Unconventional Wisdom

Sean Trende at Real Clear Politics has some unconventional wisdom on Obama’s mini-DREAm Act EO. While other news orgs are busy hailing the president’s actions, or (rather ironically, considering the source) questioning the legality of it, Trende wonders if it will even help him in the way Obama and his campaign team hope it will. Here’s Trende’s run down:

1) Latinos are underrepresented in swing states. While the Latino vote is frequently portrayed as a critical voting bloc, in truth it is concentrated in only a few swing states with just a handful of electoral votes.

So in the end, we’re talking about Colorado and Nevada as the states where this is likely to produce dividends of any size, for a total of 15 electoral votes.

2) There is a trade-off here. Fifteen electoral votes could still be crucial in a close election. But here’s the rub: The analyses that focus only on the potential effect among Latino voters miss half of the equation: The potential effect among white voters.

Yet Brewer ran ahead of both McCain and Bush overall. The key is that her policies played well with white voters. In particular, McCain captured 60 percent of whites without college degrees and 58 percent of whites with college degrees.

Brewer actually ran somewhat behind McCain among whites with college degrees, capturing 55 percent of their vote. But among whites without college degrees, Brewer won 66 percent of the vote. This is where her increased victory margin came from.

This is important, because Obama has ongoing weaknesses with working-class white voters. So weak, in fact, that they threatened his presidential bid during the Democratic perfect storm of 2008.

In other words, we might expect Obama to court these voters carefully. But that hasn’t been the story of 2012 so far, and the deportation decision is at odds with such a strategy. Even more of a head-scratcher: These voters are the critical voting bloc in several must-win states for the president, including Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Iowa and Michigan.

3) Latinos aren’t monolithic. Finally, I think it’s important to remember that Latino voters’ views on immigration aren’t uniform, and that just as there’s a ceiling on the Republican share of this vote, there’s probably something of a floor.

I’d just add that in 2008, only 69 percent of Latino voters described illegal immigration as “very” or “extremely” important to them in exit polls. Of these, nearly one-third voted Republican, suggesting that a near-majority of Latinos either thought that illegal immigration wasn’t an important issue, or thought it was and voted Republican anyway.

I think Trende raises some interesting questions about this decision. This is what happens when one engages in critical thinking. I think he’s deftly handled the first two points, but we still get to see even his susceptibility to the conventional wisdom noise machine on point 3. He assumes that all Latinos and Hispanics support illegal immigration, but some of them choose to vote Republican anyway. What he doesn’t understand is that legal immigrants of Latino or Hispanic heritage often have a bigger problem with illegal immigration that working class whites do. Let me share an example.

One semester in one of my writing classes I had as students a woman who was a legal immigrant (Student A), and another who was a naturalized citizen born in another country to an American parent (Student B). The latter was married to an illegal immigrant and immigration reform was her BIG topic to write about and talk about in class. She wrote two (of four) papers on the subject. The former, the legal immigrant who had qualified for citizenship after going through the arduous process, often fumed at the other student’s rhetoric on immigration reform, though she rarely challenged it. It came to a head one day in the classroom.

Student A unleashed a diatribe against Student B the likes of which I have never seen. She argued that she and her husband has spent years qualifying, years that this other woman’s husband was living in the United States illegally, who only had to find a way to traverse the border to gain entry. And now Student B would have us believe that her husband should receive amnesty for breaking the law and disregarding the rules that she and her family had carefully learned and navigated. Both women ended up in tears that day, and the rest of the students were given an inside view into the divisions within the immigrant community. It was a real eye-opener.

This is what Trende misses in his analysis, though admittedly it’s a small part. Still, it might explain the percentages he presents, which might be a manifestation of this oft neglected reality. Nevertheless, this is an intriguing breakdown.

About Woke Lola

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67 Responses to Unconventional Wisdom

  1. Oswald says:

    Illegal aliens aren’t allowed to vote in our elections.

    • Oswald says:

      Hispanic citizens (who can vote) and Hispanic aliens (who can’t vote even if here legally) are two different groups with some overlap between them. Their interests are not always the same.

