Returning to the question of "Movement 2.0" -- Ruffini and Dayton, while they seem understandably intrigued by the galvanizing possibilities, for conservatives, of a Hillary Clinton nomination, nonetheless recognize that Hillary hatred would not suffice as an ideological basis for a new movement. They go on to review a number of issues around which such a movement could potentially be organized.
Even if Movement 2.0 is two or more years away, there are things we should be doing now to prepare. At this point in the Clinton years, MoveOn had already started. Perhaps the analog to that is the immigration issue, where the right kicked ass. But, again, what did we create with the immigration issue? Where is the million person email list of people who got involved because of immigration, and can now be activated on other issues? It sounds like people were thinking of the right techniques for radio, but not for online.I can understand why conservative activists are tempted to see immigration as an issue upon which they can build. After all, in a pretty bad year for the right, it's where they scored their most significant victory. It fires up the base and it can be milked for patriotism points.
Yesterday, one of the stand-ins at Andrew Sullivan’s blog argued that perhaps we could add African-Americans through railing on immigration. I, personally, find the idea both morally repugnant and unlikely to succeed. We want to get African-Americans back by increasing racist sentiment? Probably not a winner. Nevermind that we would lose our Hispanics, so it might not even add votes. And business wouldn’t tolerate a protectionist agenda....Dayton is entirely correct. The experience of "victory" seems to have confused very many conservative activists and pundits, but if they don't pay close attention to the bigger picture, that victory will be Pyrrhic (more than it already was). Immigration is an issue that divides the existing Republican coalition, prevents outreach to a crucial new constituency (and no matter how much conservatives reassure themselves that "a lot of Hispanics oppose illegal immigration too," there's simply no way the GOP can act on the issue without unleashing the bigotry that will cost them even those Hispanic votes), and puts them on the wrong side of majority opinion. I can't see how any sensible conservative could possibly imagine that it would make a useful issue for a Movement 2.0.
Another [option] would be to try to organize and reach out to Hispanics. Bush tried that with immigration, and the party revolted. (wrongly, in my opinion).