Thursday, April 22, 2010

They Were Against Big Government Before They Were For It

Your Papers, Please: Arizona is about to enact legislation that will require aliens (read: Hispanic aliens) to produce their immigration status upon police request. Senator John (I Ain't No Maverick) McCain said,
The state of Arizona is acting and doing what it feels it needs to do in light of the fact that the federal government is not fulfilling its fundamental responsibility -- to secure our borders.*
McCain, who once favored comprehensive immigration reform, did not explain why the issue was multifaceted when George Bush was president but is simplistic now that Barack Obama is in office. I heard McCain on the radio this morning. He addressed the possibilities of racial profiling along these lines: Gosh, but he would hate it if this law lead to racial profiling, but what are you going to do?

Hispanic-Americans comprise 30% of Arizona's population of 6.5 million and 5% Native-American. (Think about the irony of Native-Americans being required to prove their legitimacy.) Moreover, Hispanics accounted for 70% of Arizona's population growth from 2000 to 2006. Are you starting to get the picture? Given that, what reason would a policeman have to think that any Hispanic is illegal (even given the large amount of undocumented workers in Arizona)? There's a 4-in-5 chance of being wrong, so four times out of five an American citizen or a legal immigrant may well have to interrupt their personal business and be haled into a police station to prove their citizenship.

And how is anyone going to know? The U.S. doesn't require us to carry proof of citizenship, a Social Security card is not a photo i.d., and it's certainly not against the law to not have a driver's license. This gives carte blanche to any racist police officer who feels like hassling an Hispanic. What about Hispanic police officers? Will they get pressure from white superiors to bring in suspected illegals? Which begs the question of what besides skin color are grounds for suspicion?

How many innocent people will lose jobs because of missing work while proving their innocence at a police station? I can just about guarantee that this will turn into a Kafkaesque nightmare for more than one poor family. According to John McCain, though, that comes with the territory: If conservative white Arizona wants to dance, innocent brown Arizona has to pay the piper.

The right wingers say they're against so-called Big Government and then get behind something as thoroughly intrusive as this. They claim to revere the Constitution, then trash it by passing a law that requires a presumption of guilt. They call the president a Nazi, then institutionalize a Gestapo tactic. This is really about conservative white Arizona trying to keep the Mexicans in line: When it comes to something like that, the right doesn't give a damn about the Constitution or Big Government. It's disgusting and embarrassing, although nowhere near as humiliating as it will be for the honest people caught up in this racist dragnet. Whatever immigration reform means, surely it's something better than urinating on our most fundamental values.

Immigration reform is a complex issue that will require complex solutions and money, especially if the right wing insists on a security-based solution that involves beefing up the border patrol and walling in the southern border of the United States. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) recently said in response to the likelihood of a mass layoff of American teachers that, while it was regrettable, actually appropriating funds to avoid it was a matter for serious debate:
I wonder from whose schoolchildren we are going to borrow this money, because we have a looming debt crisis in this country and we'll need to debate this.We all want to help our children and our schools, but that is a deep concern.
This small-government proponent has voted against sanctuary cities and for a border fence. Forgive me for thinking that he and his ilk -- so concerned that about the debt that tomorrow's children might inherit from their undereducated parents -- will have no trouble paying for border security technology that has about as much chance of working as robot built by Calvin and Hobbes.

For John McCain, it's simple: You wet your middle finger, hold it to the wind and notice that you've got a primary challenge from your right, sell out your integrity, and give that finger to every Hispanic-American who ever voted for you. For them, it's another matter entirely. But what does he care?

*The United States Border Patrol apprehends over a million illegal aliens each year...

A major failing of the MSM is that they deal with issues discretely and never force politicians to prioritize. Assuming it's the case -- and I fear that it's not a bad assumption -- Lamar Alexander should have to explain why he thinks we have the money for a border fence and not for education. For that matter, I'd like John McCain's opinion on the matter. And if education is one of those things that you can't solve by throwing money at it, why is border security?...

When I say you have B.O., I don't mean Baltimore & Ohio...

The Non-New Orleanians Guide to Treme (thanks, Editilla!)...

