One of VDARE.com’s functions is to combat immigration enthusiast myths, for example the claim that George W. Bush got 44% of the Hispanic vote in 2004—long-refuted but apparently unkillable.
Now, after GOP Presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s (narrow) defeat in the 2012 Presidential election, Americans are hearing from both Democrats and Republicans that his problem was being an immigration hardliner, “giving in” to the “nativist” wing of his party who want immigration laws, well, enforced. See, for example Republicans need to shut up and listen, by Aaron Rodrigues [email him], Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, November 12, 2012.
This is what John Derbyshire has called “hate creep”—every year, the old mild options become the new “Hate”. Thus “self-deportation”—Romney’s not entirely original formulation for “attrition through enforcement,” which used to be the milder alternative to mass deportation—is now HATE.
Accordingly, President Obama, in the second debate, duly accused Romney of favoring "making life so miserable on folks that they'll leave." (And, typically, Romney promptly backed off his earlier support for Arizona’s SB 1070, protesting that he only favored its E-Verify provisions.)
But what’s going on here is Orwellian: a totalitarian drive to eliminate un-PC facts and ideas from public discourse. Case in point: Kevin Drum’s creepy piece in Mother Jones about Sean Hannity’s attempt to surrender on illegal immigration [The GOP's Immigration Problem Goes Way Beyond Immigration, November 8, 2012] suggested, in Steve Sailer’s tart paraphrase, that
Immigration isn't some technical issue like tax rates where the two sides can reach a compromise. It's a test of morals. Amnesty won't be just a practical tool for Democrats to solidify their majority; it will also be a symbolic milestone permanently delegitimizing any and all skepticism about the Democratic-run government electing a new people to elect a Democratic-run government.”
So let the record show: Mitt Romney was not an immigration hardliner/patriot. He was a wimp—a WIMP!
- Romney’s much-denounced “Self-Deportation” idea is, as noted before, the soft option. An actual hardliner would have been talking about an flat-out program of systematic deportation—something Eisenhower managed in the 1950s without passing any new laws.
- And, as noted before, Romney backed away from the soft option of “Self-Deportation”—after being nominated.
- Romney did not, needless to say, advocate Strategic Deportation—the application of James Q. Wilson’s celebrated Broken Window Theory to illegal immigration. For example, the Democrats actually had an illegal alien address their nominating convention—but Romney did not point out that ICE officers should have sent a message by arresting her when she left the podium.
- Romney didn’t protest Obama’s illegal, unconstitutional, and corrupt Administrative Amnesty—the “stroke of the pen” that implemented a de facto Dream Act Amnesty in spite of the fact that it had been repeatedly rejected by Congress. And he didn’t say he’d repeal it, either. I wrote in June that “Romney May Have Lost The Election By Rolling Over For Obama's Illegal Amnesty.” Well—guess what?
- Romney specifically endorsed allowing illegal aliens to obtain citizenship by serving in the U.S. Armed Forces—apparently oblivious of the fact that, out there in Americaland, young men (not including himself and his five sons, of course) compete to serve in the military.
- Romney did not propose abolishing Birthright Citizenship, the only way to close the Anchor Baby loophole, although even Establishment Republicans pretended to be interested in the idea before going back to business as usual after the 2010 election.
- Romney did not advocate a moratorium on legal immigration, despite having absolutely no other compelling plan to combat unemployment beyond not increasing taxes on the rich.
- Romney, indeed, repeatedly said he wanted to increase legal immigration. He wanted “staple a Green Card” to the diploma of any foreign student who graduated with an advanced degree. Of course, this would simply displace a better class of Americans than the illegal Mexicans do—and these are people who might otherwise have voted for Romney. But it pleased Big Business donors!
- Romney’s immigration policy, as released, showed that he and his advisors knew almost nothing about immigration law as it now stands, including policy points that promised to do things already in place. (See Federale’s post Do Mittens' Advisors Know Anything About Immigration Law?)
- Romney also advocated a plan to “Grow Our Economy By Growing Legal Immigration”—which James Antle, who is “ skeptical of both the politics and the policy” involved, said was Romney trying to “achieve the difficult balance of being anti-illegal immigration without appearing anti-Hispanic.”
- VDARE.com suggested Romney should make illegal immigration an issue by chosing Kansas Secretary of State and celebrated immigration patriot lawyer Kris Kobach as his VP. [Romney Has A Problem—And The Solution Is Kris Kobach, By Peter Brimelow, March 9, 2012]. But Romney not only didn’t do that—when pressed, he ran away from Kobach. (No word on whether the cock crowed thrice).
- Instead of Kobach, Romney chose Rep. Paul Ryan, who is not only a root-canal budget cutter but a Jack Kemp-style looney on immigration.
The best you could say about Romney’s immigration policies is that he was, as Washington Watcher put it, “Not The Worst From Immigration Patriot Viewpoint”—just as the best you could say about Paul Ryan was: “Thank God he’s not Marco Rubio!”
But suppose that Romney had been the worst (Republican) candidate from an immigration standpoint? How would he have fared with the Latino vote?
It happens that we can answer that—because the 2000, 2004, and 2008 elections featured George W Bush and John McCain. It’s impossible to imagine two candidates who pandered harder to the Hispanic vote.
But George W. Bush’s candidacy achieved, at most, 38 percent of the Hispanic vote. John McAmnesty achieved 31 percent. Romney got 28.3%.
We’re talking about a difference of maybe one per cent of the overall vote—massively overwhelmed by the potential of the white working class.
James Fulford [Email him] is a writer and editor for VDARE.com.