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Sen. Hatch plays ethnic card



Published: Mon, February 7, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Miami Herald: Regardless of how anyone feels about the nomination of Alberto Gonzales to become attorney general, there is little question that he has the right credentials for the job. Debate over his confirmation, approved Thursday, focused properly on his judgment and political ties to the Bush administration ... until Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah played the ethnic card.

The Utah Republican suggested that Hispanic-Americans would punish anyone who voted against Gonzales. He thus managed to insult both Gonzales and Hispanics in general.

Not a credential

Gonzales has never made his way by pushing his ethnic identity. He has allowed his work and his legal acumen to speak for him. He is surely proud of his heritage, but he would deny that it represents a professional credential.

Likewise, it's disparaging to suggest that Hispanics wouldn't make a decision on issues of substance. In fact, several Hispanic organizations either withheld support or actively opposed the nomination. They apparently understand, as Sen. Hatch does not, that the office of attorney general is too important to be decided by ethnic politics.




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