From the RCAB Archives, May 31, 2007:
Since He Was 7
"[I]'ve been following presidential politics since I was 7 years old, that's 30 years now, and in order to win the presidency you have to win your party's nomination and, mark my words, Rudy will NEVER be the Republican candidate. First of all he's not a conservative. The Republican base wants someone it can be energized about and [a] liberal NY Republican isn't it. Besides, I think you overestimate Rudy's appeal and ability to beat Hillary. There's only 2 Republicans that I could see as destroying Hillary in a debate and they are Fred Thompson and Newt Gingrich. I think Thompson brings a lot of the qualities of Gingrich without a lot of the baggage. None of the other candidates in the Republican field is worth a warm bucket of spit."
Posted [on Babalú] by: Henry "Conductor" Gomez at May 30, 2007 10:49 PM
It was John Nance Garner, the first of FDR's three vice-presidents and the last American politician born in a log cabin, who first used "warm bucket of spit" to describe the office of vice-president. Some claim that what he actually said was that it wasn't worth a warm bucket of shit, but reporters, in order to publish his remark, were obliged to substitute "shit" for "spit." There is some logic to this assumption, since back then Americans used spitoons not buckets to dispose of excess salivation but did employ buckets, especially in the Deep South whence Garner hailed, as portable outhouses. Whether shit or spit, I don't think, however, that Garner would have had any objection to Henry using that expression to describe a bunch of Republicans.
In fact, one Republican whom Henry exempts from this description Garner would have found much to his liking, fellow southside Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. You see, Garner was the product of his age and place, as apologists for racism once used to say. Never had a more rabid racist ever been one heartbeat away from the presidency since Andrew Johnson. The Democrats chose Garner because he balanced the ticket and was much older than Roosevelt and actually made FDR look young and vigorous in comparison (though Garner was to outlive FDR by nearly 25 years). Still, it shows perhaps a little too much tolerance on FDR's part to have twice chosen as his vice president a man who was not only an enemy of blacks but of all legislation meant to improve the lot of working-class Americans. AFL-CIO head John L. Lewis, speaking to a congressional committee in 1939, called Garner a "labor-baiting, cigar-smoking, poker-playing, whiskey-drinking, evil old man." [Ah, for the days when public figures actually spoke their minds publicly!]
Garner was an equal opportunity racist and as a congressman had opposed the immigration of "inferior stocks" from Southern Europe, Russia and Asia while "championing" Mexican migrant labor, which he considered a suitable substitute for black slavery with the additional "advantage" that these slaves were "temporary, powerless and easily expelled." Yes, old "Cactus Jack," as Garner was known back home in Texas, is responsible for embracing as a "solution" to high wages and good benefits what is now denounced as a crisis in illegal immigration.
Of course, I am sure that Henry didn't know the source of his quotation, nor, indeed, had ever heard of Garner despite all his precious precociousness at 7 (prodigies usually never fulfill their promise). Yet it is ironic that he appropriates Garner's phrase in a post where he settles for Fred Thompson as his candidate for president only because his real choice Newt Gingrich carries too much "baggage." What he doesn't say is that this baggage consists of a lifetime of nativism and an inveterate hatred for all Hispanics, whom he was the first to demonize nationally as the greatest menace to this Republic since polio. Even old "Cactus Jack" Garner had more sense than that. He knew that they were here to be exploited and approved of their exploitation. Gingrich also knows that it is Americans who exploit the Mexican migrants and not the other way around, but being less honest and more evil than Garner, he makes the beasts of burden his scapegoats. With Gingrich, of course, it is not the fact that they entered this country illegally that offends him. He hates all Hispanics, illegal or legal. That's why he applied all the punitive measures of the "Contract on America" to both alike. So to him it doesn't matter if Hispanics play by the rules or not; they are all a pestilence in his eyes and should be booted from this country.
This is the man that Henry Gómez, who has been following presidential politics since he was 7, desperately wishes he could support for president except for all that "baggage" (which also includes venality and moral turpitude). So poor Henry has to settle for Fred Thompson. We all knew already that Henry considers himself an "American-Cuban," not a "Cuban-American." That is, we all knew already that Cuba comes second with him. What we didn't know is that other Hispanics come last with him.
