Tails you lose

You know the old joke about the guy with a dog whose vet tells him the dog’s tail has to be removed. Guy says “it’ll hurt too much to cut it off all at once, let’s do it an inch at a time”.

It’s pretty obvious that’s how things are for Republicans on immigration. They can for immigration reform now, which will hurt a little by increasing the number of Latino voters (but probably isn’t completely fatal to the GOP as a party) or they can spend the next five-to-ten years talking about sharks with frickin’ laser beams in the Rio Grande and further alienating the brown enemy within. The latter will just be killing time, painfully and self-destructively, until president Hillary Clinton or Julian Castro finally gets immigration reform passed. Every year they let Rush Limbaugh tell them to brown-bash is another year non-white people will hold against them for the next generation or so.

So I think the idea that Republicans shouldn’t do immigration reform until they’re prepared to start competing for Latino votes is just dumb. Republicans aren’t going to embrace the Other all of a sudden. Even Bobo doesn’t think so:

Can current Republicans change their underlying mentality to adapt to these realities? Intellectual history says no.

The obvious thing to do is cut loose some non-southern Republicans to vote for immigration reform, take their lumps the next few elections, and then hope they can eventually compete for non-white votes.

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55 replies
  1. 1
    Walker says:

    Dude. You just stomped on Elon James White.

  2. 2
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    OT: (gotta start the thread out right! ;)

    Soooo, Faux drops Palin and now Erick, Son of Erick, is leaving CNN and going to Faux?

    This is going to be hilarious to watch.

  3. 3
    Doug Galt says:


    Sorry, I started 30 minutes ago and was delayed by waiting for twitter to let me embed.

  4. 4

    I don’t see them getting away from “Let’s have a brah person give them our message and then they’ll see the wisdom of it” for at least one cycle.

  5. 5
    BGinCHI says:

    Doug, with all due respect, who gives a fuck about the GOP’s decision-making process here?

    What is there to say beyond “they got their ass kicked in the election and so they want to get votes so they can continue to kick the shit out of the poor and working classes”?

    Look at Jindal. On and on about how the party can’t cater to the rich only then goes with a regressive as hell sales tax that makes up for eliminating the income tax. Say one thing and fuck the poor and working classes.

    Class Warfare. Period.

  6. 6

    @BGinCHI: Our shiny new NC Gov and his lap dog Republican legislature is proposing that very thing. Do away with the State income tax and replace it with a sales tax. Screw the poor indeed.

    And right from my twitter feed right now


    GOP Governors increase burden on poor with regressive tax plan

  7. 7
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    Facebook Wingnut Barometer says that the “immigration issue” is all but dead because:

    1. The Mexican economy, relative to the United States economy, is doing pretty well. There simply isn’t as much economic need to migrate as their [sic] used to be.

    2. The United States economy – especially in home construction – is not as vibrant as it once was, and so there is less need for a pool of cheap labor.

    3. The Mexican fertility rate has cratered – going from about 7 children per woman 50 years ago to just over 2 children per woman today, and continuing to rapidly fall. Mexico’s fertility rate will probably drop below replacement level in just a few years. Long term, this means fewer young Mexicans and thus a simply smaller pool of people who would even want to move to the United States.

    Therefore, the real issue is what to do with immigrants already here. He’s stuck trying to pretend the GOP hasn’t been bashing the shit out of them for years and says that if they just offer amnesty, immigrants will become Goopers in 20 years or so.

    His wingnut buddies are screaming “shamnesty!” and insisting that any path to citizenship must not include voting rights. This just isn’t a needle they can thread.

  8. 8
    General Stuck says:

    I was reading winger blogs today and it just struck me how completely boxed in they are on the issue right now, even more than the recent Bush tax cut issue. Some of the wingnuts, like Rubio and his high brow senate buddies don’t get the rabid passion of hatred amnesty has in the red House districts across the south and elsewhere.

    All Rubio can see is his own star rising to get this done, and whimsical notions that it will somehow help the GOP over the long run with voters. It might, a little, but I seriously doubt it will trump all the new voters who know full well the side that is most on their side. And the xenophobes never change and will keep on saying stupid shit like this moronic GOP Rep, because the majority of voters in his district like him saying it.

    The party of Lincoln is stuck with these haters, and getting a decent comp immigration bill passed into law with the help of a few corporatist republican senators and with the likely needed help of dem votes in the House, is not going to change the electoral game that much. As the haters gonna keep on hatin’ in Tea PartyGop.

