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Rubio and Jeb Bush have called for an end to what Rubio called "harsh and intolerable" rhetoric.
The Hispanic population is expected to double -- to 30 percent of the United States population -- in the coming decades. So if Latinos continue to vote 2-to-1 for Democrats, the Republican Party will become irrelevant.
Zoltan Hajnal of the University of California, San Diego, an authority on racial politics, sees a parallel with the Republicans' alienation of African-Americans in the 1960s.
"The image of the party is pretty clear to most Latinos," he said, "and once party images are built, they get passed on from parent to child in a process that's very resistant to change."
The party simply can't afford self-inflicted wounds such as the Jordan debacle. "He's an integral part of our community," Rubio told his colleagues.
But Republicans didn't care enough about that to stand up to Paul. Through the "debate" on the nomination, one senator after the other came to the floor -- and ignored the delay.
Some spoke about transportation. Others spoke about the budget. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., spoke about the wonders of his state.
"The lettuce in your salad this month almost certainly came from Arizona," McCain said. "It's also believed that the chimichanga has its origins in Arizona."
The chimichanga? It may be the only thing Republicans have left to offer Latinos.
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.