Friday, September 2, 2016

Trump is “done for with the Hispanic community” - so is the GOP because Trump is the GOP

That quote is from Javier Palomarez, President of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Steve Benen (MSNBC/MaddowBlog) reports additional defections or near defections from other Latinos who previously supported Trump. Trump's speech Wednesday night might have been red meat for his supporters in Phoenix, but it had quite the opposite effect on the few Hispanics who suppport[ed] Trump.

Trump's Latino supporters "used as props"

Quoting a Politico report Benen writes:

Jacob Monty, a member of Trump’s National Hispanic Advisory Council, quickly resigned after the speech. Another member, Ramiro Pena, a Texas pastor, said Trump’s speech likely cost him the election and said he’d have to reconsider being part of a “scam.” And Alfonso Aguilar, the president of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, said in an interview that he is “inclined” to pull his support.

“I was a strong supporter of Donald Trump when I believed he was going to address the immigration problem realistically and compassionately,” said Monty, a Houston attorney who has aggressively made the Latino case for Trump. “What I heard today was not realistic and not compassionate.”

Pena, a pastor at Waco’s Christ the King Church, added in a message to an RNC official that Trump’s Hispanic Advisory Council “seems to be simply for optics and I do not have the time or energy for a scam.”

Aguilar added, “We thought we were moving in the right direction… [W]e’re disappointed. We feel misled.”

Quoting an unnamed campaign adviser, a CBS reporter added this morning that “half of Trump’s Hispanic advisory board is ready to resign today.”

The New York Times also reported on the Latino reactions to Trump's speech in "Conservative Hispanics Deplore Donald Trump’s Speech" quoting one saying ‘He Used Us as Props.’

Less than two weeks ago, he held a meeting with his Hispanic advisory council in Trump Tower, leaving attendees with the impression that he was working on a new plan that included a path to citizenship.

That impression faded in Phoenix on Wednesday night.

“There was so much hope,” said Jacob Monty, a member of the Hispanic advisory council who was at the meeting with Mr. Trump. “He used us as props.”

Mr. Monty, a longtime Republican, said that Mr. Trump appeared humble during the meeting, listened to their proposals, acknowledged the difficulty of deporting 11 million unauthorized immigrants and suggested that he was working on a new policy that included a path to legalization. Mr. Monty resigned from the council after Mr. Trump’s speech.

Do you suppose these Trump supporters finally get it? Donald Trump is at the center of his universe and the rest of us, all of us, are props, pieces of a theatrical set that Trump creates and dismantles on his whim. Without compassion. Without regret. Without any moral compass.

"When Latinos turn out": Blue Arizona?

In another post, Benen notes that the Clinton campaign will air ads in Arizona apparently seeking to flip the state from its traditional red status to blue - effectively making Arizona a battleground state. The Latino vote will be critical to that transition.

Asked whether presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has a path to victory here, GOP strategist Charles Coughlin conceded: “I believe it’s there if she wanted to do it. Everybody always says, ‘This is the election when Latinos turn out,’ and it’s never happened. But I can actually see that happening this time.”

And every time Trump talks immigration, I think it's inevitable that he drives away more Latinos. In a third post, Benen exposes the "new Trump" as part of the con.

Those expecting to see the GOP candidate moderating his approach and trying to appeal to a broader national audience were left wanting. The old Trump line and the new Trump line are the same: mass deportations, a massive border wall, new limits on legal immigration, and an end to President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, including protection for Dream Act kids.

Trump was less specific about his intentions towards the millions of undocumented immigrants who are already in the United States and who’ve committed no crimes, but he nevertheless made clear that these people would, at a minimum, be eligible for deportation – a policy intended to force these immigrants to hide in society’s shadows, fearing removal.

“We will set priorities,” Trump said, “but unlike this administration, no one will be immune or exempt from enforcement.”

There can be no doubt that the candidate on the Arizona stage last night was every bit as extreme as the candidate Americans saw during the Republican presidential primaries. Anyone who took Trump’s “softening” rhetoric seriously was played for a fool.

