Rom­ney wasn’t all wrong about ‘gifts’ “W

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - Pat Buchanan

hat the pres­i­dent’s cam­paign did was fo­cus on cer­tain mem­bers of his base coali­tion, give them ex­tra­or­di­nary fi­nan­cial gifts from the government and then work very ag­gres­sively to turn them out to vote, and that strat­egy worked.”

Thus did po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst Mitt Rom­ney iden­tify the cause of his de­feat in a call to dis­con­so­late con­trib­u­tors. Repub­li­cans piled on. “Com­pletely un­help­ful,” Gov. Bobby Jin­dal told Wolf Bl­itzer. We don’t ad­vance the “de­bate by in­sult­ing folks.”

“A ter­ri­ble thing to say,” Chris Christie told Joe Scar­bor­ough. “You can’t ex­pect to be the leader of all the peo­ple and be di­vi­sive.” Oh. Was not Abe Lin­coln at least mildly “di­vi­sive”? Did not FDR in­sult Wall Street folks by call­ing them “money chang­ers in the tem­ple of our civ­i­liza­tion”? Was Ron­ald Rea­gan a uniter not a divider when he said, “Let the blood­bath be­gin!” and mocked “wel­fare queens”? And Harry Tru­man, did he not in­sult and di­vide — and win?

“I just think it’s nuts,” Newt Gingrich told ABC’s Martha Rad­datz of Rom­ney’s re­mark, kick­ing him again in an Austin TV in­ter­view:

“Gov. Rom­ney’s anal­y­sis ... is in­sult­ing and pro­foundly wrong. ... We didn’t lose AsianAmer­i­cans be­cause they got any gifts. He did worse with Asian-Amer­i­cans than he did with Lati­nos. This is the hard­est-work­ing and most suc­cess­ful eth­nic group in Amer­ica, OK, they ain’t into gifts.”

Now, Newt does have a point.

What ex­plains the GOP wipe­out among Asian-Amer­i­cans? Folks of Korean, Chi­nese and Ja­panese de­scent have a leg­endary work ethic, are aca­demic over­achiev­ers, and are pos­sessed of an en­tre­pre­neur­ial spirit. They should be nat­u­ral Repub­li­cans. But Mitt also has a point. Con­sider Amer­ica’s largest, fastest-grow­ing mi­nor­ity.

His­pan­ics con­sti­tuted 10 per­cent of the elec­torate, up from 7.5 in 2008. But Mitt got only 27 per­cent of that, the low­est of any Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date.

This, we are told, was be­cause of Mitt’s com­ment about “self-de­por­ta­tion” and GOP sup­port for a bor­der fence and sanc­tions on em­ploy­ers who hire il­le­gals. If only we em­brace the Dream Act and pro­vide a path to cit­i­zen­ship — amnesty — the GOP’s prob­lem is solved.

The Repub­li­can ca­pac­ity for self-delu­sion is truly awe­some.

Set aside the ide­al­ized His­panic of the Repub­li­can con­sul­tants’ vi­sion. What does the real His­panic com­mu­nity look like to­day?

Let us con­sider only na­tive­born His­pan­ics, U.S. ci­ti­zens.

Ac­cord­ing to Steve Ca­marota of the Cen­ter for Im­mi­gra­tion Stud­ies, which an­a­lyzed Cen­sus Bureau statis­tics from 2012:

More than one in five His­panic ci­ti­zens lives in poverty.

One in four His­panic-Amer­i­can men 25 to 55 is out of work.

More than half of all His­panic women 25-55 are un­mar­ried.

Half of all His­panic house­holds with chil­dren are headed by an un­mar­ried woman, and 55 per­cent de­pend on wel­fare pro­grams.

Th­ese num­bers do not im­prove with time, as they did with the Ir­ish, Ital­ian, Pol­ish, Jewish and Ger­man im­mi­grants who poured into the United States be­tween 1890 and 1920. Third-gen­er­a­tion His­pan­ics do worse than sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion His­pan­ics in all the above cat­e­gories.

This is a huge com­mu­nity be­ing sucked into the morass of a mam­moth wel­fare state. Con­sider a typ­i­cal His­panic house­hold with chil­dren.

It is headed by an un­mar­ried women who re­ceives food stamps and pub­lic hous­ing or rent sup­ple­ments to feed and house her chil­dren.

Her kids are ed­u­cated free from Head Start to K-12 and fed by school break­fast and lunch pro­grams. Should they grad­u­ate high school, Pell Grants and stu­dent loans are there for col­lege.

For cash, mom gets wel­fare checks. If she takes a job, she will re­ceive an earned in­come tax credit to sup­ple­ment her in­come. If she loses her job, she can get 99 weeks of un­em­ploy­ment checks.

For health care, there is Med­i­caid and Oba­macare. And like 45 per­cent of all His­panic house­holds, she has no fed­eral in­come tax li­a­bil­ity.

Why should this woman vote for a party that will cut taxes she does not pay, but re­duce ben­e­fits she does re­ceive?

Re­name Rom­ney’s gifts “government ser­vices,” writes Aaron Blake cit­ing a Washington Post poll, and one dis­cov­ers that 67 per­cent of Lati­nos fa­vor “a larger government with more ser­vices.”

Th­ese are big government peo­ple. And why should they not be?

Pop­ulist pro­grams to stick it to the rich have al­ways had an ap­peal south of the bor­der.

There are 50 mil­lion His­pan­ics in Amer­ica to­day. Cal­i­for­nia is lost to the GOP. Ne­vada and Colorado are slip­ping away. Ari­zona and Texas are next up on the block.

With the U.S. His­panic pop­u­la­tion in 2050 pro­jected to reach 130 mil­lion, the acolytes of Karl Rove have their work cut out for them. Pa­trick J. Buchanan is the au­thor of “Sui­cide of a Su­per­power: Will Amer­ica Sur­vive to 2025?”

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