March 17, 2012

Why are GOP candidates campaigning in Puerto Rico?

Puerto Rico doesn't have any Electoral Votes, it sends its own national team to the Olympics, it's a Spanish-speaking imperial possession that's bribed into staying a possession by huge tax breaks to big American companies like Microsoft to cheat the IRS by nominally taking profits there rather than in America, and if Puerto Rico became a state, it would substantially reduce the chances of the GOP ever regaining control of the Senate by adding two automatic Democratic Senators.

And yet, CBS News reports:
(CBS News) SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - After his main rival [Rick Santorum] ignited a firestorm over requiring Puerto Rico to adopt English as a condition of statehood, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney flew to the island territory today and said he would support no such requirement as president. 
But Romney faced a hurdle of his own in winning the hearts of voters here and their 20 delegates - his opposition to the appointment of Sonia Sotomayor, who is of Puerto Rican descent, to the federal bench. She was later chosen by President Obama for a seat on the Supreme Court. 
On the English and statehood issue, Romney said, "I will support the people of Puerto Rico if they make a decision that they would prefer to become a state; that's a decision that I will support. I don't have preconditions that I would impose."

I'm a big fan of Puerto Rican independence.

54 comments:

Mac said...

As Roissy likes to say, "Goodbye America."

ricpic said...

The Stupid Party's stupidity knows no bounds.

Hunsdon said...

Cue up Dandy Don Meredith's Monday Night Football anthem.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3xsDv6yCnY

(Hat tip, of course, to Willie Nelson.)

jody said...

puerto rico, somehow, sends delegates to the national convention. as do all US territories. i'm not clear on why. but this is the situation.

romney won guam, the US virgin islands, the northern mariana islands, and american samoa. again, how they're allowed to have anything to say in the matter is beyond me.

incredibly, if you went by number of delegates available, puerto rico counts more than already contended US states new hampshire and vermont. not that new hampshire and vermont matter, for anything, ever. they don't. but yeah. that's kind of mind boggling how a place that's not even a state has a bigger effect than 2 states.

TDG said...

Puerto Rico has 20 delegates, even if no electoral votes, and so is at least a marginal factor in this primary campaign (why it has delegates at all is another story).

I could see campaigning in Puerto Rico as a backdoor strategy toward campaigning in states (like Florida) that have a significant number of Puerto Ricans.

eh said...

The Stupid Party's stupidity knows no bounds.

We can't be sure. There is room to believe this. However at the moment it is best to phrase it in the form of a question:

Because they're members of the Stupid Party?

Anonymous said...

Steve seems to know why they are campaigning there but he won't tell us.

Marlowe said...

Pursuit of 'that bright and fleeting thing that was always just ahead.'

(Santorum had better order up crates of communion wine for personal consumption and Romney probably won't survive the local conditions if he remains true to the tenets of his faith):

It was mid-morning when I left the house, but the sun was already so hot that it felt like mid-afternoon. Driving along the beach I remembered how much I'd enjoyed the mornings when I first came to San Juan. There is something fresh and crisp about the first hours of a Caribbean day, a happy anticipation that something is about to happen, maybe just up the street or around the next corner. Whenever I look back on those months and try to separate the good times from the bad, I recall those mornings when I had an early assignment -- when I would borrow Sala's car and go roaring along the big tree-lined boulevard. I remember the feel of the little car vibrating beneath me and the sudden heat of the sun on my face as I zipped out of the shade and into a patch of light; I remember the whiteness of my shirt and the sound of a silk tie flapping in the wind beside my head, the unhinged feel of the accelerator and a sudden switching of lanes to pass a truck and beat a red light.

Then into a palm-lined driveway and hit the rasping brakes, flip down the Press tag on the visor and leave the car in the nearest No Parking zone. Hurry into the lobby, pulling on the coat to my new black suit and dangling a camera in one hand while an oily clerk calls my man to confirm the appointment. Then up a soft elevator to the suite -- big greeting, pompous conversation, and black coffee from a silver pot, a few quick photos on the balcony, grinning handshake, then back down the elevator and hustle off.

