Tuesday, August 16, 2011

2012 and immigration

Although the election is not for more than a year, as a political scientist I can't help but get into the horse races at times.  One topic du jour is Rick Perry's stance on immigration.  In short, he is pretty rational--here is a good take by the Washington Post.

I understand this is seen as a liability for Perry by a segment of the base. But we’ll have to see if it really is, or whether it is an argument for his electability.
Perhaps this approach is too “soft” for conservatives. Maybe the RedState bloggers who helped kick off his campaign (and who are staunchly opposed to immigration reform) will recoil in horror and drop him like a hot potato. But I sort of doubt it.

Yes, yes, it's early and I am not making predictions, but in the last three elections even the Republican base overlooked the relatively liberal views of the candidates (though John McCain tried to tack right at the last minute) on immigration.  Immigration is an important issue, but fairly low down on the list of voter priorities, and Perry is very conservative on the issues of higher salience.  He has done well with the Latino vote in Texas, and could potentially benefit from voters unhappy with Obama's enforcement-only policies.


Defensores de Democracia 11:28 AM  

SALON.COM : Serious studies confirm that Tea Partiers are long time Racists and Republican Partisan Bigots : They are older, white conservative Christians - "Compared to other white Republicans, Tea Partiers had a low regard for immigrants and blacks long before Barack Obama was president, and they still do

"Past Republican affiliation is the single strongest predictor of Tea Party support today."

"The role of race is nothing new. A New York Times survey as well as a University of Washington study found Tea Party members more likely even than other Republicans to say that too much has been made of the problems facing black people, that the Obama administration favors blacks over whites, and to blame black disadvantage on the shortcomings of black people, rather than on the legacy of slavery and discrimination".

Serious Studies confirm that Tea partiers are mainly Old White Racists and Old Republican Bigots.

Getting to know the Tea Party
It's the GOP's white conservative base in silly costumes. Why couldn't the media figure that out sooner?
By Joan Walsh
Wednesday, Aug 17, 2011


Some excerpts :

Scholar Robert Putnam, best known for his study of American atomization in "Bowling Alone," has produced new data on the Tea Party and it's being billed as a shocker. Sit down before you read this: They are older, white conservative Christians "who were highly partisan Republicans long before the Tea Party was born."

Not surprised? Neither was I, but the research is actually fascinating. Putnam and Notre Dame's David Campbell tracked the role of faith and politics for their last book, "American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us." They went back to look at attitudes toward the Tea Party among 3,000 survey respondents for the paperback edition, and wrote an Op-Ed in Wednesday's New York Times.

Is it only about having a black president? Um, that probably doesn't help. But it's worth noting that these are the same people who've been fighting the Democratic Party since the days of the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act and the beginning of the War on Poverty, almost 50 years ago. They associate those long overdue social reforms with giving folks, mainly black people, something they don't deserve. I sometimes think just calling them racist against our black president obscures the depths of their hatred for Democrats, period.

Their far-right religious zealotry is an old story too. We act as though the separation of church and state was a question settled by the Founders, but from the country's earliest days many Americans believed that only white Protestants are qualified for democracy. There's a through-line from the evangelical Protestants who burned down Catholic churches and convents in the 19th century, who believed in a religious test for American citizenship, to Texas Gov. Rick Perry and his evangelical-Christians-only Christapalooza in Houston last weekend. Perry's preacher friends include Catholic bashers who'd make Lyman Beecher proud. We've been fightingthis impulse for a long time.

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