• Pragerisms

    For a more comprehensive list of Pragerisms visit
    Dennis Prager Wisdom.

    • "The left is far more interested in gaining power than in creating wealth."
    • "Without wisdom, goodness is worthless."
    • "I prefer clarity to agreement."
    • "First tell the truth, then state your opinion."
    • "Being on the Left means never having to say you're sorry."
    • "If you don't fight evil, you fight gobal warming."
    • "There are things that are so dumb, you have to learn them."
  • Liberalism’s Seven Deadly Sins

    • Sexism
    • Intolerance
    • Xenophobia
    • Racism
    • Islamophobia
    • Bigotry
    • Homophobia

    A liberal need only accuse you of one of the above in order to end all discussion and excuse himself from further elucidation of his position.

  • Glenn’s Reading List for Die-Hard Pragerites

    • Bolton, John - Surrender is not an Option
    • Bruce, Tammy - The Thought Police; The New American Revolution; The Death of Right and Wrong
    • Charen, Mona - DoGooders:How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help
    • Coulter, Ann - If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans; Slander
    • Dalrymple, Theodore - In Praise of Prejudice; Our Culture, What's Left of It
    • Doyle, William - Inside the Oval Office
    • Elder, Larry - Stupid Black Men: How to Play the Race Card--and Lose
    • Frankl, Victor - Man's Search for Meaning
    • Flynn, Daniel - Intellectual Morons
    • Fund, John - Stealing Elections
    • Friedman, George - America's Secret War
    • Goldberg, Bernard - Bias; Arrogance
    • Goldberg, Jonah - Liberal Fascism
    • Herson, James - Tales from the Left Coast
    • Horowitz, David - Left Illusions; The Professors
    • Klein, Edward - The Truth about Hillary
    • Mnookin, Seth - Hard News: Twenty-one Brutal Months at The New York Times and How They Changed the American Media
    • Morris, Dick - Because He Could; Rewriting History
    • O'Beirne, Kate - Women Who Make the World Worse
    • Olson, Barbara - The Final Days: The Last, Desperate Abuses of Power by the Clinton White House
    • O'Neill, John - Unfit For Command
    • Piereson, James - Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism
    • Prager, Dennis - Think A Second Time
    • Sharansky, Natan - The Case for Democracy
    • Stein, Ben - Can America Survive? The Rage of the Left, the Truth, and What to Do About It
    • Steyn, Mark - America Alone
    • Stephanopolous, George - All Too Human
    • Thomas, Clarence - My Grandfather's Son
    • Timmerman, Kenneth - Shadow Warriors
    • Williams, Juan - Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America--and What We Can Do About It
    • Wright, Lawrence - The Looming Tower

Dennis Prager at His Best……It Isn’t Obama that is KILLING America……

The following video is from a session held a year or two ago regarding WHAT AILS AMERICA?.

Dennis Prager, unique in our American public life for his wisdom, knowledge,  devotion to God, and his ability to clarify and teach Truth, as he honestly recognizes it,  with both self control and emotion, reminds us of our current American disorder.     Click below for his excellent analysis:


Dennis Prager can be heard in the Twin Cities  weekly from 11AM to 2 PM at Salem Radio, the Patriot,  at AM 1280..

I thank friend and fellow conservatives, Brian Ross and Arlene Taber,  for forwarding this video.   We did present it a year or two ago, but fell into the habit of forgetting about its poignant message.    America’s diseases may be exacerbated by the present president and his Marxist oriented Party, but he and they are a result, not the source of our cancers.


