Here’s a stupid story by a stupid guy named Mark Krikorian in the (stupid) National Review. His post-election philosophy is a popular one with Republicans: everyone is too in love with the welfare state for the Republican party to ever be viable again, so let’s double down on radical conservativism because maybe that’ll squeeze out one more election victory.
Kirkorian is talking specifically about immigration to the US. Romney lost the Latino vote 27 percent to 71 percent(!). That’s a big drop from Bush who tried to pass center-right immigration reform and got 40 percent. If Romney had Bush’s numbers with Latinos the popular vote would have been a near-tie. So should the GOP accept centrist immigration reform and drop their anti-immigrant, anti-Latino plank? Nah.
Immigrants are always using government programs and shit that we want to destroy, he says, because they’re poor, so they’ll never like us. What we need to do, and now he’s kneading his hands frantically and spitting a lot, is get 100% of the CONSERVATIVE vote because we only got 82% and Obama got 17%. In Kirkorian’s mind this means that 17% found Romney insufficiently conservative so they went for Obama, or something? It certainly has nothing to do with different definitions of conservatism, bad exit polling, anything like that. And so really showing the American people how far right the GOP can go will fix everything, shifting demographics be damned.
Matt Yglesias actually agrees that immigration isn’t the Republicans’ problem, even that embracing increased immigration could enlarge “an electorate that’s fundamentally hostile to their worldview.” Meaning, much like with their complete lack of consideration for D.C. statehood or Puerto Rican statehood, they’d be deciding without ideology, just electoral strategy.
Kirkorian ends saying all Republicans can do is “outreach” to Latinos and cooling it on the “harsh rhetoric,” in other words, a hope that some PR changes will lessen his party’s policy hostility to a large portion of the American public.
So, this is one strain of thought on the new Republican party. They essentially declare defeat, acknowledging that their principles don’t permit them to win anyone but whites. Any deviation from their standard antipathy towards non-whites would lose them their cultivated base of racially fearful whites, who get no benefit from the party’s true agenda of aid to corporations and the wealthy, while bringing negligible gains elsewhere.
They’ll use magical thinking to ignore the problem, postponing the reckoning and reconfiguring of the party for a later, more apocalyptic election that may actually destroy the party instead of giving this one an opportunity to change.