Republicans are also falling all over one another to express a love of Hispanics, after Mitt won only 27 percent of a Hispanic vote that is now 10 percent of the national vote.
We face demographic disaster, they are wailing. We must win a larger share of the Hispanic vote or we are doomed.
And what is the proposed solution to the GOP's Hispanic problem, coming even from those supposedly on the realistic right?
Amnesty for the illegals! Stop talking about a border fence and self-deportation. Drop the employer sanctions. Make the GOP a welcoming party.
And what might be problematic about following this advice?
First, it will enrage populist conservatives who supported the GOP because they believed the party's pledges to oppose amnesty, secure the border and stop illegals from taking jobs from Americans.
And in return for double-crossing these folks and losing their votes, what would be gained by amnesty for, say, 10 million illegal aliens?
Assume in a decade all 10 million became citizens and voted like the Hispanics, black folks and Asians already here. The best the GOP could expect--the Bush share in 2004--would be 40 percent, or 4 million of those votes.
But if Tuesday's percentages held, Democrats would get not just 6 million, but 7 million new votes to the GOP's less than 3 million.
Thus, if we assume the percentages of the last three elections hold, the Democratic Party would eventually gain from an amnesty a net of between 2 and 4 million new voters.
Easy to understand why Democrats are for this. But why would a Republican Party that is not suicidally inclined favor it?
Still, the GOP crisis is not so much illegal as legal immigration. Forty million legal immigrants have arrived in recent decades. Some 85 percent come from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. Most arrived lacking the academic, language and labor skills to compete for high-paying jobs.
What does government do for them?
Subsidizes their housing and provides free education for their kids from Head Start through K-12, plus food stamps and school lunches, Pell Grants and student loans for college, Medicaid if they are sick, earned income tax credits if they work and 99 weeks of unemployment checks if they lose their job.
These are people who depend upon government.
Why would they vote for a party that is going to cut taxes they do not pay, but take away government benefits they do receive?
Again it needs be said. When the country looks like California demographically, it will look like California politically. Republicans are not whistling past the graveyard. They are right at the entrance.
Patrick J. Buchanan