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Disingenuous On Immigration Reform?

By The Reverend Published: July 9, 2013

After the "skewed polls" in the 2012 election turned out not to be so skewed after all. After MSNBC's Joe Scar proved beyond any shadow of a doubt that he is a major league clueless ass by telling Nate Silver that his bullseye accurate numbers predicting an Obama win last November indicated that Silver was a "joke" and should be kept away from typewriters. After the incumbent president, who couldn't win re-election with such high unemployment numbers.....won re-election.....corporate media newspaper columns with a similar theme started popping up all over. Columns like this one....

Congressional Republicans, eager to gain ground on an issue critical to their party's future, have begun pushing their own proposals to reform the nation's immigration laws in hopes of bringing Hispanic voters back into the GOP fold.

From a NY Times piece March 20, 2013, entitled The Republican Autopsy report....

In a rare intervention in policy making for a political committee, the R.N.C. report calls for abandonment of the party’s anti-immigration stance, flatly declaring that “we must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform. If we do not, our party’s appeal will continue to shrink to its core constituencies only....if Hispanic Americans perceive that a GOP nominee or candidate does not want them in the United States (i.e., self-deportation), they will not pay attention to our next sentence.

Tea darling Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), March 14, 2013....

"....we aren’t going to deport 12 million illegal immigrants. If you wish to work, if you wish to live and work in America, then we will find a place for you.”

Jeb Bush, potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate, said basically the same thing here.

Understood in all these statements is the awareness by some GOP leaders that a 'path to citizenship' must be included in any comprehensive immigration reform legislation. And indeed, 14 Senate GOP'ers crossed the aisle and voted with all the Senate Democrats to pass a comprehensive, "Gang of 8"-approved comprehensive immigration bill which included a path to citizenship.

But for other GOP leaders, primarily but not exclusively GOP leaders in the House, a 'path to citizenship' is exactly what they will never pass....

Speaker Boehner on June 28th...."The House is not going to take up and vote on whatever the Senate passes. We're going to do our own bill through regular order."

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the Virginia Republican who leads the Judiciary Committee, said..... "People have a pathway to citizenship right now: It's to abide by the immigration laws,...." Goodlatte said.

So, what gives? Do Republicans want immigration reform or not?

The answer is no. Just listen one afternoon to Limbaugh and you'll know that the answer is no. Latino immigrants, the extreme right has calculated, will never vote Republican....and because Limbaughian philosophy reduces all things down to "how does this help the GOP?", a path to citizenship will NEVER be acceptable to the Rush crowd. In case you haven't noticed, Rush-"thinking" dominates the GOP House.

Here's my take: The Senate's Gang of 8 legislation was a headfake by Republicans. Senate Republicans aren't totally braindead....they knew that the House would never accept a pathway to citizenship. Therefore, the Gang of 8's immigration proposal was, from it's inception, only a shiny, sparkly, political tool to make Republicans appear more inclusive....and less hateful towards the "Other."

But more importantly.....the Gang of 8 was intended by Republicans to feature Fla. Senator Marco Rubio, catapulting him into the national political arena as a "serious" leader willing to compromise, willing to actually vote for a pathway to citizenship for the greater good of the country.

Like most of what has emanated from the GOP in recent years.....the Senate immigration bill is nothing but a bit of political gamesmanship mixed in with a bit of deception. An attempt to polish up their new, young, presidential wannabe's credentials, as deceptive as they are, while not budging a millimeter on their rejection of a pathway to citizenship.

Hope I'm proven wrong.



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