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Afghanistan & Obama

December 4th, 2009 · 31 Comments

This week President Obama announced his plans for Afghanistan, and I am of the opinion that this war or conflict should have been the one addressed years ago instead of what was allowed to happen in Iraq. That being said, this piece by Tom Hayden offers some alternative ideas to the escalation. Those of us who oppose this war are going to have to pressure our Congressional representatives and Senators directly with phone calls and letter writing. However, it is worth noting that a slight majority of Americans favor President Obama’s plans for Afghanistan, yet most of us don’t really understand the arguments or know enough about the different actors in this war torn country to really comprehend whether what the President is selling us will work. I suggest that people read this short post at The Atlantic, Afghanistan for Beginners.

Secretary Clinton is even utilizing GWB rhetoric about not intending to “cut and run” from Afghanistan. Frankly, I’m disappointed in both Obama and Clinton for beating the war drums like this. This isn’t the change I voted for, but I also realize the grip that the military industrial complex has on both parties. The US has been geared for war since WWII, and unfortunately, despite peace movements, we haven’t been able to move away from this reality.

Finally, if you are unsure about the situation in Afghanistan, then I would urge you to not support it. There is no point in supporting something that you don’t wholeheartedly believe in, especially when lives are on the line. The people at Brave New Films have some great resources that are worth examining. Please check them out, and let us know what you think:

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Tags: Barack Obama · community organizing and activism · Foreign Policy · Hillary Clinton · Iraq War

31 responses so far ↓

  • 1 HispanicPundit // Dec 4, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    The best article to read on this, is this prescient article by Victor Davis Hanson written right after Obama won the nomination. It spells out the very risky bet, and foreign policy incompetence, of the left with their emphasis on Afghanistan vs Iraq. A must read.

  • 2 Anna // Dec 4, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    I don’t think this has anything to do with left and right. When Iraq was invaded, they started talking about Afghanistan to condition us to accept a wider war there. We have been conditioned for almost ten years to accept a eventual escalation of the war in Afghanistan.

    Soon you will hear pundits on TV saying that we should be in (fill in the country) , in order to condition us to accept the next war.

    Obama is a front man who does whatever the military and the banks tell him to do.

  • 3 Ricardo // Dec 5, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    The only thing positive about Obama is that he is the first person of color elected president of the United States. Beyond that, he has been a complete disappointment (Sonia Sotomayer notwithstanding). With John McCain, or George W. Bush, for that matter, what you saw was what you got. The only other positive result of the last presidential election is that Sarah Palin wasn’t put “a heatbeat away from the presidency.”

    Obama will be a one term President. The people that voted for him in 2008 will not be voting for him in 2012 if he’s up for reelection. Most likely, they will be staying home and not voting.

  • 4 Anna // Dec 5, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    I think you’re right. He broke the color barrier for black people, and for that Obama will go down in history. But that’s it. I hope the Democrats run somebody else in 2012. I don’t want a Republican in office.

  • 5 webmaster // Dec 5, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    “I hope the Democrats run somebody else in 2012. I don’t want a Republican in office.”

    Why would the Dems run someone else? They didn’t even try to do this with Lyndon Johnson. Early in 1968, no prominent Dem had decided to challenge him, yet it was McCarthy who entered as the anti-war candidate, followed by RFK. It is hard to challenge an incumbent president. Even Ted Kennedy couldn’t defeat Carter, and I don’t remember anyone seriously challenging Clinton.

    What you have to remember is that Obama is governing from the middle, much like Clinton did. He has appointed the most Latinos to the administration than anyone else (even Clinton). While Obama does have his problems, I don’t think that he has fractured the Democratic Party to the point of him facing a serious challenger in 2012. The Democratic Party became fractured in ’68, as was evidenced by that convention. The GOP appears to be more fractured than the Dems right now.

