Fred Whitaker’s OC GOP chose Trump over Vietnamese-American voters.


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This Vietnamese-American man appears to be furiously disappointed at OC GOP chief Fred Whitaker (right) for not having his community’s back.

Give Trump credit at least for consistency here: It is not only Latin-Americans and Muslims that he hates and fears.  Last week his administration announced that its draconian immigration policies will be extended as well to Vietnamese-American refugees, and will be deporting those who arrived here before 1995 and either have not become US citizens or have been convicted of any of a long list of offenses.

Rock, hard place, meet the Orange County GOP.  This past year, the local Party enthusiastically backed Trump on his deportations, and fought against our own state, California, for its sane sanctuary policies.  That’s a gamble they took, at the urging of archaic haters like Shawn Steel, that echoing Trump’s demonization of Latin-Americans would lead them to electoral victory with all the OC xenophobes who’ve always voted Republican!

Well, apart from it didn’t work, now the Trump administration is also picking on the immigrants who’ve always voted Republican in the OC – the Vietnamese Americans who came over to get away from, first the bloody US war, second the repressive Communist regime, and third the grueling poverty back home.  NOW what can the OC GOP say, about Trump and deportations?

Well, chairman Fred Whitaker TRIED to thread that needle this week in a tortured statement (with my comments in italics) :

“Orange County is home to one of the largest communities of Vietnamese Americans in the United States. Like many I was concerned over the news that the Trump administration may move to deport certain refugees of the Vietnam War…

“In 1975, when South Vietnam and Cambodia fell to the communist regime, hundreds of thousands of refugees narrowly escaped to the United States. They sought protection, refuge, but most importantly freedom. Republican President Gerald R. Ford welcomed Vietnamese refugees from Communism. Yet that same year, in his first term as Governor, Jerry Brown and the Democrats fought to keep refugees out of California. Many of those refugees now call Orange County their home.  [See how he’s trying to get Trump to see ethnicities in a partisan way? Actually that is true about Brown in ’75, but in this century our governor has welcomed all refugees.]

“The Vietnamese community has made an incredible contribution to California and to Orange County. Our friends in the community for a long time have entrusted the Republican Party with their support because they recognize that our principles are their principles. Principles of freedom and opportunity in stark contrast to the totalitarian communist ideas they fled. Not only has the Republican Party supported and partnered with the Vietnamese community, but we also worked tirelessly to support Vietnamese American elected officials …  [“Come on, Mr President, you’re screwing up OUR PARTY here!”]

“As Republicans, we understand that national security comes first, so if someone has broken the trust and privilege of being in the United States by being a violent criminal, then the administration must take action to protect our communities. However, this is not the case with the vast majority of our Vietnamese refugees in Orange County that came before 1995 with the permission of the United States government. [Also true about the “vast majority” of our Latino immigrants, documented or not.]  As a party we take great pride in our Vietnamese Community. They have embraced the American values of hard work, individualism, and patriotism. We are better as a party and country because of the integration of Vietnamese refugees in America…”  [All of that sounds exactly like Latino and Muslim immigrants, which the GOP does NOT stick up for, to put it mildly.]

Fred’s GOP just doesn’t argue from a position of strength, having egged on the administration’s demonization of Mexican immigrants and Central American refugees.  Conversely, California Democrats including newly-elected Harley Rouda and Tom Umberg were able to issue strong statements against this development.

“It’s not just bad social policy. It’s incredibly bad politics,” said GOP consultant Mike Madrid, who has been vociferously imploring his party to renounce Trumpism and expand its electorate. “That’s the only ethnic diversity in the party to speak of,” Madrid said. “They need literally every vote of the Vietnamese community to make it a relevant bloc, and this is going to split it.”

But the Orange County GOP doesn’t have Mike Madrid leading it, but the ineffectual Fred Whitaker, who also instructed OC Republican candidates this year to stay away from forums put on by the League of Women Voters because they’re “biased,” which they’re not.  (It’s unclear if that cowardly policy hurt the candidates, or if they would have done even worse if voters had been able to hear their ideas plainly.)  Maybe you guys should bring back Scott Baugh, who at least valued immigrants.  Or better yet, Tom Tait or John MoorlachUntil then you’re gonna lose everybody!

Vern Nelson, Democrat Concern Troll, OUT.


About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.