Immigrant-Bashing Is James Walsh's Business, And Business Is Good
The Newsmax columnist doesn't seem to like Hispanics, yet he claims to speak for them.
By Terry Krepel
James Walsh still has an immigrant problem.
In 2009, ConWebWatch documented the anti-immigrant rantings of Newsmax columnist James H. Walsh, a former federal litigator. Walsh really hasn't let up since then, hurling borderline xenophobic attacks against immigrants and anything remotely resembling comprehensive immigration reform.
Failed predictions, failed solutions
Well, not so much. Despite Walsh's insistence that "the myth that the news media and politicians have created about a monolithic Hispanic voting bloc is just a myth" and that "about 57 percent of the Hispanic voters are favoring Obama, down from his 2008 number of 76 percent," Obama received 71 percent of the Hispanic vote and Mitt Romney only 27 percent, the lowest total for a Republican candidate since Bob Dole in 1996.
Thus, Walsh's column two weeks later in which he acknowledged the pro-Obama Hispanic vote, though not his erroneous prediction. Instead, Walsh examined "Romney’s problem with Hispanic voters," which he immediately blames on the Obama campaign, which along with the media "described GOP failures in detail to the Hispanic community descriptions that went unchallenged by Romney." Walsh continued:
Where do Republican leaders go from here? Realizing that, with a divided Congress, a comprehensive immigration reform package will not pass both House and Senate, House Republicans need to pass targeted pieces of immigration reform legislation.
Why would anyone want an "improved" version of a program even Walsh admits was flawed? Walsh doesn't explain that, nor does he explain why it was flawed in the first place.
Nevertheless, Walsh insists that "Immigration advocates, farm labor unions, and agricultural interests would welcome such legislation as a new beginning and a 21st Century legislative accomplishment." He doesn't explain how.
Unsurprisingly after expressing such views, Walsh continued to fail to understand why Hispanics don't support conservatives like himself, which he demonstrated again in his Nov. 21, 2012, column:
Hispanics voters, particularly the Mexican majority, proved to be a paradox in the 2012 election. The image of Hispanics as family and faith oriented, hard-working, entrepreneurial, conservative economically, supporters of education, and opponents of legalizing drugs was debunked at the polls.
"Hispanicazation' of America"
Walsh devoted a January 2012 column to ranting about "Obama's 'Hispanicazation' of America," peddling a slew of falsehoods in the process.
Walsh kicked things off by baselessly asserting that "many" of the "illegal aliens" in the United States arrived "as drug-smuggling 'mules.'" He then claimed there has been a "reduced number of apprehensions" as a result of "reassigning Border Patrol agents inland." In fact, deportations of illegal immigrants increased in fiscal year 2010 over the previous year, and a record percentage of those deported had criminal records.
Walsh also embraced right-wing myths, complaining about "the Obama administration’s $2 billion loan of U.S. taxpayer money in 2009 to Brazil’s Petrobras oil company for deep off-shore oil drilling. Obama confidant George Soros, through the Soros Fund Management LLC, until recently owned millions of dollars of Petrobras stock." In fact, the loan was approved by the Export-Import Bank, which does not rely on tax money and which at the time of the loan was controlled by Bush administration appointees. Further, Soros reduced his stake in Petrobras prior to the approval of the loan, so he didn't benefit from the loan as much as Walsh suggests.
Walsh asserted that "Former Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi reportedly said to a gathering of illegal aliens in California in 2009 that U.S. immigration laws were 'un-American,' suggesting that they need not be obeyed." In fact, Pelosi criticized as "un-American" immigration raids that separate undocumented parents from their documented children, not all immigration laws.
Walsh even bizarrely claimed that Hillary Clinton's acknowledgment of the indisputable facts that drug cartel violence along the U.S. Mexico border is fueled by U.S. demand for illicit drugs and easy access to weapons meant that she was blaming everything on the U.S., adding, "'Blame America' has become the global agenda of the Democratic Party." Walsh is ignoring facts here too -- Clinton also said that the U.S. and Mexico "have a co-responsibility" to crack down on border crime and that the U.S. would encourage the Mexican government to increase its battle against rampant corruption by promoting police and judicial reform.
He tossed in yet another baseless sweeping generalization, insisting that "Many national forests, parks, monuments, wilderness areas, and wildlife refuges -- once the pride of the nation -- are serving today as marijuana fields for illegal alien gangs." But the ultimate problem, in Walsh's eyes, is all those brown people:
When will President Obama recognize that illegal immigration is slowing economic recovery? Can he resolve the chaos while still appeasing his Hispanic base?
And shoddily researched, borderline-racist rants are something else entirely.
Walsh also sneered at "100 open-borders activists" who "gathered for a rally," claiming that the rally took place "during the mid-morning hours when most citizens and legal immigrants are at work."
