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Republicans Boycott Arizona?

[ Posted Wednesday, May 12th, 2010 – 17:15 PDT ]

It was just announced that the 2012 Republican National Convention will be held in Tampa, Florida, rather than Salt Lake City, Utah or Phoenix, Arizona, the other two cities that were in the running. Now, it's pretty easy to see why Utah would be contentious, seeing as how Mitt Romney may be the party's nominee. Holding the GOP convention in the heart of Mormonism would seem to be some sort of tacit party endorsement of Romney, in other words. Or perhaps it's just that the conventioneers want to have more fun (and more bars) available to them while they go about the sober (ahem) business of nominating their presidential candidate. But Phoenix is another story entirely. Because I can't help but think that the Republican Party just imposed their own de facto boycott of Arizona, due to the state's recent legislative anti-immigrant fervor.

Some Republicans, at the national level, apparently see the long-term damage to their party from satisfying the anti-immigration faction within their ranks. Policies aimed directly at Latino immigrants may gain the GOP a short-term boost, but while they're patting themselves on the back for this, Latino voters may move out of the party's reach for a generation to come. And since Latinos are both the fastest-growing portion of America, and also now the biggest minority group in the country, Republicans' short-sighted immigrant scapegoating could lead Latinos to become as solid a voting bloc for Democrats as African-Americans currently are.

To follow up on Arizona's recent law regarding citizenship papers and the police, they have just enacted a virtual ban on "ethnic studies" being taught in their schools. While the legal language doesn't come right out and say it, this law is aimed at Latino studies programs being taught in certain cities' school districts (such as Tucson's). But the message to Latinos is crystal clear: Republicans are going to scapegoat you for years to come. Which doesn't exactly bode well for the Republicans who advocate a slightly bigger "tent" for their party, rather than seeking out new ways to shrink their party's voting base.

Latinos, demographically, could just as easily have been courted by the Republicans. They are overwhelmingly Catholic, and have strong "pro-family" (as Republicans phrase it) views on hot-button social issues such as abortion and gay rights. They could have been welcomed by the Republicans with open arms, and would likely have reinvigorated the party as a result. Instead, they are being actively pushed away.

While immigration is a hot-button issue as well, it is not as nationwide an issue as the other Republican favorites. The heat on immigration is warmest where immigration is seen as a problem, but outside such areas, it's much more of a back-burner issue for most rank and file Republicans. National party leaders are aware of this, as they are also aware that immigrant-baiting (or even immigrant-bashing) doesn't always translate into electoral victories -- many Republican candidates in the past few years thought they'd ride the issue all the way to Washington, but when the voters had their say, they wound up losing to a more moderate candidate.

The Republican Party, by choosing Tampa over Phoenix, shows that there are still some people at the national level who understand the possible downside of holding their convention in Arizona in two years. Florida, after all, is somewhat of an aberration in the world of Latino politics, because the mostly-Cuban Latino population in the state reliably votes Republican. Cubans, after all, are given "instant amnesty" for arriving here illegally (because we hate Castro so very, very much), as long as they can get their feet on U.S. soil. No Cuban immigrant is forced to wait in line or be sent home for not having the proper paperwork. Ask Marco Rubio, who is running for the Senate as a Republican -- his parents immigrated from Cuba. Meaning the visuals from the state during the convention will be lots of Latino support for the Republicans, instead of angry Latinos protesting.

In other words, the Republicans' decision to subtly boycott Arizona makes lot of sense, politically. Saner heads in the party obviously prevailed in their choice of cities. But, subtle though it may be, it puts Republicans on the side of many others who are urging a boycott of the entire state -- which may soon include Major League Baseball yanking next year's All-Star game from the state in protest. Of course, Republicans likely won't admit that they are indeed jumping on the "Boycott Arizona!" bandwagon, they'll likely come up with some plausible reason why Tampa was a better fit for them in 2012 than Phoenix. My money's on "Tampa has better parking facilities," or something equally inane and unbelievable.