PR tips for teabaggers (thanks, Premium T!).  Such as:
Problem: Too many are quick to dismiss the substance of your ideas, in particular your calls for smaller government and less deficit spending. (Boy, that must be frustrating.)
Solution: If you want to be seen as having a legitimate concern about spending and the deficit, let's try something counterintuitive.  How about rather than ranting about a bunch of tax increases that haven't happened, go ahead and flip this one on its head and loudly and vociferously condemn the huge increases in deficit spending that occurred first under Reagan, then under Bush.  Better yet, if you want people to think your goal is to get back to surpluses and pay-as-you-go, then demand a repeal of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and restore the Clinton budgetary guidelines.  Problem solved!  Steal that issue from the Dems and you've got yourself a winner there!
Bill Mauldin gets a stamp...finally...

Tipitina's announces its 2010 Fess Jazztival lineup and how I wish I could be there with the likes of Trombone Shorty, Galactic, Patty Smith, the North Mississippi All-Stars, Dumpstaphunk, George Porter, Jr., Zigaboo's Funk Revue, Eric Lindell, Tab Benoit, and on and on etc. etc...

Green card? I'm from East L.A.!


Roy said...

And you oughta see the Arizona state legislators tapdance around the whole racial profiling issue (play the video of Sen. Russell Pearce's interview)!

I love Cheech and Chong's reviz on the Boss's tune! And the tips for teabaggers.

Steven said...

More disturbing...the majority of Arizonans approve of this unconstitutional law. But, why am I surprised? These are the same people that applaud Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

tnlib said...

Not only does this law stink to high heaven, I think it's kind of curious that the very groups who are yealling about debt and fiscal responsibility are the ones passing unconstitutional laws that will end up in the court system for years. Who's going to pay for this kind of stupidity with money that is needed for roads, hospitals, education, etc.? Ah yes, the taxpayers of course.

RealityZone said...

Great post.
I live in Az. and am ashamed to admit it. This has always been a red neck state.
I talked to a few cops in the town where our business is just outside of Phoenix. They told me they will not enforce this insanity.
I could go on for hours about this police state.
Unfortunately our business is now so bad, we cannot afford to move. I have met Sheriff Joe and I called him a racist to his face.
This is not just about immigration, they are also using this as cover, so they do not have to admit they let the crime, and the drugs get out of hand.
I am waiting to see if there is a major march or protest against this. I will be there.

Cheech and Chong= = = lots of memories. :-)
Like they say "if you remember all of it, you did not live it". LOL

Barry and Barbara Knister said...

I second RealityZone: a great post. I imagine the good people of Arizona you're talking about would hit it off just fine with their counterparts here in southwest Florida. People pound the table here for stern measures to "deal with" undocumented workers. That the nation's tomato crop is for the most part dependent on these workers, people completely unprotected by any labor laws whatever (not until recently even protected against slavery)is nothing anyone is interested in hearing about. Nor are they interested in being reminded that without cheap Hispanic labor, every one of the golf courses and retirement communities here in Naples would have to padlock their gates. I would LOVE to see the people who talk the loudest obliged to take care of their own landscraping for just one month.
Hispanics are many things, but three stand out for me:
--They have an extremely solid work ethic (I know, I watched them build my house),
--They are very family-oriented,and
--They are overwhelmingly Christian. So I would like the right wingers to anwers this: what part of the list isn't in synch with your version of Core or Family Values?

RealityZone said...

Both dems, and repubs, understand that the Latin vote will be crucial in the coming elections. The incompetent, broken, federal government must bring us a comprehensive immigration reform. They have hidden from this for far too long.
The undocumented must be able to come out of the shadows. Many have lived here for decades, and live in constant fear.
If it was good enough for the Republican Gawd Reagan it should be good enough for them now. America will need a new tax base, big Corps are secretly for immigration reform. This will be the engine for reform.

K. said...

Roy: That guy sure is a piece of work. Immigration is as big a problem as Katrina. He's proud to have kicked kids out of school. All crime is attributable to undocumented workers. It's enough to make a guy glad that he lives in Rhode Island!

RZ: The R's aren't going to get the Hispanic vote the way they are going. No matter how Russell Pierce spins this, this law makes anyone with brown skin a suspicious person.

