Chaos on the border inflames GOP’s split with Latinos
By THOMAS BEAUMONT and BILL BARROW
Saturday, June 23
When more than 1,000 Latino officials a crop of up-and-coming representatives from a fast-growing demographic gathered in Phoenix last week, no one from the Trump administration was there to greet them.
It marked the first time a presidential administration skipped the annual conference of the National Association of Latino Elected Officials in at least 24 years. But the absence was striking for another reason. As jarring images of severed Central American migrant families played out on television, the White House chose not to make the case for its immigration policy to these key politicians.
For some, the choice was more evidence that the relationship between Latinos in the U.S. and the GOP is not just fractured, but broken — a breach with both immediate and long-term consequences.
GOP strategists are bracing for the potential fallout the turmoil at the border might have on November’s midterm elections, where control of the House and possibly the Senate is in play. Some Republicans are warning that President Donald Trump’s racially charged appeals to white voters, on display again at a recent rally he held in Minnesota, will doom the party’s relationship with minorities.
“There is a great amount of anxiety about what is happening throughout the country facing the Latino community, and it’s not just immigration,” said Arturo Vargas, the group’s executive director. “Absence of the nation’s leadership at such a meeting is a real problem.”
Peter Guzman, a Republican who is the president of the Latin Chamber of Commerce in Nevada, said the president is hurting the GOP’s outreach to Latinos in his state, which Trump lost in 2016 and where control of the Senate may hinge this fall. He said Trump damaged the GOP’s standing among Latinos by first showing ambivalence to the plight on the border and then stoking ethnic stereotypes.
“When you call them rapists and say they’re all criminals, it’s bad,” he said. “When he looks into the camera and marginalizes all Hispanics, it’s not good for the party.”
Others say the administration’s approach to the crisis at the border adds to the perception that the nation’s top-ranking Republican cares little about Latinos’ plight.
“Latinos don’t just feel misunderstanding and meanness from Republicans. It’s abject cruelty,” said former Republican strategist Steve Schmidt, who was the senior adviser to 2008 GOP presidential nominee John McCain. “For the Hispanic community, the Republican brand is gone forever. Kaput. They will never consider voting for a Republican.”
Schmidt ended his 30-year relationship with the GOP in the past week, blasting the “complete and total corruption of the Republican Party among its elected officials.” His outrage reflects frustration among some Republicans, particularly those aligned with George W. Bush, about the party’s long-term ability to harness the growing segment of Latino voters. Bush was re-elected in 2004 with the support of 44 percent of Latinos.
The Trump administration’s decision to skip the Latino conference showed how far the GOP has shifted from Bush’s “compassionate” conservatism.
“There is a great amount of anxiety about what is happening throughout the country facing the Latino community, and it’s not just immigration,” said Arturo Vargas, the Latino group’s executive director. “Absence of the nation’s leadership at such a meeting is a real problem.”
Census data released recently showed non-Hispanic whites were the only demographic group whose population decreased from July 1, 2016, to the same date in 2017, declining .02 percent to 197.8 million. The Hispanic population, meanwhile, increased 2.1 percent to 58.9 million during that time period.
Even as American demographics shift, there are few incentives for Republican incumbents to abandon Trump or his hard-line approach on many cultural issues. Those who have criticized the president, such as GOP Rep. Mark Sanford of South Carolina, were ousted by primary voters seeking loyalty to Trump. Other Trump critics in Congress, including Republican Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee and Jeff Flake of Arizona, have decided not to seek re-election rather than face Trump’s most fervent supporters during a primary race.
And those enthusiastic Trump supporters remain by his side as they have through most of his controversial presidency.
“I’ve got absolute confidence in how this man handles anything,” 68-year-old Pat Shaler of North Scottsdale, Arizona, said in an interview.
For his part, the president — and some Republicans — see the immigration hard line as a winning play. Just hours after reversing himself and ending the family separations, Trump promoted hawkish immigration measures at the rally in northern Minnesota. Reminiscent of the 2016 campaign, Trump smiled upon a throng of 8,000 chanting, “Build the wall! Build the wall!”
The concentration of the non-white voters in cities has allowed Republicans to maximize their strength among white voters by shaping congressional district maps to help them hold majorities in 32 statehouses and the U.S. House. Exit polls in 2016 showed Trump garnered more than 6 out of 10 white votes and two-thirds of whites without college degrees.
“Trump exacerbated the cultural re-alignment of this country to a degree that we didn’t think possible,” said Tim Miller, an aide to 2016 GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush, who promoted a path to citizenship for people in the country illegally.
