Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker is one of the better political reporters. He's even dared to write some subliminally ironic prose about Obama's road to the White House. But, when it comes to amnesty, he reflects the conventional wisdom in usefully condensed form.
KILLING THE IMMIGRATION BILL, POLARIZING AMERICA
POSTED BY RYAN LIZZA
For House Republicans to reject Schumer-Rubio ...
... would intensify one of the less welcome political trends of the past few decades: the racial polarization of the electorate. In a recent paper, the political scientist Alan Abramowitz documented this “growing racial divide” in our system. “The growing dependence of the Democratic Party on nonwhite voters has contributed to the flight of racially and economically conservative white voters to the G.O.P. thereby further increasing the size of the racial divide between the party coalitions,” he noted. He predicted that this racial polarization would continue and deepen.
The outcome of the immigration debate will decide how much this trend accelerates. Under one rather ominous scenario, House Republicans will kill immigration reform, and Democrats, led by President Obama, will mount a withering attack on the G.O.P. in the Hispanic community, blaming the Party for the bill’s demise. (In an interview with me earlier this year, a senior White House official was explicit that this is what would happen if Republicans scuttled the bill.) ...
The net result of all this is the opposite of what the R.N.C. had in mind: a Republican strategy to defeat immigration reform, increase its support among whites, and make it harder for some nonwhites to vote. It’s a recipe for a future in which America’s two parties are largely defined by race. The unpleasant conclusion of this debate—and of the Obama years—could be the opposite of where we thought we were headed as a country. Rather than a multiracial future in which both parties compete aggressively for the votes of fast-growing nonwhite populations, Democrats and Republicans could become more cleaved than ever by race. The decision that Republicans make on immigration reform in the coming months will help determine that future.