Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Endangering Military Recruitment To Stay True To Trumpist Bigotry



Right-wing extremists and anti-immigrant fanatics Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and Steve King (R-IA) offered two amendments Thursday to prevent undocumented immigrants from serving in the U.S. military. Gosar's amendment was defeated 210-211, 30 Republicans crossing the aisle to vote with every single Democrat. King's amendment failed 207-214, with 33 Republicans voting with the Democrats.

Despite representing a district with a large, established and growing immigrant population centered in Austin and San Antonio, Lamar Smith was one of the radical anti-immigrant Republicans to vote for both extremist amendments. We reached out to Tom Wakely, the military veteran and progressive Democrat running for the seat Smith's been in for way too long. He didn't seem as surprised as he was saddened at his opponent's knee-jerk votes.

"If anybody still needed a reason as to why Lamar Smith endorsed Donald Trump, I feel like this anti-Hispanic vote would certainly qualify," he told us. "What's the goal in turning away young men and women who are willing to fight for the United States of America based solely on their immigration status? They're subscribing to the ultimate duty to our nation. We've seen plenty of GOP leaders break away from Trump's rhetoric, but their actions speak louder than their presumptive nominee's words. I personally didn't think that would be possible, yet here we are. Both Lamar Smith and I are from San Antonio, a city known for its proud Hispanic and military backgrounds, and I can't possibly imagine the majority of our constituents agreeing with our Congressman on this vote."

Smith doesn't even try to portray himself as "moderate." He's been in cahoots with the extreme right every since leaving Sacramento for DC. John Katko, who represents a blue district in a Central New York around Syracuse, knows if he can't present himself as "moderate," he doesn't have any chance to win in November. And he still voted for Gosar's scheme. Eric Kingson, the most likely Democrat to face Katko in November, told us today that "the vote is yet another symbol of the dangerous anti-immigrant attitude of the right. To deny a young adult the opportunity to serve and give back the nation that they know as home is cruel and unusual, not to mention terrible military policy. The fact that Rep. Katko failed to vote against the amendment is yet another symbol that he is no moderate, despite his desperate attempts to portray himself as so. He has failed to speak against the dangerous, anti-democratic, blatantly racist rhetoric coming from Donald Trump, and that to me is very troubling. This vote fits the trend of Katko siding with the rise of xenophobia in the Republican party."

Ruben Gallego, a progressive freshman from Phoenix who saw active duty in Iraq as part of the U.S. Army, made the point during the debate that the military needs these recruits and that "we shouldn’t let political posturing stand in the way of our military’s requirement goals." Many Democrats remarked during the debate that Republicans were jeopardizing national security to align themselves with Trump's anti-Hispanic and anti-immigrant campaign positions. That's isn't likely to end well for anyone concerned. Please help replace Katko, Smith and other radicalized anti-immigrant Trumpists with progressives like Eric Kingson and Tom Wakely by tapping on the thermometer:
Goal Thermometer

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At 8:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think you fully appreciate the amount of disdain many Mexican-Americans have for Mexicans in America.

You are conflating "anti-Hispanic" with nationalism. It doesn't help the argument against Trump. Well, for stupid voters it will work.


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