Sunday, November 09, 2008

The Road to Texas Runs through Latin America: South to the Future

The L.A. Times runs a story today echoing the idea I raised earlier this week: Texas can be turned blue in 2012.

Obama can help make this a reality by continuing to build goodwill with the Latino community in some of the following ways:

First, he should work to enact comprehensive and humane immigration reform that will recognize that millions of undocumented Latinos living and working in, and contributing to America deserve fair and just treatment.

Second, he could appoint Bill Richardson as Secretary of State, Antonio Villaraigosa to either Education, Transportation, or Commerce, and, when the time comes to make a Supreme Court appointment, Obama should consider a jurist such as Sonia Sotomayor, who currently sits on the Second Circuit in New York.

Third, Obama could do much to help repair our frayed relations within our hemisphere, with Central and South America. Too much of our policy -- especially over the past eight years -- has been driven by antiquated, Cold War anti-communist positions (with the bogeymen of Castro, Chavez, and Ortega) and a badly misguided "War on Drugs" in which we have found ourselves allied with right-wing ideologues (see Columbia). We need to get beyond this outdated mindset and reach out to the vibrant democracies in our hemisphere, in Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia, Uruguay, and elsewhere. Change is sweeping the Americas -- indeed, one could see Obama as just the latest in a string of progressive and left-of-center leaders to come to power in the Americas. The Obama Administration should make it a priority to partner and develop deeper ties with our neighbors to the South.


jose said...

south to the future, huh?

David said...

OG, what are your thoughts on Bobby Jindal? I have to admit that I'm a little freaked out by him- judged a "rising star" in the GOP, his political ambitions cannot be ignored. He is TOTALLY anti-choice, believes in Creationism, and is a devout Catholic. And, only 37. Should I be worried about his political chances?
Is he "The future of the South?"
Henry's mom.

Octopus Grigori said...

HM: I think Jindal's name will be bandied about a bunch over the next four years. If the GOP is smart, they will learn from this year and realize (a) they can't just run a slate of old white guys again, and (b) they need someone who exudes competence and intelligence. Jindal would appear to meet these two criteria for the GOP.

The next question would be whether the GOP faithful in places like AL, MS, GA, SC, GA, etc. would be willing to vote for Jindal. You'd think he'd have a shot, as he managed to win in LA. However, Jindal would not be able to draw on the same built-in support Obama had in the AA community. Indian Americans have mixed reactions to Jindal, who converted from Hinduism to Christianity, and the IA community is not that big to start with. Jindal may reach the Latino community, as an immigrant and Christian, but that would depend on a lot of other things.

So, yes, Jindal is smart and talented, from what I've seen so far, and he would be a good choice for the GOP -- but it's a real question whether the GOP will actually get behind him. It is possible, if Obama does well and continues to expand his support, that the GOP will throw some sacrificial candidate (think Dole, Mondale) into the 2012 election and save their best candidates for 2016 -- by which time Jindal will be a ripe old 45.

Jose: As I'm sure you know, STTF is also merely the inverse of the Alaska state motto.

Anonymous said...

Sotomayor? You would appoint anyone who your former boss professes to be good pals with?!