On my way back to the office, with a pocketful of notes, I would stop at one of the outdoor restaurants on the beach for a club sandwich and a beer; sitting in the shade to read the papers and ponder the madness of the news, or leaning back with a lusty grin at all the bright-wrapped nipples, trying to decide how many I could get my hands on before the week was out.

Those were the good mornings, when the sun was hot and the air was quick and promising, when the Real Business seemed right on the verge of happening and I felt that if I went just a little faster I might overtake that bright and fleeting thing that was always just ahead.

Then came noon, and morning withered like a lost dream. The sweat was torture and the rest of the day was littered with the dead remains of all those things that might have happened, but couldn't stand the heat. When the sun got hot enough it burned away all the illusions and I saw the place as it was -- cheap, sullen, and garish -- nothing good was going to happen here.

Sometimes at dusk, when you were trying to relax and not think about the general stagnation, the Garbage God would gather a handful of those choked-off morning hopes and dangle them somewhere just out of reach; they would hang in the breeze and make a sound like delicate glass bells, reminding you of something you never quite got hold of, and never would. It was a maddening image, and the only way to whip it was to hang on until dusk and banish the ghosts with rum. Often it was easier not to wait, so the drinking would begin at noon. It didn't help much, as I recall, except that sometimes it made the day go a little faster.

Anonymous said...

it's not the stupid party, it's the corrupt party

eh said...

Maybe per Ed Gillespie's instructions they are down there looking for potential Hispanic candidates should Puerto Rico become a state:

Republicans Seeking Hispanic Votes Risk Immigration Backlash

"By 2020, I would like to see us where the Hispanic vote is a swing vote in the country in the same way the Catholic vote is," Gillespie said in an interview in his Alexandria, Virginia, office. He is trying to recruit at least 100 Hispanic candidates to run for state legislatures across the U.S....

If so, then it would seem that at least the Stupid Party knows there's a lot of Hispanics in Puerto Rico (this is sort of government work so Puerto Ricans count as Hispanic). Which is something.

Anonymous said...

They're still the Stupid Party. Anyone who has dealt with Puerto Ricans and Mexicans knows that for the most part they can't stand each other. Doubly for Central Americans, and most South Americans think of themselves as Castillians first.

This "pan Hispanic" bullshit exists in the minds of SWPL/DWL types and La Raza racial lobbyists. The reality is that because you have a Z at the end of your last name doesn't make you brothers with every other Gomez or Ramirez out there.

Hell the Border Patrol is majority hispanic. "Stay on your side of the river" is a common epithet I've been told.

Anonymous said...

Puerto Ricans are natural pro-business conservatives who want cuts in the capital gains rate and elimination of the inheritance tax. Republicans should base their 2012 election strategy on the appeal of pro-growth policies to Puerto Ricans, blacks, and Mexican-Americans. Anybody who disagrees with me on this is racist.

I've also noticed that blacks tend to be extremely supportive of military action against Iran and Isreal's right to build settlements on the West Bank. Whenever I head down to Raleigh and Atlanta, the brothas are always going on about their strong support for neoconservative foreign policy. Republicans might be able to make susbtanial inroads into the black vote.

Polynices said...

It can't just be me that thinks it's fucking insane that the Puerto Ricans would get to decide whether they become a state. Why the hell wouldn't actual Americans get to make the call? So stupid.

deja vu said...

I've seen this post rehashed here around every 6 months and you never seem to have learned anything on the subject in the interim. Best argument against PR statehood is the analogy to Alaska and Hawaii which show no signs of becoming self-sufficient. With fewer than 10% of islanders fluent in English the potential benefit to GDP is de minimis. However the status quo remains popular among both the locals and the many pharmaceutical firms there. It is argued in the pro-statehood book "Pay to the Order of Puerto Rico" that the U.S. spends $22 billion maintaining the commonwealth tax shelter, not including food stamps, public housing, and other transfers.

"two automatic Democratic Senators"
You may be confused with DC statehood or the intermittent West Coast partition movements. The Puerto Rican political elite at present are predominantly clients of the mainland Republicans.

Anonymous said...

