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The NRA and a teeny-tiny conservative, gun fetishizing group of Americans....representing perhaps 15% of the nation....stopped universal background checks on all gun purchases from passing into law. The will of the people....and basic sentient-being common sense....were overruled by a tiny minority of extremists threatening to primary any elected official who voted along with the will of the people and basic common sense.
The failure to pass background checks for gun show and online gun purchases is a prime example of what is currently wrong with what we like to call our representative democracy. The cynics are actually correct when they say that your vote every two and four years respectively, carries no weight. When 91% of Americans nationwide agree that all gun purchases should be accompanied with a background check on the purchaser....and a background check amendment fails in the Senate....that's when you know that ours is not a representative democracy.
A tiny minority...in comparison....dictated the outcome of background checks. In the same way, a minority will determine immigration reform...that is, if there is going to actually be any immigration reform. My bet is against at this point.
The Senate Judiciary Committee will begin marking up the new immigration reform bill today. The basic framework of the bill was written by the Gang of Eight. (It seems odd that an open, transparent and allegedly representative democracy would need to resort to various and sundry "Gangs" to bypass the normal congressional process.....but it's just what Congress does now.) The Gang of 8 have agreed on a "path to citizenship" for those currently undocumented and living in the U.S. The "path" will take 13 years, at minimum, for an undocumented immigrant to become a U.S. citizen. Opponents smell the odious "amnesty."
The Limbaugh arm of the GOP refuses to accept any pathway to citizenship. According to these extremists, 10 million undocumented immigrants must be rounded up and sent back to their birth countries.....or "self-deport". The reason? 'We're a nation of laws and those who break those laws must be punished.' Because the extremist Limbaugh wing of the GOP controls the GOP......see: background checks for all gun purchases....and even stymied George W. Bush's efforts to do comprehensive immigration reform....the handwriting is pretty much on the wall over immigration reform.
Anyway....marking up the Gang of 8's bill won't be easy. There are already 300 amendments lined up....amendments like one from the New Joe McCarthy, Senator Ted Cruz (Dipshite-Tx)....
“No person who is or has previously been willfully present in the United States, not in lawful status…shall be eligible for United States citizenship.”
You gotta hand it to Cruz.....he has gonads the size of small planets. No tact, no self-awareness, and no respect......but nads the size of, say, Jupiter. Ted Cruz introduced an amendment to a bipartisan bill providing a pathway to citizenship for some 10+ million undocumented immigrants.....which permanently denies citizenship to those 10+ million undocumenteds. That takes nads.
Even Limbaugh was willing to meet the New Joe McCarthy halfway. Rush said it would be alright with him if those 10+ million currently living in the U.S. undocumented....were granted citizenship. But only if that citizenship didn't include the right to vote for 25 years. Limbaugh is a strong believer in the rule of law.....that's why he wants to dramatically change what constitutes citizenship.
Think Progress has a list of the most egregious amendments to be offered up in debate over immigration reform. The list includes mandatory DNA testing, denying provisional immigrants access to ANY government assistance, banning humanitarian travel (sick mother in Bolivia? Want to visit her before she dies? No re-entry if you visit her), in-person interviews for all 11 million immigrants (to snails' pace the process), and one of my personal favorites.....
In an effort to force South Koreans to buy beef from the United States again, this amendment threatens to withhold E-5 visas from South Korea immigrants until the country removes its age-based import restrictions on beef. Offered by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA).
Grassley is the "Obama is pulling the plug on grandma" guy.
Senator Mike Lee (Mars-R) will introduce what I might call the Romney Amendment.....allowing U.S. citizens to hire undocumented immigrants to be maids and butlers and such. No, seriously, he did. Gotta protect the super-rich from legal ramifications when they're shopping for cheap labor.....it's a terribly pressing issue.
Surely you can see the handwriting on the wall here. Republicans from the far side of the moon fear making citizens out of the 10+ million undocumented immigrants currently living inside the U.S. Why? Because those immigrants will most likely vote for Democrats after they become eligible to vote.
For the minority party.... just like with voter-ID laws and reducing early voting....that simply cannot to be allowed to happen.