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Harry Reid's skin tone fallacy; can't see how Hispanics could be Republicans

It's a shame that Harry Reid's opponent is a tea parties type like Sharron Angle. A more mainstream opponent who's willing to highlight immigration issues might have something productive to say about these recent Reid remarks about how he can't find Republicans to support comprehensive immigration reform (link):

"I don't know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican, OK," Reid said, speaking to Latino supporters whose votes he needs to win re-election in November. "Do I need to say more?"

Tibi Ellis, chairwoman of the Nevada Republican Hispanic Caucus, responds that both Ronald Reagan and George W Bush pushed amnesty and that Obama hasn't been able to follow through on his amnesty promises. She doesn't point out the downsides to such plans, nor obviously does she note that sentiments like Reid's put us on the road to ethnic conflicts such as to be found in other countries. Smarter, less corrupt GOP leaders might also realize that supporting massive immigration isn't good for their party as long as most coming here are likely Democrats and those who are receptive to such race-baiting.

Just be thankful Reid didn't go as far as extremist Dolores Huerta and her "Republicans Hate Latinos" chant.

Then:

"Immigration is nothing new," Reid added, speaking to more than 50 mostly activist Hispanics who applauded his anti-GOP remarks. "We are a nation of immigrants. So because the wave of immigrants we have now -- their skin's a tone darker than ours -- doesn't make it any different."

Yes, today's immigration is different; see the immigration tradition fallacy page.

UPDATE: From politico.com/news/stories/0810/40948.html

Angle's campaign seized on the comment, telling POLITICO in an e-mail that “Harry Reid cannot give any good reasons why people should vote for him, so now he is turning to race and ethnicity.”

“Reid is desperate to change the subject from the economy, which he knows is a losing issue for him,” said Angle spokesman Jarrod Agen.

But in a statement Wednesday morning, the Reid campaign doubled down on the line.

“Sen. Reid’s contention was simply that he doesn't understand how anyone, Hispanic or otherwise, would vote for Republican candidates because they oppose saving teachers’ jobs, oppose job-creating tax incentives for small businesses, oppose investments in job-creating clean energy projects, and oppose the help for struggling, unemployed Nevadans to put food on the table and stay in their homes,” read the statement.

As much as I don't like to say it, Allahpundit is right ( peekURL.com/z2wq6jf ):

He’s not doubling down, he’s actually trying to weasel out of it by downplaying the racial aspect of it... Completely inane and demagogic, sure — but race-neutral! Except, of course, that’s not what he meant at all: He’s terrified that Latinos won’t turn out for him in November after he broke his promise to get an amnesty bill through (Democratic betrayal on immigration is a very hot topic these days in Spanish-language media, apparently), so now he’s going to push ye olde authenticity pander. Lest you think there’s any ambiguity about it, follow the link to McCormack and note Reid’s line about modern-day immigrants having skin that’s “a tone darker than ours.” He knew exactly what he was saying, and now that he’s been called on it, he’s inching away.

Wed, 08/11/2010 - 11:08 · Importance: 4