Deja Vu

Wherever did you get the idea that the present elite in PR is mainly Republican? Sure, some are, but way more than half are not. The current Governor is Republican (the first such to be affiliated since 1968), but about half or more f his pro-statehood party is affiliated with Democrats, which is in addition to the roughly 100 percent of the pro-commonwealth's party's afiliation with the Dems.

Peter said...

While statehood would make residents of Puerto Rico subject to federal income tax, as a practical matter so many would become eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit that there would be a massive net outflow of tax money to the island.

Anonymous said...

Puerto Rico doesn't have any Electoral Votes


It does have delegates for the GOP presidential nomination though.

Anonymous said...

"By 2020, I would like to see us where the Hispanic vote is a swing vote in the country in the same way the Catholic vote is," Gillespie said



Of course he would say that, he's a Democrat.

Wait ... what? He's a Republican political strategist?


I'm coming to the opinion that the people of this country are too stupid to deserve to survive.

Anonymous said...

This "pan Hispanic" bullshit exists in the minds of SWPL/DWL types and La Raza racial lobbyists.


And in the minds of the GOP establishment.

Anonymous said...

"I'm a big fan of Puerto Rican independence."

Of course you are. Even though Puerto Ricans would become literally 10 X poorer than they are today if that happened, and even though Puerto Rico would REMAIN an American satrapy irrespective of it gaining independence of not. So you can can have your cake and eat it to. You continue to boss them in every way except officially, but WITHOUT any onus on your part. Ah, the care and concern Americans display towards non-Americans! Who was that president of yours who said the U.S should talk softly and carry a big stick at the same time?

SF said...

By the way, is it racist to anglicize the pronunciation of Sotomayor by accenting the first and third syllables instead of the fourth? I think I know the answer to that one already, but if some woman corrects me I might just give her a dirty look and say we speak English in this country.

corvinus said...

Puerto Rico is also the only part of Latin America that has a declining population due both to a low birth rate and emigration. (Not even Cuba does consistently yet, although it dipped for a couple of years this past decade.) I guess we could call it the Romania of the Caribbean.

Kylie said...

"it's not the stupid party, it's the corrupt party."

I thought it was both.

Anonymous said...

"It can't just be me that thinks it's fucking insane that the Puerto Ricans would get to decide whether they become a state. Why the hell wouldn't actual Americans get to make the call? So stupid."

"We" made that call when they were made United Statesians.

The nationalist camp is strong enough that I doubt that they will become a state any time soon.

Reg Cæsar said...

By the way, is it racist to anglicize the pronunciation of Sotomayor... --SF

...like it is to Gallicize the spelling of "Anglicize"?

Yes, Oxford went froggy on this point recently, but that doesn't make it right. (And do they even explain it anywhere?)

Reg Cæsar said...

Even though Puerto Ricans would become literally 10 X poorer than they are today if that happened...

Wow. I don't think any iSteve regular's opinion of Puerto Ricans sinks as low as this commenter's. But if he's right, it makes Puerto Rican independence even more advisable. For the rest of us.

Reg Cæsar said...

Puerto Ricans are natural pro-business conservatives... Republicans might be able to make susbtanial inroads into the black vote...

Okay, you're being ironic here. But on this St Pat's Day, Minneapolis was 26 degrees warmer than Los Angeles, so stranger things are happening at the moment.

Dennis Dale said...

As you've pointed out before, the idiots are campaigning for Mexican votes by pandering to the Mexicans' detested rivals, the Puerto Ricans.

Anonymous said...

Repblicans do actually argue that cutting the capital gains rate and inheritance tax will attract black and Latino voters. I'm not making this up.

Anonymous said...

This PR thing is the most ridiculous presidential campaign move I've seen in a while.

Svigor said...

Of course you are. Even though Puerto Ricans would become literally 10 X poorer than they are today if that happened, and even though Puerto Rico would REMAIN an American satrapy irrespective of it gaining independence of not. So you can can have your cake and eat it to. You continue to boss them in every way except officially, but WITHOUT any onus on your part. Ah, the care and concern Americans display towards non-Americans! Who was that president of yours who said the U.S should talk softly and carry a big stick at the same time?