From the RCAB Archives, May 3, 2007
"The Most Serious, Systematic Revolutionary of Modern Times"
The Babalú Radio Hour sans Val this week gave Henry Gómez twice the responsibility to say foolish and idiotic things, and he did not disappoint. There was fodder there this week for several posts and the difficulty for me was deciding on which of so many gaffes to focus. Of course, I could have highlighted all of them if I wanted to, but Henry is merely the prop that I use to educate others. Some of his assertions are so esoteric and sui generis that I am sure that they never occurred to any sensible person before. To correct Henry just for the sake of correcting Henry is no public service, except to increase the amount of laughter in this world, and perhaps that, too, is a commendable goal.
This one was a close call. Could any other Cuban (or Hispanic) in the country seriously consider voting for Newt Gingrich for president besides Henry, who says that he has narrowed his list to Gingrich and Fred Thompson? A close call indeed. In the end I decided that it was highly unlikely that any other Cuban (even the staunchest Republican) would lend his support to Newt Gingrich unless he knew absolutely nothing about him. This, I hope, is the case with Henry, who apparently doesn't know (or care) that Gingrich was the previous generation's Tom Tancredo. Except that Gingrich was never a joke. He was deadly earnest in his xenophobia and 100% successful in implementing "reforms" aimed at destroying this country's Hispanic population. It is doubtful or, rather, impossible that Tancredo will ever become Speaker of the House, let alone president. Gingrich did and as master of Congress orquestrated the re-introduction of chattel slavery in the U.S. and made Hispanics the bondsmen.
Since Cuban-Americans reflexively remove themselves from any equation involving Hispanics (we are white, don't you know?), it is important to point out that Cuban exiles were not exempted from Newt's 1994 "Contract With America" (more accurately described as the "Contract On America.") In fact, Newt Gingrich is second only to Fidel Castro in the number of deaths of Cubans for which he is directly responsible. Ten years ago, thanks to provisions in Newt's "Contract On America" which denied social security and Medicaid benefits to legal residents, elderly Cuban exiles who were not U.S. citizens were committing suicide in Miami on a daily basis rather than face the prospect of homelessness and an ignonimous death on the streets. Dozens are known to have tried and nationally the figure may be in the hundreds since no one really cares to find out what kills the elderly.
Since the time of Newt Gingrich's "Contract on America," I stopped supporting the Republican Party (but could never bring myself to support the Democrats). As originally presented to the American public, Newt's "Contract" would have barred illegal immigrants from receiving welfare benefits. On the basis of that pledge Republicans gained a majority in Congress for the first time since the Eisenhower administration. It was only after the Republicans had captured Congress that Newt revealed his real xenophobic agenda, which encompassed, of course, not only illegal but legal immigrants.
Legal immigrants, who did things "the right way," obeyed immigration laws, paid taxes and were part of the social contract, had the safety net pulled out from under them. Although they were still required to pay income taxes, social security taxes, Medicaid taxes, unemployment insurance taxes — in sum, all taxes — they were not allowed to participate in, or benefit from, the various social programs to which they contributed, but obliged to work to support those same benefits for Newt's parents and Clinton's.
In other words, the Republicans turned all immigrants, legal or not, into non-persons (not even 3/5ths people). And still this was not enough. Now they want to denaturalize the immigrants' U.S.-born children so that they can prevent them from receiving school lunch, or, indeed, bar them from school altogether. The Republican hatred of Hispanics does not exempt children, but targets children specifically. After all, it is a demographic war.
Gingrich has done his best to contribute to that demographic war (the other kind of war he simply dodges) by asking his cancer-stricken (and barren) wife for a divorce on her deathbed so that he could marry his girlfriend, and then, while excoriating Clinton for his infidelities, engaged in adulteries of his own, which he now admits. He must have decided, at some point, that copulation was not the way to win the demographic war and concentrated his efforts instead on making blacks second-class citizens and Hispanics national pariahs.
What Newt Gingrich did to blacks was almost as odious as his campaign of terror against Hispanics. He is the man who pioneered the "harrassment brigades" (sounds familiar?) which "challenge" and turn away tens of thousands of African-American voters from the polls as a means to neutralize the black vote.
Having given up the hope (if he ever entertained it) that blacks or Hispanics would ever flock to the Republican party, Gingrich invented a policy of "containment" whose object is to disenfranchise them. Cuban-Americans got caught up in his web, because, although a majority are Republicans, it was impossible to exclude them from the punitive sanctions implemented against all Hispanics.
So this is the man that Henry Gómez wants to be the next president of the United States, a man who defines himself, incidentally, as "the most serious, systematic revolutionary of modern times;" or, as I would define him, the no less catastrophic photographic negative of fellow Georgian Jimmy Carter. Who would have guessed it?