But, subtle or not, the Republican Party is obviously sending a message by choosing Florida over Arizona. Whether they admit it publicly or not, the national Republican Party is now on the side of the boycotters. Which is a smart move for them politically, in both the long term and the short. Not only do they get much friendlier media images from their convention, but Republicans may also -- to a very limited extent -- repair some of the damage their party image has right now with the fastest-growing segment of the American voting population.

 

Cross-posted at The Huffington Post

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

-- Chris Weigant

 

16 Comments on “Republicans Boycott Arizona?”

  1. [1] 
    fstanley wrote:

    My hope is that as a consequence of what Arizona is doing Congress and the White House will be forced to put immigration reform on the agenda sooner rather than later.

    I agree that the GOP appears to be playing it safe politically by choosing Tampa for the 2012 convention out of self interest and not because they disagree with what Arizona is doing.

    ...Stan

  2. [2] 
    Michale wrote:

    Cubans, after all, are given "instant amnesty" for arriving here illegally (because we hate Castro so very, very much)

    No, it's because Kennedy and the Democrats screwed the Cubans over so very, very much and they (Kennedy and the Democrats) were the cause of so very very many Cuban deaths.

    THAT is why any Cuban who becomes feet-dry on US soil is granted amnesty..

    My hope is that as a consequence of what Arizona is doing Congress and the White House will be forced to put immigration reform on the agenda sooner rather than later.

    Here, here...

    Michale.....

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    As it was with black people boycotting and urging boycotts of southern states who do not bow to their wishes and get rid of anything Confederate, we see now that economic terrorism is back in vogue...

    I actually thought that the American people have grown up significantly in the last few years..

    Silly me...

    Michale......

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    As far as the "ethnic studies" issue, there is a logical point there...

    As we saw in that Ann Arbor school, when you promote activities that are EXCLUSIVE to race or ethnic group, how is this promoting diversity??

    How can you say on the one hand that race or ethnicity is irrelevant but then on the other hand have studies or groups or field trips that exclude people based on race or ethnic background??

    Imagine if, in Alabama, the Universities wanted to have "ethnic studies" about the Confederacy and only white southern rednecks could participate in those classes...

    Ya'all would have a conniption fit and rightly so....

    ANY type of emphasis placed on race or ethnic background is INHERENTLY bigoted...

    And ya'all are AGAINST instituting a learning curriculum that is completely unbiased and race/ethnic neutral??

    WOW...

    I HAVE been transported to an alternate reality, haven't I.....

    Michale.....

  5. [5] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    One again you're an apologist for bigotry. Ethnic studies is not an activity. When the ethnicity is white European its simply called history and social studies as if no other ethnicity exists. Ethnic studies classes exist to redress the balance because of the overwhelming white European bias in American education and to give non-white students the same opportunity white students enjoy to learn something of their heritage, have positive role models and develop self-esteem. Ethnic studies classes are not restricted to certain ethnicities. Diversity is indeed served by learning about cultures other than just white European.

    But the last thing many white Americans want is to be reduced to the stature of people of color. Even worse they are not about to educate non-whites into believing they are the equals of whites.

    Maybe someone will challenge the "history" and "social studies" curriculum as illegal since they are predominately white European ethnic studies classes. After all if there ever was or is racism in America its white people who are the victims which is why they pass laws like this to defend themselves.--Or so their apologists" keep insisting.

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ethnic studies classes are not restricted to certain ethnicities. Diversity is indeed served by learning about cultures other than just white European.

    In theory, you are correct..

    However, the practice is quite a bit different, as we have seen of late.

    The mentioned Ann Arbor school fiasco and the Cinco De Mayo fiasco are just but two examples of how "ethnic studies" are actually an excuse for ethnic pride at the expense of those who do not share the same ethnicity..

    Then we see Mexican students breaking the law and "demanding" respect.

    Respect cannot be demanded.. It must be earned. And marching thru the streets like a bunch of spoiled brats because a few students had the audacity, the unmitigated GALL to wear clothing with American flags on them, is NOT the way to earn respect...

    Anyways, my point is still valid..

    Imagine the howling and outcry from the Left if there was "ethnic studies" of the Confederacy and/or white southern rednecks..

    Actually, we don't HAVE to imagine it. It's already happened... One only has to recall the recent incidents where one fraternity was celebrating a southern ethnic event and was vilified by the Left Wing Media.. Or the incidents where a southern state Governor wanted a holiday to commemorate a southern ethnic event. The Hysterical Left went ballistic...

    It seems that the Hysterical Left is all about "ethnic studies" and the like.. Except when it comes to the ethnicity of White Americans...

    Where is the "ethnic" sensitivity amongst the Hysterical Left when it comes to the white southern redneck ethnic group, eh?? Hell, even the white American ethnic group can't catch a break from the Hysterical Left.

    "Ethnic Studies" are simply another way to elevate one specific group over another. It's bigoted in it's approach and it's bigoted in it's execution. And it suffocates diversity rather than enhancing diversity.

    Arizona is right to do away with them and make everyone equal in the eyes of the school curriculum..

    Isn't equality what it is all about??

    Isn't a color-blind or ethnic-blind school curriculum the desired goal???

    Michale.....

  7. [7] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Okay, this is way off topic, but ... if you check out this webcam of the Iceland volcano - RIGHT NOW! - you can see ... is that our David!? Heh!

    http://eldgos.mila.is/eyjafjallajokull-fra-thorolfsfelli/

  8. [8] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    What is wrong with instilling pride in children? How is refusing to teach the history and culture of people of color while continuing to teach the history and culture of white Europeans "color-blind?" Why would anyone want to teach a "color-blind" curriculum absent any references to any culture, since its not possible or productive to teach a "color-blind" class referencing every culture?

    Its easy to see why so many white "low-information" voters swell the Republican ranks and why conservatives are constantly promoting ignorance. They are against teaching biology, and science in general, and now the history and social studies of any non-white ethnicity.

    Apparently the revisionist, white supremacist, view of America extends to the Civil War being an "ethnic event." As if the thousands of black people involved played no role in either the fight or its cause. As if U.S. "patriots" routinely celebrate mass treason and the losing side in wars normally "commemorate" their losses with pride.

    And that only the "pride" of white southerners matter as if their are no Americans in the south who aren't white, no sons or daughters of slaves to be offended, no northern Americans whose forebears were killed by Confederates.

    There is nothing "color-blind" about the revisionist reality promoted by racist white-supremacists and their Republican allies. That everything in America is about whites. That everything in America is for whites. That whites alone, as the constant victims of "discrimination," are ever vigilant in defending themselves with policies that "just happen" to disadvantage people of color.

    Racist whites are horrified at the teaching of history and science but all for promoting their white-supremacist fantasies at taxpayer, and the nation's, expense. Racist whites have been telling that lie that "they're only trying to be fair" for at least a century and a half now but fewer and fewer are fooled, and they are absolutely terrified of people of color coming into power and treating them the way they've always treated people of color.

    The lack of sympathy you observe is in recognition of their lies and hypocrisy; that their fears are the least of the retribution they so richly have earned, and continue to earn, for themselves.

  9. [9] 
    LewDan wrote:

    By the way Michale, I for one am getting truly tired of racists hiding behind the law when they have the majorities to dictate the law and declaring their "right" to ignore the law when they don't.

    Cherry-picking which laws matter and which don't based on their agenda, which citizens matter and which don't.

    I know that intellectual honesty, or honesty of any sort for that matter, is not a concept embraced by conservatives, Republicans, or racists, (assuming there's still a difference between the three,) but you weary me. You truly do.

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    . if you check out this webcam of the Iceland volcano - RIGHT NOW! - you can see ... is that our David!? Heh

    DAVID!!! NO!!!! DON'T GO INTO THE LIGHT!!! :D

    LD,

    What is wrong with instilling pride in children?

    Absolutely nothing.. Unless, of course such instillation of pride comes at the expense of another group... As happens practically every time, as my examples have shown...

    Especially with children so young..

    A Jr High School has absolutely NO BUSINESS throwing a Blacks-Only field trip... A High School has absolutely NO BUSINESS enforcing a Mexicans-Only holiday...

    It's become clear that diversity is the casualty of "ethnic studies" and only bigotry and prejudice wins...

    by conservatives, Republicans, or racists, (assuming there's still a difference between the three,)

    I rest my case....

