• Edición impresa de Enero 7, 2011

México del Norte • On Dreams and Craziness

“Craziness”, Albert Einstein used to say, “is to do the same thing over and over and expect different results”. Consequently, the U.S. Senate is totally nuts.

There just wasn’t a chance. The vote on the DREAM Act last week was destined to fail. It was the ninth time the Senate did the same thing, expecting a different result.

Of course, craziness does not reside in the “Senate”, that half of Congress integrated by 100 who are not a bit crazy because all of them are millionaires. Crazy are the ones who lead the Senate, the ones who decided to put it up for a vote for the ninth time, doing the same thing expecting different results.

“The same” was to expect the enemy to side up with immigrants and favor the Democratic Party living them the Latino vote for 2012. It was to expect the Republicans to commit political suicide, give Barack Obama his best re-election chance and, by the way, give them another chance to regain their majority in the House of Representatives.

That’s why it was obvious. The vote in the Senate was not about the DREAM Act, but about election strategy for 2012.

We have a Democratic Party who enjoyed absolute majority for a year and a half in the Senate, and unquestionable majority in the House. To do things differently would have been to vote the DREAM on January 21 2009, the day after Obama was sworn in, or voting it in March or September or December, or at the beginning of this year or in the summer.

But no. They waited until there was not a chance to get it passed. They put it up for a vote a few days before their most disastrous election, as a desperate gamble to see if they could win again the Latino vote that had given them that majority.

It did work in a couple places, like Nevada, where they would have lost the leader of the Senate. Harry Reid was re-elected with the help of the Latino vote.

But the vote in December was destined to fail. After enjoying their majority in both chambers of Congress and the White house for two years, Democrats proved they are more interested in money than in people. Obama and his congressmen caved in on the health reform, caved in on the taxes and did not end the war, just change it to a different country. Oh, and they did not approve anything on immigration reform. In short, promises were kept as just that, promises.

But they did something differently. Between Barack Obama and Janet Napolitano, his Homeland Security chief, they managed to deport a record number of undocumented immigrants, a few less than 400 thousand this year, twice as many in the two years of his administration. By the time he starts his re-election campaign for 2012, at mid-year, they would be around a million. It’s like the entire population of Detroit, more than the whole population of San Francisco.

That made me remember the stupid excuse Obama gave last time we spoke over the phone, when we bitterly scolded him for voting in favor of the border wall with México. “We have to give a little”, he said, “to get a little”. He thought that voting in favor of the Republicans he would get I-don’t-know-what in exchange.

His problem, just like Einstein said, is that he still believes that and keeps doing the same thing expecting different results. He believed that deporting 400 thousand people, family heads, mothers of children born in the Unites States, workers, the Republicans were going to wrap the DREAM Act in fancy Christmas paper and keep the Latino vote on his side to guarantee his re-election in 2012.

I think Republicans made a wiser decision. They want to get the Latino vote by putting a few Latinos to run in 2012, to compensate for all the voting against immigrants they plan to do during 2011. The most visible Latino candidate, maybe as Vice president, will be their pretty Cuban new boy, Marco Rubio, now Senator from Florida.

To me, that’s what defined the vote on the DREAM Act. To think that if you do your enemy’s work the enemy will help you to keep in power. The failure was that Republicans have other plans. They plan to get rid of their friend Obama in 2012, once he finishes doing their work.




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