The Republican party is about to lose Texas for a generation, and all they have to do to stop this is completely stop being who they are: the white Christian nationalist party.
There are signs this week that the immigration reform bill is falling apart. It’s a shame because this is an important issue that only the federal government can address. But it’s not a surprise. People who see this as a vital issue to the Republican party aren’t necessarily being smarter than the Republicans, they are just looking at this through the eyes of general election voters and not donors, primary voters, and ideologues.
By now, Republicans have constructed enough counternarratives about why Romney lost to be in total denial about the electoral power of Latinos. They have decided again and again that they have a messaging problem, not a substantive policy problem.
Personally, I think they have a bigger problem than what people think about Republican positions on gays and Latinos. The fundamental Republican value of lower taxes and deregulation—something many of their voters are going for, while they only tolerate the ridiculous social nuttery. If people aren’t buying the low tax issue anymore, and most people still think taxes on the wealthy should go up, then selling their anti-gay, anti-woman positions are not happening anyway.
Couple that reality with the fact that since the early 2000s, the party has done nothing to stop its decline into a regional white Christian nationalist party—it hasn’t stopped a move to the extreme right on a single issue, let alone reversed one since then—there’s little reason to believe that a non-dominant narrative about why they lost an election with a candidate most of the party never loved will convince them to hold their noses on an issue so deeply held like Messicans.
These are the people who deny global warming, after all. They aren’t going to believe that allowing amnesty is going to give them the White House if they don’t want to. It will take a drubbing in 2014 and 2016 before they reverse themselves on much of anything.