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Bill Frist's Pete Wilson Moment

POSTED:

Marc Cooper has this immigration story nailed. The pro-immigrant backlash that has arisen in response to the deport-'em-all rhetoric of Frist, Tom Tancredo, and their fellow travelers on the Hill could do permanent damage to the GOP's hopes of carving out a reliable bloc of Hispanic voters.

They may learn, very painfully, the lesson of former California Governor Pete Wilson, who demagogued immigrants to limited success before, as Cooper describes it, "an enraged and energized Latino constituency accelerated its entrance into citizenship and onto the voter rolls and within four years it [had] steamrollered the California GOP —a flattening from which California Republicans may never recover."

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