With the end of the Bush Era scant days away, and the new Obama regime looming before us, a retrospective is in order.
Bush's constant pandering to the Hispanic lobby and his justification of illegal immigration are well known to long-time readers of VDARE.COM, we've run tons of articles criticizing Bush. Click here for page after page of VDARE.COM articles about Bush.
In fact, I don't think it would be too much to say that Bush is the most criticized individual in the history of VDARE.COM.
And why not? A supposed conservative who constantly disdains and insults his Republican base, Bush has been obsessed with pleasing Mexicans and other Hispanics. Not that it did him much good. Despite his incessant pandering, Bush is hated in Mexico.
Nevertheless, there is much we can learn from the Bush experience—principally, how not to do things when it comes to the National Question.
There's been a lot of speculation as to why Bush was so determined to aid and abet the Mexican invasion.
Some have speculated that, as a result of his wild partying days south of the border, Bush has been blackmailed by the Mexican government. Maybe, but my impression is Bush was completely willing to pander to the Mexican government because he really wanted to. Besides, nowadays, what scandal could possibly prevent anyone from being elected president?
Does Dubya aspire to build a Mexican-American Bush family dynasty, for which his part-Mexican relatives would be ideally suited?
Is he a universalist and globalist who wants to merge with the world, beginning with Mexico?
It's probably a combination of factors, with political and economic factors playing a role. However, when it comes to Mexican/Hispanic issues, Bush displayed all the zeal of a true believer.
A psychological analysis of his upbringing may explain part of it. Born with a silver spoon in his mouth, Bush was familiar with two kinds of Mexicans: (1) the high rolling rich Mexican elitists who were his social equals, and (2) the servant class. Bush seem quite attached to both groups, displaying warmer feelings toward both of them than toward middle class Americans.
A revealing 2006 piece in the Los Angeles Times sums it up well in its headline: Immigrant Issues are Personal for Bush [By Peter Wallsten, April 6, 2006]. Wallsten points out that Bush has been like this since even before he was governor of Texas in 1994:
"Some fellow conservatives were surprised to hear of his seemingly liberal views when it came to the border. Ernest Angelo, a petroleum engineer and mayor of Midland during the 1970s boom, brought up the issue when he encountered Bush at a political event, telling the future governor that he was concerned about the open border. Angelo suggested ending bilingual education in the U.S. to force greater assimilation. But Bush didn't agree. The two debated the issue for half an hour. 'He told me that was the wrong thing to do,' Angelo recalled. 'I saw right then that he had a very deep-seated feeling that the immigration situation was beneficial to the country.' "
Remember the much-maligned Pete Wilson, whose courageous support for California's Proposition 187 (which attempted to cut benefits for illegal aliens) led to his re-election as governor of California? Well, according to Wallsten, Bush didn't approve:
"…. a scene that unfolded at a governors conference in Williamsburg, Va., left many political leaders stunned. Rather than applaud Wilson's support of Proposition 187 as a deft move, Bush told Wilson to his face—and in front of other governors—that it was a disaster. "He really minced no words," recalled former Michigan Gov. John Engler, who witnessed the exchange. "He told Wilson, 'You're wrong,' and that it was Bush's willingness as a rookie governor to confront Wilson "made a very powerful impression and an early impression on other governors," Engler said."
Governor Bush even got involved in the 1996 presidential primary to defend his views. Wallsten reports:
"The then-Texas governor's careful attention to the immigration issue did not stop with his election. As the 1996 presidential race began to unfold, Bush openly challenged Pat Buchanan, who was campaigning on an anti-immigration, anti-trade platform. "No Cheap Shots at Mexico, Please," was the headline of an August 1995 New York Times op-ed written by Bush. He cautioned that campaign "discussion on immigration and Mexico can turn ugly and destructive very quickly." "I don't want anybody, any race, to be used as a political issue," Bush said at a news conference, timed to answer a Buchanan appearance in Texas. "
In other words, the subject was off limits unless you agreed with George W. Bush.
In the 2000 Republican primary, however, none of Bush's opponents called him on this. Certainly, you wouldn't have expected McCain to!
How did Bush ever get nominated? The guy's main claim to fame was that his daddy had been president.
In 2000, after his nomination as the GOP candidate, Bush openly announced his desire to merge the U.S. with Latin America. Whether his vehicle is open borders, multiculturalism, or the SPP, the man has been faithful to his globalistic vision of a Hispanicized United States.
This is what Bush said in his Miami speech in 2000
"American has one national creed, but many accents. We are now one of the largest Spanish-speaking nations in the world. We're a major source of Latin music, journalism and culture.
"Just go to Miami, or San Antonio, Los Angeles, Chicago or West New York, New Jersey….and close your eyes and listen. You could just as easily be in Santo Domingo or Santiago, or San Miguel de Allende. For years our nation has debated this change—some have praised it and others have resented it. By nominating me, my party has made a choice to welcome the new America." Texas Governor George W. Bush on U.S. Policy for Latin America, August 25, 2000
These assertions were quite remarkable for their arrogance, elitism, and crassness. Bush celebrates cultural and linguistic Balkanization, and the transformation of the historical American nation.
