Surprise, surprise. Stupidity is alive and well in the racist wing of the conservative movement.
Eagle Forum’s Phyllis Schlafly is riled up about comprehensive immigration reform, and she has hardly been hiding the reason why. Last month, Schlafly predicted that comprehensive reform would be “suicide for the Republican Party” because immigrants “come from a country” where they expect “a handout” from the government. Last week, she lamented that today’s immigrants are less patriotic than the “Irish, Italian, Jewish, etc.” immigrants of “earlier generations.” Then, she claimed that Mitt Romney lost the presidential election not because of eroding support for the GOP among people of color, but because “his drop-off from white voters was tremendous” – which is just blatantly false.
But in an interview this week with conservative radio program Focus Today, Schlafly just came right out and said it. Calling the GOP’s need to reach out to Latinos a “great myth,” Schlafly said that “the people the Republicans should reach out to are the white votes, the white voters who didn’t vote in the last election.”
That’s a lot of stupid packed into Schlafly’s statement. First of all, Mitt Romney did not suffer a drop-off from white voters. In fact, it was quite the opposite. Republicans picked up 59 percent of the white vote in 2012 – a 4 point improvement over John McCain’s 55 percent in 2008. Romney lost the presidential election because he was unable to pick up a majority of votes from the key demographics. He lost the women’s vote (45%), the Black vote (7%), the Hispanic vote (29%) and the Asian vote (27%).
In fact, Romney lost the election for the exact reason that Schlafly claims was not a factor – eroding support for the GOP from people of color. To claim otherwise is delusion at its grandest…but Democrats won’t mind a bit if Republicans take up Schafly’s advice and adopted a renewed Southern Strategy. Republican opposition to immigration reform and more stirring up white resentment toward immigrants will ensure that Republicans get an even smaller share of the minority vote in 2016.
But all that aside, Steve Benen has a great question for all conservatives who, like Schlafly and Pat Buchanan, feel that the Republican party needs to become even more conservative in a bid to attract every last white person in America.
I have a related question for Schlafly and those who agree with her: exactly what would it look like if Republicans tried even harder to “reach out to … the white votes”? The GOP is already looking an awful lot like the driven snow, so what more can party leaders do, specifically, to make white folks feel even more welcome?
Great question. Short of donning white hoods and burning crosses on Hispanics’ lawns, what more could the GOP possibly do to draw out every last white vote?