    Obama must be sitting in the Oval Office with his feets propped up on the presidential desk, grinning from ear to ear at the comical convulsions of a GOP melting down before his eyes, with only a slight worry about not getting in the way as much as possible. And watching out for any flanking maneuvers the nutters might attempt to shift blame for failure.

    It is win all the way around for dems, whether a bill gets passed with amnesty, of if it doesn’t, the wingers will get the blame and little of the credit that might arise.

  9. 9
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Nothing all afternoon and now three FP posts in seven minutes. Can’t you guys schedule these or something?

  10. 10
    lamh35 says:

    @General Stuck: ugh, I can’t stand Rubio. He reeks of an “I got mine, too bad u ain’t got yours” attitude when it comes to immigration. If the only thing that comes out of this is someone finally sticking it Rubio (i.e. why is it good for your fam, but my immigrant family are riff raff), I’ll be a happy camper.

  11. 11
    JWL says:

    “Don’t praise the machine”…. from the Where’s My Elephant Simpsons episode.

    And never give your enemy good advice.

  12. 12
    Valdivia says:

    I see Rubio went to kiss Rush’s ring today and told him he would scuttle the whole thing if it wasn’t to his liking.

    What is the big deal with Rubio anyway? Not smart. I don’t think he is a good speaker–to be fair I had to turn the mute button on because i hate to hear his ideas and tone–and he is already going bald at this early age which will look ridic by 2016. Am I being blind here?

  13. 13
    srv says:

    @Bubblegum Tate: SF got rid of them Mexicans and the housing glut by letting white folks from teh google and facebook gentrify the mission.

    But all them Southerners need to start producing some white folk if they expect win this war. Mexico is too unstable and the oil is running out. Too many naturalized or natives with family back home who are directly in danger from the drug war.

  14. 14
    The Sailor says:

    The obvious thing to do is cut loose some non-southern Republicans to vote for immigration reform, take their lumps the next few elections, and then hope they can eventually compete for non-white votes.

    Thanks for the laugh.

  15. 15
    BGinCHI says:

    @Valdivia: When you have a lousy bench, even the shitty players get attention.

    He has less charisma than Jim Demint.

    Hell, he has less charisma than creme de menthe.

  16. 16
    Valdivia says:


    I am with you totally. I guess I wonder why lots of liberals in the punditry make him out to be some charismatic super star too?

  17. 17
    litbrit says:

    Slightly OT: What the hell does Bobo know about “Intellectual history”?

  18. 18
    Bubblegum Tate says:


    What is the big deal with Rubio anyway?

    Goopers think he’s smart because he mouths the talking points, and they think, “Hey, he’s Hispanic–let him mouth the talking points to Mexicans, and they’ll totally buy ’em!” without the slightest understanding of the myriad things wrong with that statement.

  19. 19
    Short Bus Bully says:

    Bullshit. All of it.

    GOP “Plan”:
    1) Work on the MESSAGING – ie: Rubio as mouthpiece (browns lurve them some Rubio, amirite?)
    2) Gerrymander every fucking election from here to kingdom come, work on getting Poll Taxes and Jim Crow back in action.

    There you go, saved you all some time. Bobo can wring his hands all he wants, but that’s the MASTER PLAN for the next several election cycles.

  20. 20
    muddy says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    Soooo, Faux drops Palin and now Erick, Son of Erick, is leaving CNN and going to Faux?

    Colber eviscerated Erick son etc last night. I liked it.

  21. 21
    MikeJ says:

    The obvious thing to do is cut loose some non-southern Republicans to vote for immigration reform, take their lumps the next few elections

    But they won’t even take their lumps in the next few elections. Is there any plan that gives citizenship right away? At most they a pathway to permanent resident, which then has a pathway to citizenship. If the senate plane were passed tomorrow there’s no way it could have any effect before 2020, and much, much more likely, 2028. They ought to be able to get their shit together by then.

  22. 22
    BGinCHI says:

    @litbrit: Fuck all.

  23. 23
    Redshift says:


    I am with you totally. I guess I wonder why lots of liberals in the punditry make him out to be some charismatic super star too?

    Part of is the flip side of “both sides do it”; they’re desperate to find non-crazy nonwhite Republicans so they can keep pretending that vicious racism isn’t a core component of the modern GOP.

