… The Republican problem on immigration and other issues won’t be solved with just a Washington fix, such as passing an immigration bill or nominating Senator Marco Rubio of Florida as the party’s presidential candidate. The Republican political base is intolerant, stridently so, on issues such as immigration, religion and gay rights.
Romney and the people around him may have been soft on principle; they weren’t dumb. Because conservatives were suspicious of the candidate anyway, the Romney camp felt compelled to play the nativist card. …
Romney’s experience with the issue — success in the primaries, failure in the general election — encapsulates the Republicans’ core constituency problem. It’s similar to what Democrats faced a generation ago, when their base was well to the left of the country, especially on cultural matters. [cont.]
Al Hunt, Bloomberg