John Hinderaker: The Lawlessness of Barack Hussein and His Government

 John Hinderaker in Liberals, Obama Administration Scandals

The Obama Doctrine and the Rule of Law

at PowerLine:

“Remember the good old days when Democrats cared about the rule of law? Or pretended to, anyway. That was during the Bush administration, even though most if not all of the policies that prompted “rule of law” complaints from the left were in fact supported by good legal authority. That was then, and this is now: the Age of Obama is, among its many other faults, an age of lawlessness. I won’t attempt anything like a complete catalog, but let’s just recall a few–the cramdown of bondholders’ rights that first caused the label “Gangster Government” to be applied to the administration; the circumvention of administrative procedures to speed up cash flow to the administration’s “green energy” cronies; the illegal funneling of weapons to Mexican drug cartels; the attempt to dictate religious doctrine to the Catholic Church in violation of the First Amendment; and the president’s targeting of Mitt Romney’s financial supporters with vicious smears, including falsely accusing them of being criminals.

Now we have President Obama announcing that he will selectively stop enforcing the nation’s immigration laws, where he thinks that such non-enforcement will be politically advantageous to him. What is remarkable about this particular instance is that Obama has previously stated that he has no legal authority to do what he did last week. No matter. Rule of law? That’s for the Republicans. Jennifer Rubin has more on this topic, as does Michael Ramirez:

Do Democrats mind seeing the United States turned into a banana republic? Not particularly. Evidently, their only concern is their guy’s re-election. Still, at least a few of them must have pondered what the Obama Doctrine will mean under a Republican administration. The president’s campaign says that Mitt Romney wants to pursue a policy of radical deregulation. I hope they are right; and, of course, the president can effect significant changes in the regulatory climate through his policies and appointments. Thus, in a Romney administration the EPA presumably would stop making war on the American economy. And, of course, law enforcement always involves establishment of priorities.

But the Obama Doctrine goes much farther than that. The Obama Doctrine holds that the president need not “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,” as the Constitution says, but rather can effectively repeal or amend statutes by publicly declining to enforce, or selectively enforcing, them. How might the doctrine be applied in a Republican administration? To take just one of countless examples, most Republicans think that Dodd-Frank is a bad law. Under the Obama Doctrine, if there aren’t enough votes in Congress to repeal the law, President Romney will be able to accomplish the same result by announcing that henceforth, the federal government will make no effort to enforce it. Perhaps Romney could cut taxes unilaterally, too, simply by decreeing that the IRS will not prosecute tax evasion above certain percentage levels.

Given that I expect that we will have a Republican president in seven months, the Obama Doctrine has a certain appeal. Still, we conservatives actually believe in the rule of law. So when President Obama is shuffled out of office, the Obama Doctrine no doubt will find itself on the ash heap of history along with so much else that our president has wrought.”

Comment:   Marxism is a religion in which there is no God but the State.   Barack Hussein has been trained in this religion and is a devotee to it.   Since there is no God but the State, there is no absolute right or wrong only State dicta.

Mr. Obama was never raised American……at least he demonstrates this condition.   Indonesia and Hawaii and a broken biracial home were his playgrounds.    Beyond his Marxism, he is a loner…..and an American can certainly understand why.

As president he is disingenuous, deceitful, divisive, duplicitous and dishonest.  

Why should he, a Marxist, be bothered by such interferences as the rule of law when he can so easily circumvent it at a time when the voting population is too uneducated and detached from recognizing what is going on? 


Obama’s Lefty Racists ignore…. Barry is as much white as he is black

President Obama was interrupted doing his usual  blathering the other day.    The event has  aroused the Lefty Racists which organize today’s racist driven Democrat Party.

Personally, I claim Mr. Obama as an almost American……American legally, but not American by culture.   After all, he was raised during his most developing years in Indonesia and Hawaii.    His very presidency and its propensity to dictate, corrupt, and distort  rather than work kout honest democratic solutions underscores  the accuracy of my view of him.

Here we have an example of the lava flow which has erupted from the mouth of a  programmed American Lefty politician.    Mr. Obama, both the white in him as well as the black, has been campaigning every day of every week for about a year now.    He does not lead the government and the country.   He bleats and bleats.

He now has a major opponent, Mitt Romney,  for the same political office for which Mr. Obama is maneuvering. 

