26 September 2010

Kings of Shame (Reyes de Verguenza)

The Reyes of Comedy was the entertainment portion of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s policy conference. The CHCI claims that it is a nonprofit and nonpartisan leadership development organization established in 1978, so many large corporations (like Anheiser-Busch, Safeway, Raytheon and Si TV) financially sponsored the proceedings. But any illusions of nonpartisanship or respectability dissolved in the opening acts.

The MC started off with an observation that he said he could not make on his Spanish language based radio program. But the Governor of Arizona was an "hija de suet". That sounds like Latin American slang for a "pig's daughter". Such an observation seems rather low brow, but hey he's a comedian.

Before the professional comedians started, Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) did a mildly humorous joke about Anglo bumpkins saying "Para el Espanol, oprima el dos" on automated bank phone banks.

But what was shocking was the Representative Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) shtick. Reyes quipped “Yeah, those teabaggers (sic) don't know what to do with the Spanish recordings on the phone. The teabaggers sit in the corner, and drink warm beer, they can't learn Spanish. Teabaggers have something else on their minds." As he said this, Reyes made a hand motion from his mouth towards his crotch. The crowd thought that this was hilarious. In case there was any doubt that Reyes was trying to be lewd, Reyes then quipped "My wife doesn't know what teabagging means. I'll think up of something when I go back to explain it to her." Someone turned to me and said "Is this guy a comedian?" I replied "Yes, he's a Congressman".

This incident elucidates several thought:

  • The shame of the left--Recently, I have been to the Restoring Honor Rally as well as themore partisan March on Washington (Remember in November) rallies. We certainly have grievances with the way we have been governed as well as the mistaken focus of our culture. That behavior is unfathomable from anyone on the dais, much less intentionally obscene ad hominem attacks from a so-called Honorable Congressional Representative. Yet we are called hateful, uneducated racists. But then again, that might be expecting too much from a Congressional Chairman of the Select Committee of Intelligence who did not know the difference between Shia and Sunni when he took the helm.
  • Going to the man--Silvestre made repeated references to teabagging, which the Congressman makes clear is about fellatio. Yet Reyes did not have the testicular fortitude to tell his wife that the right (dis)Honorable Representative chose to call some of his constituents by an obscene sexual insults. If you are going to engage in vulgar machismo then own it, especially when he shares his bon mot with his better half.

Granted, it was a comedy show and as Steve Martin put it, “Comedy isn't pretty.” But Silvestre Reyes showed contempt for constituents, no decorum befitting the office, and insults those who
utilize alternative sexual practices. In my mind, he's no longer just a Congressman--he's the Reyes de Verguenza.

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