  • 6 Reyfeo // Dec 6, 2009 at 7:45 am

    Webby, respectfully, you need to wake up…Obama isn’t a middle ground POTUS, he’s about as left as Carter and getting even more left all the time (can you say Tea Party).

    But to my point, then Senator Obama put his entire chips on Afghanistan as “a war of necessity”…what was the left thinking? That he wasn’t going to be held to this when the time came? Conservatives were ok with Obama on this issue simply because “security” is high on the list of reasons for voting for a new POTUS…what’s even more disappointing to the left is he hasn’t left Iraq, like he said he would (or a real plan for closing GITMO)…historically, however, its a dream to think we’re ever leaving Iraq, hell we can’t get out of Korea, Germany or think Serbia, Croatia etc…hell, my buddies are still doing tours there!

    I think the POTUS sucks as Commander in Chief but hey at least he gave McCrystal “part” of what he needed.

    Bottom line, and this is strictly my opinion which Anna will no doubt not agree with. La Raza/Hispanics in general are security conscious voters. We love our flag, we respect its freedoms and if Afghanistan is where OBL is hiding then hurray for this president for trying to get him…that said, its disingenuous to me (and many others) that this POTUS is hiding behind half hearted efforts to do it trying to satisfy all left and right ends…anyone who says otherwise is kidding themselves. Think about it, 30, 000 was the perfect #. Enough to satisfy the right and enough to convince the left he wasn’t all in with the caveat of leaving 18 months later, I mean give me a break!!…again, politics over substance, that’s another reason this Black President is a one termer. Good.

    (psst, what’s crazy is that Ricardo is so right about GWB, you got what you saw–and in Latinos eyes it says a lot even if they don’t like you)

  • 7 webmaster // Dec 6, 2009 at 8:23 am

    “Webby, respectfully, you need to wake up…Obama isn’t a middle ground POTUS, he’s about as left as Carter and getting even more left all the time (can you say Tea Party).”

    Yes, I guess in your strange right wing world Obama is a raging leftist, while so many disagree with you:

    http://thehill.com/opinion/columnists/lanny-davis/70321-obama-right-in-the-middle

    http://blogs.usatoday.com/oped/2008/11/obamas-centrist.html

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0708/11880.html

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/17/AR2009011702690.html

    Yes, this “liberal President” has surrounded himself with such “liberal thinkers” and has even started to embrace Dennis Kucinich and Bernie Sanders. Yes, he has!

    And you wonder why the GOP doesn’t have any more Goldwater or Rockefeller Republicans.

  • 8 Cockroach People // Dec 6, 2009 at 9:29 am

    Does anyone realize that the “left” is not in power. Since when did waging war, bailing out big business, opposing gay marriage, border enforcement, et. al., become representative of the left?

    Barack has always been and will always be a moderate. If anything, he’s moved to the right since he’s become President.

    HP’s link is certainly prophetic, but most of the “left” also cringed at the “taking our off the ball” crap.

    The problem with the Hoover Institution and other conservative think-tanks is that they equate Democrats with the left. The “left” in this country is relegated to a group of powerless third parties.’ Democrats are liberals with some conservatives and lefties sprinkled in.

    Of course the Dems, lefties, and liberals tend to see all of the Republicans as the “right.” But the Scozzafava incident should have reminded us that that is not true either.

  • 9 webmaster // Dec 6, 2009 at 9:38 am

    “Does anyone realize that the “left” is not in power? Since when did waging war, bailing out big business, opposing gay marriage, border enforcement, et. al., become representative of the left?”

    Thank you CP! The left has never really been in power in America. This whole notion that Obama is a leftist is very far-fetched, but the tea party types keep pushing it because it boosts their turnout. And while we are at it, Hillary Clinton isn’t a leftist either. She is very and has been very hawkish. And she is firmly tied to corporate interests like Walmart, Tyson Foods, and Monsanto, hardly leftist organizations.

    You are right CP that the Democrats have a big tent, and I would even say that with the proliferation of blue dog dems that many aren’t even that liberal.