You're such a nutjob, I almost think you have to be undermining open-borders lunacy on purpose.

Of course, the fact that Puerto Ricans want to mooch off Americans, and have no "care and concern" at all for the burden they impose on Americans, means nothing at all, right? Because non-White immigrants aren't actually people. They're just two-dimensional props in your morality tale. They don't have to reciprocate anything, we should never turn your arguments around and consider them from the other side, etc. Because cardboard needn't reciprocate.

Anonymous said...

Why does America keep P.R.? I don't see any upside for the USA at all. There is no oil there. No gold mines. No critical natural resource. It is a small, poor Spanish-speaking island. Its only "contribution" to America is to dump poor, Spanish-speaking people onto the USA. I have never gotten it. America should have given the place its independence a LONG time ago. And if P.R. ever does become a state, America's language problems will explode. As a Canadian, believe me I know.

Sgt. Joe Friday said...

I have no doubt that the conversations among the political elites are not about whether Puerto Rico should be or is going to be a state. That has, I am sure, already been decided and has the support of the leaders of both parties.

The only discussion that is going on is how it's going to be brought about, and what they are going to do about the backlash from the 75% or so of the American public who will be outraged over it.

Snazzle said...

GOP politicians are hopeless betas. The Latino vote is the HB6 that these betas think will love them back if enough undignified deference is paid. They think this because Karl Rove, their wingman, has given them really bad advice as well as supplied the beer-goggles.

Gabacho Flaco said...

Because they're whores.

On second thought, that's an unfair insult to actual prostitutes, who perform a legitimate public service. Actual prostitutes, unlike Mitt or Newt, have honor. (Ricks Santorum and Perry aren't evil, they're just stupid.)

Anonymous said...

"Why are GOP candidates campaigning in Puerto Rico?"

The GOP thinks photos of cheering Hispanics refute the Democrats constant racial accusations.

Maya said...

Mac said...
"As Roissy likes to say, "Goodbye America.""

He's gotten too big to fit into those sun-blasted jeans and doesn't know if he'll ever hear that song again which he'll remember forever? Is it a country where he's never truly been, yet he's been taught for so long to love its forbidden fruit?

Anonymous said...

Two places that should never become states: Puerto Rico and Washington DC.

The former: as the previous poster said, our language/culture problems will explode.

The second: we will violate one of the truly innovative, brilliant ideas of the founding fathers- a capital that does not have its own territorial power base. If I had to list the top five masterstrokes of the Constitutional era- the creation of a "district", rather than a city that double dips power in terms of Congressional representation. I have two cousins who live there, one of whom has a "no taxation without representation for Washington". My response was, "Go complain to James Madison."

Anonymous said...

"GOP politicians are hopeless betas."

LOL

I love parodies of Whiskey/Roissy/other failed people.

Anonymous said...

While we are at least on the topic of the fantasy of a pan-Hispanic solidarity, it seems worth noting that WN's notion of a pan-white solidarity are similarly fantastical.

Sure, it could happen, just as with the Hispanics (and presumably Asians), but the definition is too vague and the scope is too broad.

Only a couple of these pan- categories have any real meaning:

1) African-Americans - sure, they commit all sorts of horrific crimes against each other, but they close ranks against the other. Similar behavior observed in Africa as well (e.g, expulsion of Indians from Uganda, ethnic cleansing of post-colonial whites, etc).

2) All the non-whites kvetching about "white people", who really don't, as noted above, exist as any sort of cohesive whole now if they ever did (see WWI/WWII and all the history before that...).

Apart from these exceptions, an significant basis of ethnic unity comes from smaller subdivision - nation/region/valley...

California kid said...

Based on the way Puerto Rico is talked about in the media, I always guessed in my younger years that it must be about 50 miles off the coast of Florida to the SouthEast.
But no. It's way down in the middle of the Carribbean Ocean. It's below Cuba and Haiti. It's closer to South America than to the USA.
What do I as a White man have to do with some Hispanic island way down in the Caribe ? Nothing. I don't want it. Give it back to Spain or make it independent. Just make everything go away.

corvinus said...

