Dumb Ms Ginny Brown Waite

How dumb is Congresswoman Ginny Brown-Waite (R-Florida)?


Last week she issued a press release in which she referred to Puerto Ricans as "foreign citizens".

Calling her comments “infuriating and contradictory,” members of the U.S. Congress and the full Puerto Rican House of Representatives demanded “a public apology” from Brown-Waite for referring to Puerto Ricans as “foreign citizens.”

Puerto Ricans were made American citizens in 1917.

Ms Ginny has thus far refused to correct her mistake and apologize.

Ginny represents an area in Florida's Central Region, which is home to some 600,000 Floridians of Puerto Rican heritage. However, the 5th District that she represents is comprised largely of nonLatino retirees. Perhaps picking a fight with Puerto Ricans is smart politics there--but it can only be a short-term play.


The district's demographics are changing allowing Democrats to compete in the formerly solid Republican district. But even if Ms Ginny manages to hang on in 2008, 2010 will be more difficult--and we can expect that the post-2010 redistricting will surely rid Central Florida of this embarrassment. But it won't happen so enough.

But let's be clear. Ginny's assault on Puerto Ricans is simply another manifestion of the rightwing's anti-Latino nativism. As I've said before, it's not about the "immigration status" of some Latinos--it's simple bigotry against Latinos.

Political leaders criticize Brown-Waite's 'foreign' remark
Puerto Ricans to Brown-Waite: You're an insensitive ignoramus


Immigration Misfire

In Immigration Misfair, Rosa Rosales (Wall Street Journal, February 5, 2008) points out what I and others have been saying about the harshness of the anti-immigration position of rightwing Republican politicians: It's a loser.

Political pundits used to maintain that the American electorate was galvanized around the issue of illegal immigration. Voters, they claimed, would punish any candidate who failed to take a tough stance on immigrants and did not adamantly oppose the "A" word -- Amnesty -- in all its tortured definitions.

Yet a funny thing happened in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida. The most anti-immigrant candidates performed below expectations, and those accused of supporting amnesty and in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants won.
Rosales asks, "How is this possible? How could John McCain, the author of the McCain-Kennedy Comprehensive Immigration bill beat Mitt Romney, who aired anti-illegal-immigrant commercials more than 12,000 times in Iowa and New Hampshire alone?"

My response? Because most Americans are decent people--and the pogram against immigrants fomented by screech radio and allied nativist organizataions never spoke for them. Really, these primaries are the first time fair-minded Americans have been able to weigh in--and they're sending a loud message that they do NOT subscribe to the anti-Latino, anti-immigrant Party of the Know Nothings.


Immigration Attacks Batting .000 in Republican Primary
Mitt: Descarado
Immigration Losers
The GOP's Bitter Harvest to Come
A Xenophobic Zeitgeist - Erasing GOP Latino Gains
WSJ -- The GOP's Anti-Latino Tone is a Loser
California's Booming Latinos: 52% by 2042
New York farmers confront feds on migrants
Linda Chavez: GOP's Self-Inflicted Wound
Republican Presidential Hopefuls Diss 1,000 Latino Leaders
Experts: Economies grow in Hispanic-heavy areas
The Coming Latino Voter Response to the Failure of Immigration Reform
The Radical Right Claims Victory
Republicans: nativism is a proven loser
Clint Bolick: The GOP Must Now Prove Itself to Latinos
Linda Chavez' The Company You Keep: In Search of anti-Hispanic hostility
GOP Risks Losing Latino Voters
The Rightwing's Winning Strategy on Immigration
Macaca: Top Politically Incorrect Word in '06