Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Immigration-- Only The Dregs Of GOP Bigotry Still Opposing Reform


Most House Republicans have the luxury of running in crazy little red districts drawn to exclude likely Democratic voters. They can say or do whatever they want regardless of what most voters prefer-- just as long as they're pleasing the lunatic fringe that watches Fox and listens to Hate Talk Radio hosts. Republican senators, particularly those outside the old Confederacy and the Mormon Empire, don't have it quite so good. They do have to take all their constituents' views into consideration if they hope to get reelected. That's the reason there were catastrophic GOP losses last November in Senate races in Indiana, Missouri, Massachusetts, Florida, Wisconsin, Montana, North Dakota, Virginia, Ohio, West Virginia. Michigan, Pennsylvania. Congressman Todd Akin could always talk all he wanted about "legitimate rapes" and whatever other freaky right-wing nonsense he wanted to babble about in his old congressional district, especially in backward Lincoln County-- which he won in November 48-45%... while losing the whole state 55-39%.

Take Lamar Smith, a 14-term crackpot whose neatly gerrymandered Texas district carefully zigs and zags around Hispanic and working class neighborhoods of Austin and San Antonio. President Obama only won 37.9% in Smith's all white golf club congressional district, while in adjoining TX-20, Obama won 58.9% and also won next door in TX-35. A die-hard member of Michele Bachmann's rapidly shrinking Tea Party Caucus, he's the new chairman of the House Science Committee and presides over a pack of right-wing anti-Science maniacs like Paul Broun (R-Pit of Hell), David Schweikert (R-AZ), Steven Palazzo (R-MS), domestic terrorist Steve Stockman (R-TX), Mo Brooks (R-AL), and Thomas Massie (R-KY). This week ole Lamar is attacking the Senate's bipartisan plan to reform the immigration system. All he sees is "amnesty" rewarding "illegals." Smith is making it more difficult for Republican senators like Jeff Flake (AZ), Lindsey Graham (SC), Marco Rubio (FL) and John McCain (AZ), who would like to drag their party into alignment with the majority of Americans, if not with the majority of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity listeners.
Smith, the former chairman of the House Judiciary Committee who now sits on the panel's Immigration subcommittee, did not spare his Republican colleagues in attacking the Senate blueprint.

“No one should be surprised that individuals who have supported amnesty in the past still support amnesty," he said.
The new Judiciary Committee chairman is Virginia Boehner patsy Bob Goodlatte and he's taking a wait and see stance, saying the path to citizenship component raises a lot of questions. "When we look at proposals that deal with the legal status of 11 million illegal immigrants currently living in the U.S., we have a lot to discuss. The American people and members of Congress have a lot of questions about how this would work, what it would cost and how it will prevent illegal immigration in the future.”
The decision of Rubio, a rising conservative star, to join the effort could be crucial in attracting conservative support, and a spokesman for Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) specifically cited his involvement in a short response to the release of the blueprint.

“The Speaker welcomes the work of leaders like Sen. Rubio on this issue, and is looking forward to learning more about the proposal in the coming days,” Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said.

The House has long been seen as the more challenging chamber for immigration reform because of the opposition of conservative Republicans to any proposal that smacks of “amnesty” for undocumented immigrants.

Given that history, the muted response from conservatives in the House is notable. In a question-and-answer session with the Ripon Society last week, Boehner said that a bipartisan group in the House “basically [has] an agreement” on immigration reform. That group, he said, included both “hard heads” in his own party and Democrats who have long pushed for comprehensive reform.
Another right-wing crackpot, Michelle Malkin, was screaming her empty head off yesterday about the proposed deal, huffing and puffing at Republicans for going along with Democrats in fixing the immigration system. A self-loathing and demented extremist, she has particular animus for right-wingers Rubio and Flake in heavily Hispanic states, Florida and Arizona.
[D]on’t believe the hype from Rubio supporters that this warmed-over shamnesty proposal-- another recipe for more illegal immigration, a bigger welfare state, and undermined sovereignty-- is somehow new, improved and more enlightened.

