If you can’t say anything nice…

Late last night Congress passed legislation that keeps the Department of Homeland Security funded – for one week. What does a week accomplish? For Republicans, absolutely nothing. Democrats on the other hand would be content to keep granting one week funding extensions all the way up to the 2016 election. This ridiculous spectacle is a gift to Hillary Clinton.

A very busy cycle in the day job and a very depressing news cycle have conspired to make writing tough. Even I’m getting bored with these ‘WTF are they thinking’ posts, but that’s the material they’re giving me.

Congressional Republicans built this trap from the ground up. They picked the hostage. It’s not the EPA, or the IRS. They picked the agency charged with protecting US internal security. Congressional Republicans picked the issue on which to grandstand. It’s not tax reform or infrastructure or jobs. It’s white fear of Latinos, who the GOP must recruit if they are ever going to win another national election.

So, Republicans are threatening our own base’s second favorite government function (after the military) as part of a campaign to stir up public hostility toward the ethnic group we most desperately need to win. Even worse, there are no actual public policy issues at stake. None.

Congress has no authority to do anything material about the President’s executive orders on immigration. This self-defeating spectacle has zero public policy implications. The entire effort has been engineered as theater for the paranoid old white people who form the rock-hard spine of the party’s base.

In a better world, Republicans in Congress could use their newly minted majority toward a novel purpose. They could pass laws.

Rather than throw a fit over the President’s immigration action, they could build coalitions to pass some form of an alternative. After building legislation on a base of broad public support, they could dare the President to veto it. If he did, then the party’s nominee in ’16 could use that veto for new leverage.

Or they could threaten to shut down our largest security agency out of blind, idiotic rage. Either way works I guess when you have no point of contact with reality.

What is there to write about this? I’ve run out of theories to explain this kind of behavior.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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97 comments on “If you can’t say anything nice…
  1. way2gosassy says:

    CPAC is over and the winner is ……………….Rand Paul. after a rousing rendition of Hillary Clinton is not fit to ever serve a higher political office because of …….BENGHAZI. Yep same song 3rd verse. Then we have Scott Walker a mere 4 points behind. His contribution, he faced down 100,000 protestors which imminently qualifies him to take on ISIS among other priorities such as budget cutting and tax eliminating.

    Jeb Bush tells the truth when he says that there is no plan to deport 11 million illegal immigrants and that he still supports Common Core. I don’t think that worked out to well for him. “Aides say that while in office from 1999 to 2007, Bush was among the first state executives to take on teachers unions, lowered taxes each year and signed Florida’s “stand your ground” gun law. He was a hero among social conservatives for his actions to keep Michael Schiavo from removing the feeding tube from his brain-damaged wife, Terri.”

    Of course Marco Rubio promises to get rid of the Department of Education which reminds me of Rick Perry who proclaims that we will survive the Obama years because after all we survived Jimmy Carter and the Great Depression. He may not survive his indictment but that is another story.

    We cannot leave out Phil Robertson, “Robertson, one of the stars of A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” who was suspended from the show in 2013 after making anti-gay remarks, appeared Friday at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference to accept the Andrew Breitbart Defender of the First Amendment Award from Citizens United.”

    “You lose your religion, according to John Adams, and there goes your morality. We’re almost there,” Robertson said. “I hate to admit I got my facts from the CDC the day before yesterday, 110 million, 110 million Americans now have a sexually transmitted illness.”

    Chris Christy’s deflection about him being a big mouth bully was to explain that he isn’t a bully, he is just passionate and sometimes you just gotta tell people to sit down and shut up and Jeb Bush needs to talk more when people ask him stuff.

    Bobby Jindal from the “We can’t be the stupid party” remarks “While Islamic State-style terrorism threatens the United States, Jindal said that President Obama has proven himself “incapable of being our commander-in-chief.”

    While saying “this president has done a lot of damage,” the Louisiana governor also had harsh words for Republican lawmakers who, in his view, have failed to stand up to Obama.”

    Last but certainly not least we have Ted Cruz “Ted Cruz served conservatives a red-meat diet, delivering a speech heavy on themes of liberty and freedom laced with biting attacks on President Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton and the ways of Washington

    “Washington wants Obamacare, the people want liberty,” the Texas senator said in one example. “Don’t believe President Obama when he says when you like your Internet, you get to keep your Internet.” For someone who apparently has such disdain for Washington DC he sure has spent an awful lot of capitol to get there.

    The promises made by Republicans during the mid terms to “govern” if given a chance at the majority has proven as false as George Washington;s teeth. On Friday yet another bill written by Republicans to shore up “No Child Left Behind” was pulled from the floor before the vote because they could not whip enough R votes to assure it’s passage. This is 3 or 4 times in this short year so far that Republicans have failed to pass their own bills.

    After 57 or so attempts to repeal or defund Obamacare they are now faced with the real possibility that the Supreme Court could find in their favor throwing 36 states into chaos financially not to mention the 8 million or so people who will lose their health insurance or the thousands of people who were recently hired in the medical and insurance industries. Since they have never had a plan to replace it, what then are their plans to prevent a complete catastrophe should they win this ridiculous law suit?

    Hostage taking politics on the DHS funding is just about as ridiculous. Immigration is funded through fees not dependent on the DHS budget set by Congress. Like most other things the Republicans have done in the last 6 years it is short sighted. They had 560 days to bring a Senate bipartisan passed Bill to the floor for a vote. That simple vote would have negated any need for the President to act on his own.