    Part of it is that they understand that Hispanics/Latinos are a voting bloc, so they think they are basically monolithic. As a result, they are eager to dismiss any of the factors that make Rubio broadly unappealing (being Cuban-American, being a pre-revolution exile, being a Republican, being an asshole.)

    I’m sure there’s more, but those seem like some of the obvious factors.

  24. 24
    danimal says:

    Immigration reform will help the GOP, but not in the way portrayed in the press. The GOP is losing popularity with Hispanics as they become a larger and more active part of the population. Immigration reform will shut up some of their yahoos for a few years by taking the issue off the front pages, so their popularity slide will slow down or stop.

    They aren’t trying to improve on the current 70/30 Dem/Rep split (which this reform can’t do for them); they’re trying to avoid a 90/10 Dem/Rep split.

  25. 25
    MikeJ says:


    You just stomped on Elon James White.

    Welcome to the thunderdome Balloon-juice!

  26. 26
    Valdivia says:

    @Bubblegum Tate:

    so hispanic lipstick on republican pig? sounds about right.

    funny how the both sides do it idiocy penetrates everything!

  27. 27
    yutsano says:


    so hispanic lipstick on republican pig?

    For no reason at all this line is making me crave ropa vieja and that’s not even pork! :)

  28. 28
    Punchy says:

    But what does Sullivan think about illegal irrigation?

  29. 29
    MikeJ says:

    @yutsano: Traditionally it’s not pork, but when I’ve had more smoked pig than I could eat in one sitting left I’ve used it in a dish that I told people was ropa vieja, and it was damned good, even if inauthentic.

  30. 30
    honeybooboo says:

    Another masturbation piece by DougJ talking how best the GOP can do stuff when he should be saying fuck em and their stupid bullshit and they are screwed no matter what.

    But no…he needs to concern troll about it. Another so called self described “former Republican” no doubt

  31. 31
    Yutsano says:

    @honeybooboo: Herp de derp. Durfs gotta Durf.

  32. 32
    aimai says:

    Listening to NPR today after the President’s speech, trying to explain-it-all-for-you and I was struck by this stunning fact: they referred matter of factly to the whiteness of the GOP. I listen to NPR atheistically, all the time, and they always dance around this issue. This time they said bluntly that the Senate Republicans were pushing this because the party was in trouble with Hispanic voters and that the “real problem” would come in the House because many House Republicans “come from districts that are whiter than the rest of the country” (this is false, it is because they prefer to keep their voters white in districts which have large illegal immigrant communities but be that as it may). The NPR interlocutor went on to say that because of this “whiter” base the House Republicans would vote against new Immigration laws for “their own sake” but might, if they thought about it from the point of view of the party, vote for it. The lugubriousness of this last desperate throw of the dice: “for the party? what’s that?” was so obvious that the NPR person practically sighed as the words came out of her mouth.

  33. 33
    walt says:

    The self-inflicted curse of the Republican Party was to go double down on the culture war even as it became apparent that they had probably squeezed out its last advantages in the last decade. The party simply can’t change its message or its messengers. It’s much too late for that. Look at Drudge or Rush or Fox & Friends still stoking the crazy victimology that so animates their older, white demographic. What do they replace the brown menace with exactly? Yes, demonizing blacks is still their main course, and hating Teh Gay will backstop that even at this late date. The problem is that the right’s cultural panic has metatasized to the point that its no longer a matter of Bill O’Reilly issuing edicts to the rubes. This party is going down because it can’t evolve. It can only die a painful death, although joyous for the rest of us.

  34. 34
    Suffern ACE says:

    @MikeJ: ok. I also don’t think this is going to solve a lot of the issue of the undocumented because it involves making payments and the population that it is aimed at tends to have low income. However, the goal of this reform isn’t simply to create voters for this or that party. The problem is that we have maybe 11 million people who have a difficult time because they can’t work legally. There’s a lot to be said for being a legal resident. It opens up quite a few more jobs. If the bill doesn’t solve that problem, then I’m guessing it isn’t worth passing. I think it might help a lot of people get out of the undocumented trap.

  35. 35
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:


    I’ll have to look that clip up later, thanks for the tip! Colbert is an expert at skewering idiots and Erick is one huge fucking idiot.

  36. 36
    muddy says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: He’s probably excited that he was noticed by Colbert. Big time!

  37. 37
    phoebes-in-santa fe says:

    @General Stuck: I loathe that little shit, Marco Rubio.

    He has no compassion for the millions of illegal immigrants because HIS family was given a “free pass” and was allowed legal immigration because they were from CUBA!

