Thursday, November 11, 2010
Susana Martinez: DREAM Act? What's That?
Embarrassing, but telling. In an interview with Latina Magazine, our new Republican governor-elect Susana Martinez -- you know, the "new face of the Republican Party" -- had to admit she didn't know what the critically important and historic DREAM Act is. The exchange:
Latina: Do you support the DREAM Act?
Susana Martinez: Remind me. I know that the scholarship...
Latina: The DREAM Act is the law that people have been trying to pass for 10 years that would allow children of illegal immigrants to stay in the country as long as they go to college or perform military service.
Susana Martinez: Oh, yes, yes, yes. OK, I do know that.
When asked to describe what ideal comprehensive immigration reform would look like, Martinez said,
I don’t know what the comprehensive reform act would be.
She then goes on to talk about securing the border and cracking down on the criminals who cross it, as she always does, because she seems to view almost every problem solely through the narrow lens of a prosecutor. However, she does say,
I think that [the DREAM Act] has to become part of the comprehensive immigration reform that the government has failed to take on and take on in a very serious way.
Aha, she doesn't know what comprehensive reform should be, but she knows the DREAM Act should be a part of it -- once she's reminded what the DREAM Act is. I see.
A Scholarship Program?
Then again, Martinez still doesn't seem to get it because she goes on to talk about the DREAM Act as if it's a scholarship program, which it's not:
Susana Martinez: What I am concerned about is that we have New Mexico citizens who want to attend college and there’s only so much funding to go around. Are we excluding people that are in New Mexico who are in the military service and have served our country and are here legally and cannot receive that kind of funding to attend college because the funds are limited?
Do you understand how creating a path to citizenship for children of undocumented workers who meet certain specific criteria -- if they go to college or enlist in the military -- would jeopardize funding for citizens to go to school or join the military? Me neither. Maybe some up and at 'em New Mexico reporter should ask her that question and demand a specific answer. I won't hold my breath.
I remember being stunned that Bush beat Ann Richards for Texas Governor. He was clueless about many things as well.
It will be interesting to see what exchanges like this reveal as particulars become more than mere campaign rhetoric, but actual policy matters. In Texas, Bush could more or less hide behind the very poweful, really extraordinary figure of Democratic Lieutentant Governor Bob Bullock. He was truly a master of the legislature and was the one who figured stuff out. Bush didn't have to do anything. Conveniently, Bullock's heart condition and heavy drinking caught up with him and he died of a massive coronary, just as Bush geared up to run for President.
There doesn't seem to be such a figure for the New Mexico governor to hide behind.
If there is a silver lining, her ignorance on the issues is probably shared by the voters who sent her in there. This could be an education from A to Z on what is or is not real. If the Democrats play it that way, perhaps in four years someone could replace her with a more well-informed electorate.
Posted by: Stuart Heady | Nov 12, 2010 10:54:30 AM
I'm a Latina myself and this makes me shudder. How embarrassing to have the first Latina gov be ignorant of something as basic as this. It makes all of us look bad and it looks like this is just the start.
Posted by: L. Chavz | Nov 12, 2010 11:08:14 AM
Susana left her heritage on the other side of the river. She's no Latina, she just plays one on TV.
She got hers. That's what counts.
Posted by: bg | Nov 12, 2010 11:42:31 AM
She shares much with Michael Steele if you know that I mean.
Posted by: Justin | Nov 12, 2010 12:12:53 PM
Wow. Just wow. She is even more ignorant than I thought. She is in way over her head. Why didn't the media question her in more depth BEFORE she got elected?
Posted by: M.L. | Nov 12, 2010 4:46:38 PM
Why are all the minorities the Repubs put up as window dressing (to make them appear open and accepting and diverse - Ha!)shallow, uninformed idiots who simply lockstep with whatever nonsense right wing hateful rhetoric they're fed at the time. Michael Steele, Sarah Palin, now our idiot new governor who will probably pull a Palin and say it was a "gotcha" question!!!
Posted by: Steve | Nov 12, 2010 11:52:08 PM
Also, its pretty obvious she has no idea of what her spoonfed political convictions even mean or what consequences they may have, just that she's been told to think that way if she wants to play in the GOP. Mindless drones!
Posted by: Steve | Nov 13, 2010 12:03:08 AM