Commentary: Texas Politicos – Stupid is as stupid does

In the immortal words of Forest Gump, two recent politicos from the State of Texas have tried to be too clever in their search for justifying more federal monies for their fiefdoms. Republican US Representative Francisco “Quico” Canseco of San Antonio recently sent a newsletter to his constituency claiming that “car bombs” had recently gone off in El Paso, Texas. According to the El Paso Times, Canseco’s March 31 letter stated that “[w]e have seen Sheriffs and their deputies fired upon and shot at, car bombs in El Paso, ICE, DEA and Border Patrol agents killed in the line of duty”.

The problem is that there have been no cases of car bombs in El Paso. Texas Governor Rick Perry had made the same assertion on July 15, 2010. According to Zahira Torres’ article, Canseco’s office responded that misrepresentation was a “technicality”.

The problem with these two statements is that they misrepresent the facts and instead of addressing the real issue, they distract from it. Cd. Juárez is in the threshold of violence and is suffering. El Paso borders its sister city and most residents, on both sides, suffer the consequences of the violence. And, although it hasn’t been proven yet, there is anecdotal evidence in court documents to suggest that cross-border violence does, indeed exist.

But, Canseco’s “technicality” rather than forcing a discussion on this very important issue, hides it behind the rhetoric that accompanies the idiotic lack of fact checking that politicians should apply to their utterances. Stupidity is not a crime in itself, but the ramifications of such stupid remarks should have consequences to them. And, unfortunately they do. Continued murders are the consequence.

People are dying. It is as simple as that. On one hand you have local politicos and business leaders in El Paso touting the “safest” city on one hand while demanding more money for border security. While, state officials are saying bombs are exploding in the city. So rather than address kidnappings in El Paso who end up dead in Cd. Juárez, the politicians would rather play word games to prop up their agendas. Well, here is an agenda everyone should embrace – the end to the violence with an honest discussion and a factual representation of what is truly going on, on both sides of the border. People’s lives, really, do depend on this, simple fact.