Monday, June 23, 2014

What's Behind Rick Scott's Insulting Spanish Ad

To say Rick Scott has a small problem with the Hispanic community is sort of like saying Cheney has a small problem with self-reflection. There is plenty of examples of legislative action (or inaction) to see why this is the case. If that doesn't convince you, then you need look no further than the kind of antics Rick Scott tolerates from his senior staff. (Note: Personally defending staff who make fun of Mexican accents is a pretty big freaking clue.)

Yet not too long ago, the FL GOP realized that thier unpopular, crooked governor might not luck out with another incompetent opponent and might just need more than the ignorant hillbillies he relied on last time to push him over the finish line. Hence, the Florida GOP has poured millions in an "Hispanic Outreach" effort. (Or as the RNC calls it, "Hispandering".) It's big folks. In fact, the FL GOP appointed an "Hispanic Outreach" director. Ok, sure, he switched parties because of the GOP's bigotry last year, but still...effort made.

To hear them tell it, the FL GOP knows Latinos; and they get that no one understands what they like more than rich, white political consultants. If television has taught these consultants anything, it's that Latinos like them some soccer. We take that, then combine it with a fake conservative platitude, like lowering taxes. Oh, and if you could make it both condescending AND insulting, I think we'd have a homerun.



ANNOUNCER #1: We are at the beginning of this extremely important match for Florida.

ANNOUNCER #2: On one end, Charlie Crist, who abandoned us as Governor when things got difficult. On the other end the current governor, Rick Scott, who keeps working to get the state's economy on the right track.

ANNOUNCER #1 : Crist is issued a red card ... (Whistle blows) ... For worrying more about his political future than about us. With Crist, 800,000 jobs were lost in Florida. Here comes Rick Scott through the center, focused on fixing the mess Crist left. He cuts taxes 40 times for Floridians! Scott advances and scores a GOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAALLLLLLLLLLLL!!

ANNOUNCER #2: 600,000 jobs created in the private sector under Scott in only three and a half years. The highlights of this match. Charlie Crist, 800,000 private sector jobs lost. Rick Scott, 600,000 private sector jobs created.

ANNOUNCER #1: With Rick Scott, let's keep working!

ANNOUNCER #3: Sponsored by Let's Get to Work

Cheeso Peezo, Rick. How many millions did you spend on this? Rick has been so desperate lately to improve his image with Hispanics that his campaign demanded a local TV station give him an Hispanic interviewer and only discuss his love of all things Hispanic. (The station wisely declined--and were understandably insulted.)

Ironically, I was originally not going to talk at all about Rick Scott for this post and instead focus on the GOP's overall pathetic effort to woo Hispanics. Yet when researching offensive ads, Google instantly gave me this gem from Rick Scott's campaign so I couldn't resist. It encapsulates the point I was going to make.

The Establishment GOP is well aware that the "Southern Strategy" is now an albatross around their necks as our nation grows more tolerant, and more diverse, every day. Their voter suppression strategy is backfiring, so they are recently making real efforts to change course. They are also failing.

The main reason is that minorities have always been their scapegoat. Their base is made up of ignorant white poor people who have been told for years that they would be well off if it wasn't for those all powerful, poor nonwhites that are somehow stealing their imaginary jobs, resources, and money. The rich corporations would gladly give these highly paid jobs to them if only our gubmint didn't make them support the "welfare queens" along with the massive "invasion" of brown people.

The challenge the GOP has was on full display in a tweet I recently received from conservative troll and Scott supporter Amy Mek. She was ranting about the outrage dejour of Valerie Jarrett discussing immigration with Rupert Murdoch. She decided to post this picture. The message is very clear. In the conservative mind, these people are representative of the Latino people and their culture. This is what we can expect if we let more of "those people" in.

Just a few years ago, the only Hispanics you ever saw on a GOP campaign were exactly that stereotype. David Vitter used this outrageously, racist ad. Then there was this equally offensive one from Senate candidate Sharon Angle.

Now, the conservatives who ran those campaigns are the same ones attempting these positive "outreach" campaigns.

Yet even if they managed to make ads that were not stereotypical, insulting, or embarrassing, they would still fail. The bigotry and ignorance of the Hispanic community within the GOP is too well entrenched. This is exactly what fundraiser Mike Fernandez tried to warn Rick Scott before he quit. Rick Scott's campaign response smearing him is all you need to know about whether they can do it.



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