"There was some hope among Republican strategists, especially Karl Rove, that this formula might also work with the rapidly growing Latino vote and guarantee a g.o.p. majority in perpetuity. 'Rove had a point. My people are very conservative on social values,' says Congressman Luis Gutierrez, a Chicago Democrat. 'We're family oriented, a lot of small-business owners. But the Republicans have blown that opportunity now. Even the Pentecostals are sending busloads to the protests. Spanish-language radio is announcing the vote on every amendment to the Senate immigration bill. You've got a generation of young Latino citizens whose first political impression is that Republicans are people who want to deport their parents.'" (emphasis added)Seems to be the news story of the day. A growing conventional wisdom is taking hold.
But let's consider that Joe Klein says Bush is "smart" on the issue, it's just his party that isn't. Um, excuse me, who's party is it anyway, Joe? He's the leader, isn't he? Then it's his responsibility that this mess has been made, another failure of his leadership. He's let his party become a vehicle for intolerance by pounding wedge issues. And now, he's reaping what he's sown inside his party. So let's not bestow Bush with a pass on this issue (or call him smart, I mean, come on) without some much needed perspective, please!