    All the quotes from above came from too many sources to post. Included are Fox News, Huffington Post, Washington Post, and USA Today.

    • RobA says:

      Robertson let’s you in on the paranoid and non sensical conservative mind, even when he’s not trying to.

      beyond the obvious bone headed things he said, even the things he prob didn’t realize he said are interesting.

      “I hate to admit I got my stats from the CDC but…..”

      Um, why? The CDC is exactly who you’d go to to get stats on infectious diseases. Why is any gov’t agency something to be feared and distrusted simply because it’s gov’t?

    • 1mime says:

      Great re-cap, Sassy. Thanks for your research. I read some interesting articles this morning that may offer a little background on your report plus one on why the GOP may re-think its opposition to global warming. They deal with:

      Why the GOP isn’t really afraid of the immigration fight (summary-gerrymandering, poor voting rates/Hispanics, time on their side to stack courts, more gerrymandering, slow overtake by Hispanics of white voting majority)

      (http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-02-28/here-we-go-again),

      The growing realization by some of the more lucid members of the GOP that a SCOTUS win on the ACA case might bite them in the ass. (HINT: be careful what you ask for)

      (http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/234191-gop-fears-grow-over-obamacare-challenge

      And, last (and BEST) – GOP and global warming mania – not in step with market and constituents – not to mention, actual climate data.

      http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/energy-environment/234163-memo-to-gop-on-climate-change-listen-to-your-voters

      IMHO, what do these articles (and current events) tell me? The GOP is digging themselves into a very deep hole by their arrogant disregard for Lifer’s four inescapable realities by catering to the right wing of their party. This faction may feel emboldened and impervious to voter back-lash by virtue of their sweep in the 2014 mid-terms, but they are on a world stage and they’re performance is dangerous and embarrassing. And, American voters are watching it all play out. 2016 is a critical year for America to determine what kind of nation it wants to be.

      The Republican Party is losing relevance, reason, and if they aren’t careful, the more moderate part of the base….and they don’t have that luxury as they aren’t picking up votes from women, Hispanics, Blacks and other ethnic groups they have alienated with their reckless, insensitive statements and positions. They are counting on gerrymandering, low minority turnout, and high majority turnout to negate population trends. They are focused again on short term results when they need a long game. The potential loss of support from within their own racial co-hart (white voters) will effectively marginalize the party even further if they continue to demonstrate such a disconnect from reality.

      The demise of the Republican Party is a real loss to our nation. Strong two-party (at least …where is Owl?) politics does protect the system of checks and balance our FF designed. But, this new Republican Party and their extreme base? That’s sickening.

      • way2gosassy says:

        The USA Today article quoted some of the attendees at CPAC as saying that their values were no longer being addressed by the Republican Party because it was so infected with, RINO’s, old men and establishment types. They want to split the party and maybe call it the “Constitution Party”. To that all I can say is HELL YEAH! and can I help you do it! The faster you split out the nuts the faster the Republican Party can get back to being the GOP. Maybe then we will start seeing some sanity return to our political structure.

        Then we have this ” Threat to Vacate Boehner’s Post Shows Depth of GOP Anger – Yahoo Finance From Yahoo Finance: The procedural maneuver to declare his office “vacant,” while almost certain to fail, would further demonstrate the depth of frustration with Boehner among disgruntled Republicans who have challenged his leadership before. It would show how weakened Boehner has become and how difficult it may be for this Congress to get much accomplished. “The sad part is that there is a group of people here who are trying to use the Homeland Security appropriations bill to advance their crass, inside-the-beltway, palace coup,” Representative Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, who co-chairs a group of moderate House Republicans, said in an interview. Dent and others said anti-Boehner rebels in the House Republican Conference have been spreading the word to fellow members about the possibility of starting the procedural maneuver, and such discussion gained momentum after the speaker late Friday worked with Democrats to pass a measure to extend the Department of Homeland Security’s funding for a week and avert a partial shutdown.”

        http://inagist.com/all/572108327804637184/

      • 1mime says:

        Hmm, you saying “the devil you know may be better than the devil you don’t?

  2. stephen says:

    I talked with some of my congressman’s staff recently at a town hall meeting for constituent service. The Republican congressman was not present. I wanted to press home the points you made Lifer. I told the staffers I was very unhappy with my party hoping it might get back to their boss.

    As I have been trying to make the point where I live we already are a minority majority county where the over all country is heading. We are living together intermixing. And that includes all ages. One of my friends a classic old white dude a couple of years ago married a Latin women. They both are in their late seventies. I know couples were the man is white and the woman is black. My wife and self are one of those older white couples that the GOP is counting on for support. They are losing us as the Xenophobia of the Grand Old Party is turning us off. I know from personnel experience that there is nothing to fear with this assimilation. And we are not the only ones. As the country moves towards my county’s state the GOP will eventually lose their base.

    During the last presidential election one of my buddies who happens to be black decided to stay home because Obama supported gay marriage. We definitely can peel off Democrat support if we target minorities with the right message and then follow through with action. In other words walk the talk. Most Latins are conservative but when you are deporting mom or brother that kind of takes precedent. With the mean spirited message of the GOP towards them why in the world would they support and vote for Republicans. I recently watched the president in a town hall meeting for Hispanics basically tell them that to get their number one concern done (which is fixing our immigration policy) that the GOP was the obstacle and they should show up in mass and help vote them out. And under the current party he was 100% correct. The GOP is losing support even with younger Cuban voters.

