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.