And in so doing suggests, "Rove has argued that the Republican Party will need to appeal to minorities or gradually decline."
"We can't be the party of America," he says, "and get 13 percent of the African American vote." And given demographic trends, it is hard to imagine that Republicans will remain a national party if they alienate Latinos. Looking back at his career, Rove is particularly proud that "when we ran in Texas in 1998, among the statewide Republican ticket, a minority of the candidates were white men."
Thus, Rove is a cultural pluralist, broadly sympathetic to the full array of wants and needs of America's largest minority communities, right? Well, actually, totally not. By my count, the best thing Rove ever did for Latinos was alienate enough people in Washington to ensure that the president's middling immigration reform proposal--offered in the spirit of appeasing business interests--went down in flames. Beyond that his attempts to win over large segments of both communities was to wedge them away from Democrats by playing to black and latino cultural prejudices, real and imagined. This effort failed as much because it was transparently opportunistic as because on economic and community issues, from health care to Katrina, Rove and the administration ably proved that the purpose of winning over these communities had nothing at all to do with real cultural empathy, and everything to do with--in Rove's own words--becoming "the party of America". The permanent Republican majority.