[Previously by Matthew Richer The Marco Rubio Of Massachusetts: Will The GOP Establishment And Its Token Hispanic Gabriel Gomez Blow This Election Too]
Watching the Republican Party’s current obsession with “Hispanic outreach” reminds one of the circus clown whose routine consists of tossing banana peels in front of himself, then slipping and falling flat on his back.
Early in the special election campaign to replace John Kerry in the U.S. Senate, it was clear that the Massachusetts GOP Establishment had handpicked Gabriel Gomez as their candidate, and for only one reason—he’s Hispanic.
Just as being black was the only reason Deval Patrick was elected Governor and Barack Obama elected President, being Hispanic was the only reason Gabriel Gomez received the GOP nomination for the Senate.
When asked about his qualifications, Gomez constantly repeated the fact that he had served as a Navy SEAL. Unfortunately, military service does not impress a lot of voters here in the Bay State, and “Navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez” quickly became an irritating soundbite.
True, Gomez did join a successful private equity firm after his military service, but one has to wonder if he was just an Affirmative Action hire. He never really seemed to understand economic policy very well—especially given that he is a huge booster for the nation-bankrupting Gang of Eight Amnesty/ Immigration Surge.
During the debates, Gabriel Gomez deliberately chided his Democratic opponent, Ed Markey (NumbersUSA F) for being too weak a proponent of the Gang of Eight amnesty and actually vowed to outdo the Democrat on this issue. ““I want to make it a ‘Gang of Nine,’” Gomez promised again and again. Gomez: We’ll win ‘with or without DC’, by Jessica Taylor, June 25, 2013
You can’t make this stuff up.
Every time Gomez uttered this “Gang of Nine” remark, it was obvious that he really believed that he was delivering a decisive blow against his opponent. But the only people wincing were potential voters.
The “Gang of Nine” sound bite was obviously pre-rehearsed. Who can doubt that Gomez’s consultants went over it with him many times before the debates? Clearly they believed that it would be a real zinger.
In fact, Gabriel Gomez hired many of the same consultants who engineered the defeats of John McCain in 2008, and Mitt Romney and Scott Brown in 2012, including Eric “Etch-a-Sketch” Fehrnstrom, and Lenny Alcivar of Hynes Communications. [Giving boost to Senate hopeful Gabriel Gomez, conservative super PAC takes aim at Democrat Ed Markey, By Robert Rizzuto, MassLive.com, April 24, 2013 ]
The amusing thing is that Gomez’s shameless hispandering didn’t even win him any Hispanic votes. The state’s largest Spanish-speaking newspaper, El Planeta, endorsed Ed Markey just before Gomez’s well-advertised (but sparsely attended) “Latino Townhall” in Southbridge, MA. [El Planeta Newspaper endorses Ed Markey, TuBoston.com, June 13, 2013]
Not that it mattered. Even if Gomez received 100% of the Hispanic vote, it would not have improved his chances of winning. Besides, most Hispanic voters in Massachusetts are Puerto Ricans who aren’t interested in Amnesty. But Puerto Ricans do support the Democratic Party because, like most Hispanics, they are natural Democrats.
Ed Markey ended up winning 55% of the vote, despite the fact that turnout was abysmally low. [Edward Markey wins a low-turnout, big-spending Massachusetts Senate race, By Ryan Lenora Brown, Christian Science Monitory, June 26, 2013]
While hispandering didn’t win the Republicans any new votes, it cost them plenty, including many former Scott Brown supporters who chose to stay home. And let’s be honest: those Scott Brown voters were almost entirely white voters.
This was really a squandered opportunity because Gabriel Gomez lost to a very weak candidate. Before this year, Ed Markey was hardly a household name in Massachusetts. He was just one of those Democratic congressmen who had been around forever and no one seemed to know why. In a lot of districts, if you keep your mouth shut and vote the party line, you can get you reelected for as long as you like, which has been 37 years in Ed Markey’s case.
However, if the Democrats have an Achilles heel it is surely immigration.
