As luck would have it, the GOP has fallen quite unexpectedly into their first effective bi-lingual messaging campaign. The GOP, long known for its inability to communicate with Latino voters, is now on the verge of being able to communicate its intentions cross-culturally and across the language barrier like never before. As recently as last year, Michael Steele put out a Spanish language press release so full of spelling errors and grammatical gaffes that it went viral among bi-lingual Latinos faster than a video of a jet skiing house pet. But now the GOP is able to communicate who they are and what they want in one simple bilingual word: “no”.
“No” is the only word I know of that is spelled the same way and means the same thing in English and Spanish. The party “of no” is easily transitioning into being the party “de no”.
Last week Republican Senator Lindsey Graham was interviewed by La Opinion and told the Spanish-language newspaper that there was no chance of introducing immigration reform this year. Graham is part of the GOP tantrum squad that is only working half days in order to punish America for passing health insurance reform. (Now the GOP senators only obstruct legislation until 2 PM, instead of obstructing it all day long. I don’t know what the difference is, but then again, I am not a GOP senator.)
The Graham ploy is to tell Latinos that there won’t be immigration reform because Obama pushed health insurance reform. A few weeks ago as a precursor to this amazing stra-tee-gery Graham blamed Democrats for not being able to pass immigration reform over his colleagues vicious objections last time it was introduced in the Senate.
The difficulty that Graham has is that Latino voters by very significant margins have told pollster after pollster that health reform was a top priority for them. Increased access to health care is seen by most Latino voters as even a higher priority then immigration reform. In essence Graham is telling Latinos that he will stop them from getting what they want because he could not stop them from getting what they wanted that they just won. That makes Graham the Rey de No! (Rey = King, for my monolingual friends).
Latino voters, long weary of the harshness of the conservative attack on immigration reform, have grown accustomed to GOP games on the issue. However, never has a message been so clearly articulated across the social, cultural, and ethnic divide as the Spanish / English word chosen by the GOP to define itself. Senator Graham and the Republican party will find that Latino voters will continue to offer the same word back in kind in both Spanish and English simultaneously.
Crossposted with the author’s permission from Huffington Post.