Remember that whole “illegal immigration is the biggest threat to our nation and we must round up all immigrants and throw them out, legal or not” mass hysteria from a few months ago? Well as Emily Litella used to say, “Never mind….”
As reported in today’s NY Times the Republicans are not even discussing immigration reform as part of their “aggressive pre-election day agenda”. Of course, this could have something to do with the fact that every poll is looking bleaker and bleaker for the republicans chances in November (although I’ll believe it after the election). Or it could have something to do with the massive protests all around the country.
Or it could be because republicans are losers. (thx, buhdydharma)
But either way, it wasn’t too long ago that all we heard was that illegal immigration was the worst thing since, well, gay marriage. It wasn’t too long ago that Pat Buchannan was everywhere discussing how Bush should be impeached because of the illegal immigration issue. It wasn’t too long ago that all we heard about was the Minutemen on the Arizona border, just waiting to “pick off one of them illegals”, or that there was a push to make English the “national language”. Or when talking meatsticks were stating how the immigration marches and rallys were a “perfect chance to arrest illegal immigrants”.
Now, I don’t really want to discuss the merits of immigration reform here, or whether this is a major issue for the US, or anything else related to the substance behind immigration reform laws.
What I want to discuss is that, once again, after working this country into a frenzy, while even Democrats were realizing that this is not an issue to be politicizing, and we had bills coming out of the House that pretty much threatened to deport anyone who wasn’t white and spoke English, the republicans have now dropped this issue like a hot potato (or is it potatoe….)
What this really shows is two things: first, it shows that once again, Bush can’t get one of his “pet projects” to be taken seriously enough by his own party. Regardless of whether his “guest worker program” was feasible, regardless of the fact that any serious plan would have to include stiff penalties for employers who hire illegal immigrants, the republican Congresscritters just don’t want to do what Dear Leader says, lest it cost them their precious Congressional seat.
What it also shows is that the republicans are, once again doing what they do best — playing politics with people’s lives, while not accomplishing anything. And here is another instance, even complimented by juicy quotes from John Boehner and others in Congress that should be thrown back in each and every one of their faces over the next eight weeks. Take this one for starters:
As they prepare for a critical pre-election legislative stretch, Congressional Republican leaders have all but abandoned a broad overhaul of immigration laws and instead will concentrate on national security issues they believe play to their political strength.
With Congress reconvening Tuesday after an August break, Republicans in the House and Senate say they will focus on Pentagon and domestic security spending bills, port security legislation and measures that would authorize the administration’s terror surveillance program and create military tribunals to try terror suspects.
“We Republicans believe that we have no choice in the war against terror and the only way to do it is to continue to take them head-on whether it is in Iraq or elsewhere,” said Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the majority leader.
A final decision on what do about immigration policy awaits a meeting this week of senior Republicans. But key lawmakers and aides who set the Congressional agenda say they now believe it would be politically risky to try to advance an immigration measure that would showcase party divisions and need to be completed in the 19 days Congress is scheduled to meet before breaking for the election.
Or this one from Cat Killer, MD:
In an appearance in Iowa last week, Mr. Frist said broad legislation addressing what to do about millions of illegal immigrants already in the United States might have to await the next Congress.
Nothing like passing the buck instead of trying to actually do the hard part of making legislation instead of just blowing hot air about the latest divisive issue and creating sound bytes and talking points.
But leave it to Mitch McConnell to drive home the point that republicans just don’t care about doing anything other than taking potshots and “scoring points”:
With the immigration measure seemingly stalled, Republicans say they will put most of their time and energy into security-oriented measures to drive home a theme that has served them well in the last two elections — that they are better equipped to thwart terrorism than are Democrats.
“They’ll wave the white flag in the war on terror,” Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, said Sunday of the Democrats on the CBS News program “Face the Nation.”
The opportunities for Democrats are everywhere. The republicans quotes that show their true intent. The republicans absolute and miserable failure on every issue. The rubber stamp of the war crimes and other illegal acts by Bush, Rice, Rumsfeld and of course, Cheney. They can’t run from their record. They can’t run ON their record. Their priorities – Terri Schiavo vs. the Gulf Coast.
And now, they can’t even keep their own house in order long enough to deal with illegal immigration – an issue that they themselves made such a big deal about just a few short months ago.
Doesn’t it figure….