    But I guess in the minds of some, bailing out corporate America, waging war in Afghanistan, and more recently, the supporting of a coup government in Honduras is somehow equated with “leftist.”

  • 10 Anna // Dec 6, 2009 at 10:28 am

    I don’t think Obama is governing from the middle like Clinton. Obama is just talking orders from the Wall St. and the military. He’s a front man.

    Clinton at least had an agenda, and would try to lobby for it, but if he couldn’t get something passed, he would then compromise. I don’t see Obama pushing for anything unless it’s for the insurance companies, Wall St and the military. You can’t compromise if you have never taken an opposing position.

    I also don’t like the fact that he has thrown women’s rights under the bus with Stupak, and by slashing money from women’s health from the stimulus. I also think he’s a homophobe.

    And during the primaries remember how his supporters called him an anti-war candidate and made it seem like he was morally superior to Hillary, and his supporters morally superior to Hillary supporters? What BS.

    I actually looked at his voting record and it was more conservative than Hillary’s. Furthermore, anybody who voted “Present” over 100 times in a very short career is somebody who refuses to put himself out there on important issues. This is a person who is trying to get over.

    And you say that he has appointed Latinos tio certain positions. How many Mexican-American appointments has he made? Yes, I know about Labor and the Interior. Big deal. We lost two seats when that happened. What about judges? What about other departments?

    Sorry, I think ‘s he’s barely competent and a flim flam man. I hope another Democrat at least tries to challenge him in 20102. Sorry, but Obama is everything I knew he would be and more.

  • 11 Cockroach People // Dec 6, 2009 at 11:50 am

    Anna,
    I am concerned about the same issues, but I can guarantee that Barack is not a homophobe nor is he out to throw women’s rights under the bus. Our experience with him out here in Chicago is exactly the opposite. As for Latinos, I personally had some issues with his work with the Latino community out here. Is was not because of insincerity but rather because he allied himself with groups of Latino professionals when he did begin to outreach for his campaign. My good friend worked for him as a Senator, yet had a hard time shaping up the Latino strategy because there was such an explosion in his popularity that the request from groups for his time became seriously unmanageable. The rest of his staff steered him more toward groups with deep pockets rather than the grassroots.

    I think he is having a hard time staying on message and is perhaps over-compromising while he catches his breath. He does have an agenda, and he has experienced people around him, but he inherited a very different world than Clinton did (Great Recession and post 9-11 paranoia). And please understand that Clinton was a big deal, but the expectations are way higher for Obama. All of our mythology (e.g. the Kennedy legacy & the “black=cool and lefty” noble savage crap that that white liberals and lefties have projected on him) is on his shoulders. If people actually stopped to look at what he has done in this ONE year, they’d see that on balance he has done well for someone with out the experience that Clinton or Carter had. Yes he and his team are making mistakes, but not any more than any other Presidents have done.

    the problem with the public discourse is that people allow themselves to devolve into hyperbolic fits rather than examination. This is what we got used to under Bush–where many believed that everything he did was an attack on America (not true). Yes, some things like domestic spying and the like were horrible, but I think we lost a lot by focusing all our anger on Bush. But that’s just how we behave now. If the left and liberals were truly out to take over this country for the cause of Socialism, then we would not be attacking the President after one year of being in office with the same level of hyperbolic, “sky is falling” garbage that they leveled at Bush. why do we do it? Because t’s easy to tear down but hard to build up.

    Why isn’t Anna or a similarly angry Latina (o) running for President themselves? Why is the left–and liberals for that matter–so unorganized? I think some on the left as well as liberals think and talk too much instead of getting out into the real world and building a base to help make their voices be heard by what ever ideological camp happens to be in power.

