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.

Share This Post

  • bdfrss

    The Catholic church will be destroyed, read Revelation 17&18. God finds incest,pedophilia, beasteality and homoosexality deplorable for one reason. They dont create babies. Society will grind to a halt. Also, the huge risk of pegging wrong pipe shortens life span by 20 years! Is a little lust worth so much risk?

  • bdfrss

    bdfrss

  • Hue-Man

    I’m confused; EVERY statistic from the last election points to the GOP voter base being old, white, and predominantly male. The TeaParty/GOP and Talibangelicals making the stupid comments are mostly old white men. There is nothing about age, race, or sex in my comment that is negative, merely a reflection that politicians and their mouthpieces self-censor more than private individuals. AND BTW, I am an old white male but fortunately not mentally deranged like the TeaParty/GOP and their supporters.

  • pappyvet

    Just because the white boys now somewhat agree that “wetback” is now a slur does not mean that it has not always been one to the people it has been used against

  • condew

    Daemons give themselves away when they cannot utter the word “Christian”; but all-in-all I think you’ve got a very tightly defined minority “old, Christian, white guy” that you’ve decided it’s OK to dump on.

  • condew

    I’m always amazed when people who would not make disparaging comments about any other minority will so glibly make such comments about old white men. Agism, racism, and sexism all rolled into one nicely formed turd.

  • condew

    Jesus Christ will never be running for office, so we will always be voting for the lesser of two evils; get over it.

  • condew

    Bill Maher may not hold office, but he deserves a little loyalty for when a handful of comedians kept truth alive when Republican control of the media almost snuffed it out.

  • condew

    Using two terms in the same sentence is standard Republican abuse of modern understanding of how we learn. A careful reading of the line may not show what they said was wrong, but the association is made in the minds of everyone who who was not carefully parsing what he said.

  • condew

    Hannity doesn’t know the difference between polygamy and incest?

  • Mike Mickey

    Nothing wrong with the term wetback. this country has gotten way too politically correct!! Undocumented immigrants, now that’s offensive!!!

  • lynchie

    It is your vote to cast as you decide. That is a democracy. To vote lesser of two evils acknowledges your voting for someone you really don’t want. If no one has earned your vote simply don’t.

  • http://poodyheads.wordpress.com/ Papa Bear

    Sorry, I thought what was being listed were the qualities that the GOP look for … I’ve GOT to stop speed reading these posts!
    :-P

  • http://www.facebook.com/monoceros.forth Monoceros Forth

    The way I see it, Bill Maher has to remind us every now and again that really he is a moron. There was that anti-vaccination crap of his, for example. And this: http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2013/03/let-waltons-go-first.html

  • http://www.facebook.com/monoceros.forth Monoceros Forth

    “Just because he said them in the same sentence means nothing.” That’s probably the dumbest thing I’ve read all day and I’ve been reading chess conspiracy theory posts. (Long story.)

  • MyrddinWilt

    Jeremy Clarkson is the UK equivalent of Rush Limbaugh. Only he is one guy who plays the part of a moron ranting on a show about cars costing a million quid. Rush runs the Republican party policy platform.

    The problem here is not that what Don Young said offended or insulted people. The problem is that what he said unwittingly exposed his racist belief system, a fact that was then confirmed by the non-apology that followed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/monoceros.forth Monoceros Forth

    I think I’m a pretty bad person but then I had a Catholic mom. Eh, it’s not just that. Let me just say that the line in Hamlet that begins “I am myself indifferent honest…” is fairly accurate for most people, including myself.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    We live in an age when snark is true—–

  • MyrddinWilt

    I was being sarcastic.

    The dingbats compiled a list of Catholic jokes and put it on their Web site for everybody to read.

    Only they are not jokes about Catholics, they are jokes about the pedophile and bigoted activities of the church itself.

  • MyrddinWilt

    And writing up a list of all the Catholic jokes you don’t want them to say would be…

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Bingo!

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    If you are getting sick, it’s because you’ve got your head up your ass.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Same here.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Thank you! Did I ever get raked over the coals on this site by Obots screaming Nader when I voted for Stein.

  • lynchie

    Oh there a bunch of young and middle aged in this group of GOP racists.

  • lynchie

    I can tell you here in Western Pa. there is no limit to what they say. During the last election a sign appeared on a front lone saying “burn the N……”. But we don’t know what the GOP say behind closed doors. Romney gave us a peek. One other point it’s not stupidity, it’s arrogance, racism fueled by money and power a very dangerous combination.

  • PeteWa

    whose side is Maher on?
    he has described himself as a Libertarian, sometimes he claims to be progressive. He gets called liberal when it suits the wingnuts’ purposes.
    a few things Maher is into:
    the Death Penalty
    racial profiling
    privatizing Social Security
    - and yeah, he does hold more progressive views on other topics, but I fail to see how Ann Coulter’s BFF is on my side.

