Power and Politics - I am Not the Yellow Peril

The life and times of an Asian American activist who tells all the truth (and dishes news and analysis) but with a leftwards slant.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Terry McAulifffe flushes the immigrant vote down the drain

Terry McAuliffe, former Chair of the DNC under the Clinton years and the most inside of Washington insiders, recently threw immigrants under the bus on NPR (hat tip dailykos and Matt Stoller.)

A republican caller said that he would support Clinton for president if Democrats would "Eliminate your support for amnesty and wide-open borders. . . and you start getting self-deportation of the 20 million illegal aliens here that are taking the jobs, the wages, and the working conditions, and destroying them for working Americans, which I always thought Democrats supported." Nice Lou Dobbsian move to drive the wedge deeper.

What does McAuliffe do, given his mostly urban, liberal NPR audience? Does he defend immigrants' value to this country? No, he decides to suck up to this idiot caller:

I couldn't agree more. We've got to shut these borders down. These people shouldn't be coming in this country. We need to enforce our border protections. We have to do something for the people who have been here for years and have paid taxes -- you know, we're for the people who have been in this country and paying taxes and raising their family. But for the people who have not been here, who have been here illegally and have taken advantage of the situation, we need to have a plan to get them back to the countries they came from, and more important, which is the first thing John talks about, we have gotta shut these borders down. I couldn't agree more.

... I don't care if you're a Democrat or a Republican, we all agree you've gotta shut the borders down. People who are coming into this nation taking our jobs.

ARRRRRRRRRRGHHHHH!!!!!! This is the former chair of the Democratic party. He is fucking with the Democrats' base vote. Asian Americans and Latinos voted overwhelmingly for Kerry in 2004, and Democrats in 2006 because we saw that they represented American values of inclusion and hard work, opportunity and freedom. Immigrants (and their children) overwhelmingly turned away from the hate-filled wedge politics that Republicans love to practice.

According to CNN exit polls, 61% of Asian Americans voted Dem in 04, and 62% in '06. AALDEF's exit polls are higher, with a whopping 79% in '06. According to an AALDEF press release, Asian Americans are incresingly voting Democratic: "AALDEF's exit polls found that since 1992, there has been a steady increase in Democratic enrollment among Asian Americans polled (40% in 1992; 52% in 1996; 58% in 2000), as well as a drop in voters who did not join any political party (29% in 1992 and 1996; 26% in 2000). Republican enrollment has also been declining among Asian Americans polled (25% Republican in 1992; 20% in 1996; 14% in 2000)."

CNN has Latinos voting 53% for Kerry in 04, NEP shows 58% in 04, and 69% in 06. The William C Velasquez Institute says 70% voted Dem in 06.

Although there is some controversy about CNN's exit polls, especially since they tend not to be conducted in language and may undercount in urban areas.

Stoller breaks down McAuliffe's response nicely:
He's also a global elitist, hanging out with the Clinton's on a regular basis, as well as other world leaders. So in his case, immigrants aren't taking his job. In fact, it's a lot more likely that real immigration reform, which would address NAFTA and poverty, would cost him and his friends money. Or maybe he's just a straight up racist. Or maybe, as the caller indicates, McAuliffe believes that 10% of the electorate is composed of racist Republicans that will sit out a election where they have the opportunity to vote against Hillary Clinton. I don't know which explanation makes McAuliffe come out worse.

Soller is completely right - the idea that any xenophobic Republican would vote for Hillary, whom they despise, is crazy. That McAuliffe fell for the gambit makes him doubly stupid. Oh yeah, and he happens to be the campaign chair for one Hillary Clinton, who voted to build a wall between the US and Mexico, but is now running for president.

By the by, I was really glad when Dean got voted in as DNC Chair - he gave the party back to the grassroots activists and the states. He succeeded in rebranding and rebuilding the party from the base up, as opposed to merely kowtowing to big donors in NYC. Dean is someone who is proud to be a Democrat, and makes me proud as well. Under Terry McAuliffe's direction, the DNC was only active every 4 years, and abandoned the state parties after presidential election cycle flings. There was no investment of staff or resources in keeping the local and state parties active in off cycle years and consequently, we kept losing market share in Congress. Plus volunteers got disgusted with being used and dumped. It doesn't surprise me that we lost seats from 00-04. And if you want to know what having a functioning state party means, look at the Democratic takeover of the House and Senate just 2 years after Dean took the helm - he gets the importance of engaging people, which was evident throughout his campaign and his leadership as DNC chair.

Oh yeah, and unlike McAuliffe Dean knows the importance of bringing in new voters like immigrants - when the horrible Tom Tancredo and Sensenbrenner legislation to prevent immigrants from seeing doctors or priests was going down, Dean took the time to meet with Asian Americans and listen to our concerns, for which I am incredibly grateful. He understands that you have to build the immigrant vote. McAuliffe never would have entertained the idea because he could care less about the average voter.

The way you build party loyalty and volunteer loyalty is by being loyal to them.

Clinton, of course, distanced herself from her lapdog's remarks. But it's hard to conceive that someone who is one of the most visible appendages of the Clinton machine would stray from his leash.



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