    I don’t usually link my own stuff but I think this provides some insight into the President’s style (one we are quite used to in Chicago). It’s not possible for the President to do or say just what ever he pleases (not even W did that, contrary to popular belief). He’d be stupid to just tackle every issue he cares about or agrees with in one fell swoop. He’d also be stupid to divulge what exactly his strategy is to the public before he can make good on it. If the liberals and left were organized sufficiently they could provide cover for the President to make bolder moves. Clinton summed this up quite well in a video I linked in my post.

    http://cockroachpeople.com/?p=538

  • 12 webmaster // Dec 6, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    “And you say that he has appointed Latinos to certain positions. How many Mexican-American appointments has he made? Yes, I know about Labor and the Interior. Big deal. We lost two seats when that happened. What about judges? What about other departments?”

    Just this week, Obama appointed Raul Yzaguirre as ambassador to the Dominican Republic. He has some Mexican-Americans in the State Dept., including Alma Candelaria who comes from CA, and a friend of mine just started working in the WH as a schedule C presidential appointment, and he’s Mexican-American. That friend is working to bring more diversity to the WH, but what people don’t realize is that it takes time and Obama’s team is very concerned about hiring people with clean records, without tax issues, etc. Unfortunately, Latinos don’t know how to play the appointment game. When was the last time you saw Latinos come together to push for an appointment aside from Sotomayor?

    As for Clinton and his agenda, well, I think he ruined it when he decided to get himself serviced by that intern. His selfishness derailed policy and his overall effectiveness. And he set the stage for more cultural/religious wars and rhetoric that we have seen in the GOP, as they battle to claim the mantle of piousness.

  • 13 Anna // Dec 6, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    I agree that liberals need more grassroots organizing to put pressure on the President and Congress to forward our agenda. The Republicans are very good at this. That being said, I am judging Obama based on his actions.

    1) He refuses to re-regulate Wall St.

    2) From what I can see, the healthcare plan is just a transfer of our wealth to the insurance companies. There should have been a public option, but Obama did not lobby for one. They also plan to slash Medicare funding.

    3) He cut money for women’s healthcare in the stimulus. He seemed to be fine with bargaining away a woman’s right to choose in exchange for GOP support for healthcare. (Of course, they will never support any of his plans.)

    4) He has a pattern of appearing with homophobes like Rick Warren.

    5) He has done nothing to help CA. In fact, California is a donor state. We send more money to the federal government than we get back in services. We can’t do that anymore. Our state is falling apart. I also blame Feinstein and Boxer. They don’t care about this state anymore. They need to be voted out.

    6) I haven’t seen him appoint any Mexican-American judges.

    7) He is expanding the war in Afghanistan.

    8) He has kept most of Dubya’s reprehensible policies like rendition, etc.

    9) He doesn’t seem to care about the economy. They keep trying to release stats telling us that things are geting better, but they don’t seem to have a plan to fix the economy. The Jobs Summit is just gimmick.

    10) He invoked executive priviledge for his screw up of a Social Secretary. How arrogant, and what an abuse of executive priviledge.

  • 14 Anna // Dec 6, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    Re: “Just this week, Obama appointed Raul Yzaguirre as ambassador to the Dominican Republic.”

    Oh my God, how embarassing. I can’t believe he accepted it. lol

    I am not talking about patronage jobs, but jobs that actually have some power.

    And why are you implying that it’s hard for Latinos to get appointed because they’re looking for people with clean records, no tax issues? Give me a break. I seem to recall that Geithner hadn’t paid his taxes when he was appointed.

    The reality is that Obama isn’t going to do anything for us. Those people who think he’s going to push for immigration reform are sadly mistaken. He will propose it, but then it will fail, and they will blame the GOP, and try use anger against the GOP to increase Latino turnout for the Democrats.

  • 15 Cockroach People // Dec 6, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    “I agree that liberals need more grassroots organizing to put pressure on the President and Congress to forward our agenda. The Republicans are very good at this. That being said, I am judging Obama based on his actions”

    his actions are exactly what I mean, cause and effect…see the Clinton video.