  • Naja pallida

    Sorry, but comedians, who intentionally attempt to be rude, absurd, and make a living out of not being taken seriously, can’t really be applied to the false equivalence argument. No matter what platform they choose. It is only by the pathetic nature of our discourse that people like Bill Maher, Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart are considered the other side of the argument from actual politicians and representatives of their party.

  • AnitaMann

    It’s possible that the authoritarian mindset has to do with the way some brains are wired. That’s a really tactful way of saying they’re out of their effing minds.

  • AnitaMann

    Rebranding means they acknowledge it’s not cool to say what they really think.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Of course he compared gays to pedophiles and to people who engage in bestiality. That’s knee-jerk fare on the right.

    He didn’t compare gays to interracial couples, post-divorce couples, and interfaith couples, all of whom have had to fight to make marriage more inclusive.

    Let’s see, are the gays more like interfaith couples or pedophiles. Well, pedophiles of course!

    Unclear why you imagine any of us care what you’re sick of. You’re no longer in control.

  • Jack Sullivan

    This is stupid while I agree Carson’s interview was kind of a trainwreck he in no way “compared” gays to pedophiles or nambla. Just because he said them in the same sentence means nothing. He said that these groups of people might try to change the definition of a word. Stop being sheep, all of you. I’m getting sick of this propaganda.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Bill Maher holds what Democratic office?

  • http://evilifiction.blogspot.com/ Pat

    I said similar, not identical.
    They’re guilty of many of the same things, and both highly arrogant.

  • Naja pallida

    Except that Bill Maher has always been very clear that he is a comedian first and foremost, and has repeatedly said that despite the topics on his show(s), that if anyone is really taking him seriously on political issues, they’re crazy and completely missing the point. Which is exactly the opposite of Coulter, who demands to be taken seriously, despite being (presumably) unintentionally ridiculous and absurd.

  • http://evilifiction.blogspot.com/ Pat

    And that’s one of the reasons I don’t like Bill Maher. I see too much similarity between him and Ann Coulter.

    See, no hypocrisy here.

  • Zorba

    I have been voting Green Party for a long time now. I keep getting shit from a whole lot of Democrats, including Mr. Zorba, who say that I’m “wasting my vote.”
    Well, excuse me, if everyone keeps thinking this way, nothing, and I mean nothing, will ever change.

  • MyrddinWilt

    Oh folk on our side can say insulting things too. Take a look at this piece by the Catholic League:

    http://www.catholicleague.org/bill-mahers-history-of-anti-catholicism-1998-2013-2/

    No really, go read it. The bigots got upset at Bill Maher making fun of the Pope and so they compiled a list of all the Catholic jokes he has told. I suggest you read it and study it and pass it around to all your friends.

    Of course, they are only funny because they are true and because the central hypocrisy of the church is that they spend time attacking gays and others as immoral sinners but demand a free pass for their own beliefs.

    You are not allowed to make fun of or criticize my belief in the Flying Spaghetti Monster because that is a religious belief. But it is quite OK for me to demand laws that force you to observe a pastafarian lifestyle.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    We also need to stop voting for “lesser evils” — because evil will continue to be all we’ll ever get.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Yeah, well, I doubt the Empire thought they were evil…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dvv-Yib1Xg

  • Zorba

    Yes. ^^This^^

  • Zorba

    Oh, double hell. Go back to Teddy Roosevelt who, although he was, how shall I say this, a more than militant “cowboy,” and an interventionist in international affairs, was also a “trust buster” who reined in corporations, a conservationist who created national parks, monuments, and forests, and got the Meat Inspection Act and Pure Food and Drug Act passed.
    There are no more moderate Republcans. There haven’t been in a long, long time. Even many (most, to be brutally frank) of today’s Democrats are to the right of a lot of Republicans of the past.
    The whole country has shifted to the right. Today’s Democrats are yesterday’s Republicans, and today’s Republicans are just beyond the pale.
    We’re screwed, unless Americans wake the fuck up and stop voting against their own self-interests.

  • nicho

    None of those qualities is age related. This country abounds in bigots of all ages. In fact, bigotry seems to be rampant among young people.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I imagine there are still some sane ones, but they live in fear of the crazy ones.

  • http://poodyheads.wordpress.com/ Papa Bear

    and old, apparently…

  • http://poodyheads.wordpress.com/ Papa Bear

    Of course, two years later, those same GOPers were complaining that they wanted to have Nixon back again…

  • http://poodyheads.wordpress.com/ Papa Bear

    I’ve never met anyone who thought of themselves as a bad person. Of course, I’ve never met Dick Cheney…

  • Sean

    So he would be ok with me calling him a “honky”?