Obama-bashing and name-calling
In his March 1 column, Walsh attacked Obama as "a true disciple of Saul Alinsky" and "is using Alinsky tactics in addressing the immigration issue." Walsh's ranting ramps up:
One possibility is that CIR is part of his grand strategy for social change, enlisting the help of the feminist social agenda, gullible Hispanics, and artless young people. Another possibility is that he does not really want CIR, and his minimal efforts are just enough to appease Hispanics and rupture the Republican Party. Either way, it is pure humbug.
Walsh also claims that Obama's presidential campaign was designed to "appeal to fainéant entitlement “takers,” feminist nihilists, and naïve youths."
Walsh seems not to understand that name-calling is not the way to entice people to your side.
Nevertheless, Walsh insisted on clinging to the tactic. An April 26 column denounced a recent rally for immigration reform as "a well-orchestrated, well-financed, Alinsky-style community-organizer protest," and claimed the presence of children "reflected the labor-union tactic of using children to evoke sympathy and gain publicity."
Walsh went on to claim that "Some observers of the rally questioned the cost of transporting, feeding, and housing the demonstrators, many of whom couldn’t speak English." He provided no evidence of any lack of English-speaking skills among the attendees, and the quotes he attributes to these "observers" have no backup either; they sound like his usual tactic of quoting purportedly real people who all happen to agree with him.
Walsh's May 3 column was dedicated to declaring that President Obama's policies "have the potential to erode U.S. culture, heritage, identity, and financial solvency." He railed against immigration reform (of course), as well as health care reform and foreign policy.
Walsh wrote in his Aug. 16 column:
Back in July 2011, when Obama spoke to members of La Raza (a radical immigration advocacy group), he stated, “Now I know some people would want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own . . . the idea of doing on my own is very tempting. But that’s not how the system works. That’s not how democracy functions.”
La Raza is hardly a "radical" group, unless you consider civil rights for Hispanics "radical" (which, given his hostility toward immigrants, Walsh probably does). Further, its policy initiatives are much more diverse than immigration, covering civil rights, education, and health.
Walsh piled up even more hate and lies in his Oct. 7 column. He starts this way:
The White House is readying for an immigration blitz, according to a Politico item on September 28. A White House Hispanic adviser opined that October will see a “Day of Dignity and Respect” to reinforce the message that U.S. citizens owe those residing in the country illegally not only “subservience but abject penance.”
We found no evidence that any White House official said this -- it does not appear anywhere in the Politico story Walsh is citing. It appears that Walsh simply made up this quote.
Walsh then makes an odd racial attack on President Obama:
Barack Obama was re-elected president when a majority of liberal whites, blacks, Hispanics, entitlement recipients, and unionists voted for him and when some 7 million to 9 million white voters failed to vote.
That seems to speak for itself. That's followed by:
Surveys reflect that 70 percent of Americans are against “easy” or “unearned” citizenship. The Obama administration, however, has no intention of allowing this silent majority to derail his immigration legislation, especially in the midst of an unpopular government shutdown.
Walsh offers no evidence that the "path to citizenship" envisioned under immigration reform is "easy" or "unearned." He then says:
With the Senate’s Democrat majority in his pocket, Obama is “El Supremo,” according to his Latino supporters. In line with his imperial stand on the federal budget’s fiscal crisis, the president may refuse to negotiate any portion of his forthcoming immigration “reform.”
Way to invoke Hispanic stereotypes there, Mr. Walsh. He concludes with a final flurry of unsubstantiated Obama-bashing and race-baiting:
For political reasons, law enforcement agencies give a pass to Mexican Drug Cartel (MDC) gangs running wild through U.S. cities. Chicago is the murder capital of the nation; Washington, D.C., is second; and gang members injured in shoot-outs receive free medical care.
Walsh needs to learn to give up his hatred of those who don't share his skin color, starting with the President of the United States.
Purporting to speak for Hispanics
Despite the fact that Walsh doesn't appear to actually like Hispanics, Walsh sure likes to speak for them. which which he did in a June 2012 column:
What does the Hispanic community think of deferred deportations? Many have their doubts about Obama and his repeated promises of comprehensive immigration reform La Promesa de Obama dating from 2007. During a February 2012 interview with the Hispanic television network, Univision, the president said, “I’ve got another five years coming up. We’re going to get this done,” suggesting comprehensive immigration reform.
How does Walsh know all this stuff about Hispanics? He doesn't say.
Walsh used a Nov. 21, 2012, column to offer this explanation of Hispanics in America, in which he notes that the majority of them are "the lower economic and uneducated class" from Mexico:
To understand the Mexican voter, Republicans need to look at Mexico’s history. Mexico was “discovered” by the Spaniards in 1519 and conquered by 1521. After three centuries of Spanish dominance, the Mexican people were led in an 1812-13 revolt by a Catholic priest who was later executed by the Spanish authorities.
Walsh goes on to write, "One Hispanic said, 'We vote with our hearts,' and another proclaimed, 'We own America. They owe us.'" Who is this "one Hispanic," where did Walsh find this purported quote, and how did Walsh decide that he speaks for all Hispanics in America? Walsh doesn't explain.