Here’s another example of the major problems the Republican Party has in trying to reach out to new constituencies while simultaneously holding on to old ones. In addition to gay rights, they have a similar problem on immigration, where they can’t appeal to Hispanic voters and to the right wing at the same time:
For the Republicans in Washington who hoped a new bipartisan push for immigration reform would give their party a fresh start, a new face, and a second chance with Latino voters, 2013 is instead reviving some of their worst memories.
The legislation currently winding through the Senate with the help of party superstar Sen. Marco Rubio is still very much in play, and could well become the first law in a generation to address the country’s immigration morass. But as conservative criticism of the reform effort grows louder, many Republican operatives, donors, and consultants are bracing for an outcome that would be even worse, politically, than the demise of the bill: a fierce, national, right-wing backlash that drowns out the GOP’s friendlier voices, dominates Telemundo and Univision, and dashes any hopes the party had of making inroads to the Hispanic electorate by 2016.
“We are really balanced here on a little precipice, and if this, pardon the pun, goes south, we could be in very serious trouble,” said Republican media strategist Paul Wilson, citing the increasingly intense attacks on the immigration bill coming from the right. “If [the legislation] stalls or is killed off by conservatives, we could take the Hispanic community and turn them into the African-American community, where we get 4% on a good day… We could be a lost party for generations.”
I think this is part of the reason why conservatives are being so completely ridiculous over the last few years, with their wildly exaggerated and paranoid rhetoric against Obama. What else do they have? When you can’t make a serious appeal on policy grounds, demagoguery is about all you have left.