Our own sense is that the biggest GOP liability last year was corruption in Congress, not Iraq.Like the sense that Iraq would become a pro-Western, pluralistic liberal democracy, nevermind insurmountable obstacles to that becoming a reality, like half of the male population being married to a second cousin or closer, tribalism, Islam, an average IQ of around 87, a purchasing power parity of a few thousand dollars, and external pressures from countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran that are using Mesopatamia as a proxy battleground?
The ethical lapses didn't help the GOP, with three-quarters of voters considering ethics and corruption as important to them. Of those, Democrats had the edge by a 55%-45% margin. Still, sense aside, of the 56% of the voting electorate that disapproved of the Iraq war in the 2006 mid-term elections, 80% voted Democratic. With Congressional approval today (25%) at the same dismal level it was prior to the party-change last November, that more US troops are stationed and dying in Iraq than a year ago, the failure of the Democratic party to ameliorate the situation is similarly hurting its leaders.
The board then goes on to focus on the electoral poodle, ignoring the elephant:
Mr. Rove believes that a GOP that alienates Hispanic voters will soon be a minority party, and in this he is surely right. President Bush won 44% of the Hispanic vote in 2004, and a decline to Bob Dole's percentage of below 30% in 1996 would make it hard for any Republican President candidate to win in New Mexico or Colorado, and perhaps even Arizona and Nevada.That the board repeats the fallacious 44% figure illustrates how little its members care about what actually happened. That number is clearly too high. But obsequious peons are what many corporate leaders want, so that's what must be justified, veracity be damned. I wonder why, if unskilled, uneducated Hispanics are crucial to a strong economy, Gigot and the boys don't pack up and move to Mexico, where they are in abundant supply.
Representing around 6% of the total voting population, the Hispanic vote is hardly make-or-break. From 2002 to 2006, for each new Hispanic voter there has been seven new non-Hispanic white voters. Alienating 20% of these white voters is more deleterious to GOP's chances than alienating all of these Hispanics are. Of course, Hispanics in the US are split evenly in believing current immigration levels are "too high" or "just about right", with virtually none of them maintaining that current levels are "too low".