Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Friday | March 14, 2003

Candidates stump in Spanish

About the worst part of every election cycle is having to endure candidates "wooing" the Latino community by attempting to speak Spanish. Let there be no doubt -- it hurts. And the results can sometimes be, well, less than effective.

In Texas, then-candidate Bush had an "outreach event", complete with banners that were supposed to say "Juntos podemos", or "together we can [achieve]". But the banner said "Juntos Pedemos", or "together we fart". Rest assured, it was a favorite joke in Spanish-speaking circles for a couple of weeks.

But the GOP isn't deterred, laughably thinking the Estrada filibuster gives them a wedge issue. In reality, the Pope's anti-war stance has had more salience. And it's impossible to escape class issues in the Latin community. Estrada isn't seen as an average Latino. He came from the upper strata of Honduran society -- the same people that rig the system to ensure inequities in income distribution. The same people that spurred revolutions in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Mexico, and just about the rest of Latin America.

But just about every Latin family has a picture of the Pope hanging somewhere in the house, and Spanish-speaking Catholic churches are amongst the most conservative in the world (along with Africa), faithfully following dictates from the Vatican. The Pope's anti-war message has been getting a lot of play in those circles, and by extension, damaging Bush's standing in the community.

And then there's Bush's "warnings" to Mexico regarding its Security Council war vote, which many Mexican Americans took as threats.

Finally, Bush promised in his campaign to enact some sort of immigration reform -- a promise well-received in the Latin community. However, 9-11 put a damper on any such efforts (which in turn led to the falling out of the Bush-Fox relationship). Still, it's a broken promise, and yet another stain on Bush's Latin record.

And let me tell you, once you get past Bush (and perhaps McCain), no other Republican gets any sort of respect from Latinos outside of the Miami Cuban community. And Estrada is certainly not going to change any of that.

Posted March 14, 2003 07:33 AM | Comments (47)


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