Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Politics > Republicans keep handing Democrats Latino voters on a silver platter

Republicans keep handing Democrats Latino voters on a silver platter

LatinaLista — Only one GOP Senator on the Senate Judiciary Committee broke party ranks when siding with his Democratic peers today in voting to send a positive recommendation to the full Senate that Judge Sonia Sotomayor should be confirmed as the first Latina Supreme Court justice.

It was a partisan split that became really apparent after the confirmation hearings concluded, as one GOP senator after another started announcing their opposition to Sotomayor.

“The stakes are simply too high for me to confirm someone who could redefine ‘the law of the land’ from a liberal, activist perspective,” Texas Senator John Cornyn said.

Seeing that Sotomayor showed time and time again to be a moderate justice in her rulings, which was independently verified, and the most qualified when it comes to any sitting judge on the bench, Cornyn’s and his fellow GOPers’ opposition to her is only the latest example of how the GOP doesn’t care how their “act of contrariness” against Sotomayor resonates with Latinos.
For all the criticism Latinos are getting for supporting Sotomayor — for example, being accused of supporting her only because she’s Latina — it would seem Republicans are doing the opposite — opposing her because she is Latina.
Sound crazy?
Well, news coming from Chicago, the site of the national meeting of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), seems to support that crazy idea.

Wrapping up their meeting, NCLR reports that they received declines from every Republican politician they sent an invitation to come speak to their members.
Odd, since in the past Arnold Schwarzenegger, John McCain and both George Bushes took time out of their busy schedules to attend. Those Republicans who were invited — RNC Chairman Michael Steele, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, and Puerto Rico Governor Luis Fortuno, all declined through the RNC.
In response to the criticism leveled their way, a RNC spokesperson released this statement:

“The RNC Summer Meeting begins this week in California, which is why the Chairman was unable to attend. The RNC remains fully committed to growing its Latino coalition.”

It would seem that the RNC is assuming that they would not find any new coalition members at a NCLR conference. However, it’s another classic example of the RNC not knowing Latinos.
Otherwise, they would know that while many Latinos vote Democrat, it’s more for the person running than for the party, that holds the allegiance of Latino voters.
But there are some Republicans who sincerely want to shore up Latino numbers within the party. It’s not a coincidence that the latest initiative is being spearheaded by a young Colombian-American GOPer named Javier Manjarres.
He’s started a campaign to win more Latinos to the GOP. He’s calling the campaign
Operation: ¿Qué Pasa USA?
Maybe the better title should be ¿Qué Pasa Republicans?
It’s one thing to not agree over the qualifications of a presidential appointee but to decline an invitation to speak at an organization known to be one of the premier organizations in championing civil rights for Latinos?
A lot of unfounded, and absurd, criticisms have been levied against NCLR in the last few months, but the fact remains that the organization maintains a strong grassroots network across the country that fosters goodwill in Latino communities.
Javier and other Latino Republicans know this, or should know it.
From what I can see, Javier’s campaign only consists, so far, of translating the core values of the Republican party into Spanish. And he is right when he says that many Latinos are conservative.
Which means that Republicans are really blowing their opportunities one step at a time with gaining any foothold among Latino voters.
For all practical purposes, the Republican party is handing Latino voters to Democrats on a silver platter.
Javier’s next campaign may well have to be Operation ¿Qué Paso? (What happened?)

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  • cookie
    July 28, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    Is that what Republicans have to do is to sacrifice morals and scruples and put a biased, racist Latina judge in the Supreme Court in order to gain favor with Latino’s? Boy, not only does Sotomayer show her tribalistic, biased mentality by her words but Latinos are now showing that bribery and special treatment are needed to gain favor with them?
    The Republican’a objection to Sotomayer was based on her words and some of her actions, not her ethnicity. Once again Latinos pull the race card.
    Imagine if a white male judge had said the reverse about a Latina judge. We would never hear the end of it. The word racism would be flung around like there is no tomorrow. When the shoe is on the other foot because it is a Latino spouting these same words for some odd reason it isn’t the same? Oh Lord!

  • Marisa Treviño
    July 28, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    Well, Cookie, it’s easy to see who is biased in this case.

