After proclaiming loudly that the GOP's tough immigration stance was going to really, really hurt them among Hispanic voters, Democrats have finally looked at some polling and decided that to a great degree the country agrees with the Republican position.
Just six weeks ago, Liberal Democrats like Al Sharpton were quaking with righteous indignation over the passage of the new immigration law in Arizona. According to the New York Daily News from April 26, 2010:
"Sharpton said he would mobilize people from across the country to march in Arizona - and get arrested, if necessary - to stop the controversial new law."
Now, according to Politico.com:
Democratic officials have concluded there's only one way they can hope to pass a comprehensive immigration bill: Talk more like Republicans.
Carrie Budoff Brown reports the Democrats have done a multi-year study and decided to
"craft an enforcement-first, law-and-order, limited-compassion pitch" including calling "the 12 million people who unlawfully reside the country 'illegal immigrants,' not 'undocumented workers.'"
Having actually talked to real people, Democratic operatives are giving this advice to Liberal groups and Members of Congress about phrases like "undocumented workers:"
"If the language appears fine to you, it is probably best not to use it. You are an activist, and by definition, you are out of the mainstream."
This isn't Rush Limbaugh, remember. Liberal Members of Congress are being told by their own guys they "are out of the mainstream" on immigration.
The politics of immigration reform are weighing heavily on President Obama's approval rating among Hispanics. According to Gallup, his approval has dropped from 69 percent in January to 57 percent in May among that group.
Gallup's analysis is that Hispanics are disappointed in Obama "for not doing enough to promote comprehensive immigration reform in Congress." The bulk of the decline is "among those interviewed in Spanish: a total of 21 points since January."
There is not likely to be a significant immigration bill taken up in the relatively few legislative days remaining between now and the mid-term elections.
So, the majority of Americans want tougher talk on immigration; Spanish speaking immigrants want immigration reform from the President. Bad place to be.
A Gallup study of Mexican adults shows that of the nearly one-in-five who would like to leave Mexico, "Gallup estimates 6.2 million Mexican adults say they would like to move permanently to the United States if given the chance."
This will not go away. Starting in January - when his re-election campaign will begin gearing up - Obama will be faced with, at a minimum, seriously decreased majorities in the House and Senate and, at a maximum, staring down the barrel of at least one Chamber being in Republican control.
Obama's team will be attempting to re-assemble the excitement among the coalitions which carried him to the White House in 2008, but Democrat Members of the House and Senate may well find it uncomfortable to parrot the Obama line.
Speaking of Gallup, the daily three-day tracking poll showed more bad news for the President. In the polling done June 7-8-9, Obama's approval rating has dropped to 44 percent with 48 percent disapproving - an all-time low.
Gallup's analysis shows that Democrats are staying with their man with 79 percent approving. Only 13 percent of Republicans, no surprise, approve of Obama's handling of the Presidency.
The problem for Obama is that those who identified themselves as independents tracked the overall result - 44 percent approve of the President's performance.
Remember that independents swung toward the GOP candidate in the last three statewide races: Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. Members of the House and Senate up for re-election in less than five months know that in many districts, especially the districts which are being most hotly contested, Republicans plus Independents will be the winning combo.
Much of the decline has to do with the BP oil spill: Constant footage of the oil spewing from the well under the Gulf of Mexico, empty threats by the Administration to BP, and the strange decision to have the President use the "A" word on the Today show in an attempt to show that he's a tough guy have all added up to a decline in American's confidence in his ability to do his job.