Julian Castro, Identity-Politics Demagogue

A presidential candidate turns lying into an art form.

Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro – who served as Secretary of Housing & Urban Development under President Obama – has condemned current HUD Secretary Ben Carson's opposition to policies that would permit transgender women to take refuge in shelters designed to house biological women who have been victimized by domestic violence. In his remarks, Carson charged that under such policies, “big, hairy men” identifying as women could infiltrate these shelters. And in a subsequent agency-wide email, Carson wrote: “Our society is in danger when we pick one issue (such as gender identity) and say it does not matter how it impacts others [like biological women who have suffered domestic violence] because this one issue should override every other common-sense consideration. I think we have to look out for everyone … rather than attempting to always stir up controversy through identity politics.”

But encouraging Julian Castro to refrain from trafficking in identity politics is a losing battle. In response to Carson's comments, Castro tweeted: “19 Black trans women have been killed this year because comments like Ben Carson’s normalize violence against them. As HUD Secretary, I protected trans people, I didn’t denigrate them.”

Julian Castro was raised in a home where race obsession and groupthink were the order of the day. His mother, Maria, was a former San Antonio City Council candidate who in 1970 helped create the radical Chicano movement La Raza Unida (LRU), which favors unrestricted immigration, the effective dissolution of American borders, and amnesty for illegal aliens already residing in the United States. When Julian Castro was elected mayor of San Antonio in 2009, one of his first acts as mayor was to adorn the wall of his office with a 1971 La Raza Unida City Council campaign poster featuring an image of his mother. In July 2012, independent filmmaker Carlos Calbillo interviewed Mr. Castro at the 40th anniversary of the Texas La Raza Unida Party. “In my interview,” Calbillo subsequently wrote, Mayor Julian reveals that he,… because of the activism of his mother Rosie, considers himself to be a legacy of the Texas and National La Raza Unida Party movement.”

In July 2012 as well, President Obama selected Castro to deliver the keynote address at the upcoming Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. In his speech, Castro tried to emphasize his Mexican heritage by saying three times, “Que dios los bendiga” (Spanish for “God bless you”), and explaining that his grandmother used to say those words to him and his twin brother as they left for school each morning when they were children.

President Obama appointed Castro as HUD Secretary in 2014; it was a post he would hold until the end of Obama’s second term. Guided by Castro’s belief that “the fact that you were arrested shouldn’t keep you from getting a job and it shouldn’t keep you from renting a home,” HUD in April 2016 issued an enforcement directive warning landlords that they could be punished for refusing to rent to prospective tenants with criminal histories. “Because of widespread racial and ethnic disparities in the U.S. criminal justice system,” said the directive, “criminal history-based restrictions on access to housing are likely disproportionately to burden African-Americans and Hispanics … [and] are likely to lack a legally sufficient justification.”

Today Castro is running for the Democratic Party's 2020 presidential nomination. The key planks of his platform include “Medicare-for-all,” universal access to government-funded pre-K and higher education, and a so-called “Green New Deal” – i.e., massive public investments in “clean-energy” jobs and infrastructure aiming to end America’s reliance on fossil fuels. When asked how he plans to fund such initiatives, Castro says that wealthier individuals and corporations will be required to “pay their fair share” of taxes. “There was a time in this country,” he notes, “where the top marginal tax rate was over 90 percent.”

During a March 2019 appearance on CNN’s State of the Union, Castro said, “I’ve long believed that this country should address slavery, the original sin of slavery, including by looking at reparations. If I’m president, then I’m going to appoint a commission other task force to determine the best way to do that…. If under the Constitution we compensate people because we take their property, why wouldn’t you compensate people who actually were property?”

And just a few says ago, Castro reacted vocally after The New York Times printed an article about a newly published book about Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s 2018 Supreme Court nominee. The Times piece – written by the book’s authors, Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly – notes that the book discusses allegations in which a woman named Deborah Ramirez, who was a Yale University classmate of Kavanaugh more than 30 years ago, claims that a drunken Kavanaugh once exposed his penis to her during a campus party. The article further reports that another “former classmate,” Max Stier, claims to have personally witnessed the incident in question. But the article never mentions Stier’s deep ties to the Democratic Party – most notably, that he worked for President Bill Clinton in the 1990s, while Kavanaugh was a member of special prosecutor Kenneth Starr’s investigative team which looked into Clinton’s misconduct in office. Nor does the article mention that Ramirez has refused to be interviewed about the alleged incident; that all three of the friends whom she has identified as witnesses steadfastly maintain that it never occurred; and that all three friends hve stated that not even Ramirez herself can recall the incident.

Despite the paucity of evidence against Kavanaugh, Castro recently told MSNBC host Joy Reid: “[W]hat’s become clear is … that he should be impeached. The House absolutely has the ability to impeach him.” When Reid asked Castro if he believes that Kavanaugh “is essentially a sexual predator or that he was at some point,” the congressman replied: “Yes, I believe — I believe that he engaged in the conduct that was described.”

For Julian Castro, politics is the ultimate blood sport. There are essentially no limits to the lies he is willing to tell  – and the aspersions he is willing to cast – in order to advance his political agendas and those of his party.

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