Mitt Romney has been heckled and assaulted verbally while he campaigns by  the Obama politcal crowd.     What determines that these  anti- Romney hecklers are NOT OBAMA ORGANIZED RACISTS WHO HATE THIS CANDIDATE FOR HIS WHITENESS, CIVILITY, AND RELIGION?

Click below for the prgrammed statement from a representative of the American innercity black Soveit plantation community:



Eight Possible Outcomes to Obamacare……Choose the ‘winner’


The Supreme Court and Obamacare:

Eight Possible Outcomes

Everyone is now waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court to hand down its decision in NFIB v. Sebelius, the name of the case frequently referred to simply as “Obamacare.”

Lawyers argued four issues before the justices who will decide the fate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and there are eight possible outcomes. Some are more likely than others, and some are more consequential than others.

In fact, one would change this country forever.

But aside from that one apocalyptic scenario, there are several outcomes that will carry the legal force of a tsunami and could change parts of the constitutional landscape for decades to come.

The four issues before the Court in NFIB v. Sebelius are:

1. Whether the Anti-Injunction Act (AIA) regards the individual mandate as a tax, and as such federal courts lack jurisdiction to decide this case until the individual mandate goes into effect in 2014.

2. Whether Obamacare’s requirement that individual Americans must purchase and maintain federally-approved forms of health insurance starting in 2014—the infamous individual mandate in Section 1501—exceeds Congress’ powers under the Commerce Clause, Taxing Clause, and/or Necessary and Proper Clause of the Constitution.

3. Whether Obamacare’s massive Medicaid expansion that requires states to pay part of the cost and could penalize any state that refuses to go along with these requirements by stripping all Medicaid funds from that state, found in Section 2001, exceeds Congress’ power under the Spending Clause of the Constitution, thereby violating state sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment.

4. If either the individual mandate (or the Medicaid expansion) is struck down, whether it can be “severed” from the rest of the 2,700-page Obamacare statute, and if not, whether the invalid section can be partially severed to save most of Obamacare, or whether it is “nonseverable,” meaning the entire statute must be struck down completely.

Those are the issues. Here are the possibilities, and my best guess of the rough odds for each as a lawyer who has filed briefs in this case since it was filed in 2010 (which could still be completely wrong nonetheless):

Scenario 1: No Jurisdiction

The Supreme Court could hold that the individual mandate is a tax for purposes of the AIA, and that it strips federal courts of jurisdiction for the next two years. If that happens, every Obamacare lawsuit challenging the individual mandate would be dismissed and must be re-filed in federal district court in 2014. This option would probably get Obamacare back before the Supreme Court in 2016.

The odds of this scenario are essentially zero. In fact, this part of the Court’s opinion might be unanimous. The correct position on this issue is: (1) the AIA is a filing-process law, not a jurisdictional law, so it doesn’t strip federal courts of the power to decide anything. (2) Even if the AIA was a jurisdiction-stripping law, it would not apply in this case, since the AIA only refers to lawsuits brought by persons, and such laws do not apply to sovereign entities unless Congress explicitly mentioned it. States are sovereign, and 26 of the plaintiffs in this case are states. (3) Even if the AIA did apply to states, it would at most only apply to the tax penalty for violating the individual mandate—which is a separate part of Obamacare—not to the individual mandate itself. So for all those reasons, the Supreme Court is almost certain to move on to decide the merits of this case.

Scenario 2: Obamacare Upheld with a Majority Opinion

The second scenario is that both challenged provisions (individual mandate or Medicaid) of Obamacare are upheld, and five justices agree on a majority opinion explaining why Obamacare is authorized by a combination of the Commerce Clause and the Necessary and Proper Clause.

