LatinaLista — News this week that Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo, one of the most visibly vocal, vile and staunchest hardliners against undocumented immigrants in Congress, was retiring hardly elicited a yawn.
Retiring Congressman Tom Tancredo
Democrats are too busy trying to jostle for attention from President-elect Obama to care and Republicans seem to be wishing he was gone already.
As Princeton University congressional historian Julian Zelizer said, “When he’s (Tancredo) discussed, he’ll be used I think as one of the examples of what was wrong with the Republican party. I think there’ll be a lot of people who will say his kind of politics didn’t sit well with a lot of Americans.”
Unfortunately and unbelievably, Tancredo’s kind of politics still persists.
It’s being perpetuated by ignorant Republicans in office who can’t seem to understand that the will of the people defeated other immigration hardliners like Tancredo in their respective runs for office â€” in some cases by landslides.
Yet, the rhetoric continues in state legislatures across the country.
What’s even worse, and what Tancredo’s retirement exposes, is that these anti-immigrant hardliners, in addition to illustrating to the Latino community that Republicans still don’t have a clue or sincere interest in repairing the shattered Latino-GOP relationship, have sufficiently poisoned themselves with their extreme rhetoric and actions that it eclipses anything else they do while in office â€” some of which would have been positive actions for their greater constituency.
If it weren’t for Tancredo’s incessant immigrant-bashing warpath, people would have learned that he actually did some good work â€” he sponsored the 2002’s Sudan Peace Act, and he worked to improve diplomatic relations with Taiwan.
Who would have known?
Yet, Tancredo retires disgraced in a lot of people’s eyes because of his compassionless and unrelentless attacks on undocumented immigrants.
Tancredo’s colleagues, who are still in office, would do well to open their eyes and learn from his mistakes and understand that to move the GOP forward, it’s time to stop trying to resurrect past tactics that failed and cost the GOP more than just votes but also the most important thing any political party needs to survive â€” trust of the people.