And he had the gall to claim this change was properly "debated". When was it "debated"? It wasn't.
Tragically, no other prominent Republican politician called him on it.
Bush's Miami speech also highlighted his specific goals for Mexico:
"I have a vision for our two countries. The United States is destined to have a 'special relationship' with Mexico, as clear and strong as we have had with Canada and Great Britain. Historically we have had no closer friends and allies… Our ties of history and heritage with Mexico are just as deep."
Of course after 9/11, it was Britain that helped us in Afghanistan and Iraq, and Canada that helped us in Afghanistan. But Bush appears not to have noticed.
Practically speaking, for George Bush, what has this "special relationship" with Mexico meant? It's meant the encouragement and justification of illegal immigration to the U.S., and the political marginalization of those who oppose it. It's meant the encouragement of Spanish as a de facto official language. (Check out the White House web site for examples.)And it's also meant that President George Bush has not once reprimanded the meddling by Mexican consular officials on U.S. soil.
After Bush's squeaker election victory over Gore, and before taking office, Bush told the London Financial Times in an interview that:
"Mark my words. I am going to have more problems with members of my own party than I will with Democrats…If anybody comes to me demanding this and telling me to do that, they'll [sic] be finished. They tried to do that in Texas with English-only [an attempt to dismantle bilingual education]. But I said: "No. You are going to destroy this party by being extremist"…I had to change the imagery in my party. I had to change the idea that my party was against things. Against immigrants. Against public schools. I wanted people to know I was for something, so that people wanted to hear what I stood for." George W. Bush, quoted in London Financial Times, December 12, 2000. [Parentheses added by Peter Brimelow]
After his inauguration, Bush made a special point of traveling to Mexico for his first foreign trip. Not only that, but the first country President Bush visited in Europe was Spain, also a part of his Hispanic strategy.
"About 15 years before the Civil War, much of the American West was northern Mexico.
The people who lived there weren't called Latinos or Hispanics. They were Mexican citizens, until all that land became part of the United States.
After that, many of them were treated as foreigners in their own land…"
The video also portrays Bush brandishing a Mexican flag, and bragging about Hispanic homeownership. (Pretty ironic, eh, given that the resulting Minority Mortgage Meltdown has caused this catastrophic Diversity Recession?).
Needless to say, despite the video and Bush's many other examples of pandering, he failed to make serious inroads into the Hispanic vote. (Which hasn't stopped his consigliere Karl Rove claiming that he did.)
Well, we could go on and on, adding examples of Bush's avid boosting of Mexico and all things Hispanic, and his contempt for middle-class white Americans. There was the infamous condemnation of the Minutemen, in the presence of a foreign head of state. There were Bush's repeated attempts to secure an amnesty, and his slanders of patriotic Americans who just want the border controlled and the law honored.
And Bush has kept up the rhetoric right up to the end . Just this week, in his news conference of January 12, 2009, the president expressed regret for not having expended more capital in fighting for amnesty:
"I believe that running the Social Security idea right after the '04 election was a mistake. I should have argued for immigration reform…" [Bush Cites regrets at Final WH Presser, By Joseph Curl, January 12h, 2009]
And, our soon-to-be former president has the gall to give the GOP this advice. As reported by the AP:
"Down to single digits in his days left in office, President George W. Bush is warning the Republican Party not to become 'anti-immigrant' as it regroups from defeat and retools its leadership."It's very important for our party not to narrow its focus, not to become so inward looking that we drive people away from a philosophy that is compassionate and decent," the departing president said in an interview broadcast Sunday, nine days before his term ends. 'My call for our party is to be open-minded.'"
Here is Bush's somewhat inarticulate explanation of what he means by "open-minded":
"We should be open-minded about big issues like immigration reform, because if we're viewed as anti-somebody — in other words, if the party is viewed as anti-immigrant, then another fellow may say, 'Well, if they're against the immigrant, they may be against me.' We've got to be a party for a better future."[Bush cautions GOP not to become 'anti-immigrant' as it tries to win back power from Democrats, By Ben Feller, January 11th, 2009, AP
Thanks for the advice, Mr. President, but we've seen how successful your strategy has been.
After years of pandering to Hispanics, what does Bush have to show for it ?
You would be hard pressed to find a politician, of either major party, who has pandered more to Hispanics, and done it so sincerely, as George W. Bush. And yet, here we are in 2009, about to see a Democratic president inaugurated, who won two-thirds of the Hispanic vote.
So let's consider the Bush Pandering as a failed experiment. How about a new GOP strategy?
Then see what happens.
American citizen Allan Wall (email him) recently moved back to the U.S.A. after many years residing in Mexico. In 2005, Allan served a tour of duty in Iraq with the Texas Army National Guard. His VDARE.COM articles are archived here; his Mexidata.info articles are archived here and his website is here.