This is the nightmare scenario. The Obama administration acknowledged during oral arguments both at the Supreme Court and in the lower courts—both in this case and in at least two other Obamacare cases across the country—that they cannot articulate any limiting principle on the power of the federal government if it has the power to order private citizens to enter into contracts with private organizations and give those organizations your money. It would fundamentally and forever transform the federal government from one of limited and specified powers in the Constitution to an all-powerful central government with plenary power over every area and aspect of your life from cradle to grave. Unless something is protected by a specific provision in the Bill of Rights (such as free speech or the right to own a gun), the national government could control it. It would fulfill President Obama’s ominous vow to “fundamentally transform the United States of America.”

Fortunately—and no one is really talking about this fact—the odds of this scenario are extremely slim. You can’t get to five votes without Justice Anthony Kennedy. And during oral arguments Kennedy asserted repeatedly that the Constitution imposes limits on federal power, and he expressly acknowledged that adopting the Justice Department’s argument would change our entire form of government in a fundamental way. So even if the liberals prevail, it should not be with a majority opinion that would be a new rule of constitutional law protected as precedent.

Scenario 3: Obamacare Upheld with a Plurality Opinion

The third scenario is that there are five votes to uphold the individual mandate but not with a unified opinion. In this scenario one of the liberal justices, probably either Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer or Elena Kagan, writes an opinion for four justices about how the Constitution empowers the federal government to impose the individual mandate, and with it claims unfettered federal power.

But Justice Kennedy would refuse to sign that opinion, and instead write a separate opinion concurring in the judgment only. Such an opinion would say that somehow the individual mandate is unique to healthcare and to the specifics of this law, and therefore that upholding it does not open the door for the government to impose any other mandates on any of your other private decisions.

Only an opinion with five or more votes becomes an opinion of the Supreme Court itself and thus binding constitutional law. Otherwise Kennedy’s concurring opinion would be the controlling opinion, and would only apply to Obamacare.

The odds of this are slim, but realistic. Based on how oral argument went, maybe there’s roughly a 20 percent of this outcome. Kennedy was skeptical of the Obama administration’s claim right to the end of oral argument, but then he cracked the door in an exchange with challengers’ lawyer Mike Carvin that the individual mandate might be unique. Hopefully he was just playing devil’s advocate. We’ll find out soon.

Scenario 4: Individual Mandate Struck Down and Totally Severed

The fourth scenario is that the individual mandate is struck down, but then is totally severed from the other 450 sections of the Obamacare statute, and the remaining law stays on the books. This would deny the federal government its claim of unlimited power but would destroy the healthcare industry. The guaranteed-issue and community-rating provisions of Obamacare—found in Section 1201—would allow everyone to refuse to get insurance until they get sick and not be charged extra for their health condition, and then after treatments or medications are finished they could immediately dump their insurance until the next time they get seriously ill.

Between this and all the other mandates in Obamacare, some experts say that within five or 10 years the healthcare finance system would become completely insolvent and every insurance provider would go bankrupt. At that point America would have a single-payer system of socialized medicine and government-run healthcare, just like Britain and Canada.

Although the odds of the individual mandate going down are maybe 80 percent, this scenario is unlikely. Kagan admitted this result would cause the healthcare industry to “crash and burn”—her words, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor added that it would cause a “death spiral” in healthcare costs. So if the mandate goes down, some other part of Obamacare will almost surely go down with it.

Scenario 5: Medicaid Expansion Struck Down and Totally Severed

The fifth scenario—another one no one is discussing—is that the individual mandate could be upheld but the Medicaid expansion struck down. These two sections are rooted in different clauses of the Constitution, and they can stand or fall separately from each other. This would be like Scenario 3 where the mandate survives but without a majority opinion (Kennedy writing separately), but five votes to say that this is an unprecedented coercion of the states.

Obamacare sticks the states with a $50 billion additional copay on a vastly-expanded version of Medicaid—and threatens to withdraw every Medicaid dollar from a state if they refuse—while at the same time continuing to tax all the citizens of that state through their bi-weekly payroll taxes is an unconstitutional assault on the status of the states as sovereigns that are coequal with the federal government. But the Court completely severs this section of the statute and keeps the remaining 450 sections on the books.

