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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Regarding a news story many friends have sent to me: Latino leaders swirl around idea of Tequila Party--Here's the article and my reply to my friends...

This Tequila Party Proposal is gaining international attention. Latino leaders in Nevada and nationwide are quietly debating whether to sever their traditional Democratic ties and form an independent grass-roots political group.

The idea, born of frustration over the party’s inaction on immigration reform and fears that as a voting bloc they’re a political afterthought, Latino leaders have discussed the idea among themselves locally and in conference calls with colleagues across the country.

The unlikely model for the movement they would like to launch is the Tea Party — not in substance, of course, but in its grass-roots organizational style. Acknowledging the source of their inspiration, Latino leaders have dubbed the proposed movement the “Tequila Party.” (Click here to read more of the article, Tequila Party

My response--I’m only interested if Francisco d’Anconia will be its symbolic leader. (He's one of the heroic characters of Atlas Shrugged) Women shouldn’t form their own party to support abortion rights, and Latinos shouldn’t form a party around the issue of immigration. Too bad the Libertarian Party is so fringe.

Richard Nadler tried to enlighten his fellow conservatives and he left a treasure trove of powerfully insightful and persuasive analysis concerning the Latino Vote and Immigration. He’s the best on this issue and he’s departed. Here’s a small excerpt from his work analyzing the 2008 elections, in his comprehensive published report called The Edge of the Wedge--Immigration and the Congressional Contests of 2008:

The deal breaker between Latino voters and conservatives isn’t border security, or official English, or future immigration levels. A Republican can run right on any of these, and sustain significant Latino support. The deal-breaker is deportation.

A mass of evidence explains this.

There is the fact that 40% of Hispanic citizens fear a deportation action against a friend or family member.

There is the fact that 44% of Latinos hear their clergy preach against “enforcement only” in the churches they attend.

There is the fact that 80% of Latinos favor comprehensive immigration reform.

But forget all that. Use your common sense. I have yet to meet a conservative who doesn’t understand the dynamic of the Elian Gonzalez incident in 2000 – how a SWAT team, on orders from a Democratic attorney general, invaded an ordinary Cuban home, and tore a screaming child from the arms of his protector. That sight, revisited nightly in Miami-Dade, carried Florida (and the presidency) for George W. Bush. What Republican didn’t understand that?

But due to our commitment to enforcement-only immigration policy, Hispanics are treated to Elian Gonzalez-style incidents nightly on Univision and Telemundo. In living color, viewers watch huddled Latinos cuffed by ICE raiders at their place of work, moms clutching their rosaries, priests pleading for mercy. It’s not rocket science to understand how Hispanic citizens react. Only now, the villains are Los Republicanos rather than the Clintonistas.

We all enjoy happy talk about the natural affinity between Republicans and Latinos. But given this broadcast bombardment, it is increasingly irrelevant that Hispanic opinion on right-to-life, or marriage, or school choice mirrors that of conservatives. The linked prospects of ICE raids, persecuted clergy, ruptured families, and mass profiling spooks the legal, working-class Latino. As long as the prospect of mass deportation remains in our playbook and in our platform, Democrats will clobber us with it.

Now, some of you think that we can lose the Hispanic vote by 40 percent, and make it up among non-Hispanics. I say: think again.

First, it didn’t happen. In 435 contests, not a single Congressional district with a historical trend of voting Democrat elected a Republican “enforcement only” advocate. But dozens of enforcement-only Republicans went down to defeat, most of them in historically Republican districts.

Some wedge issue, huh? (Click here to download a pdf of the full 138 Page Report, Edge of the Wedge)

By the way, I love Tequila too! It’d be a fun party, so long as we stayed away from policy issues while enjoying the spirits. Never safe to drink and drive.

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Botched Paramilitary Police Raids: An Epidemic of "Isolated Incidents"

"If a widespread pattern of [knock-and-announce] violations were shown . . . there would be reason for grave concern." —Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in Hudson v. Michigan, June 15, 2006. An interactive map of botched SWAT and paramilitary police raids, released in conjunction with the Cato policy paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids," by Radley Balko. What does this map mean? How to use this map View Original Map and Database


Death of an innocent. Death or injury of a police officer. Death of a nonviolent offender.
Raid on an innocent suspect. Other examples of paramilitary police excess. Unnecessary raids on doctors and sick people.
The proliferation of SWAT teams, police militarization, and the Drug War have given rise to a dramatic increase in the number of "no-knock" or "quick-knock" raids on suspected drug offenders. Because these raids are often conducted based on tips from notoriously unreliable confidential informants, police sometimes conduct SWAT-style raids on the wrong home, or on the homes of nonviolent, misdemeanor drug users. Such highly-volatile, overly confrontational tactics are bad enough when no one is hurt -- it's difficult to imagine the terror an innocent suspect or family faces when a SWAT team mistakenly breaks down their door in the middle of the night. But even more disturbing are the number of times such "wrong door" raids unnecessarily lead to the injury or death of suspects, bystanders, and police officers. Defenders of SWAT teams and paramilitary tactics say such incidents are isolated and rare. The map above aims to refute that notion.