    And the sad thing is we need immigration to step up not down. The older white demography is not replacing it’s self. And neither is the old black demography. Historically declining populations cause countries to lose economic and military power. This was suppose to be China’s century but it will not be because of their one child policy. Once the population starts to decline it becomes very hard and takes generations to reverse that decline. India which did not follow that Progressive folly will eventually assume a leadership role. Leaders should explain this to voters and do what leaders are suppose to do, lead. Politics long term are won by addition not subtraction. With the right leadership we could start to build a large tent that could make the party relevant into the next generation and right our ship. I just hope it is not too late.

  3. Kebe says:

    DHS is a cancer, or at least an allergic swelling, from 9/11. I sorta wonder if defunding them is a bone thrown to the libertarian contingent, but that would require caring about civil liberties, and apart from Justin Amash, I’m not seeing enough of it from the Rs. (And apart from Ron Wyden, not enough from the Ds either.)

    • 1mime says:

      I have read that the U.S. Coast Guard hated being brought under the DHS umbrella. But, there are so many moving parts in DHS that dismantling it would be very difficult, and when is there ever a good time, if it is a worthy idea, Kebe? What would your solution be?

      • Kebe says:

        Like all dismantling jobs, it needs to be done cautiously. Putting the Coast Guard back under DoT (or perhaps DoD?) would be a good start. A slow motion piece-by-piece removal would follow. Some agencies within DHS (e.g. TSA) need to get reigned in anyway, and a dismantlement process would help.

        To be honest, the problem is the most serious (save perhaps TSA) civil liberties offenders aren’t under DHS. I wonder if there’s ever been a GOOD example of bureaucratic drawdown that doesn’t involve a war’s end?

      • 1mime says:

        Kebe – What about the original reason (or so I understood) that there were too many disparate agencies and too little coordination and communication in times of domestic problems? Has consolidation under DHS resolved these problems? Another justification I recall was to increase accountability by virtue of all being under one structure.

      • Kebe says:

        Given the inability of Federal agencies to prevent the Boston Marathon bombing, I’m not sure about the increased abilities OR accountability.

        One possible way for me to give DHS a pass is to consider I might conflating DHS’s creation with the horrific increase and {ab,}use of domestic surveillance in the post-9/11 US. DHS agency TSA is an easy target for surveillance abuse, but it’s hardly the most egregious offender.

      • 1mime says:

        Kebe, what about the Civilian Conservation Corps, 1933-1942, part of the New Deal that was run by the U.S. Army to help put people to work following the Great Depression. This was not part of a wartime draw-down and appears to be a good example of a successful bureacratic program that served its purpose then ended. Many fine projects were built during this time and desperate Americans found gainful employment.

        From wiki: “It (CCC) depended on emergency and temporary Congressional legislation for its existence. By 1942, with World War II and the draft in operation, need for work relief declined and Congress voted to close the program.[8]”

      • 1mime says:

        Kebe, I’ve been thinking about your comment that DHS wasn’t able to prevent the Boston bombing, and I disagree with your example. Here’s why. Loner(s) will always be out there posing threats to domestic security. (let’s focus at home for now) I heard a lengthy discussion on how to prevent domestic terrorism this Friday on NPR. Experts said that it is a numbers problem which also has funding ramifications. These nutjobs are often on a “list” but DHS agencies simply lack sufficient staff to surveil them all of the time. Frankly, I think they do a damn good job in limiting the number of attacks to those we have sadly experienced. Of course, one attack is too many, but with budgets being cut, manpower is the first to go. It’s a priorities challenge and one hopes politics isn’t sabotaging the capability of DHS by cutting funding levels necessary for them to be able to do their job well. (Notwithstanding the current funding debacle in Congress – that’s a whole other level of madness.)

        As for my earlier follow up question to you, regarding better coordination and communication during domestic terrorism events, I think law enforcement in Boston did an outstanding job – since that was your selected example of terrorism prevention failure. Think of what they achieved using surveillance and coordination and I am certain, federal security assistance as needed. It was an amazing display of law enforcement expertise. And, they did so in a calm, sustained process that kept the community safe while they proceeded to locate the killer. The tragedy of so many people being hurt, killed and maimed will be with us always. But, I don’t think this example is a fair one to offer as an example of incapability for prevention. Sadly, these crazy people are out there, as we see from their social media rants, and the poisonous atmosphere that exists politically in America is encouraging some to act on their insane ideas.

        Extremists within our country who are spouting hate and brandishing assault weapons and malicious signs and militant gatherings make the job of DHS and law enforcement generally, incredibly difficult. Getting control of THAT group of people would be a very good start to improving safety in America.

        As much as I hope we will never see another Boston Bombing kind of event, I do not fault DHS from preventing this, I fault the unhinged brothers who did it.

    • RobA says:

      I have no love for DHS, but I’m much more concerned with functioning, non dysfunctional government.

      If congress wants to dismantle DHS, that’s fine. But do it with legislation the actual way. Don’t shut down and hold hostage gov’t for a completely unrelated bill.

      Besides, I don’t think this has anything to do with DHS. DHS is just collateral damage.

      At the end of the day, as of right now, DHS is a fully mandated government dept. Until that changes, it’s the job of congress to fund it. Full stop.

      • Kebe says:

        Hostage-taking is completely dysfunctional, for sure. I just can’t get as riled up, personally, about DHS being the hostage as something else.

  4. Doug says:

    “It’s white fear of Latinos…”
    It isn’t.

