We`ve Got Karl Rove to Kick Around Some More!

You might think that

Karl Rove
would be

taking a bit of a break
. After guiding the GOP to
its disastrous

2006 campaign,
and having his protégé

Steve Schmidt
run John McCain`s clueless 2008
campaign into the ground, doesn`t he want to think
things over—to lie low until he figures out where he
went so terribly wrong?

After all, the
Republican President whom Rove guided to narrow victories in 2000
and

2004
has presided in recent weeks over the
wholesale
nationalization
of sizable chunks of the economy—the
biggest victory that

socialism
has ever won in the

history
of the United States.
 And he has managed to
get himself succeeded by a man of the radical left, driven
by racial animosity against the American majority. (See my
new book



America`s Half-Blood Prince: Barack Obama`s "Story Of Race
And Inheritance"
!). Isn`t that kind of a downer?

 But
you would be wrong. Rove is bustin` out all over. According
to his

biography
in The
Wall Street Journal
:

"Karl writes a weekly op-ed for
The Wall Street
Journal
, is a
Newsweek
columnist and is now writing a book to be
published by Simon & Schuster. Email the author at
Karl@Rove.com or visit
him on the web at
Rove.com."

Rove is
still pushing the
Political Big Idea of the Bush Administration: converting
Hispanics to the GOP. In his November 13
WSJ column,


History Favors Republicans in 2010
he asserted:

“One of the most important shifts was Hispanic support for Democrats.
John McCain got the votes of 32% of Hispanic voters. That`s
down from the 44% Mr. Bush won four years ago. If this trend
continues, the GOP will find it difficult to regain the
majority.”

C`mon, Karl—give it a rest! Your boy
George did not get
44 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2004. You know perfectly
well that Edison-Mitofsky, the exit poll company,

admitted
in January 2005 that they had botched up the
methodology. The real number was around 40 percent—firmly in
the GOP`s

historically horrible Hispanic range.

More importantly, the main reason Bush
reached 40 percent in 2004 was because the two of you
bought a few
percentage point increase in the Hispanic vote with the
Housing Bubble.

The Bush Administration tried to turn
Latinos into home-owning Republicans, using
no down
payment subprime adjustable rate mortgages
. In
2002-2004, Bush

campaigned
against down payments on home loans as

the chief impediment
to his goal of adding
5.5
million minority homeowners
.

Hispanics, on average, are
natural
tax-and-spend Democrats.
Rove tried to turn them into
Republicans through a policy of borrow-and-spend. Home
purchase mortgage dollars flowing to Hispanics increased

691 percent
from 1999 to 2006. In
California
, the black hole of the
mortgage meltdown, the fraction of first-time home
purchasers in
California

who

didn`t put any money dow
n grew from 7 percent in 2000 to
33 (!) percent in 2004 to 41 (!!) percent in 2006.

Although the Bush Administration was
most interested in wooing Hispanics with easy credit, the
lax lending standards applied to everybody—further fueling
the Bubble.

Now, though, Hispanics are defaulting in
huge numbers on mortgages they
never should have gotten in the first place.
And they
are being laid off from their construction jobs building
homes we didn`t need and couldn`t afford.

And we`re all paying the

ghastly economic price
for Rove`s political gambit.

It`s important to fully understand why
the lessons the two Texans, Rove and Bush, learned in their
home state didn`t apply in other heavily Hispanic states.

So far, the mortgage meltdown hasn`t been
as bad in w:st="on">Texas as in the four
Sand
States
(as they were known on Wall Street during
the Bubble): w:st="on">California, w:st="on">Nevada, w:st="on">Arizona, and w:st="on">Florida. These are

home
to half of the foreclosures and a large majority of
the

defaulted mortgage money
.

Partly this is due to the Oil Bubble,
which now appears to be ending. Oil prices over $100 per
barrel kept the
Texas

economy strong in 2008, allowing debtors to avoid

foreclosure
.

Also, the
enormous
amount of land and the lack of environmental restrictions on
home development
in Texas means that when the federal
government stimulates demand, the supply of housing
increases quickly as well, keeping housing prices
reasonable.

