In all of the controversies regarding immigration policy, the standard trope of the GOP establishment has been that Hispanics are natural Republicans and the future of the party.
There are 21 current congressional districts that were majority Hispanic in the 2000 Census. All are represented by Democrats, which Mehlman might explain by pointing to Pete Wilson and the GOP's historic treatment of Hispanics. But if the GOP has a good message to offer to Hispanics, why isn't it even running candidates in Hispanic districts? Of those 21 districts, the GOP fielded no candidate in 6 of them, and provided no funding for 14 more. The only candidate to receive any support from the national party, incumbent congressman Henry Bonilla, lost in 2006.
Of the 42 districts that are one-third or more Hispanic, 35 elected Democrats in 2006. Excepting Bonilla's district, none of those 36 Democrats received a serious GOP challenge last year - much less one on which Ken Mehlman's RNC or National Republican Congressional Committee was willing to spend a dime. If Mehlman really believed that "Hispanic Americans are natural Republicans," as he wrote in the Journal, he would have at least run serious candidates in these districts. Howard Dean sent Democrats to run in Republican districts in the belief that people in Indiana would see that not all Democrats have horns, which could yield seats in the long run and pleasant surprises in the short run. Mehlman could have tried that in East L.A. or along the Rio Grande. He didn't. (Timothy P. Carney, in the July 2 issue of The American Conservative)
Inaction belies trite rhetoric; the reality is far grimmer:
The post-modern American empire turns inward, against it's own population. The elite effectively occupies the nation against its will through the invading force that is the illegal alien mass, illicitly, even illegally, trading off to a foreign population a stake in the American Commons for greater power and the economic needs of their lobbyist overlords. (Dennis Dale)
In other words, it is not about the GOP and the future of conservatism; it is about the plutocracy. Ahem.