    “…who the GOP must recruit if they are ever going to win another national election.”
    Illegal aliens cannot (legally) vote. Most Hispanic citizens do not favor illegal immigration or giving federal benefits to illegals.

    We cannot just open the borders and allow anyone who wants to come here. Even a Mexican born comedian understands that. http://toprightnews.com/?p=4422

    • 1mime says:

      Lifer said “Latinos”, not illegal immigrants. He knows the difference and he also knows what I know and that is there is a lot of hate in America for brown people generally. I’m sure he will defend himself but don’t misquote him.

      I’m curious about your statement, “Most Hispanic citizens do not favor illegal immigration or giving federal benefits to illegals.” Your source, please.

      • johngalt says:

        Actually, 1mime, I don’t need a source for that – I’m sure that most Hispanic citizens don’t favor giving federal benefits to illegal immigrants. I’m also sure that the vast majority of them would support treating them as human beings and recognize that the current immigration status is cruel and serves mostly to take advantage of people who are trying to make a better life for their families and that demonizing them is disgusting.

      • Turtles Run says:

        As a Hispanic male I agree with John Galt. I would also add I prefer laws be passed that force me to continously prove i am a citizen within the borders of my own country – Arizona show me your papers law.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Laws not be passed. Correction

      • 1mime says:

        Turtle, that’s a big correction (-: Glad to know you are Hispanic and that we are a diverse group here….Anyone got a problem with that?

      • Doug says:

        “don’t misquote him”

        Huh? Lifer’s made his opinion clear for a while: Thou shalt not oppose amnesty lest thou suffer the wrath of brown people for all eternity. Sorry, but it’s poppycock.

        “Your source, please.”
        Google “hispanics oppose amnesty”. There are plenty of polls.

      • 1mime says:

        If Lifer wants to respond to you, he will, and better than I did.

        JohnG agreed with your statement that legal Hispanics oppose amnesty. My experience is that the Hispanic Community has real sympathy for illegals, so obviously, I am travelling a different path. It’s not far-fetched to assume that many of them may have started out illegal and then attained citizenship. Good for them. Regardless, it is an expensive, lengthy process to become a citizen, and I admire all who make the commitment.

        You didn’t comment on the most important thing John said, which was: “…the vast majority of them (Hispanics) would support treating them as human beings and recognize that the current immigration status is cruel and serves mostly to take advantage of people who are trying to make a better life for their families and that demonizing them is disgusting.” That is the crux of the matter.

        So, let’s add up all the groups Republicans have pissed off: women, gays, Hispanics, Blacks, Muslim….Did I miss anyone? And, this is called “growing the base”?

      • Doug says:

        ===
        You didn’t comment on the most important thing John said, which was: …” the current immigration status is cruel… ”
        ===
        [sigh] Very simply: if we’re so cruel to them, why do we have to work so hard to keep them out? It makes no sense.

      • johngalt says:

        Doug, I don’t know if you have kids, but if I lived in some godforsaken barrio in Guatemala City or Monterrey, or San Salvador, rife with poverty and violence due to the drug cartels (which, by the way, our stupid drug laws help keep in business) I’d take quite a few risks and accept some indignities to see my kids had a better life than I. But at some point, after living here for 10, 20 years, working hard and staying clean, I’d at least like some recognition that all I was trying to do is make a better life for my family, like new Americans have been doing for 400 years.

      • 1mime says:

        Doug,
        “[sigh] Very simply: if we’re so cruel to them, why do we have to work so hard to keep them out? It makes no sense.”

        JohnG’s answer said it all, [sigh]

      • Doug says:

        JG, Let’s say I’m a citizen and I’ve worked 20 years without paying any taxes, but I’ve worked hard and otherwise kept my nose clean. What do you think will happen when I get caught? Or maybe some guy has been dealing coke for 10 years (just to feed his family, of course). He finally gets caught. Do we ignore the law so as not to break up the family?

        No, we do not allow “but I’ve been doing it a long time” as a defense. Imagine where that would lead.

        And yes, there are sh*tholes around the world where it’s not easy for people to live. Why give priority to Mexicans and Central Americans? I’m thinking the south Sudanese have it much, much worse than Mexicans. Maybe we should kick out the Mexicans and bring in 20 million Sudanese. It would be the kind thing to do.

      • Turtles Run says:

        “Google “hispanics oppose amnesty”. There are plenty of polls.”

        Well Doug since amnesty has not been proposed by the President or the Democrats the opposition to the Comprehensive Immigration Reform bills must be based on some factor other than “amnesty. . It has been made quite clear by many in the GOP that any path that gives these people living here an opportunity to earn their citizenship is unacceptable. You often hear these people complaining that these new citizens would vote for Democrats. Or they complain about how the culture is changing due to these people arriving to this country. Things in which an immigration policy should not be based upon. Don’t you agree?

      • 1mime says:

        Good clarification, Turtles. I think this was the point Duncan “Kiwi” was making earlier. Of course, just saying the word “immigration” immediately produces pixie dust obscuring any semblance of reality, so I’m not surprised.

      • johngalt says:

        Doug, if you don’t pay taxes for 20 years, the IRS will hit you with back taxes, interest and fines. Kind of like the penalties that are being proposed with the deferred action.

        Why are there more Mexicans here than Sudanese? Perhaps the long common border has something to do with it. Face it, we benefit more from immigration from our neighbors than from a country most Americans could find on a map even if it were labeled.

      • flypusher says:

        “JG, Let’s say I’m a citizen and I’ve worked 20 years without paying any taxes,..”

