Gomez Would Help GOP More Than Amnesty
The DC GOP establishment has convinced itself that pandering to certain Hispanic voters by supporting immigration legislation drafted by Sen. Chuck Schumer is the path to electoral victory. Sen. Lindsey Graham has warned that the GOP is in a "demographic death spiral" unless it supports the comprehensive amnesty legislation. Meanwhile, an impressive Hispanic candidate with a real shot at winning a special Senate election next week gets almost no support from the national GOP. If the national party can't understand this paradox, passing 300 amnesty bills won't save it.
Gabriel Gomez, GOP candidate to fill the Senate seat of John Kerry in Massachusetts, has the kind of personal story that only exists in America. The son of immigrants from Columbia, Gomez is a former Navy Seal and graduate of the US Naval Academy and the Harvard Business School. Since his service in the military, he has built a successful business career.
He is running in next week's special election against Rep. Ed Markey, who entered Congress during the Nixon Administration. Despite the deep-blue hue of Massachusetts and being outspent almost 4-1, Gomez is trailing Markey by just single digits. This is Gomez's first run for political office. If ever a candidate could benefit from the resources of the national GOP's infrastructure, it is this special election.
The DC GOP believes that its problem with Hispanic voters is that it hasn't endorsed an amnesty bill. Immigration reform is long overdue, but the DC GOP is convinced that only one particular kind of reform is politically feasible or advantageous to them. The party's real problem, however, is that it doesn't actually talk to Hispanic voters. Worse, when a compelling Hispanic candidate is in a close race, the party is nowhere to be seen.
Politics is not a check-list of issues. Voters don't simply total up where they agree or disagree with candidates and make a choice. They vote for candidates they can relate to. Several GOP strategists have told Breitbart News that the national GOP has no real outreach to Hispanic voters. It simply hopes that its overall campaign messaging will somehow filter down to Hispanics. The party isn't in their communities and it isn't talking to them about issues they care about. The entire GOP infrastructure treats Hispanics like a single-issue voting block.
Karl Rove likes to berate conservatives that the party will lose Hispanic voters unless it gets behind Chuck Schumer's immigration bill. Why isn't he leveraging his considerable resources to support Gomez? Having Hispanic officeholders who can engage and communicate with that community is far more important than a single piece of legislation. The GOP can support Schumer's bill, but if it continues to avoid conversations with this community, the effort is pointless.
Let's put ethnicity aside, however. Gomez is a hero, who put his life in jeopardy in defense of our country. After his service, he pursued the American dream and had a successful career in business. He is in a position to win next Tuesday. The odds are definitely against him, since he is running in Massachusetts. He is a proud Republican.
If the party won't support him, all of its talk of inclusion and outreach is just that. Talk.