The odds of this are about as slim as Scenario 4. It’s an uphill climb to get to five votes on striking down the Medicaid expansion. (Maybe 30 percent tops, and I can only say that because I couldn’t believe how well oral arguments went on this issue. Before argument I wouldn’t think you had a 10 percent chance of this section being struck down.) The Court has never adopted this coercion theory before, though it has acknowledged it might be out there somewhere. And the Court has never looked at a law that threatens the states with even a fraction of this amount of money. So it’s difficult to imagine how you could keep all five possible votes (Chief Justice John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito—plus Kennedy) on board on this issue, but not also keep them together to take down the individual mandate. But it’s possible, at least theoretically.

Scenario 6: Narrow Partial Severability

The sixth scenario is that the individual mandate is struck down (again, maybe an 80 percent chance of that), but Medicaid is upheld. Then the Court holds that the preexisting conditions provisions in Obamacare (guaranteed-issue and community-rating provisions in Section 1201, explained above) cannot be severed from the Section 1501 mandate, an argument that is so strong that the Obama administration conceded it in court.

This takes out the three most important provisions in Obamacare but leaves everything else in place. It would ruin the healthcare industry, but it might take decades instead of years and would be a gradual decline as opposed to the immediate downturn under Scenario 4.

This scenario is very possible. That’s why Kagan and Sotomayor mentioned “crash and burn” and a “death spiral,” but if the preexisting-conditions provisions are thrown out then that outcome becomes debatable to talking heads. If, for example, Roberts goes against the mandate but doesn’t think it’s the proper role of the courts to take down all of Obamacare, then this may be the result.

Scenario 7: Broad Partial Severability

The seventh scenario is like Scenario 6, except that additional major parts of Obamacare are held nonseverable from the Section 1501 mandate and are struck down. The Medicaid provision might be independently struck down under this scenario, or it might be held okay in itself but doomed anyway because it is inextricably linked to the individual mandate. Other provisions that could go down under this scenario are the employer mandate that companies with 50+ employees must provide healthcare coverage (Section 1513), the provisions for the massive state-based insurance exchanges, and other mandates on healthcare providers and insurance companies.

This scenario is distinctly possible, but less likely than Scenario 6. It requires five justices willing to essentially go page-by-page through 2,700 pages, picking which provisions to keep and which to eradicate. There’s really only about twenty sections that would seriously be on the chopping block in such an inquiry, so it might not be an impossible task. But it’s hard to imagine five justices willing to say that they are in a position to make each of those section-by-section decisions, and then being able to agree between themselves as to which sections those should be. Remember—each section would take five “no” votes.

Scenario 8: Unconstitutional and Nonseverable—Obamacare Struck Down Entirely

The final scenario is that the individual mandate is struck down, and possibly the Medicaid expansion is separately struck down, and the Court holds the mandate so central to the “original legislative bargain” in the Affordable Care Act statute that the remaining provisions no longer function “in a manner consistent with the intent of Congress,” so Congress would not be satisfied with the remaining law.

Under Supreme Court precedent, this means the individual mandate (and possibly the Medicaid expansion as well) is totally nonseverable from the other 450 sections in the statute, and the entire law must be struck down. This is the brass ring—the grand-slam outcome. This is quite possible.

Again, there’s perhaps an 80 percent chance the individual mandate goes down. Scalia signaled that he probably believes that means the whole law perishes, and—this surprised a lot of lawyers in the courtroom, including me—Kennedy suggested this statute might be an all-or-nothing proposition for him, too. If you can keep Roberts, Thomas, and Alito with them, then Obamacare goes down. If the individual mandate is invalidated, then you might want to flip a coin between Scenario 6 (narrow partial severability) and this one.

