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Tom Beaumont and Josh Lederman of AP mislead about immigration, avoid real reporting

Tom Beaumont and Josh Lederman of the Associated Press offer "GOP shows signs of bending after election defeat" ([1]). I'll discuss why it's wrong after the excerpt:

For years, Republicans have adhered fiercely to their bedrock conservative principles, resisting Democratic calls for tax hikes, comprehensive immigration reform and gun control. Now, seven weeks after an electoral drubbing, some party leaders and rank-and-file alike are signaling a willingness to bend on all three issues.

...But what's increasingly clear is that the party is now engaged in an uncomfortable and very public fight over whether its tenets, still firmly held within the party's most devout ranks, conflict with the views of Americans as a whole.

Many Republicans recognize that to remain relevant with voters whose views are changing, they too must change.

...Most GOP candidates - Romney among them - also long have opposed allowing people in the country illegally to get an eventual path to citizenship. But exit polls from the Nov. 6 election showed most voters favored allowing people working in the U.S. illegally to stay.

...It took only hours after the loss for national GOP leaders to blame Romney for shifting to the right on immigration - and signal that the party must change.

Jindal, a prospective 2016 presidential contender, was among the Republicans calling for a more measured approach by the GOP. And even previously hardline opponents of immigration reform - like conservative talk show host Sean Hannity - said the party needs to get over its immigration stance heavily favoring border security over other measures.

1. Opposing comprehensive immigration reform (aka amnesty) isn't exactly a "bedrock conservative principle": plenty of True Conservatives support amnesty, while many non-conservatives oppose amnesty. About 20 years ago, Democrats and Republicans were close on opposing massive immigration. Many Democrats change their minds on the issue as the leaders of the Democratic Party changed their minds (in order to get votes), but many did not.

2. The "bend" was always there: for the most part, those conservatives who've frantically suggested the GOP needs to support amnesty after the election were doing the same before: Jeb Bush, George W Bush, Rupert Murdoch, and on and on. If it only took "hours" for them to support amnesty as the solution to the GOP's woes, that's because they only have a hammer and everything looks like a nail. There are several lists of usual suspects at this site, such as this from 2009 (which has Bobby Jindal as one of those usual suspects). Of the few who've actually changed their positions, the reasons why Sean Hannity did so should be obvious: he's an unprincipled partisan hack who works for Murdoch.

3. The exit poll Beaumont and Lederman refer to was intentionally designed to deceive. It asked, "Should most illegal immigrants working in the United States be" and there were only two choices "Offered a chance to apply for legal status" and "Deported to the country they came from". The first choice got 65%, and the second 28%. That followed an election in which Mitt Romney briefly promoted "self-deportation" (see attrition). If the poll weren't designed to deceive, they would have asked about that plan. Instead, they engaged in the deportations false choice (see the link). Instead of pointing out the deception, Beaumont and Lederman promote it. (For other deceptive poll questions, see immigration poll).

4. Despite what Beaumont and Lederman say, none of the GOP candidates actually opposed "people in the country illegally [getting] an eventual path to citizenship", even if they tried at various times to pretend otherwise. To believe that Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Michelle Bachmann, Jon Huntsman, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, or Gary Johnson wouldn't eventually support an "eventual path", one would also have to believe everything they see on professional wrestling. None of the GOP contenders were active, principled opponents of illegal immigration a la Pat Buchanan, Tom Tancredo, or even Lou Dobbs.

In light of the above, do you think Beaumont and Josh Lederman are credible reporters? Are their suggestions for the GOP based on supporting what's best for the U.S. or the GOP, or based on other concerns? Did Beaumont and Lederman follow any money, or did they just pass along the establishment party line? For instance, did they look into what Jeb Bush hopes to gain through amnesty (such as votes for his son George P Bush)? Did they look into lobbying payments (e.g., this)? Did they look into donations that leading GOP amnesty supporters have received from companies that want to profit from massive and/or illegal immigration?

Please take a moment and write the authors with your thoughts: @TomBeaumont and @joshledermanAP

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[1] The URL bigstory.ap . org/article/gop-willing-bend-issues-after-election shows that it might have been posted with a different title. It's called "Some Republican leaders soften stances on immigration, taxes and gun control" at a small paper ( peekURL.com/zPJVf5S ).

Other tags: hispanic vote

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 15:02 · Importance: 4