Thursday, November 29, 2007

Quico vs. Ciro

I’m starting to see “Quico for Congress” signs popping up around my neighborhood. Aside from the fact that “Quico” is very close to “Ciro,” the name of our incumbent congressman, the signs don’t tell you much. Not even party affiliation. So what should we think of this “Quico” Canseco fellow?

Here is a quick analysis of Quico’s positions according to his website:

Quico makes it clear that despite his Hispanic heritage, he would be somewhere to the right of Tom Tancredo on immigration issues. Without actually using the buzzword “amnesty,” he spells out his position this way:

America is a welcoming nation and it should continue to extend a warm welcome to those that want to enter in accordance with the laws, the rules and the regulations for entry. Those that do so otherwise disrespect our nation’s sovereignty and they must not benefit by their illegal trespass.

That means he will oppose any immigration reforms that might lead to citizenship for any of the six million illegal aliens already living in the United States. This is not a realistic response to a serious social issue and it just demonstrates that Quico would champion ideology over humanitarian compromises that are needed to deal with the reality at hand.

Abortion rights
On “Human Life,” Quico declares himself to be a “a pro-life conservative who defends the right to life of the unborn.”
Since he does not elaborate, one must assume that this means Quico would push for a constitutional amendment to ban abortions and would not make exceptions for the life or health of the mother. He does not mention a position on capital punishment which leads me to believe that he supports it, but finds it inconvenient to do so while also posturing as a so-called pro-lifer.

Quico clearly has no clue as to what he is talking about here. He mentions “reform of the insurance market” and “efficient implementation of health technology.” He also talks about the need for “a balanced playing field among providers and insurers.” But as for how he would accomplish any of this, we have no clue since he also claims that having government take responsibility for accomplishing any of these reforms would be a “disaster for our entire population.”
Come to think of it, that may be true if our government is filled with people like Quico.

Economy and Taxes
Quico comes out as a full-fledged supply sider, promising to make Bush’s fiscally irresponsible tax cuts permanent and permanently eliminate the inheritance tax, which would no doubt be a windfall for someone wealthy enough to dump $700,000 into his own congressional campaign.
Quico is living in a fantasy world with respect to the economy. He claims that the 9/11 attacks “challenged our economy,” but that Bush’s tax cuts “brought us out of the economic slump.” No mention of the skyrocketing federal deficits that resulted from Bush’s tax cuts or the fact that Americans are overwhelmingly unhappy with an economy that has left workers’ wages stagnant while gas prices and health care costs eat into their pocketbooks.

National Security
Be afraid! Be very afraid!!
Quico certainly is. He believes that:

Our nation and the rest of the free world are facing a threat like no other; one bent on destroying our way of life: our very existence.

Yikes! That sounds worse than the Nazis during WWII and the Commies during the Red Scare. To combat this evil threat, Quico believes that you need to give up your liberties and allow Big Brother to spy on you without any sort of judicial oversight.

All reasonable measures must be taken to protect the American homeland and I believe that sacrificing moderate intrusions of personal privacy are necessary to this mission.

National Defense
Quico is ready to spend lots of money making sure our Armed Forces “have the newest and best equipment” and also pledges to show his gratitude to our soldiers when they come home “by providing benefits for them and their families.” Where he expects to get this money with all of his tax cutting hysterics is not at all clear. I guess we will just put it on old Uncle Sam’s charge card with all the rest of the Iraq War spending.

Quico seems to be very much conflicted on this issue. He starts out by saying that education is “the foundation of any great republic” and complains that “we have neglected our charge and allowed the education of our youth (to) slip by the wayside.”
So what should we do about it? Nothing. At least, as far as the government is concerned. Quico’s only answer is to leave everything to the local districts and not burden them with “unfunded mandates.”
Quico lashes out at President Bush’s No Child Left Behind policy:

...governmental meddling in the operation of schools must cease and we must admit that the mandates of No Child Left Behind stifle creative thinking in the classroom, increase bureaucracy, and drive the costs of education upward.

And he insists that government “must stay away from the state school system” and “release control to local school boards.”
But at the same time, he wants to encourage teachers to meet “standards of excellence” and wants to “find more effective ways to assure that our children are meeting standards and that these standards are fairly applied.”
But how can you have standards if everything is being done independently at the local level? I guess each school district could just set its own goals — ones that they could easily achieve — and Voila! Our education system is all fixed! Isn’t that amazing?

Social Security
Quico acknowledges that “to many Americans” Social Security “has proved to be a vital safety net.” However, he charges that the government has failed to administer the program for longevity and has not adjusted to the change from an agrarian society to an industrial society. Nevermind that that change actually occurred before Social Security was created. Now Quico says:

Social Security must meet the challenges of the 21st century in order to fulfill its promises to all Americans. 

Translation: Quico would support privatizing Social Security. Hope you are feeling lucky as you risk your life savings in the stock market.

Quico apparently did not think environmental issues, much less global warming, was significant enough to merit a bullet point on his issues page.

To sum up, Quico is a certifiable wingnut with a lot of personal cash and no political experience beyond serving as a Republican Party functionary. He recently received the endorsement of Dr. Jim Leininger who has bankrolled many of the rightwing causes here in Texas. The fact that Quico is independently wealthy makes him the ideal candidate for the GOP this time since the national party has little money to expend in these races.
Overall, I would say that Quico’s chances are slim to none for beating giant killer Ciro Rodriguez. Ciro is still riding high after knocking off entrenched incumbent Henry Bonilla in 2006 and the electorate’s mood has, if anything, only gotten more soured on Republican rule since then.

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