Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Dobbs teaches us all a lesson in how not to run for office

Lou Dobbs! What a wiener. But a useful one! The former CNN anchor/pundit has now offered up an extraordinarily clear example of crass political maneuvering for all of us to marvel at and learn from:
Former CNN anchor Lou Dobbs, pondering a future in politics, is trying to wipe away his image as an enemy of Latino immigrants by positioning himself as a champion of that fast-growing ethnic bloc.
Oh ho ho! That's an about-face quick enough to make even the most securely screwed on head give a little spin. Dobbs, you see, made a career and a name out of lambasting immigrants--particularly those of Mexican origin--and associating himself and his opinions with some of the most virulently xenophobic organizations in the country.

Now that he's out of a job, though, a run at public office must look mighty appealing (a cherry position to be sure, what with the government-run health care program and decent salary--something the majority of Americans would just about kill for these days). But oh man, those Latinos, it turns out, make up a significant block of voters, especially in the Senate district in which he's looking to run. Against incumbent Robert Menendez (D-NJ), who just so happens to be the Senate's only Hispanic member.

Cue Dobbs pulling nervously at his collar and tie.

All that nasty stuff he said about Hispanics and immigrants? Yeah, if you could just, y'know, forget about it:
"Whatever you have thought of me in the past, I can tell you right now that I am one of your greatest friends and I mean for us to work together," he said in a live interview with Telemundo's Maria Celeste. "I hope that will begin with Maria and me and Telemundo and other media organizations and others in this national debate that we should turn into a solution rather than a continuing debate and factional contest."
Yep, just ignore all those times he blamed (inflated/exaggerated) US cases of leprosy on immigrants. Or when he raised the alarm against an alleged Mexican movement to re-annex parts of the Southwest, using information and graphics sourced to a extremist, right-wing group with white power ties. All of this while refusing to admit to or even explore the possibility that racism has anything to do with the various anti-immigration groups he otherwise so readily profiled.

Well, if his sudden professed love for undocumented immigrants doesn't piss off his old support base, I can't imagine his long history of attacking Latinos in general and immigrants in particular will play well with the other group he's hoping to woo. It's an almost impressively ridiculous strategy, and one that, hopefully, most people will see right through.

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The Lost Albatross