Some are hearing, in Sarah Palin’s recognition of the failure of Republicans to attract Hispanics, an embrace of John McCain’s immigration plans. (They feel compelled, of course, to label this “amnesty”). It is interesting that immigration reform opponents immediately make the connection–although Palin did not herself. I guess a coordinated, highly emotional campaign by the Right to stop any plan for the legalization of illegal immigrants actually did turn off Hispanics. Who’d have thunk it?
But assuming this analysis of Palin is correct, this seems to prove the point which I and others have made: the distinction between “traditionalists” and “reformers” on the Right is a bit nonsensical. If Palin is pro-immigration reform, but pro-life and pro-free market, which camp does she fall into? And how do we know she is a “traditionalist” at all, given her limited time on the national scene and her subordinate role on the ticket?
Rather than puzzle about who falls on which side of the divide (which isn’t much of a divide), a more productive course might be to listen to what smart politicians are saying, engage in some respectful debate, and–as Peter wisely counsels–keep the paranoia and vitriol to a minimum. Then, we might wind up with candidates who do not feel compelled to twist themselves beyond all recognition to fit some perceived orthodoxy.