June 25, 2006
The New York Times has a good summary of the collapse of immigration reform in Congress. Although most of the article focuses on the problems Bush has had with House Republicans, it really underlines how the Democrats have hit the Trifecta. Not passing any bill shows that Bush and the Republicans can't get anything done, depressing turnout among the base in much the same way that the failure to pass a health care bill doomed the Democrats in 1994. Second, taking an extreme anti-immigrant position turns off swing voters who are less passionate about the issue, and are amenable to a compromise that doesn't vilify immigrants. And lastly, it dooms efforts by the GOP among Latino voters, who stand to be much more important, over the long haul, than any latent conservative appeals to xenophobia, as the California Republican Party can attest. The Republicans may be on the verge of creating a Democratic base in the Southwest, and more significantly, making Texas a two-party state again, that may rival the solidly Blue Northeast come election time.