Rachel Maddow Explains Sarah Palin’s 2010 Gift to Democrats

Rachel tells us why Sarah is the best friend a Democrat could ever have

On her MSNBC show, Rachel Maddow explained how Sarah Palin gave a giant gift to the Democratic Party over the weekend by Arizona’s immigration law, “Sarah Palin’s ecstatic endorsement of Arizona’s papers please law and the governor who signed it is a very exciting moment for Democrats.” Maddow explained that the GOP has been tripping itself up with immigration politics for 150 years.

Here is the video courtesy of MSNBC:

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Maddow said, “This weekend Republican giant celebrity Sarah Palin traveled to Arizona to some her patented free lance Republican politicking and she delivered a huge election year gift in Arizona to Democrats. Palin lent her formidable attention getting skills to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer at an event that was part campaign rally, part press conference, and all theatrics.

Maddow later said, “Sarah Palin’s ecstatic endorsement of Arizona’s papers please law and the governor who signed it is a very exciting moment for Democrats. Aligning itself with anti-immigrant politics is the pothole that Republicans keep breaking their axle on over and over again.” She used the recent examples of elections in 2006 and 2008 to show what happens to Republicans when they get caught up in anti-immigrant politics.

She explained the history of the issue, “David Leonhardt of The New York Times has done some good reporting on the historical failure of anti-immigrant politics on the national level. Republicans have been breaking their axle on this political pothole for a very long time, In the 1850’s “anti-immigrant forces seemed as if they might dominate the new Republican Party. In the end, though, the minority of Republicans who staunchly opposed the Know Nothings — including Abraham Lincoln and William Seward — won the day.””

She continued, “60 years later a second wave of anti-immigrant politics roared to life only to peter out with the election of Franklin Roosevelt. Running on an anti-immigrant platform in 2006 did not prevent the Republicans from losing control of the House and the Senate. It did not get Tom Tancredo nor Mitt Romney the Republican nomination in 2008, but gosh darn it, just because it keeps failing over and over and over again for 150 years doesn’t mean that some people won’t keep insisting that it is a clear path to the win column.”

Maddow is 100% on the money. Democrats are absolutely giddy that Palin is trying to elevate an issue that turns the Republican Party completely on its ear to national significance. It is an added bonus that the highly unpopular Sarah Palin is the one championing this cause. Palin is the second most despised politician in America, trailing on Dick Cheney for the top spot. Instead of talking about the economy and jobs, as they should be doing, Republican candidates are being forced to talk about immigration.

Sarah Palin is the gift that never stops giving for the Democratic Party. She has a natural knack for seizing on the one issue that can destroy her own party. She is truly the Democratic Party’s best weapon. Democrats are sitting on the sidelines rooting for Palin to rip the GOP apart. Since trends are already shifting towards the Democrats for November, Sarah Palin could be just what the party needs to push itself over the top in November. Keep up the good work, Sarah. The Democratic Party needs you.

8 Replies to “Rachel Maddow Explains Sarah Palin’s 2010 Gift to Democrats”

  1. Rachel did say one interesting thing that caught my ear. She said that for a long time support for anti Immigration reform has been a pathway to losing elections.

    But what she did not say and this is certainly conjecture on my part, is that any immigration reform does not necessarily a pathway to winning. Let’s take her statement where it says “for a long time”. that indicates to me that no matter the cause or the position Immigration reform is little more than a topic of discussion during elections similar to abortion and tax reform.

    How many years has abortion been discussed as a election topic? How my times has anything been done about it either way?

    How many times is tax reform been brought up at election time? How many reforms have we seen that our taxes?

    it’s like bringing up family values and is watching everybody nods her head sagely as if they know what it means. It’s certainly a great platform for one-party to stand on if they can uphold those family values. It seems to me that the Republican Party is utterly failing on that topic

    I have a feeling that immigration reform will be put off as long as possible. It’s really hard to run for election we don’t have talking points, or all of your talking points have been fixed.

    of course now we have a tremendous number of illegal immigrants and legal immigrants pushing for this reform. With the Republicans taking the stance that they have taken I believe it gives the Democrats time to set it on the back burner for a while. Simply because they know if they rammed through an amnesty at this time the American public will rise up just like it did against Bush

    of course this is all opinion

  2. @Shiva, Let me see if I can tackle a little of the political dynamic here. Why it is a loser for Republicans is not the issue itself. It is the tone that their base forces them to take on the issues. Elections can be won just as much on tone as in substance. Obama in 2008 for example.