For example, a viable GOP nominee could have made an issue out of the Matthew Denice case. It would have been the perfect opportunity to embarrass the Democrats and to illustrate the madness of our immigration policies.
As VDARE.com has previously reported, 23 year old Matthew Denice of Milford, MA was killed in 2011 by a drunk-driving Ecuadorean illegal immigrant named Nicolas Dutan Guaman. In the middle of the day, Guaman blew a stop sign and crashed into Denice’s motorcycle. Denice was still alive as Guaman’s pickup dragged him a quarter of a mile. After Denice became dislodged, Guaman backed up over him and sped away. Fortunately, the police caught up with him. [Timeline: Matthew Denice Case |Nineteen months after the death of Milford's Matthew Denice, no trial has been scheduled, By Mary MacDonald, Milford Patch, March 29, 2013]
What makes this tragedy particularly scandalous: Nicolas Guaman had been arrested previously for, among other things, assaulting a police officer and a firefighter. But because of the sanctuary policies that Democratic Governor Deval Patrick supports, Guaman was always released and never reported to ICE.
Even worse, last spring Judge Janet Kenton-Walker, a Deval Patrick appointee, ruled that Guaman’s trial would be postponed indefinitely because of his “unique cultural and linguistic background.” [Justice A Foreign Word For Judge, by Howie Carr, HowieCarrShow.com. April 14, 2013]. Translation: Guaman doesn’t speak English or Spanish, but an Andean dialect with no written form, and it will take many months for the court to find an attorney and an interpreter who can communicate with him (at significant public expense). [McPhee: Dangerous judge in Milford case, The MetroWest Daily News, April 14, 2013]
How many backward South American peasants like Nicolas Guaman will be amnestied under the Gang of Eight bill? It’s an important question—which Gabriel Gomez was not interested in asking.
A credible Republican candidate could have forced Ed Markley to defend the sanctuary policies that produced this travesty of justice and prolonged the suffering of Matthew Denice’s friends and family. But instead, Gomez mouthed vapid immigration happy talk—no doubt with the enthusiastic approval of his consultants.
Russell Kirk used to caution those on the Right that conservatism should not be allowed to morph into an ideology—a warning that has flummoxed some conservatives who believe that adhering to an ideology is a strength, as long as it is the correct ideology. But for Kirk, an ideology is a political worldview in which one is emotionally invested.
The problem with Conservatism Inc. is that they have become emotionally invested in their vision of the Hispanic Republican. They have constructed a mental moat around the idea and all the logic and evidence we muster will not penetrate through to them—not even losing elections, which they’ve been doing a lot of lately.
In fact, losing only convinces these Republicans that they must “try harder” to woo Hispanics—which supposedly means granting a blanket amnesty to illegal aliens.
Hispandering, therefore, is not just an idea, it is an ideology and an ideology is a difficult thing to combat.
And that is why we should see the defeat of Gabriel Gomez as a victory for patriotic immigration reformers. It illustrates the utter foolishness of the GOP elite’s Hispanic strategy.
After all, if Hispandering by Latino Republicans does not win any Hispanic votes, then why will it work any better when white candidates engage in it? Ted Cruz got elected in heavily Hispanic Texas, but he’s a committed opponent of amnesty. Hey, why not follow his lead?
Running for national office is a huge commitment. How many people want to be the next Mitt Romney, hiring pricey consultants who advise you on how to alienate voters and blow elections (enriching them in the process)?
You can’t keep losing and stay in business forever. Eventually, candidates are going to look for better campaign advice.
Like that circus clown tossing the banana peels, Hispanic Outreach has become a stale routine that has bored white voters, and even Hispanic voters, into staying home and not voting on Election Day.
If the GOP is to have any future, then they must reject these Rasputins of the Right who preach this nonsense.
Patriotic immigration reform will not achieve victory without their defeat.
And they certainly suffered a defeat this week in Massachusetts.
Matthew Richer (email him) is a writer living in Massachusetts. He is the former American Editor of Right NOW magazine.