Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Can Tennessee Republicans Really Court Mexicans?

Posted By on Wed, May 6, 2009 at 5:21 AM

click to enlarge Frankly, she's probably smarter than we are
  • Frankly, she's probably smarter than we are
The press release from TNGOP spokesman Bill Hobbs yesterday was perfunctory, noting that his party was joining "Mexican Americans today in celebrating their heritage on Cinco de Mayo." A few platitudes were thrown in, along with declarations of the GOP's devotion to small government, private property, etc.

It seems the party has discovered that Mexicans are more than illegal sponges who steal all our jobs and white women. They also vote. So Republicans have been gearing up their rhetoric in hope of attracting the brown horde to their broad tent.

Is it going to work? Naaah.

I have this theory that immigrants are smarter -- or at least have more street smarts -- than the rest of us. It takes a bit of savvy to come to a new land and set up life when you're confronted with economic and language barriers. They are, in many ways, a superior form of human. So why would they throw in with the Republicans?

People like Hobbs may be reaching out, but for every step forward he takes, he's knocked two steps back by his party's goober faction, which can't stop yammering about the illegal menace. Throw in Brian Kelsey's call to reject stimulus money, and the GOP's general disinterest in everything from labor protection to the social safety net, and there's not a lot there for people climbing from the bottom of the ladder.

You can understand why fundamentalists readily throw in. They'll overlook their economic interests for the GOP's constant drumbeat on Godliness. But the Mexicans? They're a few steps up on the evolutionary scale, and will require more sophisticated arguments if the con is to be on.

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