Thursday, May 1, 2008

Republican Briefing Paper Notes that Immigration is Not Working for them as a Wedge Issue

The Creative Loafing Web Site has published what it claims is an exclusive copy of a secret Republican Party briefing on its 2008 election strategy. Entitled, "Wedge Issue Management Plan (WIMP)" and directed to "Republican campaigns and elected officials" the memo outlines wedge issues which they plan to use in the 2008 election cycle. For those unfamiliar, a Wedge issue is a social or political issue, often of a divisive or otherwise controversial nature, which is used by one political group to split apart or create a "wedge" in the support base of an opposing political group, with a view to enticing voters to give their support to the first group. ( The Republicans have been masters at using wedge issues to mobilize their conservative base and to divide political communities. The full text of the memo is available at the Creative Loafing site. (click on title for hyperlink). Of note is the fact that, as Eristic Ragemail has argued, immigration is not paying dividends as a wedge issue for the Repubs. The memo is directed to Florida but it is fair to note that it is part of the larger Republican strategy.

Editor's note: CL was able to obtain an exclusive copy of a secret Republican Party briefing on its 2008 election strategy, which we reprint below:


April 30, 2008

From: GOP strategy brain trust

To: Republican campaigns and elected officials

Re: Wedge Issue Management Plan (WIMP)

We're very happy to see this election year progress as we trot out our WIMP agenda. This interim report should bring you up to speed on the many fronts on which we are working to both mollify our social and fiscal conservative bases and scare the bejeezus out of the moderate voters on other key issues that will force them to flee from the (ugggh) Democrats who managed to beat us out of nine seats in the Legislature in 2006.

We're turning that trend around by going back to basics with these time-honored issues for this year's campaigns, paired with our suggestions for what are sure to be this election year's hottest commodities: WIMP-approved specialty license plates. Order yours now!

Border patrol

Yeah, we know, immigration isn't as good an issue as it used to be for free media, but it is still gold out there in public -- polling shows two-thirds of the state wants stronger immigration enforcement. Toward that end, we saw a flurry of good anti-immigration and anti-illegal immigrant bills: 11 of 'em!

Our fave around the Issues Shop is the one from Rep. Don Brown of DeFuniak Springs, HB 73. It would make our allies in the police departments and sheriff's offices report people's immigration status, hamper all immigrants from getting driver licenses, require employers to verify the immigration status of newly hired employees and increase the criminal penalties for bringing illegals onto our white-sand shores.

We modeled this bill after one adopted in Oklahoma that has sent illegals fleeing the state as a result! (Note to the boys in Economic Development Issues: The Oklahoma economy took a big hit after this bill was passed, what with all the cheap labor going missing, so we should have a backup plan. Maybe another giveaway to one of our big corporate donors? Just thinking out loud here.)

Oh, and don't let it bother you that Rep. Brown's bill seemed bogged down in committees and unlikely to pass. Our supporters got the message anyway.

Even if the foregoing document is not authentic, the analysis is sound. Democrats need not run away from a pro-immigrant position in favor of comprehensive immigration reform.

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Anonymous said...

Anyone who believes this is anything other than a complete fake needs their head examined. Hugo is someone from Venezuela whose agenda is AMNESTY per the headline. Note all of the inaccurate rhetoric like "anti-immigrant" when the issue is illegal aliens. Note the link on the left to SPLC, a hate group that hates citizens who support the rule of law.

This WIMP garbage is just more irresponsible debate on a critical issue. If anything it shows the desperation of those who oppose immigration enforcement. For the real story on what happened w/r/t immigration legislation in the 2008 FL Legislature, visit Dave Caulkett, VP, FLIMEN

ragemail said...

I appreciate that Ibisky and FLIMEN ("Floridians for Immigration Reform")took the time to read the post and respond to its content. I have to say that I do not know if the Republican briefing memo is genuine, although I tend to think that it is a parody. It works as parody because it accurately reflects the Republican mindset, especially when it comes to using hateful wedge-issues to advance their agenda.

Having said that, note how Ibisky attacks the messenger instead of dealing substantively with the issues raised in the post. Because Hugo is from Venezuela, nothing he says is to be taken as legitimate. This is a method to disenfranchise anyone who is Latino and expresses an opinion on immigration (or any other political issue). This is called marginalization.

The FLIMEN organization supports the most restrictive measures, including the odious anti-civil liberties legislation known as SAVE (see prior posts on this legislation). No effort is made to balance immigration control and immigration reform. Like its sister organizations, FLIMEN is all hammer and completely anti-immigrant. This nativist bent of FILMEN is borne out by the links on its web site. FILMEN invites its readers to subscribe to NumberUSA, FAIR and Americans for Legal Immigration: all notorious nativist hate-groups. FLIMEN's articles' page is littered with nativist clap-trap. The most obvious being articles for the VDare website, listed prominently as a racist hate site by various national watch groups. (Again see my earlier posts on these groups.) What FILMEN and organizations like it do is to promote hatred against all immigrants and significantly against minority communities like Latinos. I do not claim to know the motives of all its members, but they should take a good hard look at the stuff they are propagating. Hate, plain and simple.