A couple of months ago I revealed my Machiavelian theory that Rahm Emanuel and Chuck Schumer were talking about pushing immigration reform not to actually pass immigration reform, but to stir up right-wing anti-Hispanic activity, in hopes of a backlash driving up Hispanic turnout in key states for the 2010 mid-terms.
Two weeks after that blog post ran, Arizona's house of representatives passed its version of SB 1070, which became law 10 days later. Which pretty much obviated the need to follow through with the rest of Emanuel & Schumer's plan (if it existed).
Tom Jensen at Public Policy Polling writes today that, since the passage of SB 1070, Hispanics have swung in huge numbers toward the Democratic candidates for Arizona Governor, Colorado Senator, and Texas Governor.
We won't know until November, but you've got to think that SB 1070 will drive up Hispanic turnout at least a little, as well as ensuring that they vote solidly blue. And that helps not just in those high-profile races, but also in state legislative control -- crucial as we head into redistricting.
And I would argue that the renewed talk of passing immigration reform, and the actual passage of SB 1070, may not have been entirely coincidental. That is to say, SB 1070 can be seen as part of the overzealous anti-immigrant response I was talking about -- sure, I was thinking it would come more in the form of town hall and talk-radio screaming. But introduction of, and passage of, over-the-top legislation isn't surprising, in retrospect.
To be sure, the timing of SB 1070's passage had a lot to do with the March shooting of an Arizona rancher. But it was also shortly after the large DC rally for immigration reform prompted by hopes of action on the issue this year, stirred by Rahm and Chuck starting in December. Maybe just by chance; but maybe all part of their evil genius.