Published April 15, 2011
A Democratic congresswoman, frustrated with her interactions with a new class of Tea Party-backed conservative lawmakers, mocked them this week by talking in a Southern accent and referring to them as "Moe," during an interview on nationally syndicated radio show.
Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., told liberal host Stephanie Miller that every time she tries approaching one of the 87 freshman lawmakers in an effort to build relationships, they're always complaining about something being unconstitutional.
"Everything to them is unconstitutional," she said. "It's unconstitutional, it's unconstitutional, it's unconstitutional."
Miller said she doesn't know how Sanchez starts a conversation with some of them.
"Sanchez, can I see your papers? I don't believe you're a congresswoman. Let's see your birth certificate," she said.
The congresswoman, who represents Anaheim and other parts of Orange County, laughed and said she knows how to get along with people. Then she used a mock Southern accent to describe how conversations with them play out.
"Hey what's your name? 'My name is M-o-e,'" Sanchez said, feigning a Southern drawl that drew howls of laughter from Miller and her co-host. "Ok Moe. Moe-ster, how you doing baby? What are we going to do today? What's your interest? What can we work on together?"
"'Well, it's unconstitutional," she said, using her faux Southern accent.
Sanchez's spokeswoman did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
This isn't the first time Sanchez has played identity politics. During her re-election campaign last fall against Vietnamese challenger Van Tran, she came under heavy criticism for telling a Spanish-language TV station that the "Vietnamese" were trying to take her seat.
"The Vietnamese and the Republicans are, with an intensity, trying to take away this seat -- this seat that we have done so much for our community – take away this seat from us and give it to this Van Tran, who is very anti-immigrant and very anti-Hispanic," she said according to a translation on YouTube.
Sanchez went on to defeat Tran by double digits.