03 November 2010

So, That Happened

Congratulations to the Republican Party, which won big last night.  This election was very much a correction, not a realignment.  Right now, it looks like the Republicans will end up with between 235-239 members in the House.  This is a return to the number of Representatives (232) the Republicans had in the 109th Congress, 2004-2006.  I still remain convinced that this movement rightward is the underlying long-term trend as the population moves south and west.

In other good news, attacking immigrants once again doesn't lead to victory.

Finally, the 2010 census will lead to redistricting before the next Congress and the Republicans have made extraordinary gains at the state level, giving them a chair at the table in most states.  Unfortunately, this will lead to the two parties divvying up highly gerrymandered seats for short-term gain.  Leaving aside the obvious democratic arguments against gerrymandering, I'm convinced that Republicans would benefit from districts drawn without regard to party strategy.  (The Democrats seem to think so, too.)


Susan's Husband said...

"attacking immigrants once again doesn't lead to victory"

Who ever claimed it did? Jan Brewer?

David said...

Off the top of my head, Mickey Kaus, Tom Tancredo, Mark Kirkorian and Sharron Angle.

Susan's Husband said...

I am not familiar with Kirkorian, but you are falsely maligning Angle and Kaus. Care to provide any actual quotes from them?

P.S. As for Tancredo, I guess that proves it's better to bash your own constituents than say anything nasty about immigrants. Odd sort of message for a democracy.

David said...

Well, for a twofer, here's Kaus lauding Angle's effective immigrant bashing

erp said...

I resent being called an anti-immigration racist because I support an orderly immigration policy and support enforcing it.

Open borders is a recipe for disaster.

David said...

I haven't called anyone racist. All I've said is that, in 2010 as in most American elections, attacking immigrants did not lead to electoral victory.

Lots of people say that they care about immigration, orderly processes and enforcement, but very few people vote on it. More voters are turned off by it.

David said...

To put it in a different context, it is entirely possible to criticize Israel without being antisemitic, just as it's possible to criticize immigration policy without being racist. From time to time, I criticize both Israel and immigration policy.

But no politician is going to get my vote by criticizing Israel and, if they spend too much time harping on it -- even if they confine their remarks to criticizing Israel on issues where I am also critical -- I'm going to end up being affirmatively alienated from that politician.

erp said...

I wasn't accusing you David, only the total amnesty and open borders crowd. I'm very favorably disposed toward immigrants and very grateful to my parents for arriving here before my birth.

So far there hasn't, to my knowledge, been an opportunity for me to vote on immigration.

Susan's Husband said...

"All I've said is that, in 2010 as in most American elections, attacking immigrants did not lead to electoral victory."

Based on the failure of a single insurgent / independent candidacy? That's some heavy duty extrapolation. May I counter with Arizona Governor Jan Brewer?

I would also note that it's a bit disingenuous to go from "it's a loser issue" to "it's a loser to be obsessive about it", because the latter can apply to just about anything.

I read your link, which turns out to not be immigrant bashing at all, but an attack on amnesty for illegal immigration. The Angle quote is also about illegal immigration. Don't go all Dowdy on me.

Susan's Husband said...

Thinking about it some more, I would agree that the clear conclusion over this election is

* Bashing immigrants is a good way to lose an election.

* Supporting border enforcement is a popular stance.

* The American Street sees a clear difference between these two positions.

Harry Eagar said...

I think David's right.

In most places, immigration isn't a hot enough issue to move people, and where it is hot, there are some weird dynamics that mean you lose on the swings what you gain on the roundabouts.

Perhaps Angle lost not on immigration bashing but on her transparently deceptive claim that her antilatino ad was really aimed at Asians.

Peter said...


The American Street may see a clear difference in theory, but maybe not so much when a poignant story about cuffing and deporting a hard-working, popular family of illegals with successful kids makes the news, and I think that is a very good thing and entirely to the credit of Americans.

BTW, not to crash your celebration, but we had our own little Tea Party up here a week ago when Toronto, one of the world's most liberal, multi-ethnic cities(over 50% foreign born), elected this tough-talking, less-than-scholarly Adonis in a sweep as mayor. He had spent ten years as a city councillor who objected to just about every spending initiative, had no political supporters and was seen as a joke. Now the latte-sippers are positively reeling. What especially has them all in a tizzy is that, although his base was the suburbs, he won the ethnic vote. In Starbucks's across the city, you could hear plaintive voices saying "But don't the immigrants realize they need more bike-paths?"

The following evening a widely-followed CBC radio show much beloved among the beautiful people tried to interview him. No elected Canadian politician would miss a chance to be on that show. There must have been a screw-up because they reached him while he was coaching a practice for a kids' football team. His answers to their questions on his "vision" were interspersed with shouts like "Have you got the water? C'mon, man, somebody has to get the water." Finally he apologized, said he was too busy and hung up on them.

I think I became ten years younger that day.

Harry Eagar said...

Angle got 8% of Hispanic votes.

Maybe her attack on Latinos -- whether immigrants or native-born -- didn't play very well with Latinos.

Whoda thunk?

Susan's Husband said...

On the other hand, I was repeated told over the last couple of years that GOP support for border control was going to destroy the party and make it de facto unelectable. I saw no moderation of that stance, yet the GOP seems to have done reasonably well in the most recent election.


Yes, I saw that about Adams, it was quite inspiring.

The sob stories work both ways, you can also fire out stories of decent, hardworking people murdered by illegal immigrants. It ends up a wash IMHO. But the real question remains, where is the evidence for the claim in the original post? I would say what evidence there is points the other way (see Brewer, McCain, the GOP in general).

David said...

The claim in the original post is: "attacking immigrants once again doesn't lead to victory."

You've agreed that "Bashing immigrants is a good way to lose an election."

Susan's Husband said...

What about this race in which immigrant bashing worked?

Susan's Husband said...

"Angle got 8% of Hispanic votes"

No, she got 30%.

David said...

Yeah, Sanchez may be the exception that proves the rule. Individual House races are a little different, because the district can be sufficiently homogeneous to make the blowback manageable. It still wouldn't work as a national theme.