        Let’s say you do a hypothetical sans bullshit. People here illegally do pay taxes; at the very least they are paying sales taxes and property taxes as a portion of their rent. Depending on how their employers pay them, they may even be contributing to Social Security with no current prospects of getting any returns on those funds.

        ” Maybe we should kick out the Mexicans and bring in 20 million Sudanese. It would be the kind thing to do.”

        Let’s try not to be so ridiculous. Geography matters here. So do family ties and the Spanish/ Mexican influence in the culture of the border states (which goes back before the USA even existed).

      • Turtles Run says:

        1mime – I do not believe any of us are surprised. They seem to honestly believe that no one can see through their BS. The whole “Hispanics oppose amnesty” comment is a blantant attempt to legitimize their opposition to any immigration reform beyond deporting all the “brown people.”

      • 1mime says:

        Turtle – I do not believe any of us are surprised. They seem to honestly believe that no one can see through their BS. The whole “Hispanics oppose amnesty” comment is a blantant attempt to legitimize their opposition to any immigration reform beyond deporting all the “brown people.”

        I am so tired of the BS. But I will say this, the general impression is that Obama’s Immigration orders are amnesty and that needs to be corrected if for no one else, the Democratic base and the Hispanic community. You are so right that this issue has been fanned to mean something entirely different and is purely a play to the GOP base. I am going to find a link to O’s executive orders so I can post them. I am tired of this. Thanks for the back up.

  5. RobA says:

    Agree with this.

    At the end of the day, I can see how a reasonable person could be unhappy with Obama’s XO. This is such the wrong way to go about it.

    There’s enough Dems opposed that the GOP could have done sometjing actually to change it if they accepted a compromise.

    That’s the problem with this GOP. Absolute refusal to compromise may be admirable if we’re talking about an individual’s ethics. But when you’re a governing party, absolute inability to compromise is a really good strategy to get nothing done and find yourself shut out of the legislative process by the voters next time around.

    • 1mime says:

      Promise?

    • As I understand it Obama’s actions are simply to determine the order that “illegals” are deported in
      First – Crims

      Then at the back of the queue he puts;
      People who came over as kids and have either finished college or done a stint in the military
      Just before them at the back he puts family members of such kids

      I dont see “how a reasonable person could be unhappy” with that

      • johngalt says:

        Ah, Duncan, as I recall, you’re a Kiwi and therefore blissfully insulated from exactly how batshit insane some of my fellow countrymen are.

  6. unarmedandunafraid says:

    Can’t help wondering where public opinion would be on immigration if Lou Dobbs had been a house painter rather that a tv personality. Using the term “personality” in its loosest meaning.

    • 1mime says:

      The only people who watch Lou Dobbs are the same people who hate immigrants. You will not change their minds.

      • Doug says:

        Are you unable to distinguish between illegal aliens and legal immigrants? I know many people who despise the blatant disregard of our laws and Obama’s actions regarding them. I don’t know a single person who “hates immigrants.”

      • 1mime says:

        I know many people who dislike immigrants, particularly those who are Mexican. They seem incapable of differentiation. But you are correct that most of the vitriol is directed at illegal immigrants. I don’t know where you live but I live in TX where most of the construction, road, grounds, home, kitchen staff and office labor are Mexican. I know several people who employ them who know they are illegal. They look the other way for their “hire(s)”.

        As little as I agreed with George W. Bush, I agreed with him on his “Pathway to Citizenship”. Illegal immigration is wrong but I also think it is wrong for businesses and people who hire them as cheap labor to look the other way. The Senate developed a bi-partisan immigration bill that would have been a great start to begin addressing this problem. It went nowhere in the House and that’s a damn shame.

      • 1mime says:

        Oh, and lest I forget, Doug, the most famous Republican of all granted amnesty to 3.2 million illegal immigrants in 1986. Is this more of”it’s ok when we do it but not when Obama does it”?

      • Doug says:

        “I also think it is wrong for businesses and people who hire them as cheap labor to look the other way.”
        Absolutely agree.

        “Oh, and lest I forget, Doug, the most famous Republican of all granted amnesty to 3.2 million illegal immigrants in 1986. Is this more of”it’s ok when we do it but not when Obama does it”?”
        Reagan signed a bill, Obama did an executive-not-really-an-action-thingie. Not quite the same. Regardless, amnesty was the wrong way to go back then, too. People respond to incentives, even people south of our border.

      • RobA says:

        1mime, when you say below that “most vitriol is reserved for illegals” I’m not so sure that’s the case. I konw that’s what’s SAID. But bigots long have a history of using euphemisms to cover their bigotry.

        The civil war wasn’t about slavery, it was about “states rights”. Gay marriage isn’t because people just hate gays, it’s because allowing gays to marry will “threaten the sanctity of marriage”. Right wing racists down south don’t hate Obama because he has the temerity to be a black man who dares become president, they hate him because he “hates America”. It goes on and on.

        So when a right wing lunatic says they don’t hate ALL immigrants, just “the ones here illegally” I’m unfortunately not inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt. They’ve used up their grace period.

      • 1mime says:

        Lest you forget, Doug, Obama has been trying for six years to get Congress to send him an immigration bill. It hasn’t happened, but the problems in the system that relate to illegal immigration have grown. The President lauded the bi-partisan Senate Immigration bill (under Harry Reid)that passed but never got a hearing in the House. So, maybe the problem isn’t President Obama, but Congress. There are humane considerations that cannot be ignored and that is why the President took action.