Finally, what Rove and Bush missed was how
different the economic and immigration history of
Texas

over the last three decades was relative to the seemingly
similar Sand States. Due to

OPEC`s oil price increases in the 1970s,

Texas

experienced a huge construction boom thirty years ago. That
mostly attracted construction workers from the rest of the w:st="on">U.S. rather than from w:st="on">Mexico, because
Mexico
was simultaneously experiencing its own oil boom following
massive
new discoveries
.

When

oil prices collapsed in 1982
, the economies of w:st="on">Texas and
Mexico
slumped simultaneously. The big wave of post-1982 unemployed
illegal aliens therefore headed for
California

rather than for
Texas
.

That`s why
San Antonio

had "surprisingly low levels" of immigration from
1965 to 2000, according to the important new book
quantitatively comparing Mexican-Americans in
San Antonio

and Los Angeles
in 1965 and 2000,

Generations of Exclusion
, by sociologists associated
with the

UCLA Chicano Studies Program.

The 2000 Census found that
California
`s foreign-born population
(26 percent
of all residents) was almost twice as large as w:st="on">Texas`s (14 percent).

As Texans, Rove and Bush apparently just
couldn`t understand the quantity and quality of the
immigration situation in the other heavily Hispanic states.
In 2000, Texas
had a large but fairly well-rooted, stable, and assimilated

Mexican-American population
that had a reasonable
potential to make enough money in resource-extraction or
other blue-collar jobs to afford to buy
Texas
`s cheap houses.

In sharp contrast,
California

had a huge and mostly new,
ill-educated,
and
unassimilated
Mexican-American population that didn`t have even a
chance of making enough money in
Silicon Valley
or
Hollywood

to afford
California
`s already expensive
houses.

And
Nevada,

Arizona
, and

Florida
were more like
California

than they were like
Texas
.

The Rove-Bush policies weren`t directly
disastrous in w:st="on">Texas, the state they understood. But in
other heavily Hispanic states, they were like trying to put
out fire with gasoline.

Lately, there has been much talk about
what the GOP needs to do in the future. An overlooked
necessity is that the Republican Party must shed the
Rove-Bush trick of appealing to
Ronald
Reagan
`s alleged

philosophy of optimism
to justify bad policies.

In the long run, what wins elections is
not optimism or pessimism, but realism. Reagan triumphed
less because he was optimistic than because he was
realistic. He came to office in 1981 after
a long period in which America had gotten kicked around
.
In a
climate of gloom
, he correctly assessed that, given some
encouragement, w:st="on">America`s business and military were
capable of doing a much better job than the conventional
wisdom of the time believed.

In contrast, Rove and Bush arrived in
Washington

20 years later, following the
enormous
triumphs
of the Reagan Era. When you`re already on top
of the world, it`s implausible that the only way you can go
is up.

Worse, while Reagan bet on Americans, Rove
and Bush placed some of their biggest bets on foreigners.
They
guessed
that all that was holding

Iraqis back from democracy
was
Saddam Hussein
. And they bet that

Mexicans could earn enough
to afford the

American Dream of home ownership
—if the government could
only do something about those pesky down payments.

What should the
Republican Party
do in the future? After Rove`s years of
what I call

Marketing Major postmodernism
—the belief, often acquired
through osmosis while studying public relations or
advertising in college, that some egghead over in Europe
proved that there`s
no
such thing
as

truth or reality,
so spin away!—the first priority must
be to remake the GOP as the party of

realism
.

The Rove-Bush strategy of

Invade the World/ Invite the World/ In Hock to the World

reflected an unfounded faith not in Americans but in,
respectively, the reasonableness, competence, and
benevolence of non-Americans.

Now, we need to begin the long task of
rebuilding with a clear, cold eye.


[Steve
Sailer (
email
him) is


movie critic

for


The American Conservative
.

His website



www.iSteve.blogspot.com

features his daily blog. His new book
,
w:st="on">AMERICA`S HALF-BLOOD PRINCE:
BARACK OBAMA`S "STORY OF
RACE AND INHERITANCE"
, is available


here
.]