Note who the lone Republican “yes” vote was: Anh “Joseph” Cao, the Vietnamese-immigrant representative from Louisiana and subject of a panderfest memo last year from John Boehner, touting him as the future of the Republican Party. Earlier this year he supported the “Dream Act,” providing for in-state college tuition for illegal aliens. Fortunately there’s still Piyush “Bobby” Jindal … right?
Stephanie Grace: Gleeful GOP mobs Cao bandwagon
By Annette Sisco
December 14, 2008, 2:59AM
Republicans in Congress have every reason to celebrate U.S. Rep.-elect Anh “Joseph” Cao’s surprise win over indicted incumbent William Jefferson, but this is getting ridiculous. There’s a big difference between giving the GOP’s newest star his due, and piling an otherwise troubled party’s hopes on his narrow shoulders. Yet that’s what the House’s highest ranking Republican John Boehner did when he issued a memo to fellow Congressional Republicans titled “The Future is Cao.”
Forget for a moment that a lot of folks still think the “future” of the party is Bobby Jindal—which, granted, isn’t nearly as catchy a headline. Boehner argued that Cao is the one worth emulating.
“As House Republicans look ahead to the next two years, the Cao victory is a symbol of what can be achieved when we think big, present a positive alternative, and work aggressively to earn the trust of the American people, ” Boehner wrote.
“Joseph Cao is a Vietnamese immigrant whose experience in America drew him to the Republican Party and its traditional commitment to freedom and reform. Working with like-minded Republicans such as Governor Bobby Jindal, he took an aggressive stand against corruption, offering a principled alternative to what voters were offered by the local Democratic establishment.
“Shrugging off conventional wisdom, he ran as a reformer in a district hungry for new representation in Congress. And he won, ” Boehner wrote.
Yes, Cao did win by offering a “principled alternative” to an indicted Democrat, although whether “the Republican Party and its traditional commitment to freedom and reform” had anything to do with it is open to serious debate. And yes, there are elements of Cao’s campaign that are worth studying. National Republicans, for example, could do a much better job of reaching out to minority candidates and voters.
Where Boehner goes off the deep end is arguing that Cao’s victory “is a symbol of our future, ” not an aberration in a district where just 11 percent of voters are Republican.
If Cao’s win is a model for Republicans, that would suggest the circumstances could be replicated. So I guess this is the formula for success.