James Aldrete, a Democratic consultant in Texas, says “there is no joy” in watching Trump carry out family separations, which he called “a stupid failed tactic.” But Aldrete said it can only exacerbate Republicans’ problems among Latinos.
“Does it hit us in the gut? Hell yes,” Aldrete said.
Colorado, a perennial political battleground, demonstrates the challenge for the GOP. Republicans competing to win the gubernatorial nomination in Tuesday’s primary have united in attacking so-called sanctuary cities. As the border turmoil unfolded, the front-runner in the race, Walker Stapelton, aired a television ad declaring, “I stand with Trump” on immigration.
While such tactics may appeal to the GOP base in a primary, some Republicans said the moves are unhelpful in a state where the Hispanic population has grown almost 40 percent since 2000. Former Colorado Republican Party Chairman Dick Wadhams said candidates should be addressing the economy and education __ issues that attract wide swaths of voters.
Messages such as Stapelton’s, Wadhams said, “make things very complicated for Republicans in Colorado.”
Associated Press writer Melissa Daniels in Phoenix contributed to this report.
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From Inside Sources
No One Can Revive the #MeToo Movement Like Bill Clinton
June 17, 2018 by Sidney Powell
Despite the best efforts of the massive Clinton machine, with even the help of the FBI, CIA and DNI, the “pay-to-play” plan for funding the Clinton Foundation collapsed as the loss of the White House demolished the self-entitled Clinton dynasty. Desperate to regain any relevance, Bill Clinton has put his name to a “fiction thriller” — no doubt written almost entirely by the team of his liberal co-author James Patterson. To make matters worse, Clinton started a book tour.
Buy the book? I don’t think so.
Yet in his abject failure of promoting his meaningless book, Clinton has revealed his total narcissism and reinvigorated the #MeToo movement like no one else could. After all, he could be called the “grandfather” of #MeToo — along with his fellow predator-buddies Jeffrey Epstein and Harvey Weinstein.
Imagine waking up to your former boss describing his sexual pursuit of you on national television. Now imagine at the time of your encounters with said boss, he was married, three decades your senior, and had a daughter almost your age who slept only feet away from where he violated you. Oh, and to top it all off, “he was the most powerful man on the planet.”
That was what happened to former White House intern Monica Lewinsky just recently when Bill Clinton went on NBC’s “Today” show, the first stop on his disastrous media tour.
Given Clinton’s infamy as a philanderer at best and rapist at worst, the “Today” show’s host asked him about the #MeToo movement.
His response was remarkable. “No-yes,” he said quickly, touting his public apology. Then he finally acknowledged he had never even spoken to Lewinsky — much less privately apologized. Why would he have? As the show host pressed, Clinton became so defensive and flustered that Patterson jumped to his defense. That only made it worse.
In Clinton’s view, Lewinsky didn’t deserve an apology. He would not even acknowledge her pain for an affair he not only manipulated or coerced her into, but also for which she suffered unthinkable public humiliation: an affair that literally defined her public persona for life.
The latest is his stunning defense on PBS’ “NewsHour” that over the last 30 years, “norms have changed” with respect to “what you can do to somebody against their will.” He even went on to defend now-disgraced senator Al Franken, who was photographed groping a sleeping woman while on the job. Charming.
Yet somehow Clinton remains the de facto king of the Democratic Party, which has claimed #MeToo as its own and waved it as a banner of its virtue. Simultaneously, the Clintons have led liberals in mistreating and maligning anyone — ahem, any conservative — who questions any element of the movement — including their hypocrisy.
The same self-proclaimed social justice warriors who marched on Washington in ridiculous pink hats and canvassed for Bill’s wife chose to silence the voices of real victims: Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey, Paula Jones, Gennifer Flowers, Monica Lewinsky, and who knows how many others.
And while many have rightly criticized the Clintons’ decades-long friendship with now-indicted serial rapist Harvey Weinstein, incidentally one of the couple’s biggest and highest-profile donors, it makes perfect sense that Clinton and Weinstein would be so chummy in the first place. They were both powerful men who spent their careers pretending to support women’s rights, while secretly committing atrocious acts against the women they purported to defend. Neither their hypocrisy nor their abuses knew any bounds.
Luckily for Hollywood women, #Time’sUp for Harvey Weinstein. Unfortunately for others, Bill remains at large and on your cable networks. Most of the #MeToo organizers have yet to denounce him. Worse, the mainstream media and liberal establishment continue to give him a platform, of which he continues to try to take advantage. At least in his most recent interviewers, even the more liberal interviewers he thought would be safe bets have caught on and started asking the hard questions.
