Someone named Maria T. Cardona, a self-proclaimed “veteran Democrat political consultant,” has a piece at RCP today urging Latino voters to get out and vote this fall. Wait, that’s not exactly correct, she’s actually engaging in some blandly offensive assumptions and hoping to drum up more Democrat votes.
Her piece, which assumes that all Latino voters would prefer “comprehensive immigration reform,” offers two basic reaasons that Latinos should vote. The first is that doing so will make Republicans afraid to oppose comprehensive immigration reform. Although this proceeds from some questionable premises, if we accept those premises, the reasoning is sound. The second, bizarrely, is that if Latinos come out and vote en masse, it will prevent Obama from doing anything frustrating like delaying executive action on amnesty again.
Addressing this in reverse order, the second reason offered here is completely bizarre. As I’ve noted here before, if pro-immigration reform Latinos come out and vote en masse despite being told by Obama and the other Democrats to move to the back of the bus, the only possible message the Democrats will receive from this is that Latinos will come out and vote Democrat no matter what. This particular strategy is the least effective strategy any group of voters could possibly espouse in terms of having their agenda taken seriously. Refusal to vote or at least the credible threat of refusal to vote is the only leverage any voting bloc that doesn’t compromise an absolute majority has in a two-party system.
It’s no surprise, really, that Democrats want to trick pro-immigration reform Latinos to throw that lever away. Life is much easier when you can count on a voting bloc to show up without having to actually take their demands seriously. This is something Democrats know from long experience. While it’s not surprising, it IS insulting. This entire article is basically the rhetorical equivalent of: “What are you gonna do, vote Republican?”
The first reason proceeds from an assumption that is no less insulting to its target audience, which is that one’s skin color automatically determines what one thinks about a political issue. Latinos who are eligible to vote are all in the country legally. It’s an inarguable principle of basic economics that the existence of additional available legal labor would drive down the market value of labor performed by those who are currently already legal. Presumably, some non-trivial number of Latino voters realize …read more