Ron Kirk: Democrats Can Take Texas. One Day?

Categories: Politics
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Photo by Patrick Michels
USA Today's Richard Wolf attended this morning's Third Way breakfast, where former Dallas Mayor-turned-U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk insisted the demographic shift in Texas over the last decade -- where 38 percent of the population is now Hispanic, 12 percent African-American -- has paved the way for a Democratic victory in Texas come 2012. Maybe. Probably. Maybe. Hard to say. Let's jump to the end:
"Even if you just look at the demographics, I think we're going to get there," he says of Democrats' chances statewide. "The Republicans are doing everything they can to move our explosive Hispanic population away from being swing voters to solidly blue."

Too optimistic, perhaps? After all, this is the state of George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, and GOP Gov. Rick Perry just won his third full term.

"If there's a definition of an optimist," Kirk says, "it's a black Democrat in Texas."
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Bettyculbreath
Bettyculbreath

I don't understand why ,in every conversation about Hispanics,Democrats or Republicans it all ends up with someone saying Blacks want handouts.Get real ,you see 2 minute blur on TV with, black person in any contact and you judge the entire race by that news piece.Ron Kirk and I were never on the government,my parents paid for all 4 years of my college.I have never received any type of public assistance.Stop judging all black folks as liberals wanting a hand out,even with segregation we worked and owned businesses.Who the hell raised all the white kids,black working woman,who shine your shoes ,cooked your meals,washed your car before the Hispanics got over here ,we did. Now you moved all the unskilled warehouse jobs ,over seas and given all the others jobs ,to Hispanics ,that will work for less.Shame on all of you.

El Rey
El Rey

As much as Dems like to lump the Bush clan as a Texas family, former President George H.W. Bush is not a Texan in any sense. Former President George W. Bush is just another Yankee carpetbagger. (EDIT 4:18 p.m.: strike "carpetbagger". Thanks, Dallasite78!)

Dallasite78
Dallasite78

A carpetbagger who grew up in midland? Either you don't know what the word means or you are just a lefty idiot. Oh wait, that'd make you an idiot either way!

El Rey
El Rey

Born in Connecticut. He may have been raised in Midland and Houston, but he still spent his summers vacationing in Kennebunkport. He went to High School in Massachusetts. He went to college in Connecticut and Massachusetts. I stand by my previous statement - Carpetbagger.

El Rey
El Rey

After thinking about it, carpetbagger is too harsh. His dad was the carpetbagger who brought W. to Texas to make money in the oil bidness. He was just a kid. I still consider him a yankee, though.

I don't have an irrational dislike for the Bush family. In fact, I've met many of them and even voted for W. I just have a naturally inborn suspicion of anyone not born and raised in Texas. My fervent Texas patriotism just made me have to call out Ron Kirk's false statement. Sorry.

Dallasite78
Dallasite78

Now that I see you liked some of my other comments I kind of regret calling you an idiot, lefty or otherwise!

You may have noticed I'm kind of an a-hole (as Alexander points out above).

On the carpetbagger questions, I would suggest, if you can stomach it, that you read Decision Points, Bush's autobiography. Where someone was born doesn't have anything to do with being a carpetbagger - or apparently qualification to be president : )

Bush grew up in Midland, Texas, went to a public elementary and middle school. Played little league. Picked up a Texas accent and, clearly, a Texas frame of reference. He came back to Texas after getting his MBA and made a life and a career here. He married a local librarian. He went on to become governor.

He's only a carpetbagger to someone who has an unreasonable and irrational dislike of him.

But I don't think you're an idiot!

Dallasite78
Dallasite78

Isn't it just a wee bit racist to assume that all future generations of Hispanics will be sucking at the public teat and thus will be reliable votes for Democrats? An assumption that our Texas Hispanics won't be upwardly mobile and successful like those darn Cubans in Florida who just don't know their place...

Bigotry of low expectations says what!

zobzerto
zobzerto

Isn't it just a wee bit ignorant to say that the only people who vote for Democrats are those "sucking at the public teat"?

Dallasite78
Dallasite78

Oh, I'm sorry, you guys like to frame it as "voting in their economic interests" (see monthly lefty screed about bamboozled Republicans unwittingly voting against their economic interests a la "What's the Matter with Kansas".

So let's stipulate that Ron Kirk was ABSOLUTELY NOT premising his supposition that Texas Hispanics will remain a poor underclass looking to Democrats for handouts. He envisions them as wildly upwardly mobile, a population of future doctors and engineers and lawyers who will embrace the social aspects of the Democrats' platform - environmentalism, enthusiasm for abortion and gay marriage, not their leave no deadbeat behind economic policies. No teat suckling at all then, right?

