[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Common Ground

Monday, April 14, 2008

Common Ground

Alex's recent post criticizing the open letter to Joe Garcia by Belen graduates is centered on the principle that those who signed the letter have no right to claim "absolute authority" over the feelings of the community.

I'm not a Belen grad, so I don't have any biases one way or the other about that school or any of its rivals, other than the recognition that Belen has pumped out some pretty sharp men in its time (as well as a few not-so-sharp).

Regarding the letter Henry posted at Babalu, I don't get the impression that these guys think they're the only authority in town. They're merely stating an obvious point, which is that "our community" stands for the advancement of freedom in Cuba and the desire for Cubans to enjoy the same freedoms we are fortunate to have in this country. On that I believe all of us, liberals and conservatives, can find some common ground on. That's all they're trying to say. Their (legitimate) beef is that Garcia, by accepting a fundraising event hosted by Charlie Rangel, is compromising his principles and those of the community at large in which he was raised in. Well, when you align yourself with someone who is a friend of fidel castro, you leave yourself open for criticism.

Let me be clear by stating that I believe Garcia 100% when he says he disagrees with Rangel on Cuba. This isn't about demonizing him as a "communist". Sorry, libs, ain't gonna happen. It IS about going to bed politically with Charlie Rangel. Yes, I realize this is politics and that it's a dirty game, but I have absolutely no problem with a group of people who share a common bond with Joe Garcia calling him out for putting politics over the principles many in our community sacrificed much too much for.



Blogger nonee moose said...

Good post, Robert.

"our community" stands for the advancement of freedom in Cuba and the desire for Cubans to enjoy the same freedoms we are fortunate to have in this country.

I don't think anyone can disagree with that. But what does it mean?

That letter was pretty clear in its entrechment and its use of the same old rhetoric. Using words like betrayal? C'mon.

You can disagree with Garcia's position. You may feel that his decision to follow through on that call is bad judgement. And certainly, to speak out on it is anyone's right.

You yourself don't question his sincerity on the Cuba issue. And I agree with you that as a public figure seeking political office, being called out on his judgement is fair game and part of the process. But how can you sanction the rhetoric?

It's a choice you make. You either engage on the issues, or you harp on where people live, before they're legally required to move.

8:57 AM, April 15, 2008  
Blogger Robert said...

Sure, the rhetoric is pretty heavy-handed, but I personally don't have a major issue with their choice of words. I would have prefereed another word instead of betrayal, but in the end it's not enough for me to denounce it. Sorry.

I for one am anxious to address the issues, but an association with a Charlie Rangel, at least for a Cuban-American seeking political office, is something that should be addressed at the appropriate time which happens to be now.

1:17 PM, April 15, 2008  
Blogger nonee moose said...

That's a fair shake. As to addressing the issues, where do you peg the odds of a debate?

Just curious.

1:24 PM, April 15, 2008  
Blogger Robert said...

I don't think there's a doubt that there will be a debate. I'm pretty sure one of the local stations will set one or more up.

3:41 PM, April 15, 2008  
Blogger Alex said...

The letter say Joe will "betray our community" by going to a private fundraiser to which the chairman of the Ways and Means committe is invited (and is not the host, as you incorrectly state).

Since the community is much bigger than Belen and harbors many political views about Cuba, including many that share Joe Garcia's -which are very much in teh mainstream except for his oppoition to the travel ban- it is disingenous to word it like they did.

Going to a fundraiser is not the same as compromising principles. To paint it that way is just the Belenite's attempt to score a cheap political point.

Joe Garcia has done much, but much more for the "advancement of freedom in Cuba and the desire for Cubans to enjoy the same freedoms we are fortunate to have in this country" as any of the people that signed that letter. If they were honest they would recognize it as such.

So it is exactly about demonizing him by proxy. It is exactly about loyalty to the Republican party while wrapping themselves on the Cuban flag. Like I said on the blog, Charlie Rangel is not on the ballot and the election is not about Cuba.

Sorry Reps, it ain't gonna happen.

2:33 PM, April 20, 2008  

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