"This obsession with illegal alien workers is something I truly don't understand. Perhaps it's that I don't want to believe that America is as xenophobic as ever."
"I will not vote in an election that features Hillary Clinton vs. John McCain. If we're destined to have liberal policies then we might as well have the real McCoy in there so we can blame them when the shit hits the fan. [...] John McCain can not win in November. You can't beat liberals by parroting them. Sorry. Carter ruined the country and Reagan rebuilt it. Clinton was on his way to destroying it and Gingrich prevented it. We need to take our medicine every now and then." — Henry Gómez, Cuban-American Pundits, January 29, 2008
Xenophobia, America's oldest political tradition, was pretty much dormant for 50 years (1945-1995) before it was reintroduced into American political culture by Newt Gingrich, the very man that Henry Gómez credits with saving the Republic from the Clintons and vindicating the principles of Ronald Reagan. Except that Reagan was cosmopolitan not xenophobic, and looked on America as a land of ever renewable opportunity rather than as a besieged and dying idea that must be walled and sequestered to preserve the genomes that made it great.
Gingrich and his ilk (and you can count all the Republican candidates, current and past) have transformed the GOP into the new "Know-Nothing Party" and made Hispanics the new Irish if not the new blacks. Mitt Romney, the last candidate to win Henry's (begrudging) support — after Newt Gingrich and Fred Thompson dropped out — was endorsed by Tom Tancredo as the candidate most representative of his own millenarian-xenophobic views. Yet Henry was willing to support Romney because he was the last "true conservative" in the race. His performance at last night's debate in California, when he reaffirmed his commitment to throw out 18 million undocumented workers in 90 days, which would wreak greater havoc on this country than 10 Iraq Wars, must have alarmed Henry the anti-xenophobe while it simultaneously elated Henry the conservative zealot who wants (or wanted) to win in 2008.
Of course, these two self-negating personalities cannot co-exist in one individual without ultimately paralyzing him, and this, in effect, has happened to Henry, the self-proclaimed "political animal" since the age of 5. He declares that he will sit out this election and hopes that Hillary or Obama wins so that the counter-reaction to them will bring back real Republicans in 2012. How pragmatic of him! But what of Cuba? Can it endure Henry's four years of real politik? In that time the Democrats will ensure the survival of Castroism by becoming Cuba's new economic sponsors just in time to replace the depleted Hugo Chávez and save Cuba from becoming a Venezuelan province by re-colonizing it themselves as Castro's partners in the exploitation of the Cuban people. And even Newt Gingrich – should be manage to resurrect his political career in 2012 — won't be able to do a thing about it. In fact, he won't want to do anything so long as Castro or his heirs can keep his people walled-up and sequestered.
Henry's eclectic politics, inconsistencies and tactics from Machiavelli 101 have done at least as much damage to Babalú's reputation — such as it is — as Val Prieto's repeated tolling of the bells for Fidel Castro. If we really believed that Babalú has as much influence and outreach as its editors contend, we would be seriously concerned that others might presume that all Cuban exiles are as maniacal, contradictory and irrational as Henry Gómez.