    Of course, the whole Cuban/Castro problem was handled wrong from the very beginning.

  38. 38
    arguingwithsignposts says:


    What the hell does Bobo know about “Intellectual history”?

    About as much as he knows about humility.

  39. 39
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Bubblegum Tate: yep. I would have no problem thinking that the republicans could turn Hispanics into a reliable voting block if it were just your yahoo friends. The problem for the party is how to stop their actual office holders and candidates from showing up at rallies looking for voters or taking those endorsements from their leaders. The immigrants from everywhere don’t like to hear their supposed officials declare that immigration is the end of civilization.

  40. 40
    hoodie says:

    The obvious thing to do is cut loose some non-southern Republicans to vote for immigration reform, take their lumps the next few elections, and then hope they can eventually compete for non-white votes.

    Fixed. The main reason for this move is to get the Village to talk nicer about them, to get white votes in places where they’re not getting them, like the West, Upper Midwest and Northeast. They are smart enough to realize that a few symbolic and usually pretty empty gestures by people who are assholes 95% of the time are often swallowed hook, line and sinker by the totebagger crowd as evidence of “moderation.” Example A is Chris Christie.

  41. 41
    pluege says:

    “intellectual history”? WTF.

  42. 42
    zoot says:

    …and he is already going bald at this early age which will look ridic by 2016. Am I being blind here?

    …better bald rubio than the monstrous pug christie – what a choice. (must really suck to be a republican…but then again, republicans are republicans BECAUSE they really suck!)

  43. 43
    Turgidson says:

    If you’re stuck in a ditch, first thing is to stop digging. That’s the simple answer. There’s probably some truth to the idea (was it Douche-hat who said it?) that the GOP will suffer short-term if a liberal immigration bill passes. But they’ll suffer worse if they’re seen killing reform again (inevitably followed by the teabaggers bragging about it).

    Rubio and old man McCain are trying to thread the needle of getting the GOP some mainstream credit for a “reform” bill, except that it doesn’t actually do anything until reactionary GOP asshole governors in the Southwest decide the border is nice and secure. Which of course will never happen, by design. Profit! Or something.

    The GOP has no good options politically, and lord knows “do the right thing” will not enter their calculus here. Oh well. Sucks for them.

  44. 44
    Chris says:

    @Bubblegum Tate:

    Therefore, the real issue is what to do with immigrants already here.

    DING DING DING, therefore the immigration issue is not dead, sorry wingnuts –

    – and Jesus, not all immigrants are Mexican. I don’t presume to know how well Central American, Caribbean or South American nations are doing compared to Mexico, but it seems to me that basing your opinion of the status of immigration politics on how just one nation is doing is kinda leaving out a lot. Like if after the potato famine you’d said “aight, Ireland’s doing better, so the immigration issue is dead!” Aheh. Italy and Poland would like a word with you…

  45. 45
    muddy says:

    So interesting also that they don’t seem concerned with the northern border.

  46. 46
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    @Turgidson: yeah. That part about the governors declaring secure voters is kind of hard to understand. It’s not as if there aren’t 50,000 Latino citizens turning 18 each month. It doesn’t stop legal immigrants from becoming citizens either. So how long one can remain reactionary is questionable.

    However, I’m also not certain that provision will stay in. Obama has made it quite clear that it is the federal government that sets immigration policy and that includes who is and who isn’t a citizen. I can’t see him creating a class of legal residents whose final immigration status is contingent on the approval of the governors. Also I’m not certain why Dominicans in New York or Filipinos in New Jersey need to wait for Arizona, New Mexico and Texas to vote for three moderate governors at the same time.

  47. 47
    Chris says:

    @Short Bus Bully:

    Yeah, I think the gerrymandering is an attempt to lock themselves into power until they’re over this hump and the political climate no longer sticks them between a rock and a hard place with nonwhites and immigrants on one side and Angry White Conservatives on the other.

    But that could take decades. I’ve said this before – this has the potential to be the killer for them that civil rights was for us (and we’re just beginning, now, forty years later, to get back on our feet after that shellacking). It’ll take a lot more than eleven dimensions of chess for them to stay in power through this one.

    (Couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch, eh?)

  48. 48
    General Stuck says:

    @phoebes-in-santa fe:

    Yea, and I suspect it is that wet foot/dry foot rule that separates Hispanics like Rubio from those that walked over miles of some of the most lethal desert any where in the world just to work for sub minimum wages and dodging the Border Patrol every step of the way. I’ve always thought that doing that went a long way toward any payment to society for being un documented/illegal.

