By Juan Montoya
Not a day goes by that we don't hear some South Texas farmer, congressperson, Texas governor, or similar suspects bellyaching about mean old Mexico not releasing water for the parched fields of agribusiness.
The latest rumblings are by new District 34 U.S. Rep Filemon Vela Jr. tag-teaming with Republican Sen. John Cornyn to gut the funding of the US. International Boundary and Water Commission if they don't come down on our southern neighbor with both feet and convince them to honor the treaty's intent.
These gents have gone as far as drafting and sending a letter to Edward Drusina, a commissioner to the IBWC, threatening the defunding of the commission if they don't get their way.
This would all be very courageous of them, of course, if they could actually get a majority of their colleagues in the U.S. Congress to listen to them and actually join them in their plan to do away with the commission's funding.
But those inside the beltway in Washington D.C. know that it's election time. Both of these gents are up for reelection in March in their respective party primaries, Vela for the Democratic Party nomination, Cornyn for the GOP nod. Undoubtedly, both will have opponents.
So it's rather easy for both Cornyn and Vela to stand up for what is right, what is in the best interest of Texas, b'gawd, and preach to the choir about the the bad neighbor. It's bad enough that we have a Ted Cruz beating the drums of anti-immigration on the border without having these two yahoos join that mob.
If that wasn't bad enough, Vela got Texas Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr., and Texas Rep. Eddie Lucio III to join in the demagoguery to holler at the Mexicans to "Let Our Water Go!"
Instead of making out like Ugly Americans of the past, Messrs. Cornyn and Vela should think perhaps of sitting down with their neighbors to the south and rewriting the treaty to reflect current reality. Instead of saber rattling, threatening cutoffs to the U.S. commission if they don't get appropriately nasty with their Mexican counterparts, and otherwise being obdurate and vindictive, it's time we acted like the mature super power that we are and renegotiate an equitable sharing of the precious water commodity that unites us and divides us at the same time.
Vela is new to the congress and has little to show. We'll be watching his performance to see if he voices his opposition to the continuation of crop subsidies and welfare for the rich agribusiness on the committee studying the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture's Farm Commodities Program.
But of course, it's election time and concepts like maturity, fairness and charitable gestures tend to go out the window until after the nominations have been secured and another stint in Washington is guaranteed.