Beinhart notes efforts at courting Hispanics, blacks, and gays, saying, in a backhanded fashion, that these were good steps toward a big-tent party. But then there is this paragraph which actually destroys Beinhart's own thesis:
But it was easier then. In 2000, with the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision still years away, gay marriage was a distant glimmer on the political horizon, something Bush could largely avoid. As late as 2004, illegal immigration was still politically peripheral, which gave Bush considerable leeway in courting Latinos. And, from September 11, 2001, until sometime last year, Bush's war on terrorism was so politically potent that he didn't need domestic wedge issues to turn out the Republican base.Yes, all the issues Beinhart is discussing that capture the voting public's attention today didn't exist in 2000 and so the President didn't have to take stands that seem to infuriate the Democrats.
First, while I believe the President believes that marriage should be between a man and a woman, I believe he and other Republicans don't like the manner in which gay marriage is being sought--through court decisions. If a state legislature or a voter referendum decided that gay marriage was proper, then I think the President would be more tolerant. He may not like it, but the will of the people will have spoken. The fact that even liberal states like Vermont (with civil unions), Massachussets and California don't have such legislative or democratically enacted gay marriage laws speaks volumes about the "widespread" acceptance of such an idea.
Second, on immigration, we face a real national security issue and perhaps a 700 mile long fence sends the wrong message, but on a 2,500 mile border, how much impact will it really have. Here the Democrats are playing as much of a race card as the GOP. The theory that Bush and the GOP hates Latinos belies a complete lack of understanding. If you speak to Latino immigrants here legally, you will find as much of a distatse for illegal immigration as the population at large. The issue is not about race, but about rules. If you come to this country illegally, you have violated the law and there must be consequences. An analogy is apt here.
If you have people coming into your yard and stealing from your fruit trees, you are losing money and/or the enjoyment of those trees. In order to prevent the theft, you seek solutions to your problem. The first of those steps might be a No Trespassing sign, which may deter those who were unaware that they were entering private property. The second step, when the theft continues, is to have guards patroling your land. When that fails, you build a fence. No one would deny your right to do so in order to protect your resources.
With immigration we have real theft. People come to this country, using our resources, paid for with our tax dollars, with impunity. Rules haven't stopped anyone nor have guards. The next step is to build a fence. But Democrats live in a world where we should all just get along, but the world is not that simple and people will steal from you if you let them.
Finally, on race, the Democrats are brazenly hypocritical on this score. Take a look at Democratic leadership across the country. There are some 22 Democratically held governorships in this nation, statistically there should be three Black Governors. There are none. There should be at least 5 black Senators--there is one. Maryland is a perfect example. In a state with 30% black population, there has been exactly one black statewide elected official--and he is a Republican. If race is such a key part of the Democratic foundation, how then do they explain so few blacks in positions of authority.
George W. Bush has the most racially diverse cabinet in history, with blacks, latinos and asians serving in Cabinet posts. In the senior most cabinet position, Secretary of State, Bush has had a black man and a black woman in that position. In Bill Clinton's Administration (supposedly the first "black" President), no black occupied a senior cabinet position--ever.
The hypocrisy of the left on these issues Beinhart points out cannot be justified nor can charges be leveled against the GOP with a straight face.