Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Congresswoman Embarrasses Herself. Blogger Worries about the Future of the Republic

In an interview with Fox News regarding Mexican security, Congresswoman Kay Granger declares that "My subcommittee was there and foreign operations. I served on the Homeland Security committee. I know what I'm talking about." She later says, "You can't make progress if you're not clear about the problem is."

Sandwiched between those two remarks was the assertion that the biggest difference between Mexico and Colombia from 20 years ago is that the former is more violent. For the record, homicide rates in Colombia in the 1990s were several times what they are today in Mexico. Indeed murder rates in Colombia today are greater than what they are in Mexico. So I guess we shouldn't look for any progress coming from Rep. Granger.

Minutes later, she also refers to the Meredith Initiative, according to the transcript, although it seemed like just a case of stumbling over a foreign word rather than ignorance. Less tolerably, she brought up the Mérida Initiative to support her affirmative answer to a question about whether Congress had given Janet Napolitano all the funding she needs to ensure border safety. This is odd because Napolitano heads an American cabinet agency and doesn't get her money from foreign aid packages. It's also odd because the Mérida Initiative funding has been reduced significantly since it was originally passed.

I don't expect a Congressman to have a detailed knowledge of all foreign countries, but Mexico is an important one, and those pieces of info --the name and status of our four-year-old aid package and the level of violence relative to other nations-- are two of the first questions you should be asking about it. If you can't get that right, well, you should keep any comments on Mexico restricted to private conversations. Also, you probably shouldn't be chairing subcommittees that have anything to with Mexican security.

Furthermore, when asked what the solution was, she had zero suggestions.

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