The Times responded to Latina Republican Mayra Flores’ historic victory in a Texas congressional district in the Rio Grande Valley not with joy but with resentment and denial. As evidenced by the revolting tributes to Sen. Kamala Harris and Biden press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, this is the same newspaper that enjoys celebrating such alleged ethnic milestones on the Democratic side.
Representative Mayra Flores is one of three Republican Latinas vying to change South Texas politics by shunning moderates and frequently embracing the extreme, but Jennifer Medina, a political reporter, refers to Flores as a “far-right Latina” because she has engaged in conservative wrong-thinking.
Texas Republicans have been trying to win the Hispanic vote with a compassionate conservatism since the Bush administration. In order to gain support from Hispanic voters, particularly in Democratic strongholds near the southern border, it was believed that a moderate approach and more tolerant rhetoric on immigration were essential.
That was how Texas used to be. A new breed of Texas Republicans has emerged in the Trump era, one of whom is already seen in Congress’ halls: the far-right Latina.
Following her victory in a special election last month, Representative Mayra Flores was elected to Congress, becoming the first Republican to represent the Rio Grande Valley in more than a century. Additionally, she became Texas’s first ever Latina Republican representative in Congress. Her brief term ends at the end of the year, and it is believed that she has little chance of being re-elected to a full term.
The fact that Ms. Flores won by rejecting moderates, siding with the far right, and proclaiming her support for Donald J. Trump on display is what stands out the most; she is more Marjorie Taylor Greene than Kay Bailey Hutchison.
Medina’s tone of “can you believe this” was obvious.
Her election slogan, “God, family, country,” was created to speak to the “traditional values” of her district in the border city of Brownsville, which is predominately Hispanic. She demanded the removal of President Biden. She used #QAnon in her tweets. The “greatest threat America faces,” she added, is the Democratic Party.
Why don’t the Democrats accuse the Republicans of undermining democracy? The Big Lie section follows.
The day after her inauguration, Ms. Flores was questioned in her still-empty office about whether she thought Mr. Biden was the duly elected president.
She declared, “He’s the worst president the United States has ever had.”
Was it Medina who repeatedly asked Flores the same unkind question three times?
She repeated the same non-answer when asked whether Mr. Biden had been duly elected three more times.
Medina struggled to contain her contempt for the region where Republicans were gaining new supporters.
The Rio Grande Valley has a long history of being both politically and culturally conservative. On Sundays, church pews are packed, American flags are flown from poles on front lawns, and law enforcement is highly respected. Ms. Flores frequently emphasized on the campaign trail that her husband works for the Border Patrol.
All of this offends The Times. To criticize Flores, the reporter turned to a less than impartial source.
Representative Ruben Gallego, a Democrat from Arizona who oversees the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ campaign, characterized Ms. Flores’ victory as a “public relations coup” for the opposition party.
In the past, Medina has attempted to discredit conservative gains among Hispanics by attributing them to “misinformation” and “conspiracy theories.”