Sounds fantastic, actually. Having seen the way Democrats take black voters for granted, they’ve decided they’re not going to be treated the same way. Smart thinking. The solution: Organizing a tea-party-esque movement to pressure the party from the outside on issues like amnesty and, er … amnesty. Which, if successful, would help the GOP a bunch. For starters, it would raise the odds that Latino liberals loyal to the “tequila party” will stay home en masse if Democrats can’t deliver for the group. It also risks alienating Latinos who favor Democrats on balance but are lukewarm or cool to the idea of comprehensive immigration reform, not to mention all the independents who think tougher border enforcement is a good idea. And by overtly racializing itself, it threatens to cause otherwise needless tensions within the Democratic coalition. Might be a good move for pro-amnesty Latinos, and it’s almost certainly helpful to the GOP, but I can’t imagine that The One will be thrilled at the prospect.
“I don’t know if it’s going to happen, but there’s talk,” said Fernando Romero, president of the nonpartisan Hispanics in Politics, Nevada’s oldest Hispanic political group. “There’s discussion about empowerment of the Latino vote.”…
Congress’ actions over the next month could decide the fate of the burgeoning Tequila Party. If comprehensive immigration reform is shelved again, some Hispanics will likely decide to strike out on their own.
“It would definitely induce us,” Romero said. “We would have to do something at that point to get ready for 2012.”
The organization could operate as an affiliate of the Democratic Party or as an independent movement, as the Tea Party was initially.
One obvious difference between the tea party and the tequila party: There are enough motivated conservatives distributed across the country to make the tea party a potential factor in any statewide Republican primary. I doubt the same is true of Latinos vis-a-vis Democratic races, just as I doubt that Latinos generally will view the “tequila party” as uniformly favorably as conservatives do the tea party. Which is another way of saying that the tea party works because it’s based on a belief set which people are passionate about and which they want to see enacted. What’s the belief set of the “tequila party”? What core concerns are going to drive its members to the polls in races where immigration isn’t a major issue?
If they go through with it, their best bet would be to try to lure vulnerable Republican congressmen with the promise of an endorsement if they vote the right way on amnesty. (They’ll find some takers!) That, however, wouldn’t be very tea-party-ish at all; with the sole exception (I think) of Walt Minnick, tea partiers have kept their support entirely within the Republican fold. In lieu of an exit question, let me share with you a quote from top Democratic amnesty shill Rep. Luis Gutierrez, who sounds like he’s primed for a leadership position in the tequila party: “I have only one loyalty, and that’s to the immigrant community.” That’s a U.S. congressman speaking, mind you, who swore an oath to the Constitution before taking his seat. Here’s what I want you guys to do for me: If I ever mention Gutierrez in a post again and fail to remind you of that quote, e-mail me to make sure that I add it as an update. It’s invaluably revealing context for the immigration debate.