Mon
Apr 10 2006
04:15 pm

There are massive demonstrations taking place around the U.S. today seeking a voice at the table for civil rights and fairness as Congress and America debate immigration reforms.

One thing that has been puzzling me for the past couple of weeks is, why immigration and why now? Why is this issue suddenly in the national spotlight?

Being the cynical old guy that I am, I have a theory.

See, 9/11 changed everything. But the trouble is, we can't see the enemy because he's sneaky and doesn't wear a uniform or fly a flag. So we started a war in Iraq to look for him and his alleged WMD that were a clear and present danger to America, but came up empty handed.

So, the Bush's administration's johnny-one-note-riding-a-one-trick-pony strategery of using the War on Terror to justify everything from torture to illegal detentions to illegal spying on U.S. citizens to massive deficit spending to no-bid contract corruption is clearly a failure, and the people are on to them. The War on Terror isn't playing so well, or at all any more, with voters.

Meanwhile, the GOP controlled Congress has been trying to choke the life out of the big-spending enemy-of-the-people federal government, and out of old people, sick people, and poor people in the process. The people are on to their borrow-and-spend tax-cuts-for-the-rich game, too.

So, what to do about a failed War on Terror and a failed right-wing agenda/Contract on America looming large over mid-term elections in which the GOP could very well lose control of the House, possibly even setting up an impeachment scenario?

Create a new enemy, of course.

Deep in the bowels of some right-wing think-tank, someone came with the idea: immigrants, illegal or otherwise, are the perfect enemy.

They're all around us, everywhere you look, right in your own communities and neighborhoods, maybe even in your own back yard doing some landscaping. They're mostly brown people, too. Not only that, there's talk they are plotting a new civil war to take back Texas! (Seriously, I'm not making that up.)

So, while this has been going on for years, and nobody's been talking about it except Lou Dobbs, and nobody would argue with the fact that the U.S. needs a rational immigration policy, suddenly it's the greatest threat to America since Al Qaeda. So let's everybody rally around the nationalist flag and get behind the strong, steady leadershp of the GOP to defeat this latest "insurgency" right here on our own soil.

Not only that, the "enemy" is virtually powerless (a fact that their employers here have been exploiting for years). And most important of all, they can't even vote!

That's my theory, anyway. I could be wrong.

135
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metulj's picture

Holds to my overarching thesis

that there is nothing 21st Century about GOP political tactics or ideology. I can get behind 19th Century. 15th Century comes to mind as well.

metulj's picture

Dispatch from the front

(link...)

I was in downtown Brooklyn for the rally and march here. Great speakers, even the ones in Spanish who, unlike American politicians, don't seem to speak in sound bites so I had a little trouble following along. Excellent empanada stand. God, I love them.

S Carpenter's picture

The street movement is real but...

That the catalyst is the administration's legislation helps your point.

It does fit the BushCo logic tree to some extent. We did invade Mexico. Doesn't that make us obligated to give a hand up?  I hear Halliburton is ready to enter that market.

Brian A.'s picture

I don't agree

I'm not sure why now, but I don't agree with your theory because:

(1)  Bush probably would have pushed for this in his first or second year, had the 9/11  security fallout put it on the back burner for a while.

(2)  This issue isn't your standard Republican wedge issue; to the contrary, it's fraught with danger for the party as it potentially pits the talk radio crowd against  GOP, Inc. [nativists vs. those who want unrestricted access to cheap labor].

(3)  Being perceived as anti-immigrant is probably a long-term political loser, as Hispanics are the fastest-growing voting block. 

Brian A.
I'd rather be cycling.

Andy Axel's picture

Disagree with the disagreement

This issue isn't your standard Republican wedge issue; to the contrary, it's fraught with danger for the party as it potentially pits the talk radio crowd against GOP, Inc. [nativists vs. those who want unrestricted access to cheap labor].

This is a standard wedge issue.

No one ever said the GOP took the long view. They're shrewd, yes. Shameless, yes. Visionary, not so much.

They're looking for something to generate a pop for the polls for the midterms. This has similar earmarks to the anti-gay marriage crusade which started getting traction around this time a couple of years ago. The problem with that was that you can only outlaw gay marriage once (which amounts to paying short term dividends at the peril of long term cash flow, to coin a phrase). This brand of paranoia sells extremely well among base Republicans -- and there are a lot more Talk Radio wingnuts than there are Chamber of Commerce wingnuts. But then, when you come down to it, the people who benefit from a vast supply of cheap labor are already flouting the law, and will continue to do so no matter what this administration decides. I firmly believe, and history bears out, that this GOP will pay much lip service to this "problem" while looking the other way when it comes to enforcing penalties against employers.

Also, there is some sentiment among Republican Hispanics that illegals aren't welcome (see also: the "I Got Mine, You Get Yours" school of thought). The GOP isn't worried about the illegal Hispanic bloc; those people can't vote anyway, as R. pointed out.

But as far as that goes, you have a sizeable number of Republican core who take it as their solemn duty to walk into the voting booth every 2 years and faithfully vote against their own best interests. I would assume nothing other than the notion that the GOP believes they can round up "enough" of this growing Hispanic bloc by playing to other wedge interests (faith, family, e.g.). And, of course, there's always the idea that you can only count on about 30% turnout on a bad year, so you're only playing to 50% or so of a diminished number. I sincerely doubt that Hispanics are any more inclined to vote than any of the rest of us -- you know, the shiftless, lazy, apathetic, ignorant, or downright stupid people that we seem to be when it comes to political action. The biggest bloc of voters is the one who doesn't vote, after all.
____________________________

Floating face down in my NCAA pool.

RedDog's picture

Andy Axel's picture

Uh huh...

And it's not printed in Spanish?

That's a GOP black bag ad if ever there was one.

____________________________

Floating face down in my NCAA pool.

RedDog's picture

Submitted by Andy Axel on

Submitted by Andy Axel on Tue, 2006/04/11 - 10:21am.

And it's not printed in Spanish?

That's a GOP black bag ad if ever there was one.

 

I don't read Spainish but even I understand the line at the bottom of the poster 

Eleanor A's picture

?

...not sure I get it...Nov 7 actually is Election Day. Most GOP fake flyers list the wrong date, or state you need some kind of unavailable ID, or claim you'll be arrested if you've got outstanding parking tickets or something.

Andy Axel's picture

Put it this way: If the

Put it this way:

If the source is Michelle Malkin (and you'll see that it is if you look at the properties of the image tag), I have my doubts about its authenticity.

____________________________

Floating face down in my NCAA pool.

Eleanor A's picture

Yep

I sincerely doubt that Hispanics are any more inclined to vote than any of the rest of us -- you know, the shiftless, lazy, apathetic, ignorant, or downright stupid people that we seem to be when it comes to political action. The biggest bloc of voters is the one who doesn't vote, after all.

Clappity clap clap

Yeah, but also, what Brian A said - this is fraught with peril for the GOP. The same fat cats that bankroll the GOP are also the ones with a very vested interest in keeping up the flood of cheap labor. Not only are they going to outsource our jobs to the third world, they want to bring it here too...

It's going to be interesting to see how they manage to simultaneously bash and exploit the same group of hapless folks.

RedDog's picture

Not "why" but may be "who"-

Not "why" but maybe "who"- (link...)

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