        By the way, the 1986 Immigration Bill that Reagan signed into law had bi-partisan authors but even then the bill didn’t have easy passage. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce blocked the first attempt as they wanted no reporting requirements for hiring illegals for their business needs. A modification of the second bill effort accommodated the Chamber’s needs by being silent on requirements for reporting illegal hires. Special interests have been involved in the Immigration debate for a very long time. It has only become really ugly in this President’s administration, because, well, Obama is for it. Eisenhower and G.H.W. Bush also supported immigration legislation and utilized executive orders. There were differences as noted in the link below if you care to read it.

        http://www.factcheck.org/2014/11/obamas-actions-same-as-past-presidents/

  7. GG says:

    Sorry if this was posted already but I just saw it. The GOP has to shut down this type of rhetoric. It’s un-American, stealth racism, and, make no mistake, if these types had their way we would be an American S. Arabia. Also, it’s not a presidential pre-requisite to be “Christian” or is that “KKKristian”?

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/414574/phil-robertson-there-are-too-many-non-christians-white-house-brendan-bordelon

    • GG says:

      There’s all kinds of paranoid mental illness in the comments section too. What a hoot.

      • flypusher says:

        The persecution complex is strong with those ones.

      • GG says:

        Yeah, I’m getting tired of the self-martyrdom and the “we are under attack” b.s. just because they can’t force their dogma on the rest of us and legitimize their bigotry by law.

      • flypusher says:

        Once upon a time they were the default, and the culture and the gov’t deferred to their tastes, and any pesky atheists/ agnostics/ skeptics knew their place (in the closet), and few dared to question this order of things, and all was good (for them).

    • flypusher says:

      Jeez, these people really don’t grok religious freedom, do they?

      But Hell, I shocked a relative who was convinced that the Founders believed that we should be voting only Christians into office (a response to my quoting Jefferson about how someone having different beliefs “neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg”) by referencing Article 6 of the Constitution.

      • johngalt says:

        Your relative would be really shocked if you explained how many of the Founding Fathers weren’t actually Christians.

      • texan5142 says:

        Crazy train rolling along.

      • texan5142 says:

        Religion extremism ruins everything.

      • flypusher says:

        “Your relative would be really shocked if you explained how many of the Founding Fathers weren’t actually Christians.”

        I have no doubt about that, and for the sake of peace and harmony I tend not to initiate any conversations on religion or politics when visiting. I’ll state my views and defend them when asked, otherwise I’ll talk about something else. My parents unfortunately have developed a taste for Fox News, which gives me much practice in patience and diplomacy when they have it on. But to be fair I have some left-wing friends who can be equally hard to disagree with (for example, I have no problem with responsible adults owning guns).

      • RobA says:

        Pretty crazy, considering how much the right wingnuts use the founding fathers as their justification for so many things. And yet, on this part, the FF were not in the least bit ambiguous:

        ““The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from
        these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in
        blood for centuries.”

        -James Madison

        or ““Besides the danger of a direct mixture of religion and civil
        government, there is an evil which ought to be guarded against in the
        indefinite accumulation of property from the capacity of holding it in
        perpetuity by ecclesiastical corporations. The establishment of the
        chaplainship in Congress is a palpable violation of equal rights as well
        as of Constitutional principles. The danger of silent accumulations and
        encroachments by ecclesiastical bodies has not sufficiently engaged
        attention in the U.S.”

        – James Madison

        ““[T]here remains [in some parts of the country] a strong bias towards
        the old error, that without some sort of alliance or coalition between
        Govt. & Religion neither can be duly supported. Such indeed is the
        tendency to such a coalition, and such its corrupting influence on both
        parties, that the danger cannot be too carefully guarded agst.”

        – James Madison

        How about these ones:

        ““The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”

        – George Washington

        “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense,
        founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of
        enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen
        [Muslims],—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of
        hostility against any Mahometan [Mohammedan] nation, it is declared by
        the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever
        produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two
        countries.””

        -John Adams

      • 1mime says:

        Very good, Rob! I need to bookmark your post for future use. We all know these things – generally, but when we say it, it doesn’t sound nearly as important as quoting a FF!

      • johngalt says:

        And, of course, there is the mere existence of the Jefferson Bible, a volume in which the primary author of the Declaration of Independence physically excised, as in with a razor, all the passages of the New Testament that referred to the divinity of Jesus, leaving a morality lesson.

    • rightonrush says:

      I ain’t a doctor but I’d say that Phil might be suffering from advanced Neurosyphilis Dementia. Whoops, almost forgot, Bless His Heart.

      • flypusher says:

        It is true that a mutually monogamous relationship with an uninflected partner is a very good way to avoid STDs. But there are so many better ways to make that point.

  8. 1mime says:

    Well, there’s at least one Republican who is happy today and that is Eric Cantor.

  9. IT says:

    I would like to see the “old style” Republicans come back : the ones with sensible fiscal ideas, who lived and let live and were not in thrall to a minority extremist religious view, and who knew how to make compromises that allowed things to move forward for everyone. Once my father (RIP), a small businessman and life-long Republican, couldn’t take them any more and started to vote Democratic, it was clear that the Republican Party had jumped the shark. I agree, I think schism is the only solution.

  10. texan5142 says:

    At the CPAC the overwhelming theam is how Obama and the democrats are destroying America……. they need to look in the mirror.

    • lomamonster says:

      Hah! The mirror indeed, for the STD Party will pose a serious threat to CPAC power mongers!

