Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Religious Intolerance is Alive and Well in VA

People who live in other parts of Virginia's 5th Congressional District often accuse those of us in Charlottesville of wanting to secede from the 5th. After reading this, all I have to say is...Congressman Eric Cantor is lookin' pretty darn good.


TrvlnMn said...

I'm having trouble believing that a politican actually authored that letter.

That letter reads like a complete “parody” of what liberals accuse those opposed to illegal immigration of being like.

I'm more inclined to believe that it's some sort of political "dirty tricks." From someone who's got a bone to pick with Goode, perhaps a disgruntled staffer taking one last jab at a hated boss before either quitting or being fired.

It is possible to be opposed to illegal immigration and NOT be a racist.

DaveNorris said...

If your theory about the letter were only true...

I think it's a likelier story that Rep. Goode saw his commanding re-election victory in November as validation for his fierce nativism and it only encouraged him further in that direction. And as long as our congressional districts are as gerrymandered as they are today (for which both parties are at fault), it's only going to continue to promote such extremist discourse in politics. When you're in a "safe seat," you don't have to say things or do things to moderate your image. In fact, you're encouraged to do just the opposite -- i.e., "play to your base." Which is exactly what Virgil did here.

TL Patten said...

Dave, if only that were true. But the way I calculate it, Virgil's not playing to his base. He's deliberately hiding his agenda behind the war against terrorism because Muslim-hating is so much safer than Mexican-hating in this district.

We have lots of immigrants in the 5th, not all of them are illegal and yet many do not vote. But if he came out and showed his anti-Hispanic colors, he'd lose his farmers, who count on the immigrant population during harvest time, while giving any opposition a lot of fuel to get that demographic to the polls en masse.

Goode's attitude mimics one that is currently popular among the quickly-disappearing WASP, male, middle-class, blue-collar worker. He may perceive that to be his base, but he's not yet stupid enough to completely ignore the actual numbers (most localities in our district are well above Virginia's average percentage for minority populations). I can't begin to count the number of times I've heard factory-worker friends and relatives complain about losing their jobs to "Mexicans" (who could just as easily be Peruvian, Argentinian, Nicaraguan or Guatamalan, but they don't distinguish that far) because they will work for lower wages.

Thus, I figure that Goode has simply found a "hook" that allows him to push his immigration agenda without sounding so filthily prejudiced against an increasingly large percentage of the conglomerate American ethnicity.