Notably, each time the former president tries to address the issue of his own indefensible historic abuse of women, the only thing that shines is his self-centeredness. He just digs his hole deeper with every word. His entire life was built on deceit, manipulation, abuse of power, elitism, arrogance, and evading any consequences for his lies and treachery.
The jig is up now. He has no credibility, and the world can see he never had any integrity. Now that he has no power, no one has any reason to protect him.
No one really needs an apology from Bill Clinton — or Hillary for her complicity and coverups. It would be neither sincere nor credible. Bill Clinton is too narcissistic even to understand the harm he has wrought on the women he has violated, the Democratic Party, and the American people as a whole.
The best way either Clinton can contribute meaningfully to the world now is to exit stage left, stay out of the public eye, and contemplate what they will say when their true Judgment Day arrives. #TimesUp
About the Author
Sidney Powell is the author of “Licensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice.” She is a senior adviser for America First and a senior fellow of the London Center for Policy Research.
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I’m Tired of Hearing From Bill Clinton
June 17, 2018 by Domenica Ghanem
On June 2, Petaluma (California) High School student Lulabel Seitz had her mic cut off during her valedictorian speech for raising issues with how the school handles sexual assault allegations, including her own reported incident.
Her classmates chanted “let her speak!” but school officials would not abide. They said they wanted to make sure their graduation ceremony was “appropriate and beautiful.”
Four days later, Stephen Colbert tweeted that he’d be giving former president Bill Clinton a “do-over” interview to address the backlash the former president got for saying he did the right thing by remaining in office after the Monica Lewinsky scandal — and insisting he didn’t owe Lewinsky an apology.
Why is it that Clinton, who’s had his chance at the mic for decades, gets second chance after second chance, while someone like Seitz isn’t even allowed to finish her sentence?
As allegations against celebrities make national headlines in the wake of the #MeToo movement, people seem to keep harping on each alleged perpetrator’s every word. But after speaking out, many of the victims are pushed away from the limelight.
It’s in this silence where perpetrators are protected and rape culture thrives.
The Lewinsky scandal is a prime example. In its aftermath, what Clinton wanted was for Lewinsky to “vanish entirely,” Helaine Olane wrote recently in the Washington Post. At Lewis and Clark College, Lewinsky’s alma mater, speakers were forbidden from even mentioning her name. Sound familiar?
Why are we so afraid of listening to what survivors of sexual misconduct have to say? Is it because then we might really have to reckon with difficult cultural changes?
Cultural change takes time. It doesn’t offer shallow solutions that will appease donors to campaigns or large universities. The trials and errors of that cultural shift will have to happen under the scrutiny of potential benefactors and consumers of every industry over several years.
That’s why we try to sweep the victims under the rug.
We debate how many second chances and do-overs it’ll take Clinton to heal any ill will toward him in the #MeToo era, when we should be listening to what Lewinsky has to say about what healing looks like.
“My hope, given the two decades that have passed,” Lewinsky penned in a recent piece for Vanity Fair, “is that we are now at a stage where we can untangle the complexities and context (maybe even with a little compassion), which might help lead to an eventual healing — and a systemic transformation.”
One step she identifies on the way to that transformation is taking victims like herself out of isolation. For one, that means bringing to light the systemic nature of sexual abuse, not treating each case as an individual matter.
Take the tens of thousands of complaints revealing the rampant sexual abuse that takes place far in immigration detention. Despite fear of retaliation and deportation, “women and men held in immigration detention centers across the country have been trying to say ‘me too’ for years,” Alice Speri wrote for The Intercept.
Some of those victims literally fought for their lives to have their voices heard. And yet, the media are flush with articles on Bill Clinton versus himself.
In Vanity Fair, Lewinsky acknowledges that the conversation to be had is complicated and nuance is important. But to treat the voice of perpetrator and survivor equally in the court of public opinion is a disservice to all of those brave women and men who are taking this moment to advocate for not only a systemic analysis, but systemic solutions.
If we listened to them, what we’d hear is a call for resources. Not only for the costly legal services required to make speaking out worth it, but also for mental health services, and for prevention programs in schools.
We’d hear a call for policy changes in workplaces, not just firings.
The solutions are there, we just have to learn how to pass the mic.
About the Author
Domenica Ghanem is the communications coordinator of the Institute for Policy Studies.
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