African-Americans - sure, they commit all sorts of horrific crimes against each other, but they close ranks against the other. Similar behavior observed in Africa as well (e.g, expulsion of Indians from Uganda, ethnic cleansing of post-colonial whites, etc).

I just had an idea. I wonder if the tendency of blacks to show solidarity against "the other" is due to their greater genetic distance from all other non-Africans?

peterike said...

I wonder if the tendency of blacks to show solidarity against "the other" is due to their greater genetic distance from all other non-Africans?

No. It is natural for ALL races to show solidarity within their group and to distrust/push-out "the other." The difference is that whites -- and only whites -- have been subjected to decades of cultural Marxist propaganda to detach them from their natural inclinations.

Blacks, and every other non-white group, are propagandized in exactly the opposite way: solidarity is good! Stand together!

For whites, solidarity = racism, and racism = the greatest evil in the history of humanity.

Just imagine that loads of white people were showing up at Knicks games to cheer on a particular Knick, because he was white. Asians are doing it with Jeremy Lin, and it's all just peaches and cream.

Never forgot what Susan Sontag wrote, back in 1967. In a moment of startling openness, she lifted the kimono wide:

Mozart, Pascal, Boolean algebra, Shakespeare, parliamentary government, baroque churches, Newton, the emancipation of women, Kant, Balanchine ballets, et al. don't redeem what this particular civilization has wrought upon the world. The white race is the cancer of human history.

There ya go. That's been the White Bible ever since.

Anonymous said...

I just had an idea. I wonder if the tendency of blacks to show solidarity against "the other" is due to their greater genetic distance from all other non-Africans

I don't think there is any doubt about this whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

No. It is natural for ALL races to show solidarity within their group and to distrust/push-out "the other." The difference is that whites -- and only whites -- have been subjected to decades of cultural Marxist propaganda to detach them from their natural inclinations.

Only problem with this is it isn't true. Pakis vs. Indians, Japanese vs. Chinese vs. Koreans. Me, I can't tell them apart any more than I can Irish protestants/catholics.

To paraphrase Maggie the Ironwoman, there really isn't any such thing as white people. Not at least in a positive unifying way. You can maybe look at South Africa, the Southern United States, Germany, that ostensibly had a "white" identity, but usually underlying this was a markedly closer ethnic kinship (Dutch/Afrikaans, Anglo-protestant, German..).

Anonymous said...

@ Polynices,

It can't just be me that thinks it's fucking insane that the Puerto Ricans would get to decide whether they become a state. Why the hell wouldn't actual Americans get to make the call? So stupid.

Think again.

Anonymous said...

Just imagine that loads of white people were showing up at Knicks games to cheer on a particular Knick, because he was white.

Larry Bird was popular among many white fans because he was white.

The decline of NBA popularity is likely related to the decline in white players:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/02/17/nba-all-star-game-white-men-cant-root.html

Liesel said...

it would substantially reduce the chances of the GOP ever regaining control of the Senate by adding two automatic Democratic Senators.

Actually the elected a Republican governor, Luis Fortuño, in 2009.

But, I agree that independence is the best oiption.

Zeb Quinn said...

I'd imagine there are a lot of Americans living in PR (and in all US territories for that matter) who will be voting by absentee.

Anonymous said...

If P.R. were to have a vote on statehood, why not a double referendum? This is what happened in former Czechoslovakia. I wish it had been allowed in either, or both, of Quebec's referendums. In the former case, both Slovakia and Czech had a vote to secede from each other. If there was a majority in either area, the union was dissolved. A majority in the Czech areas voted yes and that was the end of Czechoslovakia (the velvet divorce.) Today the Czezh republic is booming and Slovakia, which was the instigator behind the whole thing, is a bleak, backwater, poverty-stricken place. Americans on the mainland should have a vote too. Just as Canadians in the other provinces should have been allowed to vote on ejecting Quebec from the federation.

Svigor said...

While we are at least on the topic of the fantasy of a pan-Hispanic solidarity, it seems worth noting that WN's notion of a pan-white solidarity are similarly fantastical.

