Welcome to the Way Back Machine. Today’s destination is taking us all the way back to the Year of Our Lord two-thousand-and-thirteen.
It was the year after longtime U.S. Rep. Rubén Hinojosa for the Texas district encompassing El Paso was ousted by an up-and-comer from the El Paso City Council named Beto O’Rourke. Of course, his real name is Robert — which he went by until after college — but we’ll get to that.
After the election and Beto’s ascendancy to the U.S. House was complete, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus realized they were suddenly a member short.
How could this be?? The 77.6 Hispanic population of Texas’ 16th congressional district voted for “Beto.” They wouldn’t possibly replace a member of the caucus representing their demographic with a guy who wouldn’t be allowed in.
Except, they did. Because for all of the Spanish-speaking Robert Francis O’Rourke’s cultural appropriation by using the nickname “Beto,” he’s still just a 4th generation Irish American and according to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ charter, he wasn’t allowed.
But some people at the time still floated the idea that maybe an exception should be made.
“I would like to see him in there because there is strength in numbers,” said David M. Austin, the El Paso-based border representative for the U.S./Mexico Border Counties Coalition, which lobbies Congress on issues that affect the border regions. “I think it’s less important as to whom the person is compared to whom they represent. Given the makeup of his district, his membership in the caucus would be important.”
However, the CHC stuck to its charter and maintained the policy necessitating members have Hispanic heritage, which Beto does not. For his part, O’Rourke only commented that he respected the Caucus’s bylaws.
The willingness of those on the left to shoe-horn in a privileged white guy under the banner of a minority representative is honestly laughable. But don’t you dare put on a sombrero on Halloween or celebrate Cinco de Mayo.
I suppose the one thing we can extrapolate from this is maybe if Elizabeth Warren had admitted to not being Native American but went around calling herself “Little White Dove” and learned a few words from the movie Windtalkers during her first bid for the Senate, she’d still be a Democratic darling rather than a laughingstock.
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