Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 22, 2009

LOOK WHO'S MR. BILINGUAL.... Newt Gingrich apparently assumes Latino communities have very short memories.

The former speaker of the house, and all-around conservative idea-smith, has launched a news website for Hispanic Americans, the rapidly growing segment of swing voters. It's called The Americano, and it is the bilingual brainchild of Sylvia Garcia, a longtime employee of Gingrich Communications, the former speaker's consulting business. [...]

And so, conservative-minded Hispanics will find an opinion piece about how voter identification efforts are damaging the GOP brand among Latinos, a "History of U.S. Elections as Seen By Hispanics," and a piece about how the embattled non-profit ACORN was caught in a sting that involved a false claim about 14 El Salvadoran prostitutes.

The new website, which will seek to make a profit from advertising, comes at a time when Republican strategists, and conservative activists, are expressing clear concern over Republican popularity among the Latino electorate, a swing vote in recent presidential contests.

And why are Republican strategists and conservative activists concerned about the party's popularity among the Latino electorate? It might have something to do with Newt Gingrich.

It was, after all, the former House Speaker who, in giving a speech to a Republican group in 2007, described bilingual education as teaching "the language of living in a ghetto." He's also mocked the idea of printing government documents in anything but English, and promoted English-only measures.

In 1995, Gingrich said bilingualism poses "long-term dangers to the fabric of our nation" and that "allowing bilingualism to continue to grow is very dangerous."

And earlier this year, it was Gingrich who blasted Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor as a "racist," who should be "forced to withdraw" from consideration for the high court. He added that Sotomayor had to be rejected "if Civil War, suffrage, and Civil Rights are to mean anything."

But now that Republicans are worried about losing the Latino vote for the indefinite future, Gingrich is going to help bring the GOP message to the Latino community? Good luck with that.

Steve Benen 2:50 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (15)

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i've said it before and i'll say it again:


by gawd!

Posted by: neill on September 22, 2009 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

They tried to find a Republican with the name Gringo and this was the closest they could find.

Posted by: Rob on September 22, 2009 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

Same as Beck: not hypocrites; they were on drugs back then; now they're saved.

Posted by: converse on September 22, 2009 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

I think you underestimate the ability of these guys to get away with shameless behavior.

Most people (Hispanic or otherwise) won't remember that it was Gingrich who did these things you list. So it will be up to someone to remind people. And who would that be? The media? Don't make me laugh!
Dems? Don't make me laugh even harder!

Gingrich will pay no long-term price for his actions and mark my words: he will someday (sooner than we'd think) be invited on a Talking Head show to discuss GOP outreach to Hispanic voters with nary a peep (or a muted one at best) from the rest of the panel about his racism.

If you think otherwise, you must be new in town.

Posted by: Devil Dog Dem on September 22, 2009 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

Jimmy Carter was about as wrong as one can be without actually being right.

Posted by: Monty on September 22, 2009 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

It's also interesting that they think it's a win to talk about ACORN and the fictional El Salvadoran prostitutes. Many Latino voters wouldn't necessarily be in favor of destroying a housing/voting organization that focuses on the low-income. Some Latino voters might even perceive it as a transparent attempt to silence them.

Posted by: Travis on September 22, 2009 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

Rumsfeld theory of elections: you fight in the elections with the voters you have, not the ones you might want to have. If Gingrich has to go to bilingual ghettos to fish for the voters...

Posted by: exlibra on September 22, 2009 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

Kind of like picking that Black fellow to be the head of the RNC . Shows what a diverese and encompassing party they are. Garanteed to be a success , just like Mr. Steele

Posted by: John R on September 22, 2009 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

The disgraced former house leader is a racist, nativist bastard, but the "language of the ghetto" remark is accurate. If you don't speak English you are doomed to the ghetto (with some exceptions in areas with v. high Spanish-speaking populations).

All native Spanish speakers want their children to learn English, and they support bilingual education only so far as they think it will not impede their acquisition of English.

This has been your concern trolling for the day.

Posted by: inkadu on September 22, 2009 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, cut the Newtster a break. How was he to know, way back in 1995, that them little brown fellas were allowed to VOTE?

Posted by: DAY on September 22, 2009 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

I always had this funny feeling that Newt was bi ... now we know for sure.

Posted by: Tea Bagger Jones on September 22, 2009 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

inkadu - You need to take a trip to Miami, where the "Anglos" are around 30% and hispanics control most of the money. It will give you new insight in what it is to be a minority, like when you can't get a job because you DON'T speak spanish.

Posted by: John R on September 22, 2009 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

Those poor Republicans are trying to cultivate the Hispanic vote, thinking it's still along the lines of the once-formidable anti-Castro monolith in Miami. Tain't so, fellas, tain't so...this is the Hispanic equivalent of Michael Steele pursuing Negro, er, black Republicans.

Posted by: Vincent on September 22, 2009 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

Ohh Newtie,,, Better think 2x about trying to Net latinos in their "ghetto language",

Glen Beck will make you turn in your hood for being a non-believer.

Posted by: cwolf on September 22, 2009 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

Give the Republicans a break, Gingrich probably is the most appealing person for Latinos. Who else would they use? Michael Steele? I'm trying to come up with some else, and I'm really drawing a blank. Rudy Giuliani? It not like their starting lineup would be a draw. Glenn Beck? Yeah that would go over well. It's not like they really have much to offer here. It seems the "get the hell out of my country, wetback" message isn't really working. I Wonder why.

Posted by: fostert on September 22, 2009 at 9:45 PM | PERMALINK



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