The conservative backlash on immigration is coming. When Marco Rubio phoned in to sell reform to Rush Limbaugh, the radio talk show icon listened politely and appeared to reluctantly give Rubio the benefit of a great many doubts, for now. Commentators noted subsequently that Limbaugh had somewhat come aboard the plan, endorsed by Republican leaders, to reduce the party's dependence on white voters by passing immigration reform and taking the issue off of the table.
I've been skeptical from the beginning that this will work. It does not follow that conservative activists, and those who crowd into GOP House districts, will suddenly endorse what amounts to amnesty and a potential glut of new Democratic voters in Southern states. Indeed, the prevailing view of Mexican immigrants, Limbaugh said today, is that they "have an entirely different view of America." Oh? Explain, Rush. "I'm sorry if this is offensive, but it's true. And I'm not just asserting it.... A full 75 percent of Hispanics believe that prosperity is the job of the government. And so they'll vote for the party that espouses those beliefs. Happens to be the Democrats."
Later: "They're setting up their own cultures, and there isn't a distinct American culture anymore."
Call that whatever you want, but it is not the voice of the GOP establishment, and it does reflect the views of the GOP voting base.
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