Republicans’ dilemma in connecting with the growing Hispanic electorate will be on vivid display Tuesday: GOP members of the Senate Judiciary Committee will vote overwhelmingly against confirming Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latino nominee to the Supreme Court. And the Democratic Party chairman will address the nation’s largest Latino political group — partly in Spanish. No national GOP official is speaking.
Only one of the seven Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee has said he will support Sotomayor during Tuesday’s vote. Most have said they will vote against her, including the panel’s top Republican, Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama.
Barack Obama won handily among Hispanics in November, and Republican strategists realize the party has little hope of winning a national election without a dramatic improvement among that growing voter group. It’s an especially important target in the Mountain West, which is becoming a key to the presidency.
It should have been obvious that this was happening when immigration reform was sunk by radio gasbag activism. The loathing of Hispanics runs as deeply among the hard core true believers as the loathing of blacks. (And it has a "respectable" outlet in the illegal alien debate.) These people's lives are organized along racial and ethnic lines and they find solace and solidarity in their shared bigotry. It's not something that's easy to finesse at this point. The cowboy who likes Mexican food model seems to have run out of steam.
Of course, they only need 51%, as pat Buchanan says every day on MSNBC, so the idea that they can cobble enough malcontents together to win a national election is certainly possible. But a sustainable majority is going to prove to be elusive if they can't get past this even enough to pay lip service to diversity.
It's hard to believe they aren't even trying, but when Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck are basically running the party, I suppose it's inevitable.
Update: Hah! I just clicked over to Greenwald and found out that on the very same web-site today --- Politico --- you can read all about how the GOP is resurgent! Damn they're good.