  49. 49
    jrg says:

    The obvious thing to do is cut loose some non-southern Republicans to vote for immigration reform,

    That’s obvious to you. They have no leader. They have no message control. They have an enemy who’s going to troll the shit out of them over it.

    The dog’s tail will be cut off. One. Inch. At. A. Time.

  50. 50
    Danack says:

    Doug, there’s a flaw in your reasoning. Although the Republican party will be essentially unchanged in 10 years time, the actual people in the Republican party will change.

    Their choice is between:

    i) Ignore immigration reform and make it the next guys problem.

    ii) Have some sort of amnesty for illegal immigrants now, and have a massive wave of new voters kick the Republicans out of office all across the country – but particularly Texas and Florida.

    Plus of course it gives the Republicans one less issue to campaign on, and so be less able to raise fund from the tea-party types.

    I don’t think anybody expects the Republicans to plan ahead and try to solve problems if they can avoid it, and make it someone elses problem.

  51. 51
    patroclus says:

    I don’t think the immigration debate is going to help the Republicans at all. Ever since Pete Wilson, their crazies were unleashed and they lost California for good. Now, the California phenomemon is happening across most of the remainder of the country. The immigrants I’ve met are very politically aware and listening to the Republicans go on and on about “amnesty” and “anchor babies” and “border security” for the next 6 months is going to make them less likely to give the Republicans the time of day – much less vote for them. And it’s not all Latinos either – I’ve met Kenyan, Nigerian, Indian, Pakistani, Russian and Ukrainian immigrants just in the past year or so, and whenever politics comes up, they ALL seem to be liberal Democrats.

    And even if a bill is enacted, it seems pretty draconian; requiring all sorts of money to be paid and it might take years and years before actual legal status is earned. The issue seems likely to last for quite awhile regardless of the outcome this year. And the handful of Republicans who end up voting for something will likely be drowned out by the vast majority of Republicans who won’t.

  52. 52
    danielx says:

    Since Barry Goldwater, the central Republican narrative has been what you might call the Encroachment Story: the core problem of American life is that voracious government has been steadily encroaching upon individuals and local communities. The core American conflict, in this view, is between Big Government and Personal Freedom.

    This, of course, explains the Republican uproar against the more egregious provisions of the Patriot Act, and the ridiculous sums spent on war-making capabilities and internal security.

    It’s smarter to build a new wing of the Republican Party, one that can compete in the Northeast, the mid-Atlantic states, in the upper Midwest and along the West Coast. It’s smarter to build a new division that is different the way the Westin is different than the Sheraton.

    Build it out of what, popsicle sticks? The Republican Party has so thoroughly shit the bed with women, minorities and just about everybody else who doesn’t earn $250K+ per year that they don’t have anybody left to convert in those places. Let’s see, how can I count the ways? Transvaginal unltrasounds, anyone? Ann Coulter calling New Yorkers cowards? Ths list is endless…Dave, ol’ pal.

    This isn’t 1980, Ronald Reagan has been dead for quite some time now, and the Republicans have got everybody that they’re ever going to get as part of their base. Their base hates brown people of whatever persuasion, and that’s not going to change. The evangelical portion of their base is going to go on wishing to impose Biblical law on the rest of us, and that’s not going to change either. The only thing left to do with the Republican Party in areas that aren’t totally safe for Republican candidates is to give the rotting corpse a decent burial and start over.

    It must be wearisome to be David Brooks sometimes, even at his salary.

  53. 53
    rikyrah says:

    @General Stuck:


    the racism is WHO THEY ARE…

    they just cannot get past it…no matter what the Corporatist Wing of the GOP says.

    I mean Shrub and the Evil One lied us into two wars…

    and STILL couldn’t get Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

  54. 54
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    You know the old joke about the guy with a dog whose vet tells him the dog’s tail has to be removed

    I was so certain you had found this story: http://www.kcrg.com/news/local.....64591.html

    But I was wrong. This dog will definitely have a good home. And if doesn’t, I know the BJ posse will be there to make sure it happens.

  55. 55
    Bubblegum Tate says:


    basing your opinion of the status of immigration politics on how just one nation is doing is kinda leaving out a lot.

    Yeah, it is pretty telling that “immigration” means “Mexicans.”

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