    • rightonrush says:

      I think it’s even worse than last year. The kooks have taken over the party and the candidates are trying their best to be as nutty as the CPAC crowd.

    • texan5142 says:

      It’s all a direct result of Reagan closing the mental hospitals.

    • lomamonster says:

      texan – Concerning that age old “destroying America” complaint, follow this through… Citizens who do not participate in our governance by failing to vote are complicit. Guess who don’t vote during anything but Presidential elections? Yep, you got it! So CPAC attendees do have a point that can be ceded.

      I hate that too!!!

  11. Tom says:

    This kind of behavior makes me wonder if the Republicans really want to have a president in the White House. Perhaps they are far more satisfied achieving their aims at the much more corruptible governors mansion and Statehouse level. I guess the bad news is that 2020 is both a census year and a presidential election year. The 2010 re districting gains could be rolled back.

    • 1mime says:

      Tom, why would it necessarily be a bad thing if re-redistricting gains were rolled back, given the rise in the Hispanic population? Unless you think that state legislatures will make things even worse? That assumes the GOP is able to maintain their dominance at the state level. If they continue to function (?) ad nauseam, they will not keep vulnerable seats and there will be at least a chance for more balance between the two parties. At least, I hope so.

      • johngalt says:

        But, beyond that, why on earth do we leave the drawing of congressional districts to hack partisan politicians? It should be done by independent commissions and presented for an up-or-down vote by the legislatures.

      • 1mime says:

        Absolutely the best idea, Jg. Computers would make the task so simple….but, the results would be way too heterogeneous unless, of course, someone plays with the software…..

        The idea should be: one man, one vote per residence. Simple. You are correct.

      • johngalt says:

        California is actually doing this now, with the legislature having this taken out of their hands by a ballot proposition. Too early to tell if it is effective, but precedent has been set.

      • 1mime says:

        JohnG, This just in from Politico on the independent re-districting efforts in CA and AZ. It’s going to devolve into a bogus “states rights” issue when the real reason is to politically control the maps to protect districts. Don’t you get so tired of seeing common sense and fairness get shafted?

        http://www.politico.com/story/2015/03/californias-redistricting-success-in-jeopardy-115624.html?hp=lc2_4

      • 1mime says:

        JohnG, In surfing on the issue of election process, I came across this 2013 international Harvard study. You’re a detail guy, so this might appeal to you. Of interest to me was how strong and fair (as per study criteria and comparison) Norway and other Scandinavian countries are. It’s a shame their model isn’t a template for other countries that are not scoring as well. In contrast, the U.S. falls under Micronesia and just .3 above Mexico, that land of corruption. The U.S. ranks 26th in the world for electoral integrity, or in the “moderate” category.

        http://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/11744445/Norris-TheYearInElections.pdf?sequence=1

      • flypusher says:

        Iowa has a good system going:

        http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2013/12/08/iowa-redistricting-takes-partisanship-out-mapmaking/efehCnJvNtLMIAFSQ8gp7I/story.html

        Granted Iowa is much less complicated in terms of demographics and geography than CA or TX. But I have no doubt we can figure out a way to adapt such a system to TX. To me, the number one worst consequence of gerrymandering is incumbents who are too secure in their re-election prospects.

      • 1mime says:

        Fly, that’s something that today’s Republican Party in Iowa could never achieve. The process is too fair and logical. “This is done by making population size the primary metric when determining a district’s boundaries, followed by the goal of compact, contiguous districts that respect county lines.

        Oh, for the Republican Party of yesteryear. Since that ain’t what we got; we got to work with what we have.

        Again, thanks for the post.

      • 1mime says:

        Fly, interesting about Iowa. Didn’t know that. I agree that “the number one worst consequence of gerrymandering is incumbents who are too secure in their re-election prospects”, but let’s take it a step further. It defeats the premise of one man one vote under a Democratic process. It strips the rights of citizens to participate meaningfully in government that directly impacts them.

        Finally, it creates a pompous bunch of a-holes who actually think their win is due to their brilliant representation and personal genius (or, in TX, “hair” (-: ). Both parties have done it but Repubs have taken it to a new level. It’s still wrong and it needs to be done away with. When your base is atrophying, you protect yourself with concierge districts, voter suppression, a partisan SCOTUS, and Citizens United. The GOP must be feeling pretty smug right now. Why hasn’t SCOTUS dealt with this issue? Working too well for Repubs to rock the boat?

  12. lomamonster says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with you, Chris. There is indeed nothing to write about which would explain the self-defeating behavior of the GOP – especially in the House. None of the positioning adds up to the notion that there will be governance anytime in the future. And if there is, chances are that it will be “return to the cave and re-group, men!” kinda stuff.

    Investors can take heart that ammo prices will rage, Fox News will hire even more blondes, and Victoria’s Secret will finally be revealed as a liberal conspiracy to distract patriots from further walling in the “desapparecidas” with laws to discriminate against their vaginas.

    But then, that is nothing to write about…

  13. briandrush says:

    Small correction, Chris. Congress does in fact have the authority to override the president’s executive actions. I imagine you know this, and are just frustrated.

    I’m observing that the Republicans aren’t doing as well at handling their Southern dominant position as the Democrats used to. Having the South as its main stronghold didn’t stop the Democrats from passing the New Deal in the 1930s or some other reforms under Woodrow Wilson, although it probably did stop FDR from acting on civil rights and racial equality as effectively as his wife would have liked.