The good news is we don’t have long to wait. Don’t expect a decision in less than two weeks (although the Court could always surprise us—wouldn’t be the first time), but sometime between Monday, June 25, and Thursday, June 28, we should expect the nine justices of the Supreme Court—entrusted with the power to act as the final arbiters of the constitutionality of Acts of Congress—to hand down their decision.

The Constitution created the Supreme Court for cases such as this. And when the Court decides this case—one way or the other—America may never be the same.

Breitbart News legal contributor Ken Klukowski filed briefs on behalf of Members of Congress and the Family Research Council in the Obamacare case, and explains the legal case against Obamacare in “Resurgent: How Constitutional Conservatism Can Save America.”

Democrats to Rely on Creating Racial-Racist Division Strategy to win U.S. Elections

The Democrats’ Demographic Dreams

Jamelle Bouie    at the American Prospect:

Liberals are counting on population trends to doom 
Republicans to a long-term minority. They shouldn’t.

If Democrats agree on anything, it’s that they will eventually be on the winning side. The white Americans who tend to vote Republican are shrinking as a percentage of the population while the number of those who lean Democratic—African Americans and other minorities—is rapidly growing. Slightly more than half of American infants are now nonwhite. By 2050, the U.S. population is expected to increase by 117 million people, and the vast majority—82 percent of the 117 million—will be immigrants or the children of immigrants. In a little more than 30 years, the U.S. will be a “majority-minority” country. By 2050, white Americans will no longer be a solid majority but the largest plurality, at 46 percent. African Americans will drop to 12 percent, while Asian Americans will make up 8 percent of the population. The number of Latinos will rise to nearly a third of all Americans. 

It’s become an article of faith among many progressives that these trends set the stage for a new Democratic majority. A decade ago, Ruy Teixeira and John B. Judis popularized this argument in their book The Emerging Democratic Majority. More recently, Jonathan Chait in New York magazine made a similar case: “The modern GOP—the party of Nixon, Reagan, and both Bushes—is staring down its own demographic extinction,” he wrote. “Conservative America will soon come to be dominated, in a semi-permanent fashion, by an ascendant Democratic coalition hostile to its outlook and interests.” 

At the moment, Democrats have a powerful hold on nonwhite voters. African Americans routinely vote Democratic by huge margins; 95 percent cast ballots for President Barack Obama, and on average 88 percent have voted for Democratic candidates since 1964, the year Lyndon Johnson guided the Civil Rights Act through Congress. Over the past decade, Latinos have also become a reliably Democratic constituency; 67 percent voted for Obama, and 60 percent supported Democrats in the 2010 congressional elections, when Republicans triumphed otherwise. Asian Americans are only a bit less enthusiastic about the Democrats. 

At the same time that Democrats won the overwhelming support of African Americans, white voters began to make a corresponding shift into the Republican Party. With the help of racist appeals to the former Confederacy (the “Southern Strategy”), Republicans built on their advantage with white voters to earn a decisive share of their support. In 1972, Richard Nixon won nearly 70 percent of white voters, and in 1984, Ronald Reagan won 64 percent of whites. In the last decade of presidential elections, Republicans have won, on average, 56 percent of the white vote. If whites were the only people who voted in presidential elections, Democrats could not win.

For many Democratic activists, Obama’s surprising 2008 wins in Virginia, Indiana, Colorado, and North Carolina proved that the party can now win toss-up states with high support and turnout from minorities. As the nonwhite population grows, Democrats are expected to win national elections as long as they keep a healthy portion of the white vote. If Republicans represent the ethnic majority of today’s America, then Democrats represent tomorrow’s—a coalition of black, brown, and Asian Americans, along with liberal and moderate whites, that will become the “permanent majority” that Karl Rove once dreamed of for the GOP. 

