(in the middle in this photo, flanked my me, and Steven Greenhut)
From the WSJ's Political Diary, 6-5-2009
One Less Guide Out of the GOP's Wilderness
Richard Nadler, head of the think tank Americas Majority and one of the keenest observers of minority politics in the conservative movement, passed away suddenly at his Overland Park, Kansas home last Saturday. He was only 60 years old.
Nadler had an amazing career. He dropped out of high school, became a successful jazz musician touring with a black ensemble, and eventually dropped his socialist views for conservatism. His major work was motivated by his discovery during the time he spent with both blacks and Hispanics that they held many essentially conservative views, but that Republicans had failed miserably to reach them.
He assembled comprehensive political databases that helped show a key reason John McCain last year underperformed George W. Bush's showing among Hispanics by 13%. He found that many Hispanic voters, the fastest-growing part of the electorate, were alienated by the "enforcement only" approach that many conservatives adopted towards illegal immigration. "They will support border enforcement but not if it means massive deportations and no legal way that the seven million people now working here can stay," he told me.
He noted that the country's 30 million Hispanics are linked to illegal aliens through ties of family, church, culture and a common broadcast media. The Pew Hispanic Center notes that 41% of America's Hispanic citizens fear a deportation action against a friend or family member. "To the extent that Republicans don't come up with a guest-worker program that helps reduce the flow of undocumented workers, they commit themselves to navigate a population minefield -- one whose volatility will inevitably increase with the natural migrations of Latino legal citizens who can and do vote."
Accolades for Nadler are coming in from many quarters. "He was one of the most brilliant men I ever met," says Ramesh Ponnuru of National Review, who cheerfully disagreed with some of Nadler's analysis. "One of the few grown-ups one meets in politics," says Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform. "He knew it was important to both get your political goals correct -- what are you trying to do -- and to know how to get there."
At a time when conservatives seem as much at sea as ever on how to handle immigration issues, Nadler's voice will be missed.
-- John Fund
Botched Paramilitary Police Raids: An Epidemic of "Isolated Incidents"
"If a widespread pattern of [knock-and-announce] violations were shown . . . there would be reason for grave concern." —Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in Hudson v. Michigan, June 15, 2006. An interactive map of botched SWAT and paramilitary police raids, released in conjunction with the Cato policy paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids," by Radley Balko. What does this map mean? How to use this map View Original Map and Database
The proliferation of SWAT teams, police militarization, and the Drug War have given rise to a dramatic increase in the number of "no-knock" or "quick-knock" raids on suspected drug offenders. Because these raids are often conducted based on tips from notoriously unreliable confidential informants, police sometimes conduct SWAT-style raids on the wrong home, or on the homes of nonviolent, misdemeanor drug users. Such highly-volatile, overly confrontational tactics are bad enough when no one is hurt -- it's difficult to imagine the terror an innocent suspect or family faces when a SWAT team mistakenly breaks down their door in the middle of the night.
But even more disturbing are the number of times such "wrong door" raids unnecessarily lead to the injury or death of suspects, bystanders, and police officers. Defenders of SWAT teams and paramilitary tactics say such incidents are isolated and rare. The map above aims to refute that notion.
|Death of an innocent.||Death or injury of a police officer.||Death of a nonviolent offender.|
|Raid on an innocent suspect.||Other examples of paramilitary police excess.||Unnecessary raids on doctors and sick people.|
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