They are so desperate, so far behind in their quest to get Latinos to vote for Mitt Romney, that GOP leaders are now resorting to telling half-truths — the kind of distortion that insults our intelligence and surely will backfire.
They must think we Latinos are stupid. There is no other explanation.
When they try to sell us "official English" without telling us they aim to ban all government services in Spanish or when they pass racial profiling laws and tell us they will only affect undocumented immigrants or when they show concern only for the Mexican border and don't seem to care about those coming from Canada or overstaying their visas, they must think we are stupid.
We would have to be totally brainless not to see their repulsive xenophobia and blatant racism.
But the one that takes the cake: The ultimate display of Republican cynicism in addressing the Latino community has to be the group of Romney surrogates who have been out spewing the most cynical GOP talking point in recent history. With straight faces, they are all blaming President Obama for failing to reform our broken immigration system. It takes huge cojones and gall in industrial quantities, but that's what they are doing!
"He promised immigration reform in his first year, and he did nothing," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. "He had overwhelming majorities in both houses of Congress. Nothing was done," said Sen. John McCain, R- Ariz. "He had the full run of the table, and he failed to get it done," said former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
In the Latino community, unless you were asleep for the last three years, you know that whatever Democrats failed to do to fix immigration was because Republicans opposed it. You know that even the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act was stopped by a Senate GOP filibuster. You know Republicans have enflamed the nation's anti-immigrant climate, and you know that Romney has become the new champion of immigrant bashers.
You also know that if Obama had rammed immigration reform down Republican throats, as he did with health care when he had a Democrat majority in both the House and Senate, they still would be throwing tantrums similar to those we see now over Obamacare.
And yet they have the audacity to address Latinos as if we were idiots. Had we been living in a bubble and only heard their most recent rhetoric, we would think Republicans are upset because they tried to reform immigration and Obama stopped them!
"Not so long ago he and the democratic party OWNED the legislative process," wrote one of many bloggers now spewing this phony GOP propaganda. "For two years, they could have done this and anything else they wanted. Don't you dare, Mr. President, try and blame this on Republicans. You and your own party have failed America."
Apparently, when they recite these cynical GOP talking points, they want Latinos to ignore the facts and focus only on Obama's failure to deliver, WHAT THEY BLOCKED! Do they really think we are that stupid? Or are they that stupid for trying to fool us this way?
Amazingly, although they belong to the party where leaders advocate persecuting and squeezing undocumented immigrants into self-deportation, some Republicans now are telling Latinos that Obama is even more anti-immigrant because he deported more undocumented immigrants than former presidents.
It's true; Obama broke the deportations record. But he it did to pander to Republicans at a time when he thought he could get at least some of them to go along with comprehensive immigration reform. It may have been foolish of him to believe that some of them could break away from the xenophobic extremism that has been ruling the GOP. But does that mean we have to punish Obama by favoring the extremists, cutting our noses to spite our faces?
It's also true that Obama remembers immigration only when it is politically beneficial for him, as he is now by enacting parts of the DREAM Act through executive order so close to an election where he desperately needs the Latino vote. It's true that he could have done it much earlier. But considering the alternative, Romney who has vowed to veto the DREAM Act, do Latinos really have a choice?
When Obama spoke to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials recently, he told Latinos that he had lifted "the shadow of deportation from deserving young people who were brought to this country as children," because it was "the right thing do to," Latinos were not oblivious to the significance of his timing. Of course, it was political.
But if this is a sign of the president using Latinos, it's even more a sign of Latinos winning the political fight to convince the president to use his executive power to solve some immigration problems, at least while Congress is completely obstructive.
And when Romney spoke to NALEO, once again he demonstrated his fear of alienating the anti-immigrant, conservative base that was so slow to support him during the primaries. Amazingly, Romney asked himself a very direct question — as if he was finally tackling immigration with newly found principles, and then he gave an answer that insults the intelligence of an ameba.
"Some people have asked if I will let stand the president's executive order," Romney said. "The answer is that I will put in place my own long-term solution that will replace and supersede the president's temporary measure."
As if the Latinos in the audience were brainless, the only detail he shed about his "solution" is that it would be "long-term."
And so the question for Latino voters, especially those who care about immigration, is: Do we support Democrats — who promised and failed to help us — or Republicans — who opposed us and vow to keep doing it?
Not much of a choice, right?
Yet this is all that Republicans are offering Latinos. They are telling us we should vote for Romney, who has vowed to make it worse for immigrants, because Obama couldn't be better when he had the chance. Go figure!
To find out more about Miguel Perez and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.