Martinez Vows To Use GOP Post For Hispanic Outreach
WASHINGTON - Sen. Mel Martinez of Orlando became the new face of the Republican Party on Friday, pledging to attract more Hispanic voters and heal the party's rift over illegal immigration.
"The fact that a boy at age 15 can come here from another country, with nothing, not even speaking the language of this country, and stand before you today as a leader of our great party and a United States senator is a miracle that could only happen in America," said Martinez, who immigrated to Florida from Cuba.
He was overwhelmingly elected to a new position, general chairman, by members of the Republican National Committee. A handful of "no" votes came from representatives of border states who oppose his views on illegal immigration.
Martinez and President Bush are among Republicans who favor giving workers in the country illegally a path to citizenship. Opponents dismiss the plan as amnesty.
"I want to make sure we take [the] message to the broader Hispanic community, to the African-American community and to all communities that may never have believed that Republican ideals spoke to them," Martinez said.
Martinez offered a hint of how he intends to increase minority interest.
In a news conference, he answered a few questions from English-speaking reporters. Then he turned to a Spanish-speaking television reporter and said, "In the interest of diversity, let me take a pregunta en espanol."
Sigh. It saddens me. Mel Martinez is a Bush/Rove protege, and the Bushyrovies still don't get it. They just can't give up on the hopeless idea of winning a "Hispandering contest" with the Demunists. Never mind that the recent elections completely repudiated that false notion, and failed Hispandering almost lost 2000, and turned would could have been a landslide in 2004 into a more narrow victory.
The Hispandering sentiment comes from (1) immigration romantics, and (2) the greedheads who just want cheap labor no matter what. (Read the Wall Street Journal editorial pages for an idea of these mindsets).
Both ignore the real costs to excessive immigration (obviously illegal aliens but in some categories even legal immigration.)
A few Republicans who were "anti-immigration" did lose their seats in the recent elections, but those losses were due to perceptions of corruption, or other scandals, or Iraq war weariness. They lost despite being "anti-immigration", not because of it.
The Bushyrovies, romantics and greedheads just don't get it. You would think the massive pro-illegal alien demonstrations last year, on Communist May Day, no less, would have been a wake-up call to reality. Sadly, not.
Of course, the Republican Party should encourage that "talented tenth" of African American Republicans to run for office (or in the case of Mexican Americans, that talented one-third) but some Republicans need to get it through their thick elephantine skulls:
1. Republicans CAN'T out-pander "Dem-Masters Of Pandering", and to do so is political suicide. Those of us who regularly vote Republican do so on principle, not because we are being pandered to. In fact, lately, we have been ignored and even face-slapped, this illegal alien accommodation being the most recent case in point.
2. People who have been accustomed for generations to nanny-statism will only vote Democrat and hate Republicans anyway. One-third of Mexican Americans is about as good for Republicans as it will ever get, simple as that. When Republicans go "anti-immigration"? About 1/3. When they cave in to illegal aliens? Maybe a bit higher than 1/3. While alienating their entire base. Really smart move there, guys!
3. Race Relations are not a simple white / non-white dichotomy; black and brown and yellow often have frictions with each other too. When a caveman like Pat Buchanan received standing ovations in Koreatown, and when Pete Wilson (the last real Republican governor California had) TRIPLED the normal vote share Republicans get among African Americans because of his strong stance against illegal aliens, well, someone at the Republican Party should have been taking notes.
4. Even the terms "Latino" or "Hispanic" confuse matters. Mel Martinez, from what I know of him, is a staunch Republican on most issues, as are most Cuban Americans. But Mexican Americans or Puerto Ricans are quite different.
Anyway, unless the people running the party wise up, be prepared for bad political news for the next few election cycles.