      • Lola-at-Large says:

        Exactly. I also found out from those two ladies that not every immigrant from that heritage wants to be thrown in the mix with the rest. Student A was adamant that she was from the country of her origin, not Hispanic or Latino. Student B was all about that identity and found it gave her arguments cohesion and power.

        • Lulu says:

          I know immigrants from Mexico (one whose parents immigrated from Barcelona during Franco to Mexico) who worked for years to be admitted legally. They recognize this as a problem but say it punishes people who are law abiding. Not surprisingly they resent being portrayed as a different race and claim they are merely a group with a similar country of national origin like the French or Poles. And they assimilate rapidly and usually vote Republican. I agree that the ethnic identification is used to differentiate for social, economic and political power.

        • 49erDweet says:

          You are soooo spot on. I once supervised 17 Hispanic employees, though only a few considered themselves ‘Hispanic’. Fifteen were female. All were citizens, but from many different paths. From that number came five distinct cliques. None got along very well, socially, with one another. But…….

          The office we were in served all types, including illegal aliens. At least 30% of our customers were illegals, and another 25% were legal but born elsewhere. None of the five cliques liked serving the illegals. They hated them. When no one was looking they were rude and extremely unhelpful to them. Three of the cliques did the same with non-native borne customers. Bottom line – anyone who thinks “Hispanics” vote as a bloc is smoking something.

    • lyn5 says:

      Wow! Your classroom example is perfect. We have rules to follow. I worked hard to follow the rules. The rules change, and you can get where I am without working so hard. Isn’t that like a lot of things that are happening today? Congress changes the age when we can retire and collect our Social Security benefits. The estate taxes are reduced, and families have to pay less on their estates than those families whose loved ones died years ago. I may receive a voucher to buy private health insurance instead of Medicare. It comes down to fairness. I know things change, but why are they changing? To get votes? To make rules equitable for everyone? To save money? To enrich donors? Who benefits? When I see our politicians make laws to enrich their supporters or to get votes, it makes me lose respect for the system. It makes me want to vote all the bums out!

      • Lola-at-Large says:

        I have to say, it was one of the more amazing experiences I’ve had as a teacher. It wasn’t an out of control fight, because I’m pretty good at moderating in my classroom, but it was intense. Honestly, because I live in in a place that has low Hispanic/Latino population, I wasn’t even aware of the divide. I learned quite a bit that day, too.

  2. Oswald says:


    Remember also that on several controversial ballot issues in California, which supposedly cost Republicans their competitiveness in the state (notwithstanding the fact that the Republican share of the Latino vote in California has been stable since 1988), large portions of the Latino community cast votes that were directly opposed to what is broadly considered their “interest” on immigration issues. Even Jan Brewer managed to win almost 30 percent of the Latino vote.

  3. WMCB says:

    Good piece, Lola. The issue is a lot more complicated, even among Hispanics, than many want it to be. Both the “deport them all” crowd and the “they are all sweet innocents” crowd refuse to see the thorniness of the issue.

    What some forget at times is the negative effect that uncontrolled immigration has on the Hispanic community. I live in a majority Hispanic city – San Antonio. Many here are very concerned about open borders, because when the drug runners and gang bangers move freely back and forth, the biggest ones to suffer are the poorer Latino neighborhoods. Thats where they go, and those people dont want their neighborhoods turned into gang turf warzones. They have families and businesses too!

    Ive lived here for 5 years, and can tell you that militant open borders LaRaza types are thin on the ground. MOST want some kind of sensible guest worker solution, with STRICT enforcement of the border otherwise.

  4. WMCB says:

    Oh, and another reason that immigration from Mexico became such a problem after 1970, even though it had been happening without much comment for years, is the explosion of govt benefits.

    Note: this is not an argument for or against social programs. It’s just a sane recognition of an unintended consequence. One result of the “welfare state” is that it changed the dynamic of who crossed the border. In the past, almost ALL those who came were hard workers, motivated by finding work. You still have mostly those, but now you also get the influx of freeloaders and unproductive squatters.

