Five Excuses Loretta Sanchez Apologists Give to Justify Her Not Being More Aztlanista

OC gal Adriana Maestas has another scandalous, connect-the-dots post on Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez over at her Latino Politics Blog, and her apologists ranted as always. Seriously: why does Loretta have so many apologists? Not like she's done much in Washington–can ustedes please list concrete accomplishments? And at least the Kool-Aid drinkers with the OC GOP can count on money, a political ladder, cigars with Mickadeit, and a chance to go yard-sale shopping with chairman emeritus Tom Fuentes, but what does Loretta offer her water carriers? Mildly amusing Christmas cards? THANKS.

I'm reminded of this not so much because of Maestas' article, but because of news that Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez has introduced an amnesty bill that includes the DREAM Act, the proposed legislation which would create a path to citizenship for college students who have lived in this country illegally for years. Loretta's reluctance to be a co-sponsor to the latter bill alongside her sister Linda has drawn criticism from some, and spinning from nearly all Democrats I speak to, spinning that gets progressively (I hate to use this word, since it's the exact opposite of what Blue Dog Loretta is) loonier and loonier.

Unsurprisingly, Loretta hasn't signed on as a co-sponsor to Gutierrez's bill–which is one step short of giving back the southwest US to Mexico–despite her insistence to DREAMers she favors “comprehensive immigration reform.” That would be okay if Loretta's apologists didn't continually portray her as a beacon of progressive politics. So when Aztlanistas start portraying Loretta as a vendida anew, expect her apologists to use one, if not all, of the following excuses:

1. Loretta doesn't need to sponsor any pro-immigrant bill, because she says she'll vote on it: And if Loretta says the sky will be purple mañana, we should believe her? Promises and politicians don't mix like, say, Tapatío and quesadillas, so mere assurances mean mierda. Besides, sponsoring a bill shows your commitment to its key issues, which leads to the second point…

2. Immigration isn't the only issue for Loretta, so she doesn't have to be a leading voice: Bull. One of Loretta's pet issues is human rights in Vietnam, a laudable effort that has led her to wear too many ao dais and make one laughable appearance in a Paris by Night production a couple of years ago. Loretta obviously cares about this issue because Vietnamese make up a big chunk of the 47th Congressional District, but why not the cause of the undocumented Latinos among her? After all, it was former illegals-turned-citizens that helped her defeat Bob Dornan way back when.

3. Loretta can't speak out liberally on immigration–this is Orange County: The excuse that Loretta herself has told DREAMers–she can't be too much of an advocate, because the Republican Party will skewer her. Like they haven't mercilessly since her election nearly 14 years ago, and like Mexican-bashers in Loretta's districts have increased over the years instead of high-tailed it to Scottsdale? Also, if Loretta really believes she can't act like an Aztlanista despite being one, then she's a coward at best, an opportunist at worst.

4. If Loretta speaks out on immigration, she'll lose. You REALLY want the Republican alternative?: Such stupid reasoning it doesn't even deserve the red herring label. First off, Loretta's nearly invincible, Van Tran or not: too many wabs vote for her based solely on the surname, and nearly everyone who's not a Republican or Vietnamese (too many of whom also vote on surname alone) will cast the ballot in Loretta's favor based on her incumbency. Also, this excuse betrays not only the insecurity Democrats feel about Loretta's politics, but their knowledge that, outside of Irvine and Santa Ana (and the blobs shooting out of it that make up the congressional, state senate and assembly districts where Democrats have reigned most of this decade) and Irvine, they've done little to build a strong political foundation for local Dems, resting on the laurel wreath that is Loretta–and those two cities function like Tammany Hall.

5. You have to support Loretta–she's Latina: And, as she constantly reminds everyone, a light-skinned one at that.

Fact is, Loretta is a conservative–and that's perfectly fine, if she wants to be that (she does belong to the Blue Dog Coalition, after all, not the Progressive one like Linda). But for her ostensibly liberal apologists to defend Loretta so vigorously means they settled for the best they could get–and that's just sad.

Now, let the apologist clock begin…

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