Have House Republicanos Really Retreated Into A Cave Of Indifference And Ignorance?
Quinnipiac has a new poll out. It covered a lot of ground-- like Hillary Clinton's ability to beat NJ organized crime figure Chris Christie in 2016 if the tow of them run for president. I was more interested, though, in this: "American voters blame both parties for gridlock in Washington, but they say Republicans are more responsible for Congress' inability to get things done... There is gridlock because Republicans are determined to block any Obama initiative, 51 percent of voters say, while 35 percent say President Barack Obama lacks the skills to convince leaders of Congress to work together."
Friday morning, just around when the poll was released, John McCain urged his 1,813,062 twitter followers to read David Brooks' column in the NY Times. Nothing remarkable about that, you say? After all, Brooks is the Times' conservative editorial writer and his column, while rarely as off the tracks as the bigoted sloganeering you hear on Fox or from Hate Talk Radio hosts, is supposed to provide intellectual justification for the Greed and Selfishness wing of the Republican Party.
Brooks sees the blatant obstruction of comprehensive immigration reform by the divided and leaderless House Republicans as "a tragedy for the country and political suicide for Republicans, especially because the conservative arguments against the comprehensive approach are not compelling."
Conservatives say they want to bring down debt. According to government estimates, the Senate bill would reduce federal deficits by up to $850 billion over the next 20 years. The Senate bill reduces the 75-year Social Security fund shortfall by half-a-trillion dollars.
Conservatives say they want to reduce illegal immigration. The Senate bill spends huge amounts of money to secure the border. According to the C.B.O., the bill would reduce illegal immigration by somewhere between 33 percent to 50 percent. True, it would not totally eliminate illegal immigration, but it would do a lot better than current law, which reduces illegal immigration by 0 percent.
Conservatives say they want to avoid a European-style demographic collapse. But without more immigrants, and the higher fertility rates they bring, that is exactly what the U.S. faces. Plus, this bill radically increases the number of high-skilled immigrants. It takes millions of long-term resident families out of the shadows so they can lead more mainstream lives.
These are all gigantic benefits. They are like Himalayan peaks compared with the foothill-size complaints conservatives are lodging.
...The final conservative point of opposition is a political one. Republicans should not try to win back lower-middle-class voters with immigration reform; they should do it with a working-class agenda.
This argument would be slightly plausible if Republicans had even a hint of such an agenda, but they don’t. Even then it would fail. Before Asians, Hispanics and all the other groups can be won with economic plans, they need to feel respected and understood by the G.O.P. They need to feel that Republicans respect their ethnic and cultural identity. If Republicans reject immigration reform, that will be a giant sign of disrespect, and nothing else Republicans say will even be heard.
Whether this bill passes or not, this country is heading toward a multiethnic future. Republicans can either shape that future in a conservative direction or, as I’ve tried to argue, they can become the receding roar of a white America that is never coming back.
That’s what’s at stake.
Of course, principled or not, you’re still dead in the end.
At this stage in the second term of the president they couldn’t defeat, Republicans seem more like stubborn children refusing to come out of their rooms for supper, even though the alternative is going to bed hungry.
This simile is unavoidable in light of the House’s passage of a farm bill without any provision for food stamps-- the first in 40 years. The move prompted fantastic outrage from Democrats, notably Rep. Corrine Brown (Fla.), who shrieked: “Mitt Romney was right: You all do not care about the 47 percent. Shame on you!”
...What Republicans are selling appeals to an ever-diminishing market that doesn’t even include their erstwhile allies in business and industry. And their self-immolation may prove to have been nothing more than a bonfire of vanities.
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