Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Go Ahead & #GoBigObama

What a way to make an impression with one's constituents. For some reason, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal (R) thought it would be a great idea to insult a group of undocumented immigrants confronting him over his inhumane anti-immigrant policies, including a rule that bars DREAMers from attending public colleges in Georgia.

Here's what Nathan Deal got wrong: He clearly wasn't expecting this good of a comeback. Oh, and the students he claimed were undocumented immigrants were actually US citizens. Whoops.

And this isn't the only recent example of G-O-TEA politicians encountering hot water when trying to spin away anything & everything immigration related. Earlier this month, Senator (& likely 2016 Presidential Candidate) Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) ran away when confronted by DREAMers. And earlier this week, Rep. (& fellow likely 2016 Presidential Candidate) Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) refused to answer questions from DREAMers on why he voted to deport them along with Central American refugee children.

And then, there's Senator (& another possible 2016 Presidential Candidate) Marco Rubio (R-Florida). Once upon a time, Rubio was a lead sponsor of S 744, the comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) bill that handily passed the Senate last year. But as of late, Rubio has been trying to catch up with Rand Paul in the anti-immigrant department. And now, Senator Rubio is condemning the very CIR legislation he once sponsored.

The devolution is now complete. Republican politicians who once supported CIR are now running away from it as fast as they can. And once respected "conservative think tanks" are now advocating public funding for anti-immigrant/anti-government militia groups.

So why are they doing this? Why are they flip-flopping so wildly? And why are they now embracing the extreme anti-immigrant militia movement?

Simple answer: Short term politics. Longer answer: They're so frightened of their 21st Century Know Nothing base that they're willing to sacrifice sound policy (and smart political strategy) to grovel to G-O-TEA Culture Warriors' darkest desires.

This is why CIR now lies dead in some House committee room. And this is why President Obama must take executive action to address what the lower House of Congress refuses to fix. While DACA does provide some relief for DREAMers, their family, friends, colleagues, and neighbors are still being deported en masse. Even though they committed no crimes and have made many positive contributions to our communities, they're still being deported. In fact, President Obama has presided over more deportations than any other US President.

Since the lower House of Congress refuses to act, President Obama must. Since House Republicans (cough- Joe Heck -cough) insist on playing petty politics with real people's lives, President Obama must look past the petty politics and focus on good policy. Since the lower House of Congress declined to "go big", the President must.

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