Alexander
Alexander

You are clearly just one a-hole on the internet, but I will point out that blue states subsidize the spending of red states. Rich states vote solidly Democratic.

Most American's embrace your definition of the Democratic platform: environmentalism, a woman's right to choose, and gay marriage (which is funny you chose to write abut today because the polls released about 2 hours ago are the first to show the Dems winning on the latter).

Most Democrats would, I think, claim to support a party and a platform that is more about individual liberties supported by a strong social safety net. Contrasted with a Republican party that supports the economic bifurcation of society by pandering to the social whims of the elderly.

zobzerto
zobzerto

Whoa, whoa. Hold on with the "you guys" bit. I didn't bring any of that stuff up (and it's a conversation for another day). Here's what Kirk said:

"The Republicans are doing everything they can to move our explosive Hispanic population away from being swing voters to solidly blue."

What he's referencing is recent Republican treatment of Hispanics (as Anonymous noted above) and the effect it will have on the way they vote. It's perfectly reasonable, and not racist in any way. That's how I read it, anyway.

TimCov
TimCov

Well, I think he is being optimistic. Hispanics do not vote a straight party line ticket and tend to be more socially conservative (for various societal reasons) than African-Americans.

I do believe that this will cause a change in how campaigns are ran in the state and the political issues that statewide campaigns emphasize.

Anonymous
Anonymous

I generally agree. G W Bush and Karl Rove wrote the book on catering to the Hispanic demographic (in Texas, but also nationally) because of they are *generally* entrepreneurial (often Republican leaning), oppose the death penalty (mostly Republican), and are socially conservative as you point out. Bush and Rove rightly pointed out that Republicans would need them in the near future to win elections, and the current crop would do well to look back at that strategy.

The reality is that when you have two parties to choose from, and one is calling you an illegitimate part of the electorate and attempting legislative action to codify that, you can't expect to win that vote.

Dallasite78
Dallasite78

Do you disagree with Republican claims that illegal aliens are "an illegitimate part of the electorate"? Do you have ANY evidence that ANY Republican ANYWHERE at ANY TIME has ever argued that US citizens of Hispanic descent are an illegitimate part of the electorate or pushed for "legislative action to codify" that?

Are you just an idiot or are you intentionally blurring the lines between Hispanic citizens of this country and illegal aliens (of whatever ethnic origin)? I think it's the latter. You're no idiot. You're just dishonest.

Is Rubio a self-hating Hispanic or just an American citizen with conservative principals? He's opposed to illegal immigration (as are a large portion of US citizens of Hispanic descent). Does he hate Hispanics?

rubbercow
rubbercow

I am well aware that the current interpretation of the Constitution automatically grants citizenship to anyone born here (with the exception of foreign diplomats). I am not sure what position you are trying to ascribe to me; I merely stated that it is my opinion that the current interpretation be re-assessed as I believe that it is being abused.

Alexander
Alexander

That's fine rubbercow, but the Constitution does not agree with you. It is settled law. It's the norm in the western hemisphere, based on our example.

Dallasite78
Dallasite78

Is the "Reply" button not working for you?

Those poor stateless children! No, they'd be citizens of their parents' home country. Surely you're not suggesting there's something inherently inferior or disgraceful about being a citizen of Mexico, Chile or the Ukraine?

rubbercow
rubbercow

Obviously, the unborn cannot be in the country illegally. I think you know what I am talking about. Many, not all, but many illegal immigrants see giving birth to a US citizen as job #1 upon getting here and I am of the opinion that that is something that needs to be addressed. I would assume that children born to parents who are (for the sake of argument) Mexican citizens would not be stateless at all, but would be Mexican citizens and not stateless at all.

Dallasite78
Dallasite78

Removing "birthright" would simply put us in the same position with respect to citizenship as almost every other county on the planet. It's not a nefarious racist anti-Hispanic plot. It's a legitimate anti-illegal immigration measure.

If you are traveling in Mexico while pregnant and give birth, they don't give your kid Mexican citizenship. Same with almost every other country. We shouldn't either. Especially given the horrible incentives it creates.

It wouldn't even take a constitutional amendment, just a more logical reading of the constitution. Just treat non-citizens who give birth in the US the same way we treat foreign diplomats and consulate staff. Their kids aren't granted US citizenship even if they are born on US soil. Know why? Read the citizenship clause below and think about what it is really saying:

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."