John McCain said it himself on Sunday (via Allahpundit):

“I’m very pleased with the progress,” McCain said. “It’s not that much different from what we tried to do in 2007.”

Since repetition is key in the age of the low-information voter and the bonehead GOP, let me repeat at length what I said after Election Day:

GOP “moderates” and strategists assume that waving the magic amnesty wand and opening up the welfare/entitlement state to generations of illegal immigrants will translate into electoral gains for the party. They’re deluded. They pretend amnesty will come at no cost to legal immigrants and native-born Americans. They pretend they can “secure the border first” by making the same empty, token gestures that have left our borders a bloody joke for decades.

The promise of “securing the border first” is a Kabuki compromise.

These GOP amnesty-peddlers are as deluded now as they were in 2007 when Bush/McCain/Kennedy spearheaded a failed amnesty campaign. They’ve learned nothing.

How about clearing naturalization application backlogs instead of expanding illegal alien benefits?

How about tracking and deporting violent illegal alien criminals instead of handing out driver’s licenses to illegal aliens? How about streamlining the employee citizenship verification process for businesses (E-verify) and fixing outdated visa tracking databases instead of indiscriminately expanding temporary visa and guest worker programs?

Let’s drop the semantic games. Whether Shamnesty Twins Graham and McCain call it a “pathway to citizenship,” “regularization,” or “comprehensive immigration reform,” they are talking about permanently rewarding and incentivizing more mass illegal immigration above all else.
The proposal will probably have little problem getting through the Senate-- although die-hard extremists like Ted Cruz (R-TX), Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Ron Johnson (R-WI) will oppose it-- and it looks like Boehner will trash the Hastert Rule again and let it pass with overwhelming Democratic support and maybe a quarter to a third of House Republicans. One of the Democrats pushing the hardest for the bill, Luis Guitierrez (D-IL) seemed very optimistic yesterday. “We are on track to pass a bipartisan bill this year that legalizes millions of immigrants, keeps families together, strengthens our country, and eventually allows immigrants to apply for citizenship. All of the pieces are falling into place... We have not signed on the dotted line, and some important details are yet to be resolved, but what we have now is momentum. Momentum, plus encouragement from the American people, the president, and immigrant and Latino communities, will get an immigration bill across the finish line this year.”

Steve King (R-IA), one of the most virulent hatemongers in Congress, is considering a Senate run, so he has to tone down the bigotry a little. But just a little. Here's his statement on the Senate proposal:
"Eight Senators have now agreed to four basic legislative pillars or immigration policy principles," said King. "They have 52 more Senators and 218 House Members to convince after they put their plan on paper in the form of a bill. I agree with most of the language in the very broad guidelines.

I would ask the Senators, do you agree with me that the United States should have an enforced immigration policy designed to enhance the economic, social, and cultural well being of the United States of America? Do you believe the Rule of Law and national sovereignty are essential components of a successful nation? Do you believe employers should be allowed to deduct wages and benefits paid to illegal aliens as a business expense? I'm guessing the 'Gang of Eight' would be inclined to agree with me on my principles. But, I predict that they will oppose my every effort to get them into law.

The president has demonstrated he will only enforce the laws that he likes. Promises of future law enforcement made under the 1986 Amnesty Act were not adequately kept by President Reagan. Why, then, would Americans accept the promise of this president?

I will continue to promote positive, common sense reforms that address our problems with illegal immigration, including reintroducing the New IDEA (Illegal Deduction Elimination Act) in the 113th Congress and I will continue to support enforcement of our existing laws."

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At 10:39 PM, Blogger John said...

The irony is delicious: an arch-princess of the reich wing disinformation machine spits contempt for the "low-information voter" she is paid a great deal to produce and maintain.

Priceless, princess!

John Puma


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