    If you think his appearance with Rick Warren makes him a homophobe then I have suggestion for a good show that uses that kind of logic freely: Glenn Beck. Remember, Obama is the guy that wrote this: http://www.towleroad.com/2009/03/letter-from-barack-obama-went-unused-by-no-on-prop-8-campaign.html Just because he got smarter about winning and changed his stance to a more electable one, does not make him a homophobe (inconsistent perhaps, but not afraid of gay people).

    The social secretary thing is ridiculous, so ridiculous that Loretta Sanchez is fixated on it (good press). First, he’s too weak because he let Van Jones go down without a fight. Then he is too tough for invoking EP to block a ridiculous witch hunt by imbeciles.

    The President has not filled many vacancies at all. He’s taking a slow approach (an approach I don’t agree with BTW). He has only nominated two Latinos, both Puerto Rican. One potential nominee was Mexican from Chicago, Maria Valdez, but she served on the Woods Fund’s board with him and Bill Ayers; so, she’s kind of tainted for media purposes. Obama has done better than any other president in history with respect to diversity on the appellate courts: six women, four black, one Asian and one Hispanic. About 2/3 of Bush’s nominees were white men. I don’t like the Albert Diaz nomination but it’s still different than the usual nominees we get.

    P.S. our republican system of government is not run by Presidential fiat, contrary to the popular mythology.

  • 16 Anna // Dec 6, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    I’ll take each issue one at a time.

    1) I’m not basing the homophobe comment just on his embrace of Rick Warren, but that should be enough. During the primary he also campaigned with a “reformed” gay preacher named Donnie McClurkin. Furthermore, his Justice Department filed a brief for DOMA that compared gay marrige to incest. Come on, that’s not what the Democratic Party is supposed to be about.

    2) Social Secretary. If her screw up is no big deal, then why is Obama invoking executive privilege? That’s the kind of stunt Dubya would pull. It’s an abuse of power. Executive privilege isn’t supposed to be invoked to cover up the mistakes of an incompetent Social Secretary. This issue won’t go away until she takes responsibility.

    3) Maria Valdez is tainted for media purposes because she sat on a board with Obama and Bill Ayers. HMM…Obama sat on a board with Ayers and he’s good enough to be President, but everybody else who sat on the board is “tainted” and not good enough to work in our government. What a load of BS.

    4) It’s nice that he has appointed all of those other minorities, but I am interested in Mexican-American appointees.

  • 17 webmaster // Dec 6, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    “It’s nice that he has appointed all of those other minorities, but I am interested in Mexican-American appointees.”

    Did you ever think that perhaps the Mexican-American community is not organized to push these appointees? Seneca has written about this, and they require mentors and “padrinos” within the establishment to push them forward (not necessarily other Latinos who forward the names but others in the bureaucracy who can vouch for their work and experience). I don’t think securing federal appointments is a priority for the Mexican-American community or that they understand how to go about it.

    Sure there are qualified Mexican-Americans in various industries, but I think that many of them are more comfortable in academia or within the private sector, where the political game isn’t as nuanced and instead more focused on the bottom line (profits).

    Furthermore, when the Mexican-American community has problems with graduating its youth from high school and college, how can we cultivate a talented pool for federal appointees?

    And why are you laughing at Raul Yzaguirre’s ambassador appointment? Have you seen how few Mexican-Americans get to call themselves ambassador? As you may know, President Obama appointed Vilma Martinez, a Mexican-American, to be ambassador to Argentina earlier in the year too. She was confirmed over the summer.

  • 18 Cockroach People // Dec 6, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    “Maria Valdez is tainted for media purposes because she sat on a board with Obama and Bill Ayers. HMM…Obama sat on a board with Ayers and he’s good enough to be President, but everybody else who sat on the board is “tainted” and not good enough to work in our government. What a load of BS.”

    Anna, aren’t you the one who used to give people grief for not understanding the duplicity of Loretta Sanchez? Didn’t you accuse folk of having a political tin ear? Is Barack not supposed to weigh the consequences of reopening the Ayers wound?

