Saturday, June 4, 2011

El Jefe Bombs With Latinos

After celebrating his favorite holiday, Cinco de Cuatro, Presidente Barack Obama realized that he had been neglecting his fund-raising among Hispanics in the West. Confident that the monolithic Latino community would swoon with gratitud for another message from El Buen Pastor de Chicago, Obama sent an e-mail to Hispanic organizations throughout the West asking for more of their time and money.

The response was not exactly enthusiastic. Nary a si, se puede. Obama's e-mail was in two parts. First the pandering, then the request for money. "I want to sign the DREAM Act into law, but I need your help to do the hard work of changing minds and changing votes, one at a time." "Now gimme your pesos," or something like that. Perhaps some recent legislative history would serve to illustrate why the Hispanic community might not think that Obama's amor por la raza is entirely genuine.

Leaving Congressional Democrats to do whatever work was to be done to maintain the support given to the Democratic Party in 2008, Obama has talked the talk, but hasn't shown that he can walk the walk. Instead of the DREAM Act that would legalize huge numbers of illegal immigrants and future Democrats, the new Congress has been busy doing quite the opposite. Rep. Ed Royce (R-California) called the bluff of the Democrats on an up or down vote on the proposed amendments to the 2012 Homeland Security Act. The substitute wording diverts current social welfare moneys to immigration law enforcement. With the able assistance [snark intended] of Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colorado), the Democrats' original Amendment 287(g) which would have ended federal cooperation programs with the states was defeated on a 267-151 vote. Polis had intended the exact opposite result. The substitute wording increasing funding for the program passed by the same margin.

Obama was nowhere to be seen or heard from as this debate went on. He was too busy pounding out e-mails. The new bills from the House, passed handily, include setting aside money for the Border Patrol along the Mexican border. They prohibit the administration from offering amnesty by stalling on deportations of illegals in federal custody. They require that all DHS contractors use E-Verify to monitor their new and current employees. They increase funding for all federal enforcement programs by 20%. They created special set-asides for hiring more "Shadow Wolves" (agents who track smugglers and narco-terrorists on the border). They set aside funding for enforcement of extant federal law requiring the detention and deportation of illegals who are convicted violent criminals. And my favorite, they withhold funding from cities that have "sanctuary city" policies. And they did it without adding a single dollar to the taxpayer burden.

Instead of herding the cats of the Democratic and RINO parties into concentrating on the ill-fated DREAM Act, Obama simply stayed completely clear of any involvement in the ongoing immigration activities. After all, those e-mails have to get written. His habit of staying above the fray (i.e., cowardice in the face of opposition) is not going to cause Hispanics to rush to the Republican Party for comfort. Most of these measures were proposed and enacted by Republicans attempting to stem the tide of illegal immigration. At least they're honest about their position. But Obama's inactivity has thrown a wet blanket on the previous enthusiasm for him that the Latinos exhibited during the hopey change 2008 election.

After receiving the Obama empty promise e-mails, Latino activist groups in California, Arizona and Colorado reacted with everything from bored indifference to outright challenge. There were "no thanks" letters and e-mails. "F--- you" letters and e-mails. Paid ads on TeleMundo asking why Latinos should support an "immigration President" who is all show and no go. One e-mail, allegedly from a MAPA (Mexican American Political Action) group in Los Angeles said: "You want our help? Where was your help when the DREAM Act was still a possibility?"

Ricardo Martinez, founder of political advocacy group Padres Unidos and a precinct walker for Obama in '08 said: "When the elections come around, they always come courting us, and this is proving to be no different. Did Obama put as much effort in the time to pass the DREAM Act? I didn't see him. Was he out there twisting arms? I didn't see that. Was he out there stomping around? I didn't see that. All we see is that we're an expendable voting population."

"We're Pissed Off" Latino rallies are scheduled later this month at Democratic headquarters in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, Denver, and other spots not yet fully organized. Republicans are not expecting to pick up any significant number of Hispanic votes. They figure that now that the Obama honeymoon is over, and the Latinos have discovered that the emperor has no clothes, they'll probably return to George Bush levels. But the Latino voting community is large and growing. It is also heavily impacted by the ongoing recession and unemployment.

