Just a quick post today: Why do some Republicans claim to want to take up immigration only comprehensively but were so adamant in their opposition to comprehensive health care reform? The GOP argument goes: we don’t like big bills (and government). So why in the face of the DREAM Act’s impending vote in Congress do some still claim that the DREAM Act shouldn’t be passed because it’s better handled as part of a comprehensive bill?
Republicans, do you want big comprehensive bills or not? Make up your minds or shut your mouths. Oh, yeah, vote “YES” on the DREAM Act like you’ve got a pair (see Orrin Hatch).
Although Senator Richard Dubin is the DREAM Act’s most visible advocate, Utah Senator Orrin Hatch is its original sponsor. That was in 2001. These days, Senator Hatch’s position on the DREAM Act is very difficult to read. He claims to still support the bill but he remains non-committal to efforts at passing the bill during the lame duck session.
“My empathy is with that type of legislation, and I’ll just have to look at it,” he said. “They’re doing it for purely political reasons, and that’s not what I think ought to be done.”
So what exactly are those political reasons? Is it because Democratic senators are simply trying to pass a bill that has languished in the Senate since 2001 despite strong support — refuting the claim that the DREAM Act is an ill-conceived and hastily-crafted bill. What is political about that? Senators are trying to pass a common sense bill with limited applicability.
Even if we assume that Senator Hatch is correct that pursuing the DREAM Act in the lame duck session is only for political reasons, then what can he say about his own party’s political legislative moves? Senator Hatch seems to suggest that it is the only the Democratic Party that plays politics. Under that reasoning, Senator Hatch should only support apolitical bills, a legislative anomaly if there ever was one.
It seems to me that Senator Hatch is the one playing politics by attempting to stall action on a bill in fear of his own party. Senator Hatch should just do the right thing by voting yes on a bill that he originally championed.
Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) is always trying to play both sides, but immigration reform advocates know clearly where he stands. This is what he said earlier this week:
“I’m certainly sympathetic to the plight of these kids who through no fault of their own, find themselves in this predicament, but the kind of games that Majority Leader Reid is playing here seem more designed to play politics than they do actually to try to solve the problem.”
Who is playing political games here? Perhaps it’s the guy who comes up with an excuse every time any vote on a meaningful immigration reform bill comes to the floor. And how will he truly “solve the problem?” Perhaps it’s by stalling. That’s what he and his GOP cronies have been doing on immigration (and any other progressive bill, for that matter). In July, he stated there wouldn’t be enough time to do a good job on the bill. How much time does he need? The DREAM Act has been in the Senate for every congressional session since 2001.
John Cornyn, please stop with the hypocrisy. We can see right through.
And so it has passed. The anticipated red wave made landfall last night and crashed down upon Congressional Democrats. Certainly, I was disappointed by last night’s results but not surprised. For those of us DREAMers, last night’s election could not have been seen as anything but a window into the future, and not surprisingly, many of us do not like what we see.
DREAMers, like any shadow population, cannot escape the ebb and flow of Congressional politics. We live by their pronouncements and perhaps even more so, by what they do not pronounce. Congress has remained silent on DREAM for close to a decade. I cannot defend any impotence on their part; it is their job to bring results, and they have not done so.
But what I have tried not to do is to give their incompetence any more importance than I have to. I will not let their every machination — or lack thereof — define who I am anymore. I’m not being insensitive to my fellow DREAMers who feel that our lives are dictated by Congress. I agree that they are. But I will not submit to defeat. For me, last night was business as usual, the manifestation of electoral fickleness in a majoritarian system. It does not change much except that it has made me firmer in my conviction that there is a great injustice in this country that is simply being ignored for the sake of political power. It makes me sick. Last night reaffirmed that the passage of this bill will be my lifelong aim. Even if I somehow become a citizen through other means and this bill has not yet passed, I will continue fighting for it. It means too much to me.
So our work must begin anew today. We will fight for DREAM in the lame duck session, and should that fail, we will fight for it with the GOP at the helm of the House. We must fight. We will die if we don’t.
The older I get, the lonelier I get, it seems. I am, by nature, a very extroverted person. But recently, as I watch my friends and family move on to new and exciting things, I feel more and more isolated. At times, I consciously make an effort not to speak to any of my friends, even my closest friends, because I’d rather not be privy to all that’s going on in their lives. While I enjoy the genuine fellowship with my girlfriend, family and friends, even in those happy times, a part of me is still very lonely.
As I think about how the DREAM Act’s prospects narrow each day, I wonder how long it will be before I can have a “normal life” free from the anxiety of the being undocumented; when I can finally come out of the shadows (although cliche, that term is actually very descriptive). Will it be when I’m 30? 35? How many more years do I have to endure this?
So I ask my fellow DREAMers, what do you do to cope with any feelings of loneliness? Feel free to drop a comment. Perhaps we can find strength in each other.
What astounds me the most about this is that the Tea Party preaches fidelity to the Constitution yet its members have no fundamental understanding of it. Again, all the Tea Party candidates have are talking points, and inaccurate ones, at that. An extended version of the clip shows O’Donnell constantly interrupting Coons with more hyperbole about the Constitution that is not backed up with precedent.
What’s equally as hypocritical is that Tea Party “patriots” will undoubtedly hide behind the “gotcha news story” blanket. “Oh, the mainstream media is just trying to look for any mistake our patriotic candidates make; shame on the mainstream media!” Well, it seems to me a basic understanding of our federal constitution, which these Tea Partiers claim an almost mythical hyper allegiance to, is not simply a “gotcha” point. It is fundamental to public service in the U.S. Period. You can’t say, “I’m sorry, I didn’t bring my Constitution with me. Fortunately, senators don’t have to memorize the Constitution. Can you remind me of [them]?” Even if you didn’t, you should know the 14th Amendment and what it stands for! And how presumptuous, Christine O’Donnell, you’re not even a senator!
At least Christine O’Donnell can find solace in the fact that her Tea Party is infested with so many Constitutionally-ignorant candidates that some other candidate will embarrass himself/herself soon that we might forget about her gaffe. Anyone remember this gem in 2008:
O’Donnell represents a party supposedly poised to make significant gains in Congress. If that’s the case, I am very fearful for our future as a country.
Now that I’ve got your attention, let’s get down to the matter at hand. If Republicans can put out this type of hateful vitriol — see here — then I have no reservations about calling a duck a duck. If it hasn’t already been painfully clear, the Republican Party is reaching new and utterly ridiculous heights of fear mongering. And who are we to fear according to these beacons of morality? That’s right, minorities.
Here are just a few examples from Sharron Angle alone:
“I think every state should have a sheriff like Joe Arpaio” — In reference to the always magnanimous, immigrant-raid loving Arizona sheriff.
And don’t forget her recent ad praying on the fears of white America by depicting “thug-looking,” brown-skinned, prowlers trying to come to America to do what? That’s right, get an education.
She hopes to join the likes of David Vitter (who also used the same photograph in Angle’s ad), Jeff Sessions and Jim DeMint in the Senate who have systematically blocked any efforts at immigration reform by playing to American anxieties.
It’s safe to say that even in this Republican surge toward the elections, their tactics have not changed. Their goals and visions for American have not changed. In fact, it has been increasingly clear that they just do not like immigrants, minorities and any other non-White person in America.
They prey on the fears of Americans by inappropriately and inaccurately depicting “the other” as out to conquer America, which apparently is divined only to belong to White Americans. And frightingly as it seems, it may just be working.