    Michale.....

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    For those of ya'all who haven't read the Arizona Anti-Illegal-Alien law, you are in {sic} "good" company....

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/may/13/holder-hasnt-read-ariz-law-he-criticized/

    AG Holder, even though he felt qualified to condemn it, hasn't read it yet either.

    {{{sssssiiiiigggggghhhhhhh}}}

    Don't ya'all just pine for the days where people actually read stuff BEFORE they jumped all over it and screamed hysterically how bad it is???

    I know that I sure do....

    Michale.....

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    On a lighter note..

    Whenever ya'all say "ethnic studies" I picture C. Thomas Howell in SOUL MAN, all decked out in black militant gear, walking into a study group of black students, who are all clean cut and avidly studying their subjects..

    :D

    Michale.....

  13. [13] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale [2] -

    One of these days, sooner or later, some Democrat is going to bring up Cuba in the midst of all the "Amnesty!" cries from the Right. I'll be interested to see how it plays out, and whether Marco Rubio gets burned by it. That's all I have to say for now.

    [3] -

    Oh, po-TAY-to, po-TAH-to. I mean, seriously, you consider the freedom to boycott some form of "economic terrorism"? Puh-LEEZE. I consider it "freedom to spend your money where you like," personally. I don't see how you can spin this one, myself. Freedom is freedom, and that extends to how I spend my money, thank you very much.

    [4] -

    Here's a great article which sums up my feelings on the ethnic studies law.

    LewDan [5] -

    I completely agree.

    Michale [6] -

    I haven't heard about the Ann Arbor thing, so do tell. But the Cinco de Mayo thing, I'm actually on the right-wingers' side. I've been meaning to write about the flag flap, but events have interceded. My position: Abbie Hoffman was right. The CdM kids were right. Both had a flavor of assholishness, I have to admit, but both were right in their own separate way. I have more to say on this, but you can check out pretty much any July 4th column of mine and you'll get the flavor.

    But I do disagree with you on the "marching thru the streets like a bunch of spoiled brats" thing. Those students were exercising their constituional rights just as much as the flag-wearers were. Both are to be (on some level) admired. The marchers were peaceful, and exercising their right to assembly and petition of redress. Ok, they cut school to do so, but still....

    You do, rather ham-handedly, raise a good point, though:

    Imagine the howling and outcry from the Left if there was "ethnic studies" of the Confederacy and/or white southern rednecks..

    While schools in the South have routinely offered this as their mainstream history (see the argument about "the War of Northern Agression" versus the "Civil War" for instance, in schoolbooks) which is exclusive of all other viewpoints, you do have a valid point. Because whites are the majority, they are forever barred from any sort of "ethnic" studies or pride or separate dorms or any of the rest of it. This is due to a rather long and ugly history, of course, but it is still a valid point. Even if the white surpremicists make the same point, that doesn't mean it shouldn't be addressed. Should whites be accorded the same sort of specialization that minorities routinely get from our educational system, whether K-12 or collegiate, and why or why not?

    Liz [7] -

    Ahh! David! Step back from the edge!

    LewDan [8] -

    Texas is even going after whites now, and scrubbing Thomas Jefferson from their curriculum, because he was such a danged lib-rul. It's not only ethnicities that get repressed in history books, it's anyone who doesn't fit in with the current political correctness (as Texans define that term). Ironic, isn't it?

    [9] -

    This is an excellent observation, and one with wide-spread ramifications. Righties all but worship the "rule of law" right up until it infringes upon what they are used to doing, then it immediately becomes "tyranny" from a "government out of control." Seriously, this is an excellent philosophical point, and I'm glad you made it.

    -CW

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    Oh, po-TAY-to, po-TAH-to. I mean, seriously, you consider the freedom to boycott some form of "economic terrorism"? Puh-LEEZE. I consider it "freedom to spend your money where you like," personally. I don't see how you can spin this one, myself. Freedom is freedom, and that extends to how I spend my money, thank you very much.

    I admit, it's a stretch... But it IS applicable..

    Consider the NAACP and their boycott of South Carolina..

