Far-right commentator Ann Coulter has once again given us a window into the alternate universe in which she chooses to reside -- that same universe, you may recall, in which growing American interest in soccer signifies a creeping moral decay - and as always, the view from the Coulter-verse is, to put it gently, unhinged. This time around she's decided to offer up her wisdom on how the Republican Party ought to go about winning over Latino voters -- in her mind, by abandoning the effort altogether.
GOP leaders may be united on the need to win over Latino voters, but Coulter has apparently gained some insight that Grover Norquist, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Preibus, Rand Paul and other influential Republicans have missed:
"If the Republican Party is going to win, they're going to have to be the populist party and bring up issues like immigration, which they won't touch," Coulter said.
"Instead of constantly sucking up to a group of people who will never vote for you," Coulter continued, presumably referring to Hispanics, "how about appealing to the other voters who are just going to stay home and say 'screw you.'"
The Republican Party has been "sucking up" to Latinos? Even for a would-be rabble-rouser like Coulter, this is far-fetched stuff.
Let's review, briefly, just how seriously the GOP has been courting Latino voters lately.
The party's 2012 presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, lost the Hispanic vote by a whopping 27-to-71% margin in that year's presidential election after he caved to hard-line anti-immigrant elements in his party by promising to force undocumented immigrants to "self-deport." Party leaders later acknowledged the cost of these comments, with RNC Chairman Reince Preibus describing the remarks as "horrific."
More recently, Congressional Republicans spent a counterproductive year blocking the passage of historic immigration reform legislation, voting multiple times to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and seeking to deny due process to the unaccompanied children fleeing violence who have arrived at our southern border. If this is "sucking up," what does ignoring, antagonizing and alienating Latinos look like?
While Coulter's claim that the GOP has been "sucking up" to Latino voters is clearly wildly inaccurate, Democratic candidates shouldn't rest easy this November simply because their opponents have repeatedly antagonized the Hispanic electorate. Although it's true that many Democrats have championed immigration reform, school funding, Medicaid expansion and other issues that matter to Latino voters, others have failed to deliver on these issues. The party's leader, President Barack Obama, recently delayed executive action on badly-needed immigration reform until after the November midterm elections, despite promising time and time again that relief was coming. Some current polling suggests that the President's decision to put politics above the pressing needs of mixed-status families has driven many Latino voters to consider sitting out the upcoming elections.
In this sort of political climate, it may be tempting to sit out an election. Choosing to do nothing, however, is still a choice, and it is without a doubt the wrong choice.
If we want our voices to be heard by Democrats and Republicans, Latino voters must come out in force this November and demonstrate the power of the growing Hispanic vote. It's Politics 101 -- when a community comes out and votes in force, politicians will have no choice but to listen to the concerns of that community.
Today neither Republicans nor Democrats are sucking up to Latino voters, Ann Coulter's comments notwithstanding. We have the power to change that, and it's as easy as voting this November.