So did Mike Huckabee, who told The Dallas Morning News last week that “it’s not my place to agree or disagree” with what happened in Arizona. If it’s not the place of a talk-show host and prospective presidential candidate to take a stand on an issue of this moment, whose place is it? There are few profiles in courage among the leaders in this G.O.P. — only a lot of guys hiding under their desks.Rich then points it that the folks around Bush are actually much less enthused, perhaps seeing that the Latino vote is going to be necessary to win elections.
The most important point in the piece is that there is no firebreak between Arizona and the rest of the country. Demagogues in other states and at the national level are already taking the Arizona laws and trying to apply them elsewhere. As I have said before, while I take some glee in implosion of the Republican Party, it does take at least two functional parties to make a democracy work.
These dynamics are making me re-think the joy I felt when I discovered the counter-intuitive findings about xenophobia and irredentism in Eastern Europe. In that locale, hate can have a positive side, creating restraint rather than aggression towards neighboring countries. But there is little upside to American xenophobia (or racism) as there is no irredentism to deter.