Saturday, June 29, 2019


Beto O'Rourke, Cory Booker, and Joaquin Castro spoke Spanish in the first Democratic presidential debate this week. The response from Bret Stephens: Speak English or die.
Amigos demócratas,

Si ustedes siguen así, van a perder las elecciones. Y lo merecerán.

Translation for the linguistically benighted: “Democratic friends, if you go on like this, you’re going to lose the elections. And you’ll deserve it.”
Channeling Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson, Stephens continues, decribing the Democrats as
a party that makes too many Americans feel like strangers in their own country. A party that puts more of its faith, and invests most of its efforts, in them instead of us.
And who exactly are "they" and "we"?
They speak Spanish. We don’t.
Yes, it's horrible when candidates speak Spanish in debates. Regular Americans are morally offended by it, and it instantly seals a candidate's electoral doom. No Republican would ever do such a thing, and any Republican who did would lose the party's nomination instantly....

That was George W. Bush in a debate in Arizona on December 6, 1999. He won that nomination, and was the next president of the United States. As president, he spoke Spanish on a fairly regular basis.

Here he is delivering an entire radio address in Spanish:

But it's okay if you're a Republican, of course.

I singled out "They speak Spanish. We don’t," but that's just the beginning of a paragraph that starts white nationalist and continues as the classic corporatism you'd expect from a former Wall Street Journal editorialist:
They speak Spanish. We don’t. They are not U.S. citizens or legal residents. We are. They broke the rules to get into this country. We didn’t. They pay few or no taxes. We already pay most of those taxes. They willingly got themselves into debt. We’re asked to write it off. They don’t pay the premiums for private health insurance. We’re supposed to give up ours in exchange for some V.A.-type nightmare. They didn’t start enterprises that create employment and drive innovation. We’re expected to join the candidates in demonizing the job-creators, breaking up their businesses and taxing them to the hilt.
Enterprises! Innovation! Job creators! Yeah, why can't the Democratic candidates talk more like that nice Mitt Romney? Ordinary Americans loved his campaign!

Elsewhere, Stephens writes:
What conclusions should ordinary people draw about what Democrats stand for, other than a thunderous repudiation of Donald Trump, and how they see America, other than as a land of unscrupulous profiteers and hapless victims?
Well, most Americans also despise Donald Trump. And as for "unscrupulous profiteers," ever seen the Gallup polling numbers on taxing the rich and corporations?

I keep reading that Americans think the economy is going gangbusters. Polling seems to confirm that, but Americans know there's no level playing field. Maybe that's why, despite all the happy-days-are-here-again talk from Trump and Republicans, the public still answers the question "Is the country on the right track?" with a solid no:

It's possible that Democrats are tacking too far to the left for many voters on some issues. But Stephens think "we" are living the good life in America and those damn Democrats want to take it away. He thinks "we" are all debt free. He thinks "we" are all adequately insured.

I thought it was Democrats who were supposed to be the out-of-touch elitists.

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