Skip to comments.Howard(Dean)for Hispanics (Schadenfraude Alert)
Posted on 08/06/2005 5:21:16 AM PDT by Liberty Valance
EDINBURG TEXAS The national leader of the Democratic Party denied Friday that Republicans are winning over traditionally Democratic black and Hispanic voters, and he pledged that his party will no longer take its supporters for granted.
Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee since February, addressed more than 300 people, including students and elected officials, during a visit to the University of Texas-Pan American. Edinburg was the latest stop on a national tour Dean is making as part of a 50-state strategy to strengthen state Democratic parties.
The former candidate for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination rallied local Democrats with a pledge that the national party will not turn its back on labor, women, blacks and Hispanics.
He said the party leadership has learned from its mistakes and is committed to standing up for what Democrats believe.
"We do need to organize," he said during Hidalgo Countys first visit by a sitting DNC chairman. "We need to invest in all 50 states. We need to reach out and ask everybody for their vote. We need you to run for office, all you folks out there, particularly you young people."
Greeted by signs that included "Viva Dean," "Dean Rocks" and "Bienvenido Howard Dean," the former Vermont governor joined local Democrats in a chant of "Sí, se puede," or "Yes, it can be done," the United Farm Workers motto labor leader César Chávez first popularized.
"South Texas has been so good to the Democratic Party. I think its about time that we were good to South Texas," Dean said. "You cannot expect to get peoples votes unless you ask. Were here to ask for your help and your support."
David Guerrero, 18, is a recent McAllen Memorial High School graduate who is considering studying political science when he starts college at the University of Texas-San Antonio.
He believes Hispanics are underrepresented and said he may answer Deans call to run for office.
"Its just so refreshing that someone who thinks like me is running the Democratic Party," he said. "I dont like what the (Republican) senators from Texas are doing. Theyve got their priorities all wrong. I dont like where the country is headed. We should be focusing more on domestic issues instead of the war in Iraq."
Guerrero said he plans to join the Young Democrats of America at UTSA and get involved in fund raising and voter registration.
He thinks more young people would get involved in politics if party organizers concentrated more of their outreach efforts on school campuses.
U.S. Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, D-Mercedes, said the national Democratic leadership has realized the potential of South Texas only in the last 10 years.
"When they have invested in education in both the K-12 and the college-level education programs they have seen that our young men and women have been able to surface to positions of leadership like myself," he said.
Dean acknowledged some of the past failures of the Democratic Party, which gave up nearly 10 percent of the Hispanic vote to President Bush.
"We are not perfect. We have made mistakes in the past, and we will make mistakes in the future, but we are proud and we will fight back. One of the biggest mistakes that weve made is not to stand up for who we are. We are not Republicans. We dont want to be Republicans. We think most people who are Republicans dont really want to be Republicans."
State Rep. Aaron Peña, D-Edinburg, said the attention Hispanics are receiving from the Democratic leadership is welcome but overdue.
"Many of us within the party have been arguing vehemently that Hispanics were being lost to the Republican ranks, that if we didnt do something fast, you were going to see a sizable number of the Hispanic population jump over to the Republican ranks. Finally we have a chairman whos listening to the message."
In an interview before the rally, however, Dean downplayed the successes of the GOP in wooing traditionally Democratic voters, pointing to President Bushs recent nomination of Judge John Roberts for the U.S. Supreme Court justice.
"I dont actually think that the GOP has been making very strong inroads in the black community and in the Hispanic community. They talk a good game, but then they appoint Judge Roberts, who appears to be against voting rights. Then they scapegoat Hispanics by talking about inviting the Minutemen into California or having (U.S. Rep.) Tom Tancredo talk about shipping everybody back across the border."
During the rally, Dean received some of his most rousing applause by capitalizing on local opposition to the Minuteman Project and accusing the GOP of fear mongering. He warned Democrats here that immigrants will replace homosexuals as the Republican Partys whipping boy.
The Fort-Worth Star Telegram reported last month that the state Democratic Party, which has been shut out in statewide elections since 1994 and remains in the minority in both houses of the Legislature, is nearly out of money and struggling to meet its payroll.
Plans include deploying four paid organizers to each state, including Texas, which received little attention from Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry during the 2004 election cycle.
"Were not going to give up on Texas anymore," Dean said. "Texas will be Democratic once again, and the Hispanic population of Texas will likely lead that renaissance of the Democratic Party."
But the man who screamed his way into regular rotation of Americas late-night show opening monologues acknowledges the reform of his party wont happen overnight.
"It is like turning an aircraft carrier," he said. "But it is turning."
Q: How does one say "YEEEAAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH" in Spanish?
A: "EL YEEEAAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH"
Dean recruits for the old plantation.
Wants them to sing "it's a treat to beat yor feet on ....' in Spanish.
Um... contradiction alert?
Hmmmmm ... So he admits they have been using minorities all these years huh?
I've heard that the Gipper had a sign on his desk in the oval office that said "It can be done".
If Howie only knew.
< We think most people who are Republicans dont really want to be Republicans >
Oh my God! They can even read minds.
"Judge Roberts, who appears to be against voting rights."
What's this about? Not a smear point I've heard yet.
As a Chef in Texas where most of the kitchen staff is hispanic, it has been my observation that this will be an uphill battle for the rats. The sticking point in most of my hispanic friends craw(about Republicans) is the perception that the G.O.P. is anti-hispanic. I disagree with that, but it needs to be addressed. I for one am not opposed to a guest worker program or allowing Mexicans to come here(Legally!) and provide a better life for themselves and their families. I would also support a grandfathered visa program to allow those who are here to stay and be documented. That's my two cents, Now flame Away!!LOL!
From your home page:
"Govern wisely, and as little as possible" ~ Sam Houston
You make some valid points in your post. You'll get no guff from me. Keep cookin' great Texas food and we'll keep enjoying it :o)
Sounds like something I might have said when I was 18. In fact, I worked for the McGovern campaign. It didn't hurt that I was awarded extra credit in my civics class (my teacher was the local leader for McGovern).
When I visited after college, and I was a 2nd Lieutenant, he was still lost in the 60's, and he seemed disappointed that I was in the service.
I get the feeling that the young man who made the above statement will be a potential Freeper in a few years.
Why does this sound very much like "why, some of my best friends are Hispanic?"
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