At least that’s the story. In reality, however, it’s not clear that Democrats can count on the inexorable march of demographics to secure a majority. Assimilation and shifting notions of racial identity could change the equation, and political affiliations—to say nothing of parties—can change dramatically over the course of a generation. Adrian Pantoja, a political scientist who studies Latino political behavior and racial politics, is skeptical. “This is all based on the assumption that the GOP is going to continue to be hostile to minority voters,” he says, “and that minorities will continue to identify as minorities or nonwhite.” Neither is certain. 

For all of the racial disparities that still characterize the American experience, it’s also true that race is declining in cultural significance. Interracial relationships—romantic or otherwise—are more common than they’ve ever been. In 2010, 15 percent of all new marriages were intermarriages, and 86 percent of Americans approved of them. The large majority of these marriages occurred among whites, Latinos, and Asians: Forty-three percent were between white and Latino partners, while 14 percent were between white and Asian partners. 

This has profound implications. If whites are the “mainstream” of American life, with overwhelming representation in politics, business, and culture, then intermarriage with Latinos and Asians has the potential to bring those groups into the mainstream as well. Put another way, the wildly popular comedian Louis C.K. is understood to be white, even though his father and grandfather are Mexican and his first language is Spanish. More important, his children will be perceived as white, despite their Latino heritage. In effect, C.K. and others like him are expanding the definition of “white.” 

To Pantoja, this bears a strong resemblance to the pattern of the 19th and early 20th centuries, when the U.S. saw massive immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe. “Latinos seem to be on a similar trajectory as Italians,” he says. “At the turn of the century, the Italians were seen as a stigmatized minority group that could not be assimilated into the American mainstream.” It was common to describe Italians as “dark,” “swarthy,” and—in language that also has characterized African Americans—prone to crime and poverty. But as Italians rose out of working-class professions and joined a burgeoning middle class, they and other “nonwhite” immigrants assimilated. Eventually, the New Deal, along with unions, service in World War II, and the G.I. Bill, brought Italians fully into American life. 

The politics of Italian Americans changed with their shifting status. As the party most identified with immigrants, Democrats gained an early lead with Italian Americans; they formed a key part in Franklin Roosevelt’s victorious coalition and proved crucial to Democratic successes through the 1960s. But as Italians became fully assimilated, and Democrats championed the rights of racial minorities and women’s rights, the balance shifted. By the 1980s, Italians would join most white Americans in voting Republican. 

A similar path might emerge for Latinos. Initially outsiders, they form a bond with the political party that most identifies with their concerns. As they move into the mainstream, those concerns become less salient, and their political preferences become identical to those of whites’—less dependent on their racial or ethnic traits than on factors like education, wealth, and geography. 

This comparison has its limits. Unlike “Italian,” “Latino” has no singular identity. Guatemalans, Argentineans, Chileans, and Dominicans are all counted as Latino, along with Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and Cubans. In a survey released this year, the Pew Hispanic Center found that when it comes to describing their identity, 51 percent of respondents prefer to use their family’s country of origin over pan-ethnic terms like “Latino” or “Hispanic.” The same goes for Asian Americans, who come from India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka as well as countries like China, Japan, and South Korea.

What’s more, among Latinos, there is evidence that economic and social outcomes diverge for the children of legal and undocumented immigrants. Legal immigrants tend to have more education and higher incomes. As a result, their children are better equipped to succeed in the United States and move up the social ladder. By contrast, undocumented immigrants tend to have low-wage, low-skill jobs that make mobility difficult. Accordingly, fewer of their children will intermarry or enter the mainstream. You could easily imagine a world where the descendants of legal immigrants are more likely to vote for the Republican Party, on account of their greater integration, while the descendants of undocumented immigrants gravitate to the Democratic Party, because of its association with minority interests. 

Much depends on how the Republican Party reacts to the rise of nonwhite Americans. Right now, the dominant faction in the GOP, the Tea Party, is hostile to immigrants. The party’s refusal to consider comprehensive immigration reform, and the restrictive policies passed by Republicans in states like Arizona and Alabama, are the most obvious examples, but the attitude has become embedded in right-wing rhetoric as well. The response to Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court was emblematic: Some Republicans attacked her ethnic pride as “racism” and portrayed her as an unqualified affirmative-action hire. If this kind of animosity persists, it’s easy to envision a future where Latinos become an enduring part of the Democratic coalition. This has happened already in California, where Latinos have voted overwhelmingly Democratic—and their turnout has increased dramatically—ever since 1994 when Republicans pushed through Proposition 187, which prohibited undocumented immigrants from accessing state services. Over time, anti-immigrant laws and rhetoric could create a Latino political identity set against Republicans, in the same way that African Americans turned against the GOP after it embraced former segregationists in the 1960s. 

But a move away from draconian immigration policies and belligerence could make Latinos a contested demographic. During the George W. Bush administration, for example, sustained outreach boosted GOP support among Latinos; Bush won 44 percent of the Latino vote in 2004, a nine-point improvement over 2000. Throughout his presidency, Bush worked to recruit Latinos into his administration. In his second term, Alberto Gonzales served as White House counsel and later attorney general, and Carlos Gutierrez headed his Commerce Department. At the same time, Bush’s rhetoric on immigration was accommodating. His 2006 speech calling for comprehensive immigration reform stands out: “We must remember that the vast majority of illegal immigrants are decent people who work hard, support their families, practice their faith, and lead responsible lives.” 

If Republicans pursued the Bush strategy, they could regain some standing with Latinos. Indeed, Republicans are already laying the groundwork, especially in key states like Texas and Florida, which have large Latino populations. George P. Bush, son of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, co-founded the political action committee Hispanic Republicans of Texas with Juan Hernandez, a former member of the Mexican cabinet and director of Hispanic outreach for John McCain’s 2008 campaign. The PAC has successfully elected Latino Republicans to Congress, the Texas Supreme Court, and the state’s House of Representatives. 

The GOP strategy has been to appeal to Latinos on the basis of shared social and religious convictions—opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage and a commitment to “family values.” Republicans elected Susana Martinez governor of New Mexico in 2010—making her the first female Hispanic governor in the nation’s history—and did the same for Brian Sandoval in Nevada. Florida Senator Marco Rubio is a darling of the conservative movement, and former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz has made national waves in his bid to fill the Senate seat soon to be vacated by Kay Bailey Hutchison. All four are staunch conservatives, with strong support among the right-wing elite. (Cruz was the subject of a glowing National Review cover story.)

So far, this push to build a roster of Latino elected officials hasn’t translated to national support for the GOP. A May poll from NBC News and The Wall Street Journal found President Obama leading Republican nominee Mitt Romney 61 percent to 27 percent among Latinos, a 34-point advantage. One reason: Latinos are more likely than others to support government intervention in the economy. “The proclivities and interests of Hispanic voters don’t really lie with Republican Party libertarian economics,” says Ruy Teixeira, now a senior fellow at the Century Foundation.

The vision of an enduring liberal majority is seductive, but there’s not enough evidence to support the conviction. Of course, it’s not hard to understand why liberals would cling tightly to the idea. It emerged and was popularized at a time when the right had consolidated its gains from the previous 20 years. Republicans had won the presidency, won Congress, and were using their power to further cut services and weaken regulation and take the nation into ill-conceived, disastrous wars. Despite a hard fight to win the White House and mitigate the damage in 2004, liberals lost and watched as Republicans brought the country to the brink of another Great Depression. It’s no coincidence that the idea of a coming Democratic majority has gained new currency as liberals fear that Republicans will regain the White House, win a majority in both houses of Congress, and radically alter the size and nature of American government. If that happens, however, even a new Democratic majority may not be able to undo the damage.

But Wait, There’s More …

  • The Blander Bush

    Jun 14, 2012

    HBO’s 41 asks none of the hard questions about George H.W. Bush’s uninspired career