Sure, it could happen, just as with the Hispanics (and presumably Asians), but the definition is too vague and the scope is too broad.

Only a couple of these pan- categories have any real meaning:

1) African-Americans - sure, they commit all sorts of horrific crimes against each other, but they close ranks against the other. Similar behavior observed in Africa as well (e.g, expulsion of Indians from Uganda, ethnic cleansing of post-colonial whites, etc).

2) All the non-whites kvetching about "white people", who really don't, as noted above, exist as any sort of cohesive whole now if they ever did (see WWI/WWII and all the history before that...).

Apart from these exceptions, an significant basis of ethnic unity comes from smaller subdivision - nation/region/valley...


It's not that simple. White as an ethnic category makes sense in the colonies, but not so much in Europe. So, if one is European, and thinks Europe is the center of the universe, he tends to poo-poo the idea of Whiteness. And if one is American, and thinks America is the center of the universe, he tends to try to shoehorn Europeans into his idea of Whiteness when it doesn't fit.

The problem is people who think they're the center of the universe and that one-size-fits-all. It doesn't. That, and people who think they can just pronounce the way things are without thinking matters through.

The matter is complicated by the hordes of anti-Whites you mention (people making the argument you're making often fit the bill), who certainly don't like Whites thinking of themselves as Whites beyond "wow we sure owe those non-Whites a lot of groveling, apologizing, knuckling under, and of course, resources."

In short, speak for yourself.

Svigor said...

I just had an idea. I wonder if the tendency of blacks to show solidarity against "the other" is due to their greater genetic distance from all other non-Africans?

I see three big reasons for (supposed - it's largely a front, or imaginary; Black leaders sell their constituents out on a regular basis) greater Black solidarity, none of them genetic:

1. Minority. It's natural for a minority to stick together, especially a minority as "visible" as Blacks.
2. Inferiority. It's one thing to be a White minority among Blacks, in a world run largely by Whites (as in South Africa). It's quite another to be a Black minority among Whites, in a world run largely by Whites.
3. Culture. Academia, gov't, and media beg Blacks to show solidarity. They are given every encouragement possible in this regard, exactly the opposite of what we see with Whites.

No. It is natural for ALL races to show solidarity within their group and to distrust/push-out "the other." The difference is that whites -- and only whites -- have been subjected to decades of cultural Marxist propaganda to detach them from their natural inclinations.

This too.

If anything, I suspect Blacks are LESS inclined to collectivism and racial solidarity than Whites or Yellows (Rushton's Scale suggests this, I think; it certainly suggests that Whites are intermediate between Blacks and Yellows, regardless of which side of the scale the latter groups end up on; I mention it because Rushton's Scale is so often accurate). Maybe IQ plays a factor here, too; maybe racial self-abnegation is one of those "stupid ideas for smart people" that can only get off the ground when someone's smart enough to follow abstract principles (I had an uncle with Downs, and you couldn't pry a quarter out of his mitts if your life depended on it - he had no problem sticking to his plan).

To paraphrase Maggie the Ironwoman, there really isn't any such thing as white people. Not at least in a positive unifying way. You can maybe look at South Africa, the Southern United States, Germany, that ostensibly had a "white" identity, but usually underlying this was a markedly closer ethnic kinship (Dutch/Afrikaans, Anglo-protestant, German..).

So, you've never even set foot on American soil, then?

Reg Cæsar said...

If P.R. were to have a vote on statehood, why not a double referendum?

You can't put a referendum before the American electorate, because there is no American electorate. (Cf. U.S. Constitution)

You'd have to do it state-by-state. Start with states with a lot of Puerto Ricans-- and their annoyed neighbors. Unfortunately, it's extremely difficult to 'referend' in New York, and probably New Jersey as well. But Florida and Massachusetts are more amenable.

Imagine Florida-- independence gets 25% of the PR vote-- and 75% of everyone else!

David said...

Spring break, of course. Campaigning is brutal. "Excuse me? Excuse me, senor? May I speak to you please? I asked for a mai tai, and they brought me a pina colada, and I said no salt, NO salt for the margarita, but it had salt on it, big grains of salt, floating in the glass..."