    The problem the GOP has is that their tone is so negative that it turns off people in the middle on this issue. The base is so radicalized on immigration that when the issue takes over it has the ability to transform the whole perception of the party at the ballot box, but it is like they can’t help themselves and must go to the farthest extreme on the issue.

    The other issues you raised are simply talking points to energize the base, but immigration is different. The wingers may love their tax cuts but nothing, not even abortion, makes them froth at the mouth like immigration. It is the GOP’s biggest mobilizer and trap at the same time.

  3. @Shiva, You have good points as to whether immigration reform helps we can look to the Old Gipper and 1986 for that one have the immigration amnesty was signed into law the polls among Hispanics for Reagan’s approval rating skyrocketed however among the white southern population it nosed dived. The support after one year for the program also fail, so we see a mixed bag but the Hispanic support for Reagan fall the next year as well nor did the white southern come back. So all in all the law was a loss for the Gipper. However, many feel that the law itself was flawed and did nothing to curve the ingress of illegals or punish the businesses that hire them. The main point is he lost voters that would vote for him (Reagan) Obama does not have that problem he can only attract voters (Hispanics) as Obama will never get the Republican vote (read here hardcore), his (Obama) only potential loss is on Independents who feel either the bill is a giveaway and/or useless and/or a political stunt. Therefore, if he can get a good bill through congress he (Obama) will only gain approval. That is how I parse the situation.

  4. @Jason Easley, I totally agree that the Republican stance on immigration is absolutely negative but I was trying to look at it from another point of view. and I fully understand that it is going to be a deep trap for the Republicans.

    And that point is that neither has done anything since Reagan. Immigration has not favored either party up until now because it was not allowed to become a big enough issue unless it was anti-immigration. It will of course favor the Democrats at this time for a while. every Democrat has tried to do something about immigration, but none of them went far enough to actually be meaningful. In other words all they have done is promised and gotten the Hispanic vote but not delivered. President Bush tried to do something about immigration because he thought that it would bring the Hispanics over to his party.

    But then you still have the point that while Democrats say they will do comprehensive immigration reform, the majority of the people in the United States are against it.( derived from polls) they do not want any harm to come to illegal immigrants but they do not want amnesty as well. They do want border security. So both parties are stuck. The Republicans are kind of doing what the people want and the Democrats are kind of going against what the people want. The Republicans are turning off the Hispanic and the Democrats but may not be turning off mainstream America. this is evidenced by the fact that mainstream Arizona approves of the legislation just passed in that state. At the same time the Democrats are gaining favor with the Hispanic vote in part that voted Republican in the last election. If there is an offset there I am not sure.
    I realize I am throwing out some pretty disjointed opinion here, but I’m trying to say I fully agree with you that on a base level the Republicans are doing their best to appear inherently evil.at least that is what us liberals view the case to be. My views on illegal immigration are well known here, however I do not take the Republican stance as I have my own opinion on how it should be handled.

    @oldsun I agree with you 100%, but I would like to throw something else into the mix about Reagan. We must remember that Teddy Kennedy wrote the legislation that Ronald Reagan signed. And he wasn’t really upfront about it as the numbers that got amnesty were far higher than what was in the bill. I can’t help but wondering if later on the Hispanic vote discovered that Teddy Kennedy was actually their benefactor and not Ronald Reagan. Reagan later said that one of the worst things he did during his term was to sign that particular piece of legislation

    If Obama can get a good comprehensive reform bill through Congress his ratings will probably go up. But then again I do believe if amnesty is involved it may somewhat go down as well.

  5. @Shiva, Ok ok From TPM today

    Sarah Palin may be uber-popular among the conservative base, her endorsement highly sought after by mid-level candidates — but she’s not doing so well among her fellow Alaskans.

    Not one Alaska resident donated to Palin’s “SarahPAC” in the first quarter of 2010, according to FEC reports. In the second half of 2009, only 33 donations — out of some 2,000 totaling $1.4 million — came from her home state. In the first half of the year, it was 29.

    Palin resigned as governor of Alaska in July 2009, halfway through her first term. The state has factored largely into her personal story, and was something she mentioned frequently while campaigning as Sen. John McCain’s running mate in 2008.

    The PAC, which is based in Virginia, has $926,000 cash on hand. Of the $1.6 million the PAC has spent in the 2010 cycle, $47,000 has gone to candidates in federal races. She gave the most, $5,000 each, to Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and erstwhile Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman (NY).

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