  • http://profiles.google.com/nogodsnomastersliberty Mary O’Grady

    Well said, HolyMoly. Thank you.

  • http://profiles.google.com/nogodsnomastersliberty Mary O’Grady

    I remember when there were sane Republicans.

  • http://profiles.google.com/nogodsnomastersliberty Mary O’Grady

    No, sir. I grew up in South Texas. “Wetback” has never been a polite term.

  • cole3244

    the one saving grace is that when i see and hear these con bigots i realize that most of them will be gone sooner rather than later, i sleep sounder with that knowledge in my memory bank.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Exactly. I grew up with a father who was an unapologetic racist, misogynist, and homophobe. And he simply could not comprehend why there was anything wrong with his stereotyping and scapegoating, because in his mind, he was merely stating the truth.

    Once, I asked him to please stop using the N-word around me. His reply? “Why? You’re not a N*****. Why should you care? Besides, that’s what they all are.”

    He didn’t think he was a bad person either. In some respects, he wasn’t. In his attitudes towards anyone who wasn’t exactly like himself? He was.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Hell, the 1970s would do for me, back when there were GOPers who actually realized and believed that what Nixon had done was worthy of impeachment. And when one could be a moderate, pro-Choice Republican and not get drummed out of the party.

  • HolyMoly

    They more or less became the Old New Democratic Party of the 1930s. Neither party is anything like that now.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Rephrasing: “The GOP problem is they keep saying aloud all the reprehensible stuff they actually believe.”

  • HolyMoly

    Agreed. Bad people don’t ever think they’re bad. I’m sure all the worst despots the world has ever known believed they were right and everything they did was justified.

    To paraphrase Ripley (Matt Damon) from The Talented Mr. Ripley: “Whatever you do, no matter how terrible, it always makes sense in your mind. You never meet anybody who thinks they’re a bad person.”

    How true that is.

  • dcinsider

    I miss the old GOP. Like the really old GOP. Like Lincoln.

  • HolyMoly

    Blaming victims for being victims — the mentality that will never die. I’ve mentioned it before in a couple of previous posts.

    That same type of mentality was used to justify why blacks shouldn’t be integrated into the armed forces. Their presence might cause the bad apples to act up, so, of course, “unit cohesion” would disintegrate because it’s THEIR fault.

    That same type of mentality was used to justify why DADT should be eliminated. “Unit cohesion,” you know. But gays have been serving for years, if not decades, and there has never been a problem. They were gay then, and are gay now. The only difference is that the “bad apples” would know who they were.

    That same type of mentality was — IS — used against rape victims (UNC being the most recent example). To the victim: “What could YOU have done differently to avoid being raped?” The high school football players who were recently convicted of raping an unconscious girl at a party: “Oh, the tragedy! Those poor boys’ lives are ruined!” (i.e., it’s the girl’s fault for ruining their lives).

    People like this are a dime a dozen; it must be genetic or something. It’s always gratifying for them to attack the weak and vulnerable. It’s a whole lot easier than summoning the courage to actually face the real source of the problems we face and do something about them.

  • Hue-Man

    If the TeaParty/GOP leadership is this tone-deaf and ignorant, imagine the words that must come out of the mouths of the typical 70-year-old white retiree that votes for them! Stalinist re-education camps wouldn’t be effective to cure this level of absolute stupidity. Calling Nurse Ratched!

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Bigots, racists, misogynists, and homophobes all have one thing in common: They don’t think of themselves as such.

    When someone doesn’t understand why something is wrong, why it’s wrong to use derogatory slurs and labels, or why it puts the lie to any claim not to hate gay people when one equates being gay with pedophilia and bestiality, or fail to see the contradiction in arguing that gov’t should stay out of people’s lives…except to outlaw contraception, force everyone to be Christian and speak English, and to criminalize homosexuality — well, any attempt at outreach is doomed to failure.

    I mean, really, how can you tell someone, “Hey, I think you’re a lazy, no-good, gov’t exploiting moocher who won’t take responsibility for yourself, and all of my proposed solutions will make your life harder, because trust me, I know what’s best for you” — and then turn around and expect that person to LIKE you for it?

    The GOPers still don’t understand it’s not their message. It’s pretty near everything they believe. Their policies. Their attitudes towards anyone who isn’t white, male, Christian, and preferably wealthy.

  • Indigo

    Maybe it’s a long-term April Fool’s Day joke the Repubs are engineering here.

  • bkmn

    It must be time to bring back that old GOP favorite: “Get off of my lawn!”

    Of course in the minds of those old, Xtian, white, angry, misinformed, moronic guys, the get off of my lawn is followed by a couple of rounds from an assault weapon.

  • S1AMER

    And it’s only Friday!

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