Those ads by a right-wing front group called "Latinos for Reform" -- urging Latinos no to vote for Democrats in the coming election because they haven't delivered on comprehensive immigration reform -- may not be turning out to be such a hot idea:
But the fever-pitch backlash to this advertisement suggests the message could bring about just the opposite effect, by energizing a Hispanic voting bloc that may have been lethargic with a new and compelling reason to get out and vote — by and large, for Democrats.
From the 2004 to 2008 elections, Hispanics grew in force from 8 percent of the electorate to 12 to 15 percent, depending on the exit poll — roughly equal to President Barack Obama’s margin of victory. Obama carried 76 percent of the Nevada Hispanic vote in 2008.
Electorate growth rates among Hispanics have slowed since. But what hasn’t is their overwhelming enthusiasm for Democrats.
“Hispanics are much more likely to view congressional Democrats favorably than other groups,” said John Tuman, chairman of UNLV’s political science department who also teaches in the Latin American studies department. According to a recent study by UNLV and the Brookings Mountain West think tank, “it’s only among Hispanics in any Mountain West state that you see Democrats having an overall net favorability ranking,” Tuman said.
Yeah, campaigns that smack of overt minority voter-suppression efforts -- particularly since the self-serving hypocrisy of these ads ("Punish Democrats because they haven't been effective in overcoming our longstanding efforts to kill immigration reform") is so transparent -- tend not to go over so well with minority voters.
Even the local Republican paper in Vegas declared the ads "repulsive".
And the sheer phoniness of a guy like Robert de Posada pretending that he favors immigration reform when in fact he's fought it tooth and nail is especially noteworthy. Political Correction:
Disturbingly, de Posada has frequently used race as a wedge issue and driven the narrative that Democrats favor other minority groups over Latinos. For instance, during the contentious confirmation process of Miguel Estrada, which Democrats filibustered because he was seen as "far beyond the mainstream," de Posada was quoted as asking, "Is the message here that the Democratic Party is sending that they have a favorite minority group?" The Associated Press reported that de Posada was frustrated that Estrada's nomination was being held up but "that two black judges have been confirmed to the U.S. Appeals Court." "Any opposition to [Estrada]" de Posada said, was "going to be taking it personally."
Gotta agree with the New York Times:
Latinos for Reform is not a grass-roots Latino immigration-reform group. It is the operation of a conservative Republican, Robert DePosada, a former director of Hispanic affairs for the Republican National Committee. While many Latinos are bitterly and rightly disappointed in President Obama’s failure to win immigration reform, the ad’s prescription — “Democratic leaders must pay for their broken promises and betrayals” — has it upside-down and backward.
Every time Congress has come close to passing bipartisan immigration reform, lock-step Republicans have destroyed any hope of passage. Democratic cowardice and ineptitude haven’t helped, but when a bill has come close to a vote, Republican-led filibusters killed it.
The Republicans’ contempt for Hispanic voters, of which this voter suppression is Exhibit A, is mirrored in the way their party exploits immigration rather than fixes it. Many immigrants and citizens yearn for reform. But if most of the Republicans running this fall have their way, we’ll never get it. Good reason to get out and vote.