You can say many things about Texas Rep. Kenny Marchant – that he is one of the most extreme members of the House, that he hasn’t sponsored a bill in a year, that he has missed 7.3% of votes – but you can’t accuse him of lying. At least not on the subject of immigration reform. Marchant, whose district is 24% Hispanic, told the AP on Monday:
“The Republican primary voters, they’re being pretty vocal with me on this subject.” Besides, “if you give the legal right to vote to 10 Hispanics in my district, seven to eight of them are going to vote Democrat.”
And there you have the real reason why Republicans are fighting the immigration bill while still trying to look like they are seriously considering it. Oh sure, they say things like this:
“… amnesty rewards those who choose to break our nation’s laws, and only serves to encourage and incentivize the flood of illegal immigration plaguing our nation today.”
But this isn’t about morality. They say that they have the country’s best interest at heart. They don’t. All they are interested in is winning, power, control. And they will do anything to get it and keep it. The GOP-controlled House is especially bad about it and they will kill this bill, make no mistake. They talk a big game and I’m sure many of them realize that it’s hurting their party to be this stubborn but they have been this way for so long that they won’t be able to change. They simply don’t like brown people of any shade.
This dichotomy – the love of power vs. the need to reach out to Hispanic voters – is causing a rift in the Republican party. They know that the lack of support from Hispanic voters hurts them, they know that they will be blamed if reform doesn’t go through but they also fear their base. They especially fear being primaried and they know that a vote in favor of immigration reform is apt to trigger that scenario.
Despite the RNC’s post-election “autopsy” and the advice of Senators like Lindsay Graham, House members are likely to be short-sighted – placing their personal needs before those of their party. There are only 40 Congressmen who represent districts with a Hispanic population over 20% and 16 whose district is more than a third Hispanic. Nate Silver writes:
“In all, 84 percent of House Republicans represent districts that are 20 percent or less Hispanic.”
Yet those 40 Congressmen may hold the future of their party in their hands. It all boils down to whether or not the needs of the many – the Republican Party – will outweigh the needs of the few. The bill has issues, such as amnesty and border security, that sharply divide the GOP and that split may be the thing that finally pushes the GOP over the cliff.
- Congressman Opposes Immigration Reform Because He Fears Latino Voters (thinkprogress.org.feedsportal.com)
- Immigration splits GOP’s national, House interests (whitenewsnow.com)
- Immigration Reform and the Orange Man (kstreet607.com)
- What The Hell Is Wrong With You, Dallas? (juanitajean.com)
- Senator Lindsay Graham: ‘GOP Doomed Without Immigration Reform’ (lezgetreal.com)
- Congressional Hispanic Caucus to meet with Boehner: immigration reform on agenda (nbclatino.com)
- Cruz calls immigration reform a “crock” as Rubio’s name gets booed at rally (nbclatino.com)