Via the Corner, he’s quick to specify what he means by “militancy” — “voter registration, voter participation, voter anger at the Republican Party” — but I think that’s more a case of a savvy politician scrambling to cover his tracks in anticipation of criticism than saying what he means. Using a word like “militant” to describe basic civic duties is like Mitt Romney once describing himself as “severely conservative.” One word obviously doesn’t go with the other, which leads you to wonder what the speaker really meant. I wonder, how “militant” might a guy who thinks his only loyalty is to the “immigrant community” be willing to get if the glorious path to open borders is thwarted for much longer? He’s issuing a threat here. He just doesn’t want to fully own it.
One thing about this guy: After all his bluster about the great avalanche of Latino votes supposedly waiting to bury Republicans in 2016 if they don’t pass amnesty, he’s got a lot on the line in the next election. No one is as invested as Gutierrez in the idea that Latinos are, when push comes to shove, single-issue voters and that that single issue is immigration. Polls have disproved that repeatedly, but his political stature rests entirely on that perception. If Republicans run on a “border security first” platform (a “no amnesty” platform is out of the question) and win the presidency because of their economic message or foreign policy message or what have you, doing no worse with Latinos than Romney did, what’s left of Gutierrez’s credibility? His whole schtick is that the GOP is doomed electorally unless they give him what he wants. His consolation prize, I suppose, will be that they will give him what he wants eventually, even if his predictions of doom at the polls fizzle next year. His friends in the Republican donor class will make sure of it.
After you’re done with that, via Breitbart, watch Chris Matthews — Chris Matthews? — wonder how Obama can rewrite America’s immigration laws on his own, without help from Congress. Gutierrez doesn’t give a wet shart about constitutional niceties like that. Exit question via Noah: “Trying to imagine the reaction if a tea party member had warned of ‘militancy’ after a court ruling they didn’t like.”