Stay Classy, Congressman Vela! The Texas Democrat Uses Trump As An Excuse To Sink To A New Low In Public Discourse

Oh, fine.

Oh, fine.

Yes, incredible as it seems, even lower than Marco Rubio implying that Donald Trump has a small penis.

It’s a long, unprofessional, roller coaster of valid arguments, unethical contentions and muddled reasoning that U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela, (D-Brownsville) stuffed into his open letter to Donald Trump. He calls Trump a racist, he implies that anyone who illegally crosses the border should be welcomed with open arms unless he’s a criminal; he incorrectly calls Trump’s suspicions about his Hispanic judge’s biases bigoted, when they are merely expressions of Trump’s ignorance regarding what constitutes a judicial conflict of interests. Time to showboat for the district constituency, I guess: you can read the whole letter here.

Like Rubio, however, Vela debased his office, Congress, his district and himself by attacking Trump in a vulgar and undignified manner, saying in his grand finale:

“I will not presume to speak on behalf of every American of Mexican descent, for every undocumented worker born in Mexico who is contributing to our country every day or, for that matter, every decent citizen in Mexico. But, I am sure that many of these individuals would agree with me when I say…

‘Mr. Trump, you’re a racist and you can take your border wall and shove it up your ass.’”

How nice.

“I had to do it in language that only Donald Trump could understand,” Vela said when questioned about the tone of his letter.

No, he didn’t. He didn’t have to sink below Trump’s level—even he has not said anything that vulgar—and despite the fact that “many of these individuals” he mentions in his letter will love his use of such crude language to attack someone they don’t like, his unstatesman-like  obscenity just further lowers standards, encourages worse to come, and makes the culture and politics even uglier that it already is.

We knew Donald Trump was unfit for high office, and now we know Congressman Vela is too.

On the bright side, at least young Hispanic-Americans who look up to their Congressman now know how to express themselves in public, thanks to his example.


16 thoughts on “Stay Classy, Congressman Vela! The Texas Democrat Uses Trump As An Excuse To Sink To A New Low In Public Discourse

  1. You’re right that this was below the conduct of an elected official, but you’re wrong that Trump’s attacks on Judge Curiel weren’t racist. Trump said that the judge was biased because he was Mexican. Saying someone is unfit to do their job because of their race is prima facie racism.

    • Chris
      How do you reconcile the arguments made by many on the left that an all white jury is inherently biased against people of color. Your logic would suggest that such is the case if Trump’s claim that Curiel’s Mexican heritage is prima facie racism.

      Trump may not be qualified to decide whether there is a conflict of interest in his case just as activists are ill qualified to make claims of systemic racism in the criminal justice system based on disparate impact statistics.

      • I don’t need to reconcile those two arguments; they’re both wrong. It’s also a bad analogy; a fitting one would be if lefties were arguing that white judges were inherently biased against people of color.

    • Nope. First of all, “Mexican” isn’t a race. It would be ethnic bias if you were right, and you aren’t. So as it isn’t even slightly “racism,” it isn’t per se racism.

      Nor is it racism/bigotry to allege that someone’s race/ethnicity may effect their judgment. Black Americans are more likely to favor President Obama, because of group identification. Is it racist to make that observation? No.

      Now, Trump is saying, because polls say he is unpopular withHispanics, and because he has advocated policies that some Hispanics feel are anti-Hispanic, it follows that a Hispanic judge would be biased against him, and unable to be objective and fair. That’s not bigotry, and that’s not bias, and that’s not racism. It’s a gross misunderstanding of what a conflict of interest is for a judge. A judge’s ethnicity COULD be a factor, but he would have to be a lousy judge. Trump is impugning the judge’s integrity, saying that he could not do his job despite his ethnic identification. Well, some people are like that, but they can’t be judges.

      The people who called for a gay judge in a committed relationship to recuse from a DOMA case—including me–were not anti-gay bigots. That, in fact, was a colorable conflict. This isn’t…but over on a legal ethics listserv, some of the members are arguing that a legitimate argument…not a winning one, but legitimate—could be made that a Hispanic judge would be so negatively inclined toward Trump for his policy positions that it would interfere with his judgment.