    Just sayin’

  • 19 Cockroach People // Dec 6, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Also, I’d love an ambassadorship to the DR or anywhere! How is such an appointment embarrassing?

    Alas, I too am tainted…:)

  • 20 Anna // Dec 6, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    Re: “Furthermore, when the Mexican-American community has problems with graduating its youth from high school and college, how can we cultivate a talented pool for federal appointees?”

    Every other minority groups except for Asians has the same issue with education, so that excuse doesn’t hold water. Furthermore, there are Mexican-Americans graduating from top universities every year. If they wanted to find qualified Mexican-Americans they would make an effort to recruit some just like they do with other minorities. There are more Mexican-American astronauts than there are in the top levels of government and media.

  • 21 Anna // Dec 6, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    Re: “Is Barack not supposed to weigh the consequences of reopening the Ayers wound?”

    There is always an excuse. I stand by my comment about his lack of Mexican-American appointments, especially to the federal bench.

  • 22 webmaster // Dec 7, 2009 at 10:07 am

    “Every other minority groups except for Asians has the same issue with education, so that excuse doesn’t hold water. Furthermore, there are Mexican-Americans graduating from top universities every year.”

    Yes, but the difference is African-Americans work the system more efficiently. Jewish-Americans build better networks and are actually over-represented in the federal govt. The blacks have a more effective congressional caucus. Just because Mexican-Americans are graduating from top universities every year doesn’t mean that they are automatically ready for federal appointments. I graduated from a top 50 university, and so did many of my Mexican-American friends, and not all of us want to pursue a career in the federal bureaucracy. Pursuing appointments involves becoming donors, meeting the right people, finding “padrinos,” etc. It is more complicated than just applying or filling out the paperwork and hoping that someone selects you.

    According to the La Raza Lawyers of CA, “Only about 6% of all Judges in California are Latino, despite Judges being elected officials who are supposed to represent the population of their counties, and a Latino population in the state of 33% Latino.” This is a very small pool of judges to pick from, and this is at the state level. This isn’t an excuse, this is the reality…we haven’t cultivated enough judges.

    The more important question is…what are you doing to affect Mexican-American appointments? Have you contacted your elected officials about this, written letters to the editor, or given contributions to candidates while lobbying for the community? Complaining about it is one thing, doing something about it is another.

  • 23 Anna // Dec 7, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    This message board is full of people complaining, especially about Loretta Sanchez, somebody who has little effect on their lives. But when you complain about Obama’s failures it’s not his fault and we should shut up.

    Baloney!

    I saw the Mexican-Americans on Obama’s trasnition team and it was full of highly qualified, accomplished people. They were much more qualified than the people he ended up appointing. These people are out there, but he isn’t going to hire them. He’s failing our community. I hope he loses in 2012.

  • 24 webmaster // Dec 7, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    “I saw the Mexican-Americans on Obama’s trasnition team and it was full of highly qualified, accomplished people. They were much more qualified than the people he ended up appointing.”

    Obama hasn’t even made most of the appointments that he has to fill yet. What makes you think that he isn’t going to select them or that these transition team members didn’t want a job in the administration? Not everyone on the transition team wants to work in the administration. Monica Lozano was appointed to some board, but I doubt she wants to leave La Opinion for example. It has to be Mexican-American or bust with you. What about some other Mestizo or Latino/a brother? Do you think that Mexican-Americans are best represented by other Mexican-Americans? Isn’t that rather short-sighted and limiting? Remember Alberto Gonzales (GWB) or Linda Chavez (under Reagan)?

    And you didn’t even see the paltry numbers for Latino judges in CA, one of the most Latino states in the US. It isn’t as if Latinos are burning up the law schools with clerks or jurists. I actually have visited law schools, and let me tell you, they are dominated by whites and Jews. We aren’t even knocking down the doors of the major state colleges and universities. Obama actually has a plan to increase accessibility to college, but it is up to our community to take advantage of those opportunities and not squander them away.