If Obama's sleepwalking through the immigration debates continues, a lot of those former Obama voters are going to stay at home during the campaign and on election day. At this point it's hard to know what Obama will do about it. If he becomes actively involved in the immigration debate, he risks alienating an even larger group of unaffiliateds and independents who are fed up with the lack of a coherent immigration enforcement policy. If he continues to mouth the words but not act on them openly and publicly, he risks bleeding more Latino votes. It's a dilemma which couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

Obama has some time. It is unlikely that the Senate will pass the measures from the House in anything close to the form they are now in. And even if the Senate went along with it, it is doubtful that Congress could override a presidential veto. That might be the only thing that would help Obama with Hispanics, since even something as simple as a veto could be spun into "positive action" on comprehensive immigration reform.


Tennessee Jed said...

I'm pissed off letters and F You emails from the Latino community. This is Soooo refreshing and encouraging. It does a body good. His pomposity passeth all understanding, that El Jeffe.

Unknown said...

Tennessee: I sort of expected this to happen in California, but I was surprised to see how many activist groups there are in Colorado. I imagine Andrew can expand on that.

AndrewPrice said...

Wait a minute.... you're telling me that the Democrats have been promising one thing to Hispanics but don't really mean it?? No way! LOL!

As for Obama, his whole world seems to be falling apart, doesn't it? I guess that's what happens when you don't know what you're doing.

In terms of Colorado v. California, sadly, Colorado is becoming California. In the 1990s, a bunch of leftist tech companies discovered that Colorado was a lot like California before they ruined it. So they came out here. Then they promptly set about repeating what they had done to ruin California. At the same time, the Democratic party here was targeted by Soros's people to turn them into a "progressive" party.

And the Republicans have imploded in infighting and stupidity -- long story.

So now we get bills like the one making all public bathrooms gender free (which everyone is ignoring) and pot sales are huge here now.

It's not clear yet if Colorado will keep drifting left or will start pushing right again. Right now it could go either way.

T-Rav said...

Eh--Latino immigration activists can go cry me a river. But it's nice to know one pillar of Obama's campaign coalition has turned on him.

Unknown said...

Andrew: It sounds like Colorado needs to have a special immigration law: "Immigration into this state is hereby expressly forbidden for any person who is of, by, from or for California." Let's hope your conservatives wake up before it's too late.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I'm not hopeful. Colorado's conservatives seem pretty seriously split. And there's no real leader in the state to pull them together.

I'll tell you what though, your proposed California anti-immigration suggestion would pass overwhelming here. People are not happy with what the "Californicators" have done and keep doing.

Unknown said...

T-Rav: I didn't go into depth about the sponsors of the original amendment that would have defunded border enforcement and ended state-federal cooperation on deportation of convicted criminal illegals. But as I had to admit to Andrew, the Colorado Congressman (Polis) who wanted to kill immigration enforcement spent most of his youth in California. Apparently, he brought a lot of Latino activists and irredentists with him when he made the move to Colorado. They may like Polis, but they don't like Obama.

Koshcat said...

Polis is interesting and I haven't quite figured him out. He is a businessman and/but pretty liberal. There was a rumor that passage of Obamacare would benefit him due to significant investments in offshore medical sites that do elective procedures. Oh, and he is very homosexual. Not that there is anything wrong with that just I am not sure why I keep having to be reminded that he plays for the other team. I really don't care except that it probably predicts his overall points of view.

Unknown said...

Koshcat: Andrew is in Colorado, so he probably has more to say about him. I just see a typical expatriate California liberal now working on screwing up Colorado.

Koshcat said...

Regarding Polis, let's just say that unless he gets caught in an inappropriate situation with a 9 year old girl or he moves on/retires, I see a long career as the representative from Boulder.

Unknown said...

Koshcat: We don't much care who he sleeps with, unless it's Barney Frank's banking buddy. Every statewide (not federal) representative from San Francisco is gay or lesbian, so who his "significant other" is doesn't really make much difference either way to me. Safe districts are safe districts, and apparently Polis has found his.

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