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What Can Latinos Learn from the Tea Party Debate?

What Can Latinos Learn from the Tea Party Debate?

Photo: Tea Party Republican Debate

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Well the first ever Tea Party Republican debate is over and what did the Latino voter and the Latino populace in general learn? 

As writer Andres Oppenheimer noted, ‘These guys don’t like us’ and I will expound on that and say they don’t like anyone probably not even themselves.

There were not many surprises from this newly minted political group that has never espoused much love, respect or attention to the Latino voter.  Personally I was surprised to find out there was a ‘civil war’ in Mexico according to Newt ‘I-never-found-a-Tiffany-diamond-I-didn’t-love’ Gingrich and that according to Herman Cain the country of Chile has a better social security system then the U.S. 

I don’t think Mexico or Chile even know this.

CNN gave the Tea Party a platform for issues important to them to be debated, thereby officially legitimizing what some have viewed as a fanatic fringe of aging whites not at peace with the bankrupting nor browning of America.

Few minutes into the debate you immediately realized gone are the moderate Republicans who in the past could attract disgruntled Latino Democrats and many independents.  This is the very right of center all the way.  This is the group of candidates that hangs on to their guns and religion as a religion, a group with extreme positions that can hurt them with moderate voters of all races.

This is the first debate I can remember where slashing the Education budget, eliminating the EPA and wanting to charge the Federal Reserve chairman with treason garners thunderous applauds.  If Latinos are feeling unloved by this group even when its Hispanic Heritage Month remember this is the crowd that appears very comfortable leaving the uninsured to die – be comforted that they don’t limit their loathing to anyone group. 

The economy dominated the debate but 1-½ hours into it the issue of immigration came up.  The actual question from Tea Partier Scott Lambert was “What would you do to remove the illegal immigrants from our country?”

All the candidates want to secure the border first before discussing those pesky illegal’s living in the country.  All agreed let’s build more fence (except for Perry), get more guardsmen, get more border patrol and more spending on technological solutions. 

Wait I thought we were broke.

How can you advocate zero spending including scaling back Medicare and Social Security spending but somehow find the money for a fortress border fence, thousands of border patrol agents and while dissing Obama’s investment in green technology find money to spend on deterrence technology to keep illegal border crossers out?

That’s a lot of FEAR and HATE especially when illegal immigration levels are at historic lows.  Note to self this group has never been restrained by the facts especially Michele Bachmann.

Immigration is viewed as front-runner Perry’s ‘Achilles’ heel since he allowed for in-state tuition for undocumented students.  However that does not mean he is pro-immigration or pro-Latino.  Latino voters should note that he has refused to identify his program as a DREAM Act and clearly stated he is opposed to the DREAM Act and sees it as amnesty.  And let’s not forget he advocated for the abolishment of sanctuary cities in Texas.

And if Latinos are unclear where these candidates stand on immigration note that most of the candidates have reached out to Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio immediately after the debate to get his endorsement.  That should tell you everything.

So what did this Latina learn from the Tea Party Debate – that none of these Republican candidates are celebrating the beginning, middle or end of Hispanic Heritage month any time soon.