Pat Buchanan

With the resignation of Republican National Committee Chair Ken Mehlman, President Bush intends to fill the post with Florida's Mel Martinez, a Hispanic who led the battle in the U.S. Senate for amnesty for illegal aliens.

"Martinez is going to lead the fight for amnesty that Bush could not win when Republicans controlled the Congress," one angry RNC member told The Washington Times' Ralph Hallow.

Unable to extract an amnesty bill from Denny Hastert and Co. in the House like the McCain-Kennedy bill he supports, Bush is looking to cut a deal with San Francisco Nancy.

Amnesty is to be the Bush legacy, and Martinez is to be the face of the party on the most explosive domestic issue of our era. For that, GOP precinct workers walked the line to hold Congress for the party.

Bush and Karl Rove still have not gotten the message, and probably never will. They have swallowed the Wall Street Journal and Weekly Standard line that the party's tough stance against illegal immigration hurt with Hispanics and only a "comprehensive" immigration bill can heal the wounds. "Comprehensive" is the code word for amnesty.

But Bush and Rove are misreading the returns as badly as they misread the country when they predicted the GOP would hold onto both chambers. Let's have another look at those returns.

According to NumbersUSA, while Republicans lost 11.5 percent of their House seats, or one in nine, the Immigration Caucus of Tom Tancredo, the House hawks, lost 6.7 percent of its complement, only one in 16. Among Republicans given an "F" by immigration hawks, however, fully 25 percent lost their re-election bids, a bloodbath among the open-borders-and-amnesty-now crowd.

It was Bush's War and Republican scandals that lost America, not the party's stand on border security and immigration.

Imitation, it is said, is the sincerest form of flattery. Thus it is a testament to the popular appeal of the stop-the-invasion stand that Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton voted for 700 miles of security fence.

Indulging in their favorite pastime, cherry-picking evidence, the neocons claim that the losses in Arizona by Rep. J.D. Hayworth and Randy Graf, both hardliners, prove that Arizona and America reject a law-and-order approach to illegal immigration.

Yet Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl, a hardliner, won re-election easily.

More significant, Arizonans voted in landslides on Nov. 7 to deny bail to illegal aliens, to bar them from receiving any punitive damages in lawsuits and make English the state language. Among Latinos, 48 percent voted to make English the official language, just as, two years ago, 47 percent voted to cut off all welfare to anyone who could not prove he or she was in the country legally.

Pat Buchanan

Pat Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative magazine, and the author of many books including State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America .
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