U.S. Latinos, feeling neglected by both parties, are discussing forming an independent "Tequila Party" force, leaders say.
"I don't know if it's going to happen, but there's talk," Fernando Romero, president of Nevada's Hispanics in Politics, told the Las Vegas Sun. "There's discussion about empowerment of the Latino vote."
The idea, being debated in Nevada and around the country, stems from frustration over the Democrats' inaction on immigration reform and feelings of being taken for granted.
?While I wouldn't put too much credence in this happening any time soon, it does raise the point that Latinos expect more than lip service from the Democrats. On many issues, Latinos would be a natural fit with Republicans. But immigration is a big enough concern that they remain loyal to the Democratic Party.
However, many have begun to (justifiably) question the Demcoratic Party's commitment on immigration. We'll get a better sense over the next few weeks when we see what happens on the DREAM Act. I'm assuming the bill will come up for a vote. If it doesn't then there will be a very, very loud message sent to Hispanics that the Democrats really don't care. But even if there is a vote, what consequences will Democrats who vote no actually face? Republicans who buck filibusters usually face severe consequences for their lack of party loyalty. But what happens to Democrats who act the same way?
And if the bill fails, what are Democrats prepared to do for the next several years when Republicans will presumably keep up their opposition? Will President Obama actually use his executive authority to fix many problems the paralyzed Congress won't? Will Democrats change the Senate rules to make it tougher to filibuster (something they have the power to do with just a majority vote in January)? Had they don't such a thing for this session of Congress, the DREAM Act likely would be law by now.
The actions of the Democrats over the next couple of weeks and months will be critical in determining whether they are able to consolidate their support amongst Hispanics or will blow their gains with this group like they blew their public mandate in the most recent Congress.