#NoMames: Conservative Extremist Media Still Stays Clueless About U.S. Latinos

Nov 29, 2012
10:07 AM

Here's a way to NOT learn from the results of the presidential elections: instead of blaming your own failings, many extremist conservative media types just want to blame others. You would think that the time for self-reflection was truly that: looking at one's own internal problems. Guess not.

The latest comes from the conservative newspaper, The Washington Examiner, with an assist in ignorance from the National Review.

Stung by their election defeat, Republicans are eager to try to woo Hispanic voters, arguing that once their party puts immigration reform behind them, the ethnic group will be open to the GOP’s conservative message

But an analysis of economic and social data suggests that even outside of immigration, native-born Hispanics, who make up the vast majority of such voters in the U.S., have far higher rates of welfare use, single-parent households and low tax liabilities — all factors that usually indicate a better fit with the Democratic Party than with Republicans.

One in 5 households headed by U.S.-born Hispanics are in poverty, compared with just 10 percent of non-Hispanic U.S.-born white households, and 40 percent of the Hispanic households use at least one major welfare program — twice the rate of white households.

They are only half as likely to be self-employed, and 50 percent of their households with children are single-mother homes, compared with just 29 percent of native-born white homes.

“The underlying demographics make this a population that’s a tough sell for the Republican message,” said Steven A. Camarota, research director at the Center for Immigration Studies, who crunched the demographic numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Yes, this is the same CIS that was identified as a "hate group." And the slanting of this piece is pretty sad considering that there is data that would counter the fuzzy math that the CIS has crafted. The biggest goof is that the CIS misses out on is actual data from Gallup that says that half of U.S. Latino voters identify themselves as independents, meaning that independents are more likely to be swayed.

A majority of U.S. Hispanics identify as political independents (51%) rather than as Democrats (32%) or Republicans (11%). However, once their partisan leanings are taken into account, most Hispanics affiliate with the Democratic Party (52%) rather than the Republican Party (23%). Both sets of numbers shift more decisively in the Democrats' favor among the roughly half of U.S. Hispanics who are registered to vote.

Yet CIS and the Examiner would rather blame it on U.S. Latinos instead of looking at what CIS publishes and how it hides behind a supposedly neutral name to achieve its end goal: continue to justify ignorance and anti-immigration rhetoric towards U.S. Latino voters. The biggest mistake these groups make is that more U.S. Latinos might be open to some policies, but to paraphrase Senator Marco Rubio, the conversation stops when the talk of deporting grandmothers dominates the dialogue. 

As a result, what happens with these so-called CIS studies is that publications like the National Review allow their columnists to spew boberías such as this one:

Steve Dinan at the Washington Times highlights the data on native-born Hispanics that point to their natural inclination to support the Left. The native-born, who account for the overwhelming majority of Hispanic voters, have higher rates of poverty, welfare use, single-parent families — none of which is suggestive of openness to a message of small government and moral traditionalism. As a Stanford political scientist told Dinan, “It turns out that Latinos are systematically to the left of whites on an entire array of economic-policy matters.” That doesn’t mean Republicans can’t get a share of the Hispanic vote, in the usual GOP range of between a quarter and a third of the total — but there’s a ceiling that’s a lot lower than the sugar-plum dreams of some commentators. As VDH’s satirical piece on the home page suggests, Republicans can either embrace reductions in immigration or forget about being the limited-government party.

As for the "satirical" piece that is referenced in the previous paragraph, all you need to do is read this excerpt from that column and just shake your head. It is time for

Family values in the Latino community may be defined somewhat differently from the way elite Republican consultants imagine, perhaps more along the ancient Spanish notion of a patron/client relationship that ultimately originated in Rome. 

In our time, the patron is seen as the big and powerful federal government, which has an obligation to care for its less-well-off and unfortunately all-too-often-dependent and oppressed clients, who in turn will vote in thanks for state help with food, shelter, education, and health care. The patron of the classical hacienda protects the client against outlaws and oppressive forces — in this case supposedly rich old white guys (see Obama’s “punish our enemies”), who are not sensitive to the needs of a victimized “other.” If Republicans wish to win on this more European and statist notion of family values, then I would suggest trying to expand food stamps, add more coverage to Obamacare, and forgive delinquent mortgages, student loans, and small-business loans. The key would be to fashion a family-values platform that worries more about the collective familia than the more individualist and stereotypically Anglo-Saxon agendas of the well-off. High taxes and generous redistributionist spending are far more a mark of family values than is being against abortion or for traditional marriage.

Can these guys just stop writing? This isn't about U.S. Latinos, extremists, this is about you.