    As for Loretta Sanchez, if she is representative of the best our community has to offer, I can see why we don’t have a lot of representation at the federal level. Oh, but wait, she’s Mexican-American and that makes it ok!

  • 25 Anna // Dec 7, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    You’re trying to make it seem as though advocating for more Mexican-American representation is tantamount to advocating for somebody unqualified. And you’re coming up with all of these excuses why we shouldn’t be appointed to anything. That kind of thinking makes excuses for being excluded and discriminated against. If people think that way, then nobody has to keep you on the outside, you will do it to yourself.

    Clinton appointed Maria Echaveste, a Stanford Law grad as one of his advisors, so give a me break. Qualified people are out there.

    The reason I want more Mexican-American representation is for the very obvious reason that we are underrepresented, and if we don’t advocate for ourselves, nobody else will.

    Amd you keep mentioning names like Monica Lozano and Raul Izaguirre. I’m not talking about patronage positions for people who bring in the vote.I’m not talking about Ambassador to the Dominican Republic! lol I’m talking about real jobs held by professionals.

  • 26 Cockroach People // Dec 7, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    “This message board is full of people complaining, especially about Loretta Sanchez, somebody who has little effect on their lives. But when you complain about Obama’s failures it’s not his fault and we should shut up.”

    Nice spin Anna–I had just accused you of the converse. If Obama doesn’t come through (e.g. Mexican-American appointments) it’s horrible, but if Loretta doesn’t come through (e.g. Dream Act) it’s not her fault because she has political considerations she must weigh in her OC district). Slick switcheroo there.

    For the record I am originally from OC and most of my family and many of my friends are still there; so Loretta has some effect on those close to me. I’m not sure about others. In any case, were I still back home, I’d be happy to have an intelligent, sincere Boricua any day over that sorry excuse for a “Mexican-American” legislator.

    Webmaster,
    good point about Gonzalez and Chavez…

    I think Latinos were about 2 or 3 % when I was in Law School. It’s gotten a little better in some places. There are some possibilities in Chicago still for judgeships, but the nominations get funneled through local politicos first; so, it’s hard to make the final list for Obama to look at regardless of race.

  • 27 Anna // Dec 7, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    Sorry, but comparing Sanchez and the Dream Act to Obama and Mexican-American representation is not a sound analogy. Why can’t somebody from a heavily illegal immigrant district sponsor the Dream Act? That would make more sense. Why does it have to be somebody from Orange County, which makes no sense at all. Anyway, nobody is going to sponsor a bill that Obama won’t sign anyway.

    Re: ” I’d be happy to have an intelligent, sincere Boricua any day over that sorry excuse for a “Mexican-American” legislator.”

    Again, you compare somebody you see as incompetent, even though the voters in her district do not, to somebody from another group. How about somebody competent from our own grooup? That’s what I’m talking about. You know, successful gropups lead themselves. They don’t follow. Our group follows. We have so much political capital, but we don’t use it. We give it away.

  • 28 webmaster // Dec 7, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    “Clinton appointed Maria Echaveste, a Stanford Law grad as one of his advisors, so give a me break. Qualified people are out there.”

    Why do you think Clinton didn’t appoint her to the Supreme Court? Clinton had an opportunity to appoint a Latino/a to the high court, but he didn’t (instead picked Breyer & Ginsberg).
    Obama did appoint a Latino to the highest court. Ok, Sotomayor is not Mexican-American, but I know many Mexican-Americans who are proud of her and feel that she is more than qualified.
    Also, I don’t think Maria Echaveste has ever been a judge, while Sotomayor has.

    Like Cockroach People, I have lived in Orange County and became politically aware there, so I know a thing or two about Rep. Loretta Sanchez and those she has surrounded herself with. And yes, Santa Ana and Garden Grove have sizable undocumented populations.