  • samuel vazquez
    July 29, 2009 at 1:45 am

    we need healthcare reform and the repubs are fighting tooth and nail on everything .we as latinos need to organize a huge nationwide protest on the republicans and support president Obama .we need to get every minority and all who support the president involved . and show them we have the numbers to vote them out of office and that we will not put up with all their lies. they had a tea party we can have a clean out the party of no party . we should also organize a boycott of the advertisers of cnn and fox news .also rush

  • cookie
    July 29, 2009 at 8:46 am

    Yes, it is Marisa and that biasness was pointed to you about Sotomayer and showed that many Latinos such as you back up a racist, biased judge just because she is ethnically the same. Also the mindset of many Latinos that Republicans and everyone else have to give your ethnic group what you want (even though unearned or unwarrented) or you will pull the race card and stomp your little feet.

  • Marisa Treviño
    July 29, 2009 at 8:50 am

    Well Cookie, your assumption isn’t true at all. I can say in all sincerity that if Sara Palin was Latina, she wouldn’t have my vote for anything.

  • laura
    July 29, 2009 at 9:29 am

    Marisa I agree with you that the Republicans’ trip down the crazy road is bad for the country in a number of ways. By crazy road I mean 1. complete irresponsibility – Republican governors’ refusal of stimulus money for their states’ unemployment benefits and schools, for example, and opposition to any health care reform only for the sake of hurting President Obama 2. racism as policy – see the Sotomayor hearings and many Republicans’ position on immigration 3. embrace of seriously insane ideas such as that President Obama was not born a US citizen 4. refusal to propose any solutions to the multiple crises facing the country (which they caused with policies implemented when they controlled the presidency and both houses of Congress – one example, just to start with, the trillions-dollar deficit).
    It is bad for the country that principles of true conservatism are no longer represented on the political spectrum in a meaningful way. True conservatism still included facing reality and applying principles of conserving traditional values and policies. In the 50s and 60s, the Republican party had a fair number of politicians who represented such values. No longer.
    Though I personally disagree with conservative principles, they need to be represented in politics, because many citizens do believe in them and want to see them implemented. AS you say, many Latina/os are conservative. They have essentially no political representation because the Republicans have made racism and anti-Latina/o hatred one of their political planks.
    Add to that the corruption of large parts of the Democratic party – Senator Baucus, who is shooting down any meaningful health care reform to please his insurance corporation campaign donors comes to mind immediately, as does Senator Schumer of New York, who is bought and paid for by the financial industry – as well as the lack of principles of many Democrats, and Latina/os are quite lost in the political wilderness.
    Democrats’ lack of principles will come into sharper focus as an immigration reform discussion starts. Simple ethics – that families should not be torn apart, that detention-for-profit is bound to result in human rights violations, that undocumented immigrants, working here because US policies took away their livelihoods at home, are not criminals – are not part of the moral fiber of many Democrats. We need to brace ourselves for this.
    And it is bad for the country that the Republicans’ degeneration has left Latina/os only with the choice between the racist lunatics of the Republican party and Democrats dominated by calculation and corruption.

  • cookie
    July 29, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    And neither did Palin get my vote and she never would either. I think I am a pretty good judge of character and I have no use for her either but for a different reason other than my objection to Sotomayer. Palin may be white as snow but I judge people by their character, not their race. Perhaps Latinos should follow suit.

  • Marisa Treviño
    July 29, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    Cookie, I think I’m a pretty good judge of character as well and I find opposition to Sotomayor puzzling. Is it because she identified herself as a “Latina?” You can call it a cultural thing or whatever but it is not uncommon within the Latino community to self-identify. Hint, the title of this blog. Also, you do realize that in English, Latina Lista means Wise Latina!
    Sotomayor’s experience goes beyond what any current judge had on their resume when they came to court — meaning that she ruled in many more cases. Her rulings, which were reviewed, were found to be moderate. Also, no one has ever disputed that she is of good character. If she weren’t, it would have been discovered long before now and she wouldn’t have gotten as far as she had in the judicial system.
    All in all, Sotomayor is a role model that the Latino community is proud to have and one who will be supported on this blog.
    Your opposing opinion doesn’t make you right, as mine does not. Yet, you feel the need to insult the collective Latino intelligence of those who disagree with you. Give it a rest.

