Today is the Presidents’ Day holiday in the U.S., an observation that no one other than first grade school teachers care about. When I was of that age we had two separate holidays, one right after the other, that celebrated two of our country’s favorite dead presidents. But then congress thought Killing Lincoln sounded like a nifty idea long before the idea popped into Bill O’Reilly’s head. The combined event isn’t much of a holiday. No one holds parties. No one makes big plans for the Presidents’ Day weekend. Families don’t get together for the holiday, and no one complains if they have to work on Presidents’ Day. CNN can’t decide if it’s Presidents Day, President’s Day, or Presidents’ Day. We don’t even use the holiday as an excuse to go out and get drunk. It’s the Mitt Romney of holidays; vaguely remembered and of no interest to anyone any longer.
But it does provide a good excuse to look forward to the next presidential election. The Republican party is already looking toward their version of Fear And Loathing On The Campaign Trail: 2016. ‘Cuz this time around beating Obama is a sure thing. And it’s a good thing to see the gene pool at FOX having something positive to focus on for a change because it really has been tiresome listening to them whine about how the America they once knew is now a thing of the past. That it took them six decades to realize we no longer live in the 1950s is not surprising; the conservative right-wing nutters are dependable if nothing else.
Self-refection too is a good thing and it’s nice to see that after laying blame for their loss last November at the feet of the rest of the country for being nothing but a bunch of takers, they’ve begun focusing their anger inward. In a perverted twist to Gandhi’s charge to be the change you want to see in the world, the party’s faithful has determined their recent lack of success might be partially their own fault and that change is needed. Not real change mind you. Just a change in the way others view the Republican party. So far that means showing their love for Latinos. And that’s a difficult task when to date your only interest in the entire Hispanic community has been in deporting them or building walls to keep them. Well, except for your gardener, nanny, and housekeeper of course.
Conservatives couldn’t understand the brouhaha last year over Mitt’s comment about a briefcase full of women because they don’t get women. Relying on the opinions of their right-wing female trophy-wife looking pundits doesn’t help because they don’t get women either, but instead are programmed to repeat the party line. They’re also trained to repeat the even more important Republican woman phrase, “Yes, Daddy.” Republicans don’t get Latinos any more than they understand women. The Hispanic community may be a large voting block, but the only Latinos the Republicans are listening to are those who have adopted the acceptable mantra, “Si, Papi.”
Of course not all women are the same; like with any group of people you attempt to lump together, they too are actually individuals with a wide variety of interests, concerns, and issues. Though most women agree that rape is not just another contact sport. Being the party of old white men and the women who obey them, the Republicans don’t get that. And as badly as they want the Latino vote, they don’t get that the Hispanic community is not a homongenous voting block of think-alike drones either. When it comes to self-identification, many do not consider themselves Latino first. Some are Mexican, some are Cuban, some are Brazilian. Some are straight. Some are gay. Some are conservative. Some are liberal. And some even consider themselves American first.
The Republicans are pinning their 2016 hopes on Marco Rubio because he is a Latino they can live with, one who thinks and acts like an old white guy (though for his response to the State of the Union Address, opting to channel Dick Nixon might not have been the best idea). Republicans know Obama only won the election because all of the blacks in the country voted for him. Next time around, they’ll grab all of the Latino vote by fielding an Hispanic candidate – though by the time the election rolls around that may be George P. Bush. That they believe every Latino in the country will vote for a Cuban Uncle Juan just because his ethnicity is Hispanic shows how little they understand those whose vote they are banking on. They don’t get Latinos are people first, a race or ethnicity second. Or third, or fourth. You’d think Sarah Palin would have taught them a lesson.
As heartwarming as it is to see John McCain champion immigration reform on behalf of the people whose rights his state has been busy trampling on, you just know that as soon as someone tells him that some of those folk are not only Hispanic but gay too he’s gonna start demanding we invade Mexico along with Iran. War is something Republicans do get. Or at least the profits that military conflicts provide. They are in fact the job creators they claim to be, as long as you realize those jobs are in our nation’s armed forces. Which are disproportionately filled by citizens of Hispanic descent.
With just short of four years to go there is still plenty of time for the Republicans to get their act together, though so far it looks like they’ll stick to the stand-up comedy routine they went with during the last election cycle. Having just signed Herman Cain to FOX as one of the network’s preferred talking heads, maybe that’ll change now and their scramble to find a suitable candidate will look more like part of the presidential election for 2016 than part of the Special Olympics as it did in 2012. Maybe if Chris Christy can convince the party leadership that being Italian counts as Latino they might stand a chance.
Related Posts You Might Enjoy: