If I were a Latino, me estaría herviendo la sangre (my blood would be boiling) right about now.
El Presidente came down to El Paso on a campaign sweep, paying lip service to the notion of immigration reform, but he was really laying it out to the Latino community this way: “Vote Democratic, because we’ll only show you benign neglect, whereas the Republicans really have it in for you.”
The greatest continuous gift the Republican Party lavishes on the Democrats is its harsh and inhumane immigration policy, which not only offends moderate sensibilities, it’s even opposed by the very business community the GOP purportedly serves.
Why? Because businesses and moderates don’t vote in Republican primaries. Those who do vote base their attitude toward immigration on a gut reaction rather than reason (“I resent folks who aren’t like me, who come in here spoutin’ their jabber, who grab a slice of the American Dream they don’t deserve, and who take jobs that I wouldn’t work anyway”).
So the Republicans, being shackled to this loser policy, will never claim a significant portion of the Latino vote as long as the Dems don’t screw it up.
But Dems being Dems, they can mess up anything. They’re on the verge of it now by not trying hard enough to come through on the promises they made to Latinos (the ones they always make at election time) that they would help grease the way for them and their loved ones to be assimilated into American society. Obama has some political juice, but he’s not about to blow what he has on them. He’s got bigger fish to fry with debt ceilings and other matters. The problem is, he’s always got bigger fish to fry.
So the reason for burning all that aviation fuel to get Air Force One to El Paso was, basically, to throw empty candy wrappers at the crowd in hopes of enticing them out of their casas on election day. It may not be enough this time.