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From: Gerald Martin (e-mail him)
Re: Washington Watcher's piece CPAC: Conservatives Pandering—Aliens (Still) Coming
While discussing the imperative need (as he saw it) for Republicans to reach out to immigrants and Hispanics, he stated that the GOP was out of power in the 1930's & '40's because it had alienated so many voters with the immigration restriction legislation of the '20's.
He then said—in what sounded to me like both an emotional and personally aggrieved tone of voice—that these bills were, "...perhaps the most racist acts ever passed by Congress." Especially when contrasted to his usual genial demeanor, Barone's visible anger on this subject made it clear he is our implacable enemy on this issue. Sad, because I like him and most of the time his analysis and insights are right-on.
Martin, is a former Army officer and high school teacher descended from cowboys, Texas Rangers, and railroad workers. See previous Gerald Martin letters.
James Fulford writes: If Barone said that about the GOP being out of power because of the Immigration Act of 1924, he was wrong, of course. (He's been wrong before.) Coolidge was reelected AFTER signing the Act that began the Great Pause in immigration. And Republican Herbert Hoover was elected after him.
Roosevelt's election was caused by the Depression. But immigration restriction was more important than ever with millions of Americans out of work. FDR's Works Progress Administration gave jobs only to American citizens. It was 40 years before the Democrats even tried to repeal the 1924 Act.