The fondest hopes of millions, still hidden in the nations shadows, have just met the Republican Party.
Message: your hopes and dreams are 'dead on arrival.'
Fresh from his still not-ready-for-prime-time performance after the State of the Union, the GOP's latest used car salesman Senator Marco Rubio has a message for the particularly hard working men and women who run America's service economy: go to the back of the bus - and be thankful if we don't send you packing back to whatever God forsaken nation you spring from.
Just hours after President Obama's immigration reform plan was leaked to the press this week Rubio sent out a press release of his own:
'It’s a mistake for the White House to draft immigration legislation without seeking input from Republican members of Congress,' the statement begins, before going on to call the bill 'half-baked and seriously flawed' and declaring that 'if actually proposed, the President’s bill would be dead on arrival in Congress.'
What this means is what every reactionary GOP position statement means: if the president is for it we're against it. It doesn't matter what the issue is, who it impacts or how it helps. If it's bad for the GOP that takes precedence over the nation, obviously.
Until the last few months Rubio has never shown interest in immigration reform. Suddenly he and the so-called gang of eight are the nation's authorities on a path to citizenship? Really?
The president's plan is a sensible and far from automatic path that would allow undocumented immigrants to obtain legal permanent residency within eight years, among other provisions. The extended wait time is far from a reward for what Rubio calls 'those who broke our immigration laws' over 'those who chose to do things the right way and come here legally.' They have to wait eight years, they have to pay their taxes and demonstrate their fitness. By that yard stick there are millions of born and bred American citizens who would probably fail the test. But don't tell that to the GOP.
This tactic should be seen and lamented for what it is: an old fashioned spanner in the works.
Will the GOP's reflexive need to stymie every bill the President proposes override even their own political interests when it comes to their disastrous performance with Latino voters in 2012?
Why yes, it will. The GOP base is a narrow and rapidly shrinking island of increasing ideological purity that is creating an angry reactionary armed compound within the wider nation. Its base is shrinking along with its effectiveness, only its resentment is still growing.
At the State of the Union Rubio showed that he's trafficking in the same old ideological dead ends that led to the party's wipe-out in 2012: big tax cuts for billionaires, bad science for big business, bash minorities and stand with bigots, boom times for the old boy networks and yah-boo to the rest of you.
So Rubio has decided to turn his back on the Latino voters his party desperately needs, because that's the price of staying on the ideologically pure GOP reservation, where ideas (alongside the hopes and dreams of millions, as well as the bills that can help them) go to die.
If you have a dream, you best make it your business to tell and his party him loud and clear. He can't hear you over the shouts of 'amnesty' and other less printable comments coming from his base.
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