Jennifer Rubin couldn’t disagree more with Bill Kristol and Rich Lowry about immigration reform. For Rubin, who I think actually cares about maybe seeing a Republican president again in her lifetime, the opponents of immigration reform are hypocrites. They say that there is a big crisis at the border but they don’t want to do anything about it.

But Kristol and Lowry are probably more interested in their magazines’ circulation numbers than winning elections, so they take a casual attitude to the consequences of killing reform.

At the presidential level in 2016, it would be better if Republicans won more Hispanic voters than they have in the past—but it’s most important that the party perform better among working-class and younger voters concerned about economic opportunity and upward mobility. Passing this unworkable, ramshackle bill is counterproductive or irrelevant to that task.

“It would be better if Republicans won more Hispanic voters than they have in the past—but…”

Where I come from a vote is a vote. If you lose a white working class vote but gain a Latino vote, it’s a wash. What Republicans like Ms. Rubin are trying to avoid is creating a situation where Latinos conclude, like blacks before them, that the Republican Party is implacably hostile to the interests- even their mere existence.

Now, some white working class voters might be annoyed if the Republicans help pass immigration reform, but they won’t conclude that the GOP simply hates them and wants them to cease to exist. Some might stay home on election day, but they won’t go running into the embrace of the Democratic Party. But if the Republicans kill immigration reform, a lot of Latinos will do more than vote against the GOP; they will work to defeat them.

It’s not a fluke that both of Arizona’s senators, who are both conservative Republicans, were leaders on the Senate’s immigration bill. Arizona is probably the last southwestern state that is still attainable for a Republican presidential candidate, but it won’t stay that way if the Republicans don’t begin working harder for the Latino vote. Texas is not far behind. And it’s possible that Florida is slipping out of their reach, which would really put any Republican presidential candidate behind the 8-ball.

But, hey, keep on pandering to the white bigots. It’s working out for us.

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