Republican post mortem: RIPped by Trump

Remember the much ballyhooed Republican post mortem after the 2012 election? Here's a snippet from the Washington Post's reporting at the time.

The Republican National Committee’s 100-page Growth and Opportunity Project report was released this morning. To the surprise of many, the report is controversial and bold, not the usual political pabulum designed to avoid ruffling feathers. It directly calls on candidates to embrace a more voter-friendly, practical appeal to problem-solving, with an emphasis on upward mobility. Most striking is its blunt endorsement of comprehensive immigration reform and its encouragement for a variety of views on social issues.

On immigration the report states unequivocally:

We are not a policy committee, but among the steps Republicans take in the Hispanic community and beyond, we must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform. If we do not, our Party’s appeal will continue to shrink to its core constituencies only. We also believe that comprehensive immigration reform is consistent with Republican economic policies that promote job growth and opportunity for all.

Almost three years to the day after the RNC report, Politico documented how Trump kills GOP autopsy.

Reeling from a second straight loss to Barack Obama, a flailing Republican Party in 2013 found its culprit: Mitt Romney's callous tone toward minorities. Instead of being doomed to irrelevance in a changing America, the party would rebrand as a kinder, more inclusive GOP. They called their findings an "autopsy," and party leaders from Paul Ryan to Newt Gingrich welcomed it with fanfare.

But even then, Donald Trump was lurking.

“New @RNC report calls for embracing ‘comprehensive immigration reform,’” he wrote in a little-noticed tweet, nestled alongside digs at Mark Cuban and Anthony Weiner on the day of the report’s release. “Does the @RNC have a death wish?”

Pundits laughed it off as the buffoonish ramble of a fringe New York billionaire on that March 2013 day, but what Trump didn’t say — and what the party establishment couldn’t have imagined — is that, three years later, he would be the one on the verge of making that death wish come true. The billionaire has not only ignored the report’s conclusions, he has run a campaign that moved the party in the exact opposite direction.

I remember a 2013 presentation on the RNC's report and thinking "Of course, that's what they must do to win." I also remember thinking about the chance for that happening: "Really?"

If it was not before, Trump's speech last night was the answer to my question. The Republican party was and is incapable of becoming a "kinder, more inclusive GOP." Its comprehensive immigration reform, via Donald Trump, is mass deportation and creation of a deportation task force.

A time for choosing

AZBlueMeanie's Blog for Arizona post on Trump's speech follows right on to my recollections about the demise of the Party of Lincoln.

In order to do [mass deportations], this authoritarian megalomaniac would have to suspend constitutional due process and the laws of the United States, and set himself above the co-equal branches of government, the Congress that made those laws and the judiciary that adjudicates those laws. Trump is laying claim to dictatorial powers.

“Because I am not a politician [the most ridiculous argument anyone who has been elected the nominee of a political party can make], because I am not beholden to any special interest, I will get this done for you and your family,” he said. “We will accomplish all of the steps outlined above, and when we do, peace and law and justice and prosperity will prevail.”

The dog whistle here is that Trump is asserting dictatorial powers.

Trump’s anti-immigrant demagoguery went over big with his overwhelmingly white Maricopa County audience.

The “Party of Lincoln” is long since dead and gone. Let’s stop pretending that it still exists in Arizona. The GOP is now the modern-day version of the xenophobic anti-immigrant Know Nothing Party of the 1850s. It is now the Mass Deportation Party.

So here is the challenge to candidates who still run on the Republican Party label, like my representative in Congress, Martha McSally. You either disown this party and announce that you are seeking office as an independent, or you fully own what this party has devolved into. You no longer can say “I disagree with what Trump says, but I support my party.” There is no degree of separation between the two. Your position is untenable because it is both unprincipled and morally bankrupt.

As I have said before, it is a time for choosing.

It is time for the citizens of Arizona to rise up en masse and to vote every Republican who has an opponent in November out of office. It is time to end Arizona’s shameful reputation as the birthplace of the Mass Deportation Party.

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