    Maybe it’s the times. When the Democrats owned the South, the Civil War was still a living memory for very old people or at least for the parents or grandparents of living people. Today, it’s not. “Republican” was a word you spat after for white Southerners in the past. Today, it’s not, but neither is “Democrat,” so Republicans can’t count on Southern support merely because “We’re not them.”

    Or maybe it’s something else. I don’t know. The only really good news is that these nincompoop neo-Confederates are old and they’re mortal.

    • goplifer says:

      You are correct. It is technically true that Congress could re-write the legislative basis on which the President’s actions were taken. No such proposal is on the table. They are just trying to ‘defund’ programs that do not depend on any Congressional funding in the first place.

      They could go through the more difficult, adult process of writing new immigration legislation. Such an effort could make the President’s actions moot. No such effort is on the table.

      • texan5142 says:

        This is what happens when narscasist try to govern.

      • flypusher says:

        Indeed. But crafting bills is work, and grandstanding is so fun and glamorous.

        I’m thinking of one of your previous posts, about how the party will have to hit rock bottom (like the person denying the drinking problem waking up in a ditch) in order to start the political reform 12-step process. Are we there yet?

        But the voters need a wake up call too. What are you basing your votes on? Someone bad mouthing their opposition? Someone telling what you want to hear and reaffirming your particular choices by pontificating on “values”? Someone going through all the motions of cheap and easy displays of patriotism? Someone using cheap scare tactics? Well, then it’s garbage in, garbage out.

      • 1mime says:

        Lifer, the Senate passed a comprehensive immigration bill with bipartisan support. As noted earlier, Boehner didn’t allow it to come up for a vote (leadership again…he may regret that now). The problem is in the House. Do you think that members of Congress who run in defined districts rather than statewide like Senators are trying to have it both ways? They rant and obstruct to block immigration legislation to appeal to their conservative base but won’t propose anything in recognition of the Hispanic vote consequences? (at least those whose districts aren’t safely gerrymandered…)

    • 1mime says:

      Lifer: “Congress has no authority to do anything material about the President’s executive orders on immigration.” (except draft legislation which they are loathe to do, evidently) If you are correct, then there’s nothing to worry about from our non-partisan court review, right? How can Republicans be so indignant over Obama’s executive actions when Reagan principally issued the same executive order for almost 12 million illegal immigrants? How dare they play games with national security and peoples’ jobs and lives?

      I appreciate your honesty in this current issue and others and hope there are more Republicans like you. It must be tough for rational Republicans to witness day after day crap like this. As I understand reporting, it is mostly members of the GOP House Study Committee (Tea Partiers) who form this cesspool of irrational, dangerous and, yes, stupid, actions. It is mind-boggling.

      I haven’t seen a roll call breakdown on the Homeland Security vote, but, it will be interesting to compare with the membership of the GOP Study Committee. Here’s a link to the membership of this most radical arm of the GOP in Congress for those who like to keep score. Of course, one have to wonder why GOP leadership put so many of them on one committee to begin with. Doesn’t the House Leader (Boehner) make committee assignments?) Isn’t this a strategic leadership error of judgment?

      http://rsc.flores.house.gov/aboutrsc/members/

      Of the three branches of government, I am most worried about what is happening to our judiciary. At least citizens have a chance at the ballot box for who gets elected (even tho that right is seriously under attack by the Republican Party). What the GOP can’t legislate they simply find a sympathetic judge and willing conservative defendants, and let the justice system do their work for them. Governance at its worst, Lifer.

      Judicial activism has tremendous consequences. This piece from Huffpost (yes, I know it’s a liberal site but the piece is thoughtful, and, I think – accurate about legitimate concerns over judicial activism.) Possibly this is another topic for a future post.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/26/citizens-united-congress_n_6723540.html

      “So this is what Republican governing looks like”

    • 1mime says:

      Brian…glad to see you posting again. The neo-confederate base may have a lot of old white people in it, but where I live (TX), the Caucasian base is much younger and seems to have more of a libertarian bent. It would be comforting to hope they will all be in their last days, but I’m not sure that is the case. Maybe Lifer can break down the GOP demographic for us.

  14. vikinghou says:

    Repeating what has been written in earlier threads, the Republican party is in essence two parties: the “hate Obama party” and the “hate Obama to the point of destroying the nation” party. In a European political system the establishment Republicans would be the Christian Democrats, the Democrats would be Labor and the Tea Party would be something like the ultra-Orthodox Shas party in Israel or Marine LePen’s Front National in France.

    The GOP’s big mistake was to absorb the Tea Party into their ranks. This has led to some shorter term electoral successes but, now that they have control of Congress and the obligation to govern, the longer-term negative consequences are becoming clear. I believe a party schism is the only viable solution.

    • flypusher says:

      Think of the TP as the Toxoplasma of politics:

      http://www.nature.com/news/parasite-makes-mice-lose-fear-of-cats-permanently-1.13777

      The GOP ingested them, and now they can’t avoid political disasters.

    • 1mime says:

      Viking: For those who follow the markets, think of the Tea Party as a “hostile take over”. It’s happened in business many times where David slew Goliath. Easy to do if the Dem base doesn’t vote in sufficient numbers to defeat right wing extremism.

      Either way, that’s where things are now so we have to deal with it. And that is best done by GOTV – mid terms and Presidential years, alike.

    • unarmedandunafraid says:

      First, my wine went nasal at “Republican party is in essence two parties: the “hate Obama party” and the “hate Obama to the point of destroying the nation” party.” from viking. Then fly sez “Think of the TP as the Toxoplasma of politics”.

      Very funny.

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