Monday, April 29, 2013

Still Doin' It Wrong

Even as the beltway media crawls back to their posts after a weekend of star power and occasionally ridiculous behavior, Congress is going on yet another week of vacation. Of course, the members of both the House and Senate made sure to exempt the FAA from the sequester budget cuts that might have affected Congressmember's flights back to DC next week.

If you're shaking your head, thinking that Congress - and especially the Republicans in Congress - have yet to learn the lessons of last year's elections, and of their failures so far this year, we'd note that you seem to be thinking a lot more clearly than many in DC today.

For his part, President Obama played along with the media at the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner. The President poked fun at himself and virtually every other major media organization in DC - both legitimate and illegitimate alike. Of course, even before the weekend soiree, Obama was already pushing forward with some potential success on one of his top agenda items for this term: Comprehensive immigration reform.

Even though leading Republicans in Congress won't actually be working in Washington this week, or traveling with the President to Mexico, you can be sure they'll be bashing their right-wing anti-immigration talking points through every media outlet they can worm their way onto. Sadly, they still can't understand why immigrants - especially Latino immigrants - don't vote Republican.

Politico made fools of themselves last week, trying to answer that question for Republicans by parroting right-wing talking points, that falsely claim a comprehensive immigration solution would equal nearly 11 million votes for Democrats in the future. Sadly, the facts belie Politico's empty rhetoric. Nate Cohn eviscerated Politico's shoddy math on that topic last week, and even Senator Marco Rubio - no champion of the poor - has taken a fairly bold stand against his own party on immigration.

The basic facts about America's immigration problems are simple. We have nearly 12 million people in this country who are not legal Americans. They cannot be rounded up and shipped back to the 100+ nations they're from, in part, because Americans would not put up with the police state tactics necessary to complete such a task.

Most immigrants who are already here would love to have a plain, easy to understand, functional system that works clearly, fairly, and rapidly for ALL immigrants, regardless of their current status - the opposite of our current system.

The people who would mind such a well-functioning system are either the extremists in the GOP, or the employers who have preyed on immigrants - especially undocumented immigrants simply looking for a better life in America. Those abusive employers know the unregistered immigrants don't understand the complex and arcane maze of immigration policies the United States currently has. Many of those same employers also donate, in both open and untraceable ways, to the same politicians that continue to block real, functional, immigration reform - primarily Republicans.

Meaning the problem for Republicans isn't just an issue of racial problems with Latinos and other minorities, but it's also a class issue - one most on the political right refuse to acknowledge. As Jonathan Capehart noted recently, when he quoted Republican stalwart Dick Armey, “You can’t call someone ugly and expect them to go to the prom with you.”

As long as Republicans keep beating on the poor, and siding with the rich and corporations against the workers, poor immigrants from all nations - and especially poor Latinos - simply won't come around to the GOP way of thinking.

If you're a Republican, and you can't understand that simple fact, when it comes to thinking, you're still doin' it wrong.