The current Tea Party movement takes its name from a historic incident. But today it appears to be ignoring the recent political history of California.
For months, the Tea Party has campaigned against the “path to citizenship” portion of the immigration bill passed by the Senate in June, calling it “amnesty for illegals” and urging “a full frontal assault on every member of Congress with a No Amnesty! Fax Blast.”
But as the philosopher George Santayana once observed, “Those who cannot remember history” may be condemned to repeat it.
Nowhere is history more likely to repeat itself than in Texas and Florida, two states where Republicans control both the governors’ offices and the legislatures, where large numbers of Latinos already vote, but with large numbers of eligible Hispanics who have not yet bothered to register or even to become citizens.
Two years ago a survey found that Texas had 920,000 U.S citizen Latinos not registered to vote and about 3 million other Hispanic residents who are eligible to become U.S. citizens but have not applied. In Florida, the same study found 600,000 Latino U.S. citizens not registered to vote.