Ross Douthat, in the NY Times:
Today’s attention-grabbing entry in the immigration debate is the joint editorial by Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol and National Review editor Rich Lowry urging House Republicans to just say no to the Schumer-Rubio approach to immigration reform.
The core of the Lowry-Kristol thesis isn’t that the G.O.P. should necessarily resign itself to a Romney-esque performance among Hispanics in 2016 and beyond; it’s that a conservative party with an appealing, populist-inflected economic agenda will ultimately probably win more white votes and more Hispanic votes (and, for that matter, black votes and Asian votes) than a conservative party whose idea of rebranding is just a headlong rush to put President Obama’s signature on an immigration bill.
Read the whole thing. It’s balanced, thoughtful, and penetrating – even if you support the Schumer-Rubio approach. Douthat gives a counter-narrative at the end of how such legislation might fit into a larger, positive vision:
…One could take the approach of many Bush administration veterans and argue for immigration reform as a necessary signal to Hispanics that requires follow-up on other fronts, and that makes sense as part of a larger, multi-issue shift intended to improve the G.O.P.’s standing with the pan-ethnic working class.
Whatever you think about the Senate immigration reform bill, I think Lowry and Kristol are right that about this:
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.