By Jean-Paul Salamanca (staff@latinospost.com) | First Posted: Nov 21, 2012 04:57 PM EST

U.S. Rep Charles Gonzales, D-Texas, the outgoing Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus,right, blasted comments made by New York Times columnist Ross Douthat for writing that Democrats have won over many Latino voters who are “assimilating downward.” (Photo : Twitter/Facebook)

One of the most powerful Latino leaders in the country had some unflattering remarks for a New York Times columnist who published an op-ed piece in the world famous newspaper portraying Latino voters who cast their ballots for President Barack Obama in a negative light.

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U.S. Rep Charles Gonzales, D-Texas, the outgoing Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, took exception to comments made by New York Times columnist Ross Douthat for writing that Democrats had laid claim to a majority of Latino voters who are "assimilating downward."

"Liberals look at the Obama majority and see a coalition bound together by enlightened values - reason rather than superstition, tolerance rather than bigotry, equality rather than hierarchy," Douthat, a conservative blogger, writes in his Nov. 17 piece, titled "The Liberal Gloat."  "But it's just as easy to see a coalition created by social disintegration and unified by economic fear."

Regarding the growing Hispanic support for the Democratic Party, the columnist claimed that Democrats were winning recent immigrants "because those immigrants often aren't assimilating successfully - or worse, are assimilating downward, thanks to rising out-of-wedlock birthrates and high dropout rates. The Democratic edge among Hispanics depends heavily on these darker trends: the weaker that families and communities are, the more necessary government support inevitably seems."

Douthat's piece implies that the rising support Democrats have gained from Hispanics, unmarried women and secular voters is tied to the "growing failure" of civic, familial and religious institutions in America.

However, that crisis, Douthat adds, is often badly misunderstood by the Republican Party, who he says have labeled Democrat-leaning voters as 'lazy moochers or spoiled children seeking 'gifts.'" The last comment alludes to former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney making comments recently that President Obama courted minority voters by offering them "gifts", such as putting a temporary halt on the deportation of young Latino immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. 

Gonzales responded Monday in a statement calling Douthat's piece a "rambling" misunderstanding of Latinos, ABC News Univision reported.

"Ross Douthat's column is a rambling piece which reflects his lack of understanding of the diverse Latino community and reaffirms the obvious reasons that Republicans lost Latino support," he said in a statement Monday. "Hispanics are not a separate part of America. We are engaged in every facet of American society and successful Latinos ensure a more prosperous America. "

Refuting Douthat's "downward assimilation" claim, Gonzales pointed out that that more Latinos have been enrolling in college and Hispanic-owned businesses have expanded within the last decade.

"Latinos seek assimilation, which requires equality with and inclusion in the dominant and established American community," Gonzalez said. "The Republican agenda and policies offered neither and that's why Latinos voted for the Democratic candidate."

Douthat did not immediately respond to ABC News Univision for comment.Latinos News: Congressional Hispanic Caucus rips NYC Columnist over column claiming Hispanics "assimilating downwards"

One of the most powerful Latino leaders in the country had some unflattering remarks for a New York Times columnist who published an op-ed piece in the world famous newspaper portraying Latino voters who cast their ballots for President Barack Obama in a negative light.

U.S. Rep Charles Gonzales, D-Texas, the outgoing Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, took exception to comments made by New York Times columnist Ross Douthat for writing that Democrats had laid claim to a majority of Latino voters who are "assimilating downward."

"Liberals look at the Obama majority and see a coalition bound together by enlightened values - reason rather than superstition, tolerance rather than bigotry, equality rather than hierarchy," Douthat, a conservative blogger, writes in his Nov. 17 piece, titled "The Liberal Gloat."  "But it's just as easy to see a coalition created by social disintegration and unified by economic fear."

Regarding the growing Hispanic support for the Democratic Party, the columnist claimed that Democrats were winning recent immigrants "because those immigrants often aren't assimilating successfully - or worse, are assimilating downward, thanks to rising out-of-wedlock birthrates and high dropout rates. The Democratic edge among Hispanics depends heavily on these darker trends: the weaker that families and communities are, the more necessary government support inevitably seems."

Douthat's piece implies that the rising support Democrats have gained from Hispanics, unmarried women and secular voters is tied to the "growing failure" of civic, familial and religious institutions in America.

However, that crisis, Douthat adds, is often badly misunderstood by the Republican Party, who he says have labeled Democrat-leaning voters as 'lazy moochers or spoiled children seeking 'gifts.'"

Gonzales responded Monday in a statement calling Douthat's piece a "rambling" misunderstanding of Latinos, ABC News Univision reported.

"Ross Douthat's column is a rambling piece which reflects his lack of understanding of the diverse Latino community and reaffirms the obvious reasons that Republicans lost Latino support," he said in a statement Monday. "Hispanics are not a separate part of America. We are engaged in every facet of American society and successful Latinos ensure a more prosperous America. "

Refuting Douthat's "downward assimilation" claim, Gonzales pointed out that that more Latinos have been enrolling in college and Hispanic-owned businesses have expanded within the last decade.

"Latinos seek assimilation, which requires equality with and inclusion in the dominant and established American community," Gonzalez said. "The Republican agenda and policies offered neither and that's why Latinos voted for the Democratic candidate."

Douthat did not immediately respond to ABC News Univision for comment.

 

 

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