On Joe Arpaio and Proposition 187
Well, he went and did it.
Moron Hitler hinted at his Phoenix hate really that he'd pardon convicted criminal Joe Arpaio. He did so yesterday, quietly and without fanfare—unusual for him.
Perhaps he did it in such a manner because even a dimwit like him must realize that he just handed Arizona to the Democrats.
The Latino community is not a monolith. Up until the mid-1990s, the Republican Party did well among Latinos. With a solid base in the Cuban community, the GOP made forays into the Mexican-American community and met with some success.
Then, a put-upon California governor facing a tough re-election campaign decided to piss on the flowerbed.
When former governor Pete Wilson threw his lot in with the anti-immigrant (read: anti-Latino) Proposition 187, which denied all state services to the undocumented, it was seen as a master political move. He won re-election based on white fear.
But things always take years to play out. Gov. Wilson sowed the wind; the California GOP has reaped the whirlwind ever since.
Aside from the Governator interregnum, which was weird to being with, Democrats have dominated state politics post-Prop 187. Gov. Wilson thought he was securing the GOP's future; instead, he awoke a slumbering giant. Latinos who were desultory about obtaining citizenship did so in their millions, and then registered to vote, mostly as Democrats. We now have a situation where Democrats hold all statewide elective offices, as well as have a supermajority in the Legislature. All this from the GOP supporting a draconian anti-immigrant proposition which was eventually struck down by the courts. It was the clearest example of being penny-wise and pound-foolish.
To the Latino community in Arizona, Arpaio is Prop 187 on steroids. His reign of terror in the Latino community seemed to be at an end when he lost re-election last November, and then was convicted for ignoring court orders. Then, Moron Hitler decided to listen to his inner bigot and pardoned him.
This pardon has the possibility of energizing Arizona Latinos as Prop 187 did for California Latinos. After Prop 187, Latinos in California finally realized that no one would fight their battles for them, and they would have to become a force in state politics. The Arpaio pardon will serve as the same tonic for Arizona Latinos. Whites aren't going to rescue them; they'll have to get in the trenches and wrest power away themselves.
The first test will be Jeff Flake's re-election campaign. He made the right noises about how the pardon was too hasty before the process had played out. Such polite phrasing won't mollify a community which now sees itself even more in the crosshairs. And it will offend Arpaio's supporters, who think he did nothing wrong.
The Democratic Party has a chance to pick up a red Senate seat next year in Arizona. The outreach to the Latino community has to begin now. It has to be seen as fighting for justice.
Arizona Republicans may learn what their California cousins have: beware of poisoned chalices.
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