Posted August 1, 2014on:
Happy Friday Widdershin friends. Here’s hoping your Friday is going better than John Boehner’s Thursday went, but then again, it would have to be better.
There are some days when these posts just write themselves. This is one of those days. Given my pronounced lack of imagination, there is no way I could come up with the storyline of the last twenty-four hours in the House of Representatives. And given the outrageous turn of events, neither could the writers of House of Cards, Game of Thrones, or for that matter, Veep. Yesterday for John Boehner was a real FUBAR — fudged up beyond all recognition.
Imagine for a moment, it was the first day for your new management team given Eric Cantor’s defeat in last month’s Virginia primary. If you are John Boehner, you have a new Republican Majority Leader in Kevin McCarthy and a new Majority Whip in Steve Scalise. While it was their first day on the job, it was also their last day before their 5-week August recess/vacay.
Just the day before, Boehner had passed legislation enabling him to sue the President for his “lawlessness” in signing Executive Orders. All the House had to do was pass a simple watered-down bill to address that pesky refugee problem on the southern border and then it was off for some much deserved R&R for being the least productive Congress in history. What could go wrong?
Emboldened and hearing the call of the sun to bring back that irradiated orange glow, Boehner even held a press conference to say of that pesky refugee problem, “Congress must act because it is better to do something than do nothing.” Then fifteen minutes later — fifteen minutes — John Boehner and his newly minted leadership team did nothing — they pulled the bill. And to add further humiliation, members of the House blamed the President saying he should deal with the problem through executive authority. This after having voted less than 24-hours previously to sue him for using executive authority.
How could all this happen? Look no further than that meddlesome Canadian, nee Texan, Ted Cruz. It seems as though Cruz held a pizza party for the Tea Party types on Wednesday night and played the game, How Mean Can We Be to Children (or UACs in the vernacular, standing for “Unaccompanied Children” because to actually say children is quite unseemly). Cruz, a McCain proclaimed wacko bird, has once again infused himself in the do-nothing Tea Party caucus as some phantom Speaker to purposefully and needlessly blow-up the process but for no other reason than self-aggrandizement.
Of course Ted Cruz isn’t a solo act. He is acting at the behest of the Heritage Foundation and cheerleaders like Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard. You know — the same intellectual jug heads who brought us the Iraq War, the government shutdown, Iran war mongering, and constant caterwauling for military intervention in Syria, Libya, and the Ukraine.
So what does Cruz want for all this mischief? He wants the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) implemented by Obama to be repealed. DACA allows children, who were brought here by no act of their own and have been here since 2007, to apply for temporary relief from deportation and work permits. Operative words: Apply for temporary relief.
These children, knowing no other country than the U.S. and who are Americans by all accounts except those on paper, are innocent victims in all this. They broke no laws. They were brought here by their parents. Many have enlisted in the armed services and served with distinction.
But innocence is no inoculation to being used as a pawn for the political maneuvering of Cruz and the thirty to forty Tea Partiers who are causing all these problems. If for a moment these intellectual pygmies could see through the miasma of hate for these “others,” they would realize their actions will brand them as nothing more than the “deportation party.“ They want to deport, without a hearing, the thousands of children who have found their way north from Central America and for good measure, additionally deport hundreds of thousands of children who have grown up American whose only sin are to have parents who wanted them. In their Tea Party lexicon written by Frank Luntz, deportation has become “reuniting children with their parents in their home country.”
After the drubbing Mitt Romney took in the 2012 election, the Republican Party realized in their autopsy report they had to come to grips with immigration. What the RNC never seemed to fathom is something has to be dead to perform an autopsy. In the wake of that report, the Senate passed a comprehensive bipartisan immigration bill, but it still sits growing moss in the House of Representatives. Now with thousands of children sitting in the balance, John Boehner has once again fallen victim to the maniacal machinations of the self-serving Ted Cruz.
Why is this happening? A year and a half ago we said on these pages that impeachment would be the Republican bumper sticker rallying cry for these midterm elections. The Boehner lawsuit is the first step in the process. Cruz knows with money running out for the care and housing of these refugee children, Obama will have to act and therefore, Executive Orders concerning immigration will become the predicate for yet another trumped-up impeachment circus.
Once again these radical conservatives may have gone too far though. Just this week the Public Religion Institute released a poll finding 70% of Americans support aiding the refugee children as we determine who qualifies to stay in the U.S. Only 26% support summary deportation. Even George Will in all his crotchety, “get off my lawn” lily-white translucency is in favor of giving these children safe haven from the war lords, drug cartels, and sex traffickers.
Even if the House acts today at some point, the outcome will be more punitive than charitable, more xenophobic than tolerant, and certainly more politically calculated than generous in spirit. Not to worry, Ted Cruz playing “Slow White” to the thirty “intellectual dwarfs” of the Tea Party will have fled the stage leaving in his wake the telltale signs of mean-spiritedness, vengefulness, and the suffering of child refugees just to make sure we know he played his part.
As a people, we are better than that — or at least some of us are.
This is an open thread.
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