Greg Abbott and Latinos - an unrequited love
By O. Ricardo Pimentel
Ardent wooing is the best part of any courtship. But, hint: Pretty ribbon around stinkweed won't make the bouquet smell any sweeter.
Gregg Abbott is said to be courting the Hispanic vote in his quest to be Texas' next governor.
Mr. Attorney General, it is more than coquettishness that prompts me to tell you how flattered we are by the attention. I've thought for awhile that my sashaying to and from ballot boxes in Texas and elsewhere had gone unnoticed by the GOP.
Good to know I've still got it after all these years.
But to tell you the truth, I thought, what with voter ID and redistricting shenanigans, that all this sashaying to polling places had been frowned upon. I thought the message was, "stay away."
Guess I was wrong. I read now how you're reaching out to Hispanics in the best traditions of caballero courting.
And I've got to tell you, a wooer with money in his pockets - and you've got more than $20 million burning a hole in yours for the courtship - is a selling point.
But I think I speak for all Hispanic voters when I tell you, we're just not that easy.
I'm not that kind of voter.
You're going to have to make a commitment.
Yes, you are so cute when you speak our language and come to our home like a proper gentleman.
You kicked off the courtship at La Villita in San Antonio.
And you referred to your Hispanic mother-in-law as your suegra, and, noting your wife's roots, you said, "Dos casas, pero una fundación."
Two houses, one foundation.
So endearing. But we can't help but notice you've been out in the streets with that flashy fella, States Rights.
And you're telling us that you're not going to call it quits either. In fact, you're telling us you want an open relationship - us and Mr. States Rights.
We hear you. You say cavorting around with Señor States Rights is for our own good. Sorry, it's a tough sell.
We fear you're just going to break our hearts.
I know, you've always resented our flirtation with Mr. Federal Government.
Believe me, it's all innocent. It's just that his brother, Mr. State Government, is, well, kind of a bully and a miser. And give us a break, Mr. Federal Government is not the one telling us we need a photo ID just for a quick tète-à-tète with our constitutional rights at the polling place.
Yes, your two-timing with that other guy, Gerry Mander, has not gone unnoticed.
And Mr. Federal Government, by the way, hasn't told us we can do just fine without health insurance.
Here it is plain: We just don't have as much money as you do. We haven't had as fine an education, and we don't have the means to get it. We need some help from time to time.
A whole lot of us need to know you'll be there for us if we have to go to a doctor, if we need better schools than we've got (our schools are bad just because of where we live) and if we need jobs that pay better than minimum wage.
We need to know you care more about us than tax breaks for folks who are just fine paying as little as possible, including wages. There's been another guy trying to sweet talk us that way. You know, your friend Mr. Rick Perry, though we don't hear you mentioning him much these days.
Again, we're flattered by the attention. But I'm guessing that a whole lot of us will sit out this particular dance.
Right, that's just sad. We love to dance. A whole lot more of us will be dancing in the near future. Then maybe that nice looking fella, George P., will ask us nicer.
If not, we'll dance with the person without stinkweed tied up in a nice bow.