House Republicans claim they see no urgency whatsoever about acting this summer on immigration reform, and just might get around to it some time this fall. And it’s probably true, as many have already noted, that individual House Republicans — tucked away in safe conservative districts — won’t feel any pressure to act on reform.Latino media is, ironically, a largely unreported-on entity in the United States. To the extent that Republicans even acknowledge Univision exists, the number of people who rely on it and the relative influence it has is considered only begrudgingly, if at all, and a Republican politician like Mitt Romney granting an interview in the Spanish-speaking media is seen in much the same vein as a Republican politician giving a speech to the NAACP. Oh, he's so bold. Oh, he's walking into the lion's den of otherness. Oh, he's just pandering to a special-interest group.
But there’s one potential downside for the party in this strategy: it could mean the GOP gets hammered in the Hispanic media for months.
So the likely outcome of this is that indeed, Republicans are going to get well and truly hammered in Latino media outlets, but since Republicans already all but ignore those outlets they aren't necessarily likely to even notice. Which is ironic, because most conservatives I've known are pretty sure that whenever anyone is speaking Spanish around them, they're secretly talking about them; now that a whole lot of people speaking Spanish really will be talking about them, and on the television, no less, they don't care. Bad time for your paranoia to be taking a break, fellas.
The word is that House Republicans believe the GOP elite’s concerns about the need to repair relations among Latinos, and the potential consequences failure to do this could have for the party, are “overblown.”What we have here is a continuation of the Republican failure to understand American demographics, or even any little bit of it that isn't white and staunchly conservative. They either continue to believe that the white male vote will prop them up even if they take adversarial stances towards every single other set of Americans, or more likely their members are so thoroughly a product of that narrow band of voters that they simply can't conceive how to appeal to the others even when they try. GOP attempts to woo woman have run afoul of a steady stream of GOP members who can't help but insulting and belittling them; I don't see efforts to appeal to minority voters going any better. Immigration reform in the House has so far allowed the radicals of the party, aka Steve King and the like, grandstanding opportunities far in excess of whatever attempts at reasonableness the more level heads have wanted to try. So far, it's been an unqualified net loss for them.
So I don't think most elected Republicans care about how they are going to be portrayed in the Latino media on this, and the few people that do care aren't in a position to do much about it. Like everything else that comes before the House, the most radical (and in this case, overtly bigoted) members of the party are in a position to scuttle even the most basic premises of reform, and their safe, ultra-conservative districts will ironically demand they do it even as the popularity of the wider party continues to plummet to levels that make typhoid look good in comparison.
I'm at a loss as to how they get out of this one. If they don't do something rational and reasonable soon, the mountain of ill will generated by the Steve Kings of the party will have negated whatever respect the party once hoped to achieve among Latino voters. Merely fixing the flaws in the current immigration system isn't enough, the party has to look like they actually give a damn about those immigrants and their families while they're doing that, and there doesn't seem a chance in hell of them managing the latter part.