    Who was hurt by that?? Not the state, but rather the mom & pop vendors and businesses who were mostly black..

    An aspect of terrorism amounts to inflicting harm on innocent people to force action by a government..

    The NAACP boycott certainly fits that description.. So does L.A.'s boycott of Arizona. More on that in my next post...

    So, while I hesitate to defend such a label TOO vigorously, as it feels somewhat Holocaust-y (you know what I mean) there IS logic to the comparison...

    I haven't heard about the Ann Arbor thing, so do tell.

    To sum up, a black Vice Principle at a Jr High School (I believe) had the "great" idea, as a way to instill racial pride, to take some black students to talk to a black rocket scientist. No really, he was a real rocket scientist. :D Anyways, the black students got so full of racial pride that they taunted other students who weren't able to go on the field trip because they weren't black..

    THAT is the danger with "instilling pride" in children.. Because it invariably comes at the expense of another group..

    But I do disagree with you on the "marching thru the streets like a bunch of spoiled brats" thing. Those students were exercising their constituional rights just as much as the flag-wearers were.

    No, they were not.

    My apologies, I left out one important fact. Or rather, I did not explain the issue fully...

    The students were marching thru the streets when they SHOULD have been in school.. In other words, they were skipping school..

    I would wager that the vast majority of the marchers didn't give a rat's ass about any political issue. They just thought it was a great way to skip out of classes..

    You do, rather ham-handedly, raise a good point, though:

    That's my middle name. Ham-Handedly :D

    Should whites be accorded the same sort of specialization that minorities routinely get from our educational system, whether K-12 or collegiate, and why or why not?

    Exactly...

    From Affirmative Action to the Ann Arbor fiasco to the Cinco De Mayo fiasco.

    It's all a case of racial/ethnic discrimination..

    Racial/ethnic discrimination to address racial/ethnic discrimination is NEVER a good idea...

    Michale....

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    As promised, I wanted to more fully address this issue of "economic terrorism"... But Neil Cavuto of FNC does it so much better..

    As an aside to CW, I know you have asked me not to post entire commentaries from others, but I hope you will indulge me just this once. It's actually quite short and I think you would agree with Mr Cavuto's points, especially since it hits so close to home for you.. Literally. :D


    So a city in California — a state that is broke — wants to stop doing business with Arizona; a state that is not. And simply because Arizona is a state not accepting business as usual on illegal immigration.

    So Arizona cracked down, and now Los Angeles' city council has proven to the world it's simply cracked, to suspend business ties with the state, even official city workers' travel to the state, leaving aside Los Angeles is in quite a state itself — literally.

    Twenty billion in the hole and no hope of digging out.

    You'd think the state's governor would consider its taxpayers who could sorely use the business, rather than mock his neighbor and just give 'em the business.

    Those who advocate punishing Arizona say it's about principle, not profits. Please tell taxpayers facing massive bills the principle involved in ignoring profits.

    Because this isn't about racism in Arizona; it's about escapism in California.

    About an L.A. council that would sooner cut off its nose to spite its face, than look in the mirror and serve its constituents.

    To fault a neighbor for getting tough on those who shouldn't be there and claim they're racists, proves the crackdown in Arizona isn't the issue — crackpots in California are.

    Too arrogant to see they live in a big glass house they can't even pay for, and foisting a distraction on their very voters they clearly don't give a damn for.

    -Neil Cavuto
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,592822,00.html

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    So, while I hesitate to defend such a label TOO vigorously, as it feels somewhat Holocaust-y (you know what I mean) there IS logic to the comparison...

    That came out WAY to flippant and I apologize to anyone that might have been offended.

    What I meant was that I don't like to take such a serious tragedy as terrorism and apply it to a situation that doesn't involve any loss of life or horrific injuries..

    Having said that, the comparison IS apt as both terrorism and boycotts invariably hurt innocent people while the object of the "attack" usually feels no pain...

    The NAACP boycotts of the Southern States that didn't bow to their will is a perfect example of this point.

    So is L.A.'s boycott of Arizona. The innocent people in L.A. will pay the price, not anyone in the Arizona government...

    Michale...

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