Election 2006 - Effects
Those who predicted, years ago, that immigration as an issue would divide the GOP to the extent of irreparable harm may gloat that their prediction has been vindicated. Not so fast, says I.
Maybe the election results would have been positive for the GOP if comprehensive immigration reform had been passed before the election. Maybe the root cause of the setback to GOP fortunes can be found in losers like JD Hayworth. His loss is, after all, being attributed to his "extreme views on immigration."
GOP leadership holds that "enforcement first" is a loser for the GOP. Tony Snow says a silver lining to the election is that Congress will now be able to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
My point being, that "immigration will prove to be the demise of the GOP" hasn't been established. Until that issue and others play out through another election cycle or two, the history as to effect on the GOP is unwritten. The object of the party is net votes, and kicking some voting blocks out of the big tent may draw bigger blocks. Want liberal immigration laws? Come to the GOP, so do we.
I personally think the GOP is in the process of shunning voters who express objection to liberal (as in number of entries per year) immigration and naturalization policies. And as I firmly hold that immigration reform to the extent of S.2611 is terrible domestic policy, the GOP aims to disabuse me of that view (or marginalize it, or horse trade it), so it can win my vote. And yours too.
"The people have spoken, conservatism is a fringe view." By shunning "fringe conservatives," the two parties will be competing on a modified battlefield.
What reasons does the GOP front for not energizing "its own" voters? Corruption. The GOP faithful didn't show up because of corruption (I assume this refers to Cunningham, Ney, Foley, Hastert's stiffing investigation to Jefferson). Corruption being No. 1, and Iraq being No. 2 - the GOP voters didn't show up because they disagree with the approach to Iraq.
As a "fringe conservative," those two issues don't turn my vote, period, end of discussion. And if the GOP "correction" to woo my vote is a repair to corruption and a change regarding Iraq, well, it totally misses my hot buttons. I'm pretty close to saying good riddance. Treat me like an idiot, and I'll vote like one. I don't like parties that make excuses.
Somehow I think the GOP won't outright shun the fringe conservative, but many of its amateur spokespeople do. The evangelicals are persona non grata, according to a significant number of stalwart supporters of the GOP. The ship is turning left, and the beat goes on.
November 9 - President Bush's Legislative Priorities for the 109th
- Spending/appropriations bills
- NSA terrorist surveillance act
- Bipartisan energy act
- India civilian nuclear power agreement
- International trade - VietNam as member of WTO