Sunday, April 02, 2006

Andrew Sullivan, London Times, Sheriff Bush and the Latinos

Smart guy, that Sullivan. I don't often read his blog but when I do I'm usually impressed. Today's op-ed in the Times is first-class. I can't find too much to argue about with his take on the George Bush game plan -- and it's unhappy state of affairs in these end-time days.

...Before 9/11 Bush’s primary foreign policy focus was going to be Mexico. He knew the place well, having been a border-state governor. He’d also crafted an electoral strategy in Texas and nationally that could appeal to Hispanic immigrants, legal and illegal.

He would appeal to their religious faith and their social conservatism by repeating such platitudes as “family values don’t stop at the Rio Grande”. He would dole out federal funds to Latino pressure groups and churches. He would appoint a Latino attorney-general, Alberto Gonzales. He would propose humane measures that would help guide the 11m or so illegal immigrants to eventual American citizenship.

But sadly the best laid plans of sharp politicians don't always unfold as planned...

...What Bush has discovered is that it’s hard to hold on to an extremely conservative white Southern base, and yet also reach out to minorities, like African-Americans, Muslims, gays or Latinos, that have long been part of the Democratic party spectrum. Muslims were lost not long after 9/11. Gays disappeared after the federal marriage amendment. Blacks baled out after Katrina. Now Latinos look antsy with the prospect of serious immigration reform.

The denouement is not a pretty site. Check it out.

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