Thursday, August 29, 2013

Latino “fluidity” for Obama not the least bit surprising

Barack Obama is the president who got nearly two-thirds and three-quarters of the Latino share of the electorate in his two successful bids for president. Yet the degree to which Latinos actually care for the man isn’t anywhere near as solid.

OBAMA: Latinos all over the place on him

Anybody who was seriously paying attention to what was happening in the 2008 and 2012 election cycles (John McCain openly backed away from his previous immigration reform support, while Mitt Romney came up with that “self-deportation” nonsense talk) would realize that many of those Latino votes for Obama were actually votes against the Republican challengers.

OBAMA HAS BEEN the beneficiary of the fact that many Republican backers are hostile to the Latino presence and growth. But Obama, in his desire to actually govern rather than get bogged down in ideological nonsense, has had his willingness to compromise with those ideologues.

Which means many Latinos aren’t sure whether Obama really cares about our interests or not.

That is why the latest Gallup Organization poll of Obama’s approval ratings isn’t the least bit shocking.

The poll shows that Latino approval of Obama has been all over the place – much more than just about any other group (liberal Republicans, however few there may be, also fluctuate) in our society.

WE’RE DEFINITELY NOT as solidly behind Obama as the African-American vote – which at its worst was down to 84 percent approval of the president.

ROMNEY: The self-deportation man
At its best, the Latino vote was 80 percent approval of Obama – and has been as low as 49 percent approval (which is the average approval rating for all people). Whereas the Latino average, according to the Gallup poll released this week, is 63 percent.

So yes, Latinos think more highly of Obama than the average, and at our worst, we think of him in the same way everybody else thinks of him (which really is a schism – even though the ideologues want to believe their contempt for the man is a universal concept).

None of this ought to be surprising.

OBAMA IS THE president who allowed harsh policies meant to bolster deportations (to appease the ideologues) to continue, and even be ramped up further. All because he didn’t want to tick off the ideologues who have their government officials in places of significance.

McCAIN: Flip-flop on immigration reform?
Meaning they have to be dealt with. We don’t live in a fantasy world where we can ignore people not like us, and force them to live in our vision of the world – which is what the conservative ideologues are all too often guilty of.

He’s also the president who was unable to get an immigration reform policy approved during his first term – and in fact didn’t even make much of an effort. He has bolstered his work during his final term in office.

But it is questionable whether he’ll have the chance to have a White House bill-signing ceremony anytime this year to approve changes to immigration policy to get rid of the bureaucratic bungles that exist.

ADMITTEDLY, IT SEEMS from various polls that people are placing the blame for that failure on the Republicans. But it also creates the impression that Obama may well be too weak to fight the ideologues who are determined to prevent change on this issue because it confounds their own ethnic-inspired hang-ups.

All the more reason that Latino thoughts about the president – whom I’ll admit to having cast ballots for in both of those presidential election cycles – tend to be all over the place like a soccer ball being kicked around the pitch.

Which may be how Obama himself feels after a day of being bashed about by all sides of the political equation.


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