    Again, thats not a condemnation of the whole idea of foodstamps or housing assistance, whatever. But you’d have to be a fool not to see that the expansion of those things had an effect on the whole porous border thing.

  5. DeniseVB says:

    Breaking, but close to topic 🙂

    Holder asked BO for Executive Privilege NOT to turn over docs Issa requested for Fast and Furious. WH complies.

    Now a face off because this is not what Executive Privilege can be applied to.

    Stay tuned ….

  6. WMCB says:

    BREAKING: Obama just asserted Executive Privilege over fast and furious documents. Gawd I DESPISE this arrogant administration.

  7. HELENK says:

    start impeachment proceedings now. Even if it not finished by the election a message has to be sent. There are THREE equal branches of government

  8. Oswald says:

    Wow! Twitter go boom.

  9. GRRRRRR!!!! Why is it that Issa can’t find this little gem- this is an outtake from a C-Span video- a presser in the White House where it is clearly stated that Holder and the DOJ were working AT THE DIRECTION of Pres. Obama on new programs- one of which is clearly named as Gunrunner. DUH! I have sent this damn video link all over to Issa, the media, my Sen and Reps- they just want to keep up the election year kabuki

  10. cj says:

    There is no other story on FOX today. It’s wall-to-wall coverage of F&F for the past few hours. CNN’s covering some of it, as well as Sandusky & other news. I only caught MSNBC twice, and both times they were covering the Dem’s on the committee only.

    • DeniseVB says:

      I only lasted 2 minutes on MSNBC when the anchors pretty much were agreeing with the Dems on the panel. “How dare you (witch hunting racist Republicans) continue this when Preezy doesn’t want you to……”

  11. HELENK says:

    does anyone here have time warner cable?? my fox news went off the air and I can not get any coverage. This has never happened to me before. I can get other channels but not fox

  12. WMCB says:

    Okay, cocky Dem attorney spokesperson on TV is making me spit nails. He is talking lawyer-speak, that Congress has no right to any of the documents because of attorney- client privilege. Goes on a long rant that “the court has no right to documents that are communications between a client and his attorney.”

    Well EXCUSE THE FUCK OUT OF ME, but since when is the DOJ in a “client” relationship with the administration, and the FUCKING AMERICAN PEOPLE are in the adversarial role with our own DOJ!?!

    Because that’s what this tool is essentially saying. And if that’s the case, then Congressional Oversight on behalf of the people becomes nothing more than the role of accuser in criminal court, with the burden of proof on us to show wrongdoing. The government itself (not just individual officials) gets a presumption of innocence and the right to not self- incriminate when the People start asking questions. .

    If what this asshat is claiming is truly what this administration believes, and the lens through which they see this country, then they are fucking despots of the worst sort. The People are SOVEREIGN in this country, you prick . We do not require special legal standing to ask questions of OUR government, nor does our government get a legal presumption of innocence when we start asking them.

    Jeebus, that idiot has pissed me off SO badly.

    • HONK HONK HONK!!!!!!
      Someone needs to haul these asshats up by the scruff of the neck and explain to them that they WORK FOR US!

    • cj says:

      I think he was a former aide to C. Schumer. Repulsive.

      Isn’t it weird that on some pretty fundamental issues, the R’s suddenly sound like the D’s used to? All I know is that if I want something approximating the truth on any given policy, the last place I’d look for it is out of the mouth of a D spokesperson. Sad.

    • Lulu says:

      It is Nixon and Watergate all over again. That is the same crap Nixon tried to float with Mitchell. I am continuously astounded at the enormous ignorance of the Proglydytes. Do they understand that Issa has whistle blower moles in DOJ?

    • DeniseVB says:

      Just watched the video, whoa, Rubio was nailed being connected to his BIL’s drug dealings ….. when he was 16, because he washed their dogs and got Christmas presents from them ? He’s a fiesty debater, he’d eat Biden alive. And it made me miss Ricky Ricardo 😀

  13. DandyTiger says:

    Speaking of the latino vote, and it would be irresponsible not to speculate here, but I think Romney’s going with Rubio.

