Wetbacks, seriously?

Congressman Don Young (R-AK) used the term “wetbacks” during an interview with a local Alaska radio station yesterday, in yet another sign that the famed GOP “make-over” – a move away from the party’s historic bigotry and intolerance – isn’t going so well.

Young also believes that Americans need to bring industry back to this country rather than relying on imports. Doing so would increase jobs, although he understands that automation has reduced the number of labor positions available.

“My father had a ranch; we used to have 50-60 wetbacks to pick tomatoes,” he said. “It takes two people to pick the same tomatoes now. It’s all done by machine.”

It’s difficult to believe that Young didn’t realize that the term “wetback” is a slur.

GOP “make-over” not going so well

It appears the Republican Party’s “do over,” to remake them from the party of hate to the party of inclusivity, is not exactly going according to plan.

Congressman Don Young (R-AK)

Congressman Don Young (R-AK)

While the GOP is slowly coming to the realization that they are increasingly out of touch with America, too many in the party are, how shall I put this, out of touch with America.

The problem for Republicans is that bigots don’t usually think of themselves as “bigots.”  So while it’s nice that a few GOP elites in Washington, DC have recognized that hate is not a long-term political strategy in the 21st century, the rest of the party doesn’t agree.

What makes Cong. Young’s choice of words even more disturbing is that he was speaking in public about an important issue, how mechanization is taking away jobs. After being called out for using the derogatory word, Young followed up with the usual he “meant no disrespect,” and did not apologize.

“During a sit down interview with Ketchikan Public Radio this week, I used a term that was commonly used during my days growing up on a farm in Central California,” Young said. “I know that this term is not used in the same way nowadays and I meant no disrespect.”

Would it kill the guy to simply say, I’m sorry?  Apparently, yes.

Young also has some nifty ideas about taxing welfare recipients to help pay down the debt. A sane person might think that people on welfare are already poor, so there won’t be much money to tax, but not Rep. Young. (Shadows of 47% still linger over the GOP.)

Another crazy idea for cutting spending might be cutting back the war machine, or the nearly trillion dollar annual handouts to Wall Street and Big Oil might help, but no, going after those most vulnerable is always the GOP answer to America’s financial freedom. Freedom always did have a natural bias against the poor.

GOP base says Latinos are all commies

Of course, Don Young isn’t alone.  It was only a few months ago that one of the lead religious right groups, the American Family Association – an organization intimately in bed with the Republican party – suggested that Latino voters are greedy, lazy socialists, and that’s why they don’t vote for Republicans:

“Hispanics are not Democrats, don’t vote Democrat because of immigration. It has to do with the fact that they are socialists by nature. They come from Mexico, which is a socialist country. They want big government intervention, they want big government goodies.”

Get it?  So there’s no reason for immigration reform since the real reason that Latinos don’t vote for Republicans is that Latinos are all commies.

Clearly someone hasn’t been reading their memos on how to talk about Latinos:

gop immigration memo

Memo image via Shutterstock. Some of the “tips” were borrowed, and inspired, via this hashtag #GOPimmigrationTips,

GOP’s Ben Carson compares gay marriage to NAMBLA

But it’s not just Latinos.  If Republicans are fair-minded about anything, it’s hate.  They don’t discriminate by focusing their bigotry on just one group to the exclusion of all others.

“Rising conservative star” Ben Carson compared gays to pedophiles the other day on… what network?…. Fox! This is what the GOP means by “minority outreach.” If you’re batshit crazy, and a minority, they’ll reach out to you. The rest need not apply.

GOP’s Dave Agema says gays are “filthy” pedophiles

Then there was the RNC committeeman in Michigan, Dave Agema, who posted on Facebook that gays are “filthy” and responsible for “half the murders in large cities.” When asked why he would post something so hateful, here’s what Agema had to say:

Agema said he posted something someone else had written and “some publications and even a few liberal Republicans have chosen to take the words of someone else and cast them as my own.

“I think it was a piece worth sharing given the debate over gay marriage that is happening in the Supreme Court,” Agema said.

Michigan Live has more on the piece Agema posted:

It also alleges gay people are responsible for the spread of the AIDS virus in America, that “many homosexuals admit they are pedophiles” and that they are 100 times more likely to be murdered than “the average person.”

Check out that last part.  Agema is actually blaming gays for being murder victims.  That’s a bit – no, a lot – like blaming African-Americans for being victims of lynchings.  The fact that a minority is more likely to be a victim of violence might simply mean, oh I don’t know, that people hate them.  It’s not really a critique of the victim.

Welcome to the new GOP.  It looks an awful lot like the old GOP.


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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