      His position was wrong, ignorant, unfair and inflammatory. It is not only not “per se” racist, it isn’t racist in any way.

      We really have to stop defaulting to that word.

      • “Racism” and “ethnic bigotry” are often used interchangeably. Most people would call the phrase “I hate those dirty Mexicans” racist, even though Mexican is not technically a race. Also, I’d argue Hispanics are treated as a distinct racial group in this country, and since race is entirely a social construct, I think the term “racism” is fair.

        The analogy to blacks voting for Obama doesn’t work because you’re comparing a generalization about a group to an assumption about *one member* of a group. If Trump were facing a jury trial with an all-Hispanic jury he may have more a case that bias could be a factor. (And now I’m reconsidering my previous statement about lefties’ assumptions re: all white juries.) But to assume an individual person of Mexican heritage would be biased is bigoted; that’s what bigotry is.

        It’s also hypocritical, since Trump has claimed that “Hispanics love me.” If that’s the case, shouldn’t this judge be biased in favor of Trump?

        • I really don’t care whether people misuse the term racism. You are still misusing it, as are many others. They do this because racism is an ugly word, and they want to make Trump look even worse than he is.

          Judge’s are bound to be objective and fair. It is not inconceivable that any individual of Mexican descent would have special animus toward Trump–just listen to what La Raza and SIN and Telemundo say about him. His presumption that this is fair for him to assume regarding a judge, however, is mistaken. Ignorant. Wrong.

          But neither biased nor racist.

          • Not to put too fine a point on this, but Trump is not assuming any judge of Mexican descent would have special animus towards him, but he is doing what most litigants do after a series of negative rulings for which he disagrees — questioning whether the judge is out to get him. If the judge had ruled in his favor and dismissed the case, he may have been on Trump’s Supreme Court short list by now.

            Trump is not unique or even wrong to consider whether a judge who has ruled against him may be biased — one may expect him to have a private conversation with his lawyers about it. But as usual it is the publicity that makes Trump unique.

          • I’m not misusing the term, you’re being pedantic. There is no one definition of “race,” and no biological reason for the concept; ethnicity and race are closely related; bias against an ethnicity is no better than, and usually related to, bias against race; and racism is commonly used to describe bias against ethnic groups as well. The term is useful, and most people understand it as applying to ethnic groups as well as “races.” The term fits.

            It remains obvious to me that applying a generalization (“Hispanics are likely to be biased against Trump”) to an individual (“This judge must be biased against Trump”) is biased for no other reason than their ethnic heritage is racist.

            • It remains obvious to you that calling someone racist when they have uttered no negative generality about ethnicity, much less race, is reasonable? That is obviously unreasonable, lazy and facilitates demonizing an individual as racist not non-racist conduct.

              racism : 1. the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.
              2. prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.

              That’s what racism is. That’s the definition everywhere. Arguing that people use the ten loosely, excessively and incorrectly still doesn’t make racist comments that aren’t.

              Neither describes what Trump has said and suggested. He believes all people will have antipathy toward a politician who has said negative things about their country of origin. He isn’t saying that only Hispanics think this way. In this case, it happens to be a Hispanic. If the judge was Irish, and Trump had said that he believed that we had too many Irish immigrants in this country, does anyone doubt for a second that he would have suggested that the Irish judge was biased against him? Would that have been “racism” too? This is the presumed racism trap that activist are increasingly fond of: anything said or done that is negative to an individual of another race is presumptively racist. If I say Barry Bonds is a cheater, I’m a racist; it I say Roger Clemens is, I’m not. Clever—good way to make me think twice before accusing a black man of anything. In this case it’s especially absurd, because race isn’t even involved.

  2. Well Brownsville, Texas isn’t exactly the garden spot of the West. Vela’s constituents have probably got the congressman they deserve.

  3. he implies that anyone who illegally crosses the border should be welcomed with open arms unless he’s a criminal

    So, none of them then, by definition.

    I am in complete agreement.

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