a) Latinos are as important a voting bloc in swing states as pundits tell us they are; and
b) many Latino voters don't want to vote for Obama, not because they know Hillary better or because they are grateful to President Clinton for rescuing Mexico during the "Tequila crisis" of 1994 (Dick Morris' explanation) but because ... well, they don't much like African-Americans**
c) doesn't it follow that Hillary has a big general election advantage Obama can't match, in that a large chunk of the Latino vote might abandon an Obama-led Democratic ticket and vote for immigration-friendly John McCain?
I'd guess (a) is a weaker link here than (b). ... P.S.: Conversely, do you think the African-American vote would abandon Clinton in a general election against McCain? That seems more far-fetched, though Robert Novak has suggested it. ...
**--Sorry, I forgot to use a euphemism. I meant to say that there is a "history of often uneasy ... relations" because of "conflicts over local resources"! ... 2:13 A.M. link
It ma y be that sensible Republican voters are rebelling againstMcCain-bashing orthodox conservatives like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, etc. But to write a column dismissing those figures for "emphasizing a host of small-bore litmus tests" and not even mention the major policy conflict over immigration seems like intellectual cowardice verging on dishonesty--or else really bad editing by the NYT. ... Not quite like attacking Eugene McCarthy for challenging LBJ and not mentioning Vietnam. But close. ... [via Lucianne] ... Update: Douthat responds with exceptional non-defensiveness and good faith. He says he left out immigration because it was one of the issues on which he tended to agree with McCain's conservative critics:
A focused critique that stuck to his immigration position, I suspect, would have done far more damage to his political viability - and/or forced him into more specific concessions than he's actually made - than the sweeping and implausible attempt to read him out of American conservatism entirely.
Then say that! ... P.S.: There should be a phrase for the improvements you come up with in an MSM piece only after its been printed and disseminated to millions around the world and you've started responding to critics online. Esprit de l'Eschaton? ... 1:41 A.M. link