January 21, 2004

State of the Union: Scared Democrats

In the responses to the State of the Union, Bill Richardson's stands out. He doesn't give an inch on economic growth, unemployment, campaign finance, educational policy, or health care. He simply ignores the recent economic growth, the mystery of the household employment survey showing rising employment while the employers survey shows few job gains, the passage of McCain Feingold with presidential support, the no child left behind act, and Health Savings Accounts.

If this speech had been rendered in english, the outrage would have been enormous at this obvious disconnect between reality and rhetoric. But even Bill Richardson can't simply ignore President Bush's temporary worker plan. Hispanics are paying too much attention. He minimizes it, he hems and haws, he says we Democrats would do better but it is obvious that this is damage control.

The contrast in styles is striking. The Democrat party is scared that it's going to lose the hispanic population on this one. They know that a great many hispanics would be more than happy to be rich mexicans on their savings from their hard US jobs than poor americans living in the high cost US. Diverting hard working hispanics to return to their home countries to live the good life is electoral demographic poison for the US Democrat party. They can't survive it because it cuts into their interests in multiple ways.

They lose domestically by slowing down the tide of poor hispanic voters. They lose internationally because a rich mexican who worked his way up the ladder doing hard work in the US will be more likely to politically support a center-right PAN than a center-left PRI or an even more left PRD. Similar incentives will occur no matter where these immigrants return to. They also lose on the 'savior of the little guy' image front. By giving more choice and another way of 'making it', the Republicans offer themselves as a different kind of kind, compassionate, ordinary people. This will lead to less lopsided vote totals driven by Democrat demagoguery of Republicans as cruel and heartless. They can't afford to compete on an even playing field against another ordinary party.

Posted by TMLutas at January 21, 2004 01:27 PM