Everyone is all kinds of excited about the fact that there's now a Vietnamese-American dude rocking the U.S. House of Representatives, for the 2nd Congressional District of Louisiana (It's no wonder -- consider it a super-unlikely opportunity for Reprzentasian in that District if you aren't experienced, Black or a Democrat).
Anh "Joseph" Cao is my peeps' first Reprzentative, and that isn't nothing! In fact, for my grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles, I'm sure that achievement alone would be enough for us all to claim bragging rights and call it a year. Incidentally, I think it's a bit of a mixed bag -- a little bit of good news, and a little bit of bad.
Cao is the first Vietnamese-American elected to the House! Woot! We all love to be the first! ✓...that's GOOD!
As a nominee, Cao received endorsements from Christian right PACs, Bobby Jindal, and Pat Boone. Umm... X... that's bad!
Because of Cao, lots of people have been forced to read/speak/say/smell/spell the word "Vietnamese" in national headlines. Are we here? Yes! To stay? Fuck yes! ✓...that's good!
Like my Aunt "Tracy," Cao has adopted an "American" name in "quotations" so that people can refer to him more easily. What's wrong with the name Anh? My sister's name is Anh. It's a hot name! Hotter than Tracy, at least. X... that's bad!
Cao is a Republican, although that's not inherently bad (I guess) -- in fact, he considers himself a political centrist, running last year in 2007 as an Independent, and shape-shifting just before this election as a strategic move to crush his veteran incumbent Dem opponent. The fact that he's a Republican? Kind of a bummer. Late-game party-changing? Not great. But the fact that he admittedly capitalized off of low voter turnout -- the result of voter fatigue in an election postponed a month by Hurricane Gustav... that ol' politics kinda gives us the creepy tingles. X... that's bad!
Cao was accused of resorting to negative advertising, and at the very least benefited from PAC-produced negative ads, all seemingly deployed to discourage and disenfranchise African-American voters. X... that's bad!
Cao has dedicated himself to multiple efforts aiding Vietnamese refugees, and aims to further Vietnam as a peaceful, Democratic state. ✓... that's good!
Cao is a dedicated church-goer, which gives his life structure and meaning. ✓... that's good!
He's a devout Catholic, who cites religious reasons for his party choice, and -- more importantly -- adamantly opposes abortion. X...that's bad!
The man is cute as a button (see photo above) and reminds us of a little, very friendly muppet, or Los Angeles sushi Chef Saito (also cute as a button). ✓...that's good!
Cao's Vietnamese heritage combined with his Houston, Texas upbringing basically make him a life meld of Jen and Diana... ✓...that's good!
But doesn't that fact automatically make him Disgrasian? X...that's bad!
I suppose only time will tell.