  • Indiana Bob
    July 29, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    Yo Cookie,
    check this out:
    or click my signature. You have to stop listening to ass-pimple rush limbaugh. If you read Goldstien’s analysis, it is clear to see that Sotomayer ain’t no racist.
    The most famous case that illustrates this was Pappas v. Giuliani (yes, THAT Giuliani). The facts of Pappas are simple. The plaintiff was a white clerical worker for the NYPD. He was a obvious racist, and was fired for having sent blatantly racist and anti-Semitic replies to solicitations for charities. Pappas admitted doing it, and said he did it to protest the charity requests so the NYPD fired him. He sued alleging that his First Amendment rights were violated.
    The district court judge dismissed the case and sided with the NYPD’s argument to not have to hire white-trash racist scum as a “legitimate government interest”.
    On appeal, guess which judge sided with the white racist piece of crap? Sotomayer (she was the loan dissenter).
    She wrote a dissent emphasizing the strong First Amendment interests of Pappas’ that were being violated.
    If you read her opinions, this is clearly the pattern with her. She blocks out any personal feelings and rules on what the law says.

  • Indiana Bob
    July 29, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    Yo Cookie, check out this exchange when Sammy “The Fish” Alito was in his confirmation hearings, and see if you see anything that looks familiar (hint – it may be in bold font):
    U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on Judge Samuel Alito’s Nomination to the Supreme Court
    U.S. SENATOR TOM COBURN (R-OK): Can you comment just about Sam Alito, and what he cares about, and let us see a little bit of your heart and what’s important to you in life?
    ALITO: Senator, I tried to in my opening statement, I tried to provide a little picture of who I am as a human being and how my background and my experiences have shaped me and brought me to this point.
    ALITO: I don’t come from an affluent background or a privileged background. My parents were both quite poor when they were growing up.
    And I know about their experiences and I didn’t experience those things. I don’t take credit for anything that they did or anything that they overcame.
    But I think that children learn a lot from their parents and they learn from what the parents say. But I think they learn a lot more from what the parents do and from what they take from the stories of their parents lives.
    And that’s why I went into that in my opening statement. Because when a case comes before me involving, let’s say, someone who is an immigrant — and we get an awful lot of immigration cases and naturalization cases — I can’t help but think of my own ancestors, because it wasn’t that long ago when they were in that position.
    And so it’s my job to apply the law. It’s not my job to change the law or to bend the law to achieve any result.
    But when I look at those cases, I have to say to myself, and I do say to myself, “You know, this could be your grandfather, this could be your grandmother. They were not citizens at one time, and they were people who came to this country.”
    When I have cases involving children, I can’t help but think of my own children and think about my children being treated in the way that children may be treated in the case that’s before me.
    And that goes down the line. When I get a case about discrimination, I have to think about people in my own family who suffered discrimination because of their ethnic background or because of religion or because of gender. And I do take that into account. When I have a case involving someone who’s been subjected to discrimination because of disability, I have to think of people who I’ve known and admire very greatly who’ve had disabilities, and I’ve watched them struggle to overcome the barriers that society puts up often just because it doesn’t think of what it’s doing — the barriers that it puts up to them.
    So those are some of the experiences that have shaped me as a person.
    COBURN: Thank you.
    Mr. Chairman, I think I’ll yield back the balance of my time at this time, and if I have additional questions, get them in the next round.
    SPECTER: Thank you very much, Senator Coburn.

  • cookie
    July 29, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    Marisa, what part of Sotomayer’s racist, sextist statement didn’t you get? There is no explaining that away. That is my objection to her and most Republican’s objections to her. It has nothing to do with her being a Latina or of any other ethnic group. Why do you keep trying to change the obvious?
    As I said, if a white male judge had made the same statements that she did, you Latinos would have picked up on that in a heartbeat and be screaming racism from the tops of your heads. I on the otherhand would also be chastizing that male white judge also. That is what I mean by the tribal mentality. You stick up for racists of your own kind. I do not!

  • cookie
    July 29, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    1. The Republicans just don’t agree with the Obama/Democrat form of health reform. Does that automatically make them wrong? No, it doesn’t!
    2.Utter BS that racism is a policy of the Republicans. They objected to Sotomayer based on her OWN racist words of which you and your brethern refuse to acknowledge. Most Americans whether they be Republicans or otherwise do not base their objection to illegal immigration on race. Race card pulling duly noted as usual. Illegals are of many ethnic groups. It is about our laws and soveirgn borders and the failed amnesty of 1986 and the promise to never have one again!
    3. SOME people are suggesting that Obama is a not a citizen. Don’t try and stretch the truth as if the whole Republican party is saying that. It would be a lie!
    4.Where is your proof that the Republican party has not offered a solution to the crisis messes we are in? They aren’t all Bushbots and in fact most denouce the Bush politics of the past.
    Just more lies by your side as usual.

  • Karen
    July 29, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    I don’t like the Republicans, but too many Democrats think that to get Latino votes all they have to do is sit back and watch the Republicans screw up.
    What has Obama done to help California? Nothing. If he doesn’t change this soon, I will not vote for him in 2012. I will vote third party or stay home.

  • cookie
    July 30, 2009 at 9:43 am

    indiana bob, I do not watch Limbaugh and I form my own opinions based on the evidence. Unlike many Latinos who seem to form their opinions on A blind tribal mentality.

  • Irma
    July 30, 2009 at 11:30 am

    La Raza is sort of a leftist political organization. I myself, have kept my distance from them- I dislike the idea of referring to Mexican Americans as ‘the race.” Personally, I find it offensive.
    I would continue to support the Democratic
    party if our leaders chose not to accept an
    invitation to speak at a La Raza event.
    If Republicans lose our vote, it is not because they choose to ignore La Raza.

  • laura
    July 30, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    Karen says, “too many Democrats think that to get Latino votes all they have to do is sit back and watch the Republicans screw up.”
    I agree completely. That is one reason the Republicans’ degraded state is so bad for the country. Since Republicans are no longer any kind of credible alternative, Democrats think they don’t have to do anything, because they have Latina/os (and every other constituency that doesn’t like torture and race-baiting) captive.
    As you say, Karen, the final result of that will be that Latina/os (and many other people) simply stop voting.
    In my view, the only thing that truly helps us get where we need to go is organizing on the issues, be they immigration or fair labor laws or education or climate change. I do not trust the Democrats on any of these issues.

  • Jose
    July 30, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    “What has Obama done to help California? Nothing.”
    I agree with him on that. Nothing is exactly what the federal government should do for California. California is spending beyond its means to sustain itself. Helping California is just enabling them to maintain fiscally irresponsibility. Anyway, the other states are not willing to bail them out year after year after year, which would be required, so you can forget that idea.
    The open borders crowd will soon be vilifying the terminator, because ultimately action will be taken to eliminate welfare and social services for illegal aliens. The lid will blow off as citizens will tire of the situation and demand it as they get squeezed by the budget cuts.

  • Jose
    August 1, 2009 at 7:50 am

    The democrats have been screwing up 1/6th country’s economy for years, the part that is known as bankrupt California, and now they have the entire enchilada. All one has to do to visualize this country a few years from now is to look at the current condition of democrat run California. High taxes, anti-business environment, lots of welfare, and overrun with poverty level illegal aliens. The writing is on the wall. That’s why I left California, and why millions of middle class Latinos will be leaving.

  • Karen
    August 7, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    Jose, you are uninformed.
    For every dollar that California sends to the federal government in taxes, we get back only 78 cents in services. California is a DONOR state, and we are subsidizing poor states in the South and Midwest.
    This notion that other states are bailing out CA is a load of right wing BS. I want my tax dollars spent in my own state.
    And you seem to forget that CA has a REPUBLICAN Governor, and has had one for 22 of the last 26 years. Furthermore, it takes a 2/3 majority to pass a budget, and Democrats do not have a 2/3 majority. Republicans hold up the budget every year unless there are deep cuts in education. You see, cutting education is the only way they can get future voters.
    I am glad to see that you have left CA. You are probably one of the fools who voted for Arnold. Who in his right mind would put an uneducated body builder in charge of the eighth largest economy in the world. He’s an idiot.

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