Sunday, April 19, 2009

Are Republicans Slitting Their Own Throats On Immigration Reform... Again?


The Republican coalition, frayed and even falling apart as it is, has two disparate wings working at cross purposes when it comes to immigration reform. The mainstream conservative "grown-ups," who take their walking orders for Big Business and know full well on which side their bread is buttered have only one real goal: guaranteeing an uninterrupted source of cheap labor. But the grassroots-- the boots on the ground and the voters, the dittoheads, the Lou Dobbs' followers, secessionists, and participants in stunts like the tea parties-- aren't for cheap labor. They're for keeping colored people out of their faces.

I was born in Brooklyn but after I graduated from college I went to Europe "for the summer." The summer lasted nearly 7 years, 4 of them in Amsterdam and the rest mostly traveling around Asia. Except for when I rented a flat in Amsterdam (and a hut in Goa), I lived in my VW van. I was close to the ground and very open to meeting lots of people. I learned very quickly that Americans-- far more than Brits, Canadians, Germans, Frenchmen, Italians or anyone else-- are extremely paranoid when people are talking in a language other than their own. No one ever seems to mind anywhere else in the world but Americans-- here at home and on the road-- always seem to think that when two people are speaking another language they're talking about them. It could be anything; they could be making fun of their clothes or weight or plotting a terrorist attack. Americans are just paranoid!

Here in the States, Americans get pissed off when they hear people speaking Spanish. I mean they get really angry. I've never seen anything like that anywhere else in the world.

That was a tangent. Let me get back to Republicans being at each other's throats over immigration reform-- the racists and bigots vs the bloodsucking exploiters of humanity still furious that do-gooders went and abolished slavery. McCain has always been more comfortable kissing up to the rich and powerful; it's the story of his entire disgraceful career in politics. His immigration "reform" initiative was meant to accomplish two things-- keep the flow of cheap labor available for corporate farms and factories and warehouses while endearing him-- and his party-- to the country's burgeoning Latino and Asian populations. Instead he drove a shiv into the heart of the GOP, destroyed his own shot at the presidency and helped guarantee large Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress.

Republican Hispanic outreach has failed dramatically, first in California and more recently in Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, and Nevada. It's even going down the tubes in Florida where non-Cuban Hispanics are overwhelmingly Democratic, don't like the Cuban rightists at all, and are being joined in negative feelings about the GOP by younger, less ideological, Cubans to boot. Instead of offering Latinos a hand in friendship, the GOP runs raving, deranged xenophobes like Rosanna Pulido, founder of the Illinois Minutemen and a coordinator for the hate group FAIR, for Congress-- in a heavily immigrant district of Chicago. Watch her attacking McCain on CNN last year:

It doesn't look like the extremists and haters like Pulido will have McCain to kick around any longer. Last week he drew a line in the sand-- cheap foreign labor, of course-- and said he won't support any immigration reform that doesn't include that. Labor unions, of course, want to put a stop to cheap foreign labor and it looks like their plan is going to be backed by the Democrats. That puts McCain and the GOP in the awkward position of opposing immigration reform because they want more foreign workers flooding into the labor market.

“The current plan being developed by the administration and organized labor calls for immigration reform that does not adequately address either securing the border or a legal temporary worker program and is a plan I cannot support,” said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the lead Republican sponsor of the immigration bill that died in the Senate after a conservative uprising against it in 2007... The business community, including the Chamber of Commerce, has long supported the guest worker program.

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At 5:17 AM, Anonymous Richard Stanczak said...

Yes, I noticed that too. When I have traveled in Italy and Quebec [I'm Canadian], Americans seem much less tolerant of other languages and cultures. They are generally unprepared to deal in another language, and seemed to get pretty hostile about it. I don't know if it is an "English rules" attitude or if it is some kind of "give the customer what he wants" attitude. And they want to be spoken to in English and cannot understand why a tourist location would not have everyone prepared to speak flawless English.

Needless to say, I am usually going to great pains to identify myself as a Canadian in those situations.

At 3:50 PM, Blogger mickey doyle said...

as a us citizen we have been taught since grade school to write and speak english.every politician,sevicemen and women,are sworn to uphold the constitution nowhere in the US CONSTITUTION AT LEAST THE ONE I SEE ,THERE IS NOT ONE WORD OF SPANISH.OUR FORE FATHERS WANTED THE US CITIZENS THEY WOULD HAVE WROTE IT SPANISH! THANK YOU

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