Saturday, February 28, 2015
On That Stopgap, One Week Measure Congress Passed Late Last Night
For a while there last night, it looked as though the Republicans were going to shut down the government again--a part of it, anyway. Anyone who's been watching this knows they want to do something, anything, about President Obama's attempt to finally, finally, after all these long years, do something about our immigration laws. So, brilliant, generous people they are, these same Congressional Republicans have been trying to come up with a way to not fund the Department of Homeland Security so they can punish the President.
Forget that just a few short days ago some ISIS idiots threatened to blow up the Mall of America and/or some malls in this country. Sure, forget that. All that's important is their political goals for their political party. But we've known that for along time. We've seen and known that since 2008 when our current president got elected. They are committed to putting their political party and their goals for it first, nation be damned. They want to make sure America is no way thriving while they're not in the White House.
Which brings us to today, and last evening's actions in Congress. Economist Robert Reich so rightly penned this today:
Congress passed a one-week extension of funding for the Department of Homeland Security just hours before the deadline on Friday night, but the right-wing Republicans in the House (some of whom were swept in after the 2014 midterms) are determined the next extension will include a ban on the President’s immigration enforcement priorities. And if Boehner doesn’t play along, they’re threatening to oust him as Speaker.
America has a long tradition of white mostly-southern radicals who’d stop at nothing to get their way – seceding from the Union in 1861, repudiating federal laws during Reconstruction, enacting Jim Crow laws, resisting desegregation orders in the 1950s, refusing to obey civil rights legislation in the 1960s. Fast forward to Newt Gingrich's takeover of the House in 1995, and the Gingrich-led government shutdown at the end of 1995. And then the 2011 showdown over raising the debt ceiling. On top of this, Republican-controlled states gerrymandered their districts and repressed the votes of minorities -- giving electoral advantage to the most radical right-wingers they could recruit. And now we're suffering the logical culmination of all this: the largest group of government-hating, racist, homophobic, misogynistic know-nothing, climate-change denying, evolution-denying, science-denying, anti-immigrant House Republicans in history, bent on taking America back to the 19th century.
What's more than a bit bizarre but wonderful and ironic and even hypocritical about all this is the fact, of course, that this very department, of "Homeland Security" is a whole creation of these same "small government" Republicans through their own "conservative", Right Wing George W "I'm a rocket scientist" Bush. We had the CIA, we had the FBI, of course. Could not a small expansion of one of those handle the issues of "homeland security"? The agency is a well-known, big cash boondoggle. And here they are now, trying to shut it down. If that's not out-sized, delicious , fantastic irony and hypocrisy of the first order, I don't know what is.
And meantime, more of the same, just more of the same from these people.
They won't learn, it seems clear.
God help us. Heaven help us, America. These are our leaders.