Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Having The Last Laugh

As President Obama noted in his immigration address on Tuesday, "It’s really important for us to remember our history." The crowd laughed with him, as they did at many points in his speech, though we doubt they were laughing for the same reasons we were.

The President also said more than once, that "The time is now," for immigration reform to pass. These are not new words for him, or a new idea for him to present to the nation. In fact, as Rachel Maddow pointed out last night, President Obama made a nearly identical speech on immigration in May 2011.

Know who else has proposed some of the same general ideas on comprehensive immigration reform already? President George W. Bush, back in 2007 - and again last month in a rare public speech in Dallas.

Yes, Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama - as well as the majority of Americans - are all on the same page regarding this issue, mostly for the same reasons: it's the right thing to do and it will help our economy.

Somehow, it's still no surprise though, that some in the Republican Party still think that comprehensive immigration reform is a silly idea.

We're well aware of those Republicans who are still under the delusion that Hispanic voters are a "natural constituency" for the GOP, and of the racists in the GOP like Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA). It's not just some backbench legislators in the Republican Party who are racists, though.

As journalist Nick Baumann discovered recently, two prominent conservatives have been running a PAC - a Political Action Committee - that gave thousands of dollars to "white nationalists." One of the two conservative leaders also has long-standing ties to another racist organization.

It also doesn't change the fact that the one major issue most of those currently in power in Republican and conservative circles fought President George W. Bush on, was comprehensive immigration reform. This is a topic that many in the media just seem to be waking up to now, though our staff members have been openly discussing this fact on Twitter with conservative writers for some time.

That President Bush still supports comprehensive immigration reform, for non-selfish reasons, and President Obama quite obviously supports similar reforms, bodes well for the chances to fix this long-standing and troublesome issue.

The details obviously will be hashed out in the House and Senate over the next few months, though we believe that the proposal President Obama presented yesterday, and the proposal a bipartisan group of Senators presented Monday, are already close enough that compromise should not be as difficult as many feared.

All of these are reasons for hope on the issue of comprehensive immigration reform, and are part of the reason our staff was laughing along with President Obama's speech on Tuesday.

The other major reason we were laughing, though - other than Paul's cartoon - is the simple irony of the situation.

The one name the modern Republican Party runs from like it was the plague is "George W. Bush." Yet, on that one issue - comprehensive immigration reform - President George W. Bush is the one name the Republican Party should have listened to on immigration years ago - and didn't.

Apparently, the current group of Republican "leaders" forgot their recent history.

Now, we all know who's going to have the last laugh on immigration reform after all.

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