    • DeniseVB says:

      Romney/Rubio would probably give the Repubs the WH for 16 years. After 3.5 of Obama, I’m okay with that. I’d be okay with Laurel/Hardy at this point 😉

    • Karma says:

      I think Romney will as well. It would be a smart move because there are a lot of Hispanic business owners who are also religious. The Republican party is a more natural fit despite the Dems claims of racism. And Rubio can actually handle speaking to the press without a teleprompter.

      Can’t remember the station but last week a talking head actually went through Rubio’s record and claimed he didn’t have the experience to be president. Even mentioned the time running for office as stealing from Rubios’s Senate time and then with a straight face pointed to Obama’s experience as a plus. 🙂

  14. Through the haze of the Holder affair, you can see just what the admin was up to with the Andrea Mitchell debacle via the Bloomberg poll showing Obama with a 13 point lead because Romney is “out of touch.”


    But the Holder affair is going to get in the way of seeding this narrative. They step on their own toes. Good grief, the incompetence runs deep.

    • Not that this poll in any way reflects the reality of other polls. This is an outlier, my guess, a fabricated one.

      • Lulu says:

        I read a take down of it this morning somewhere. It was rigged with ridiculous % of Dems which of course is decreasing everyday. They simply do not want to face the fact that an increasing number of people are now calling themselves Independents irregardless of where their political attitudes may be.

  15. Tried listening to the hearing- cheese and rice- “booossshhhh did it first! Not fair! You didn’t call booosshh’s AG” Wah wah wah MOMMEEEEEEE!”
    I wish somebody would call the damn vote on the ridiculous amendment. Which as far as I can tell is to not vote on contempt for holder until bush’s ag is called to acct?
    I believe they are operating on “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, stun them with stupidity.” And Blame Bush.

    • DeniseVB says:

      I think Bush had a similiar program, but according to your video Obama ramped it up to the point that his DOJ morons lost track ? Or as some are saying, ramped up to the point they (the BOzo Admin) could frame the problem for tougher gun control laws. (“see, those evil Mexicans are getting guns from evil U.S. gun owners”).

      • My understanding is the bush crew had a program called wide receiver, similar to- but with the knowledge and involvement of the Mexican govt- and the guns that were allowed over the border were supposedly inoperable and in some way could be tracked. Who the hell knows what the truth is anymore?
        The bottom line is that Obama knew, Holder knew, live, working guns went over the border and lives, both American and Mexican, were lost.
        This bs of blame bush, bush did it first, wah wah wah, you didn’t call bush’s AG out on it, (refresh me on who had control of the House then?) MOMMMMYYYY NOT FAIR! Is nothing but a load of bullshit.
        That video has been out there for a very long time- it was a March 2009 presser after all. Why have the R’s not used it?
        Because the election year Kabuki calls for protracted fighting and spats until it is time to recess.

  16. HELENK says:

    kisson tweeted:
    CBS News has learned the family of ICE Agent Jamie Zapata has filed a claim against DOJ and federal agencies for wrongful death

  17. DeniseVB says:

    Committee just voted for Contempt, but not expected to pass the Senate.

  18. Karma says:

    The video is of her lying about the Senate passing a budget and how it’s helping to reduce the debt…blink..blink…blink…and it’s a law now.


    Whatever, lady. This comment from Callipygian1 is great though.

    My vocal chords took my thoughts out of context. As a result I misquoted myself.

    • Sadly, how many morons will actually believe a budget was passed? Makes me wish Facebook allowed for widget type things- cuz I would surely post a debt clock and number of days since a budget was passed banner!

      • Karma says:

        I’m stunned that have gotten away with it. If Bush tried the evening news would be hammering at this everyday.

        Channel surfing through MSNBC Alex Wagner’s panel this morning she was paraphrasing someone, ‘Show me your budget and I’ll show you where your heart is.’

        That didn’t land where she thinks it does.

  19. cj says:

    Neil Cavuto just ripped L. O’Donnell a new one over dressage & MS. He was steaming. I’ll post the clip if I come across it.

  20. Lola-at-Large says:

    New post on Holder upstairs.

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