about Donald Trump's immigration proposals, primarily because they're so full of crap that it would take too long to go line by line about their false claims. Sadly, fear mongering and xenophobia have a long history in political campaigns. And remember that Trump also says that he gets his advice on military issues by watching shows.

But another reason is that Trump won't last. Yes, he'll last a while, but then he'll be out and everyone will focus on the front runner(s). When that happens, I think his proposals will quickly be forgotten by all but the crazy people (and academics, who are also crazy). I think the eventual Republican nominee will soft pedal immigration. Jeb Bush has come out against Trump's ideas, as has Marco Rubio. Even Scott Walker has stopped short of jumping entirely on Trump's anti-immigrant, anti-Mexican bandwagon. And he's only moving in Trump's direction at all because he's desperate. The New York Times picks up on this:

At the same time, Mr. Trump’s hard-line positions, including seizing remittances sent by undocumented workers to Mexico and severely restricting legal immigration, are allowing some rivals to define themselves more clearly in opposition to him.

Republicans really want to win the 2016 election and the Latino vote matters. Donors will provide reminders as well. We're much less likely to get a Mitt Romney Etch-A-Sketch, where you pretend all the nasty stuff you said in primaries is now gone. Trump will be nasty as long as he lasts, but establishment Republicans will not. And it's hard to see anyone but an establishment Republican getting the nomination.

In short, ironically Trump may be paving the way for the eventual nominee to be much more moderate than we've seen in the past two presidential elections.


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