    You seem to diminish the Mexican-Americans that Obama has selected like Hilda Solis and Ken Salazar and even those he has selected for ambassador. Being an ambassador is not only a patronage job, some ambassadors have been career foreign service officers. I don’t see many in the Latino community encouraging our kids to pursue the foreign service either.

    Last time I checked Raul Izaguirre was a professional. He ran NCLR and is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations. I think he has also been on some corporate boards. You don’t get on those boards or on the CFR by being unprofessional.

    Why do you think that 40 some years after the Chicano movement and the Cesar Chavez led grape boycotts, etc. we still haven’t produced many leaders on the national stage? Who is there? We have Bill Richardson…and he is a friend of Obama and Clinton. Maybe we have misplaced cultural priorities or are more readily occupied with other things like quinceañeras, telenovelas, cars with fancy rims, etc. I don’t know about you, but when I drive through Latino neighborhoods, I see a lot of loitering and idle behavior with our youth. Taking a walk to the library or visiting the local college or university might be more enriching than cruising the mall or planning the next party. Nobody has really picked up the mantle and insisted on self-reliance.

  • 29 Anna // Dec 7, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    Why would Clinton have appointed Echaveste to the Supreme Court? She isn’t a judge. I don’t even know if there were any liberal Mexican-American judges ready for the SC in the early 90s. Clinton did, however, appoint Mexican-Americans judges to the Court of Appeals. Anyway, the Court of Appeals is as high as any Mexican-American judge can go now. No SC in our future. I don’t expect Obama to appoint any Mexican-American judges. Not even in CA.

    I am not diminishing Salazar and a Solis, but that isn’t enough. Are there any Mexican-Americans in the Justice department? The State Department? The EEOC? Do we have anybody gaining experience in these departments? And you say that you don’t see any Latinos telling their kids to go into the foreign service? I guess you know what millions of people tell their children? Secondly, the Bush Administration recruited Latinos for foreign service. This Administration, probably not.

    When I say professional, I mean trained as professional. I don’t mean somebody who has a certain manner.

    Re: “Why do you think that 40 some years after the Chicano movement and the Cesar Chavez led grape boycotts, etc. we still haven’t produced many leaders on the national stage?”

    Good question. I think the religion and the culture have something to do with it. People are taught to follow, not lead and that dynamic is set up in the church. Reyfeo says that the governemnt makes Latinos dependent. I think it’s the Catholic Church that makes people dependent. People are conditioned to follow. If we don’t even have our own churches, how can we lead ourselves? For both blacks and whites, church is where they learn public speaking and organizing. In the Catholic Church, we sit like sheep and listen to the priest. We don’t learn any skills. The Catholic Church came to Mexico as conquerors with the Spanish. They didn’t come to empower us, but to subdue us and get to accept a new identity and new leaders. I think that attitude permeates the whole culture.

  • 30 ChL // Dec 7, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    “I think the religion and the culture have something to do with it. People are taught to follow, not lead and that dynamic is set up in the church. Reyfeo says that the governemnt makes Latinos dependent. I think it’s the Catholic Church that makes people dependent.”

    You can say this of all churches. Seriously, many Latinos leave the Catholic Church for evangelical or Pentecostal type churches. All churches are about control to various degrees. Look at the Mormons. These churches all serve the same master, the church hierarchy. Some churches are more committed to social justice (maybe Jesuit or more liberal unitarians), while others are more into devoting energy to their televangelist type preachers. People get scared, don’t want to think for themselves and then become religious. This is why education is so important. The more educated you become, the less likely you are to blindly follow the religious fanatics. Actually, I think that Catholics can be more progressive in certain areas, whereas some of these mega churches are not.

  • 31 Anna // Dec 7, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    I agree that catholic Church can be more progessive than some other religions, but we don’t control the Catholic Church. We need our own churches with our own preachers with an agenda that will empower us.

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