Notice anything in the middle of the clause? Look between the commas. See it there? "AND SUBJECT TO THE JURISDICTION THEREOF". We don't give citizenship to the children of diplomats because they are considered subject to the jurisdiction of their home country. It's logical to apply the same to illegal aliens. No constitutional amendment required. No harm done either. The kid would just be the citizen of the parents' home country.

Alexander
Alexander

rubbercow, how can the unborn "be in the country illegally"? I'm not advocating for voting rights for illegal immigrants, but I am pointing out that Steve King (R-IA) wants to make the children of illegal immigrants stateless people with no claim to citizenship in any country. I'm sure if you want to be thorough you can pull the statistics that show what percentage of children born to illegal immigrants are classified as Hispanic, but we all know it is the vast majority.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Yes, actually many Republicans are trying to remove birthright. They are doing it at the state level and federal level. Ron Paul has long opposed it (even before it was a popular GOP position) and his son Rand, the darling of the Tea Party Kentucky, agrees w/ his father's stance. They are trying to deny the right to vote to people who are born in the US. By definition, they are US citizens regardless of the situation under which they came to be born here, but Republicans are trying to make a fairly simple concept into a political debate.

And where did I claim to want illegal immigrants to vote? They are part of our society, whether anyone likes it or not, but I'm not talking about them and their disenfranchisement. They came here to make better lives for themselves fully aware that it meant living in a marginalized community within the country. I'm talking about the children that they have in the US once they are here. Those citizens have votes, and those are the votes the GOP is losing. Winning an state-wide election without those votes will soon be very difficult in Texas.

My bad on the death penalty comment.

Dallasite78
Dallasite78

That's exactly my point Alexander.

A repeal of the 14th amendment is aimed squarely at the children of "ILLEGAL ALIENS", whether from Mexico, Iceland, Brazil or China. I love how you so carefully blur the lines yourself. Aimed squarely at the children of "Hispanic immigrants". Same as above. Idiot or liar? I go with liar. So freaking typical. A lefty pushing, dreaming and yearning for a new dependent client-class of Americans to prop up failed lefty ideology. Wouldn't it just burn your chops if our Texas Hispanics turned out to be upwardly mobile like Cuban-Americans and drifted away from the culture of dependency and into the culture of self-reliance and success.

Of course you lefties are doing all you can to avoid that. See the lefty run public school system. See bilingual education (motto: let's keep them isolated from American society!). See ethnic grievance mongering and race card dealing.

Hispanics have a choice and despite the fever dreams of the Democrats, I'm optimistic that in the coming generations Hispanics WILL be wildly successful and turn away from the false promise of dependency on the state. Like the Irish and Italians before them, melding into our society and eventually turning into good Republicans. Hispanics are smart enough to see what 40+ years of liberal "help" (always accompanied by a healthy dollop of liberal condescension) have wrought in the African-American community and the results of sheltering under the suffocating wings of the Democrat party.

Hopefully, Texas Hispanics will cast their gaze to those "differently voting" Cubans over in Florida, or the thriving immigrant communities from Korea, India and the Philippines and consider whether 40+ years from now they want their kids and grand kids to exhibit the fruits of Democrat "compassion" or American excellence.

That's the real battle for America's future.

rubbercow
rubbercow

I have tended to vote Dem most of the time, but I have to agree with you 100% on the dishonesty put forth by folks like anonymous above and Alexander below. Of course, those in the country illegally are not a legitimate part of the electorate and there is no action aimed at the children of Hispanic immigrants. The more dishonest the pro-illegal immigration side gets, the more they infuriate people like me. I am a very liberal person who happens to believe that our government should act in the best interests of those who legitimately participate in our society; it is disgusting the amount of pandering that goes on with regard to the illegal immigrant population. I will say it again, those of you who insist on making this whole issue revolve around the "Hispanic" community punishing any group that wants to have some semblance of law and order when it comes to immigration are making a big mistake. How is it reasonable that you demand law-abiding citizens submit to the will of one ethnic group based on their desire to have others in their group permitted to violate well-established law? How is that not racist? How is it defensible?

Alexander
Alexander

Yes, Steve King (R-IA) has a bill to repeal the 14th amendment. It is aimed squarely at the children on Hispanic immigrants.

Rubio is a Cuban. Cuban's and non-Cuban Hispanics vote nothing alike.

And to Anonymous above, Hispanics, as Catholics, tend to be against the death penalty which Republicans support.

Anonymous
Anonymous

It's unfortunate that it would have to go this way, but when you have Republicans talking about things like reversing birthright and making it clear that it's to disenfranchise young Hispanic voters, what other outcome can they expect?

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