B&B I lived a lot of my life in South Texas, a part of the country that is about 2/3's Hispanic. My experience is the same as yours, although I'd add a fantastic sense of humor to the mix: Wry and dry. I've never understood where the lazy stereotype comes from.

Steven: Compared to Russell Pierce, Wally Herger is Stokely Carmichae!

tnlib said...

The only time the R's think of Latinos as more than migrant labor or other unskilled workers is right before elections. But just as African Americans are too smart to fall for their occassional attention, so are the Latinos.

RealityZone said...

I have said this on other blogs, and people think I am crazy.
Do not take the repubs lightly. They are reinventing themselves as we speak.
The Palin, Beck, etc. Will make them look moderate.
Keep Jeb Bush on your sonar. Possibly as VP next cycle. He has a Latina wife, he speaks Spanish. Plus he has been working with the CFR on immigration reform already. He will campaign hard for the Latino vote.
If the O team does not handle immigration reform real quick, the Latinos will NOT come out.
If Ron Paul runs as an Independent, its a whole new ball game.
A lot can happen between now and then. If the economy does not improve, I think the repubs will run a repub Governor [in the grooming process]. Probably not any one we have heard from yet. He might even run as a semi-isolationist.

Perception is stronger than reality. LOLELEMBO

RealityZone said...

To each his own. But I am shocked, shocked I tell you that Pearce belongs to the LDS church. :-)
Naturally they had no comment. LOL

K. said...

I make no claim to understanding the internal workings of Republican party politics. Despite the wild talk, it has since Reagan nominated someone from well within the party establishment. (By 2008, McCain's maverick claim was pretty tired.) There also seems to be a tendency to like familiar faces who have been through the primary mill (Bush pere, Dole, McCain).

That suggests Romney in 2012. We already know that he's a craven guy with no convictions who will say anything. The teabagger types see to like politicians who repent past moderation; Romney also has no pride and won't mind sucking up to them. But, 2012 is a ways off and anything can happen.

A couple of things:

* If Jeb Bush supports comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship or legal residency, he's dead to the Republican party primary voters;

* I can't see Ron Paul running as an independent when there's a movement to remake the party in the image of his crank philosophy

But as I say, I'm no expert on the R's. I don't take them lightly in the near term, but if they don't find a serious way to appeal the Hispanic voters in the long term, the prognosis for the party is not good.

RealityZone said...

K: you are forgetting what the repubs are best at.
They will make immigration reform look appealing to their base.
There is a huge disconnect between the Palin and Paul Tea baggers.
I am not an expert on anything. LOL
But, I do see these as possible.

Foxessa said...

The thing about Jeb Bush's wife -- she cubana, from a batistiano family, and the rest of our country's Spanish speaking heritage people know that Cubans all get very special treatment, very good special treatment, that none of them qualify for.

I don't think Jeb Bush's wife cuts any molido with the chicanos of the southwest -- Cubans hate chili as well!

Love, C.

RealityZone said...


Sorry, but his wife is from Leon Mexico.

Distributorcap said...

The right wingers say they're against so-called Big Government and then get behind something as thoroughly intrusive as this. They claim to revere the Constitution, then trash it by passing a law that requires a presumption of guilt. They call the president a Nazi, then institutionalize a Gestapo tactic. "

are you calling the right wing nuts hypocrites.

this law is nothing more than a legal lynching. it is dangerous, it is immoral and i hope ultimately unconstitutional.

just ask my 92 year old neighbor who was brought up in Cologne and lived through the 1930's before she fled in '38.

i also dont know the inner workings of the republican brain trust - other than they are insane - but i will say they fully dont understand the alienating blacks, hispanics, asians and other minorites (throw in women, gays, union workers etc.) ultimately will not win them elections.

K. said...

"are you calling the right wing nuts hypocrites"

Just sayin, is all!

The Republican strategy is short term, that's for sure. I think they're betting on what they hope will be a permanently energized base. That's ultimately a long shot, because not only is the teabagger base not well-organized, it resists organization and distrusts the political and legislative processes.

RealityZone said...

Distributor Cap:
Re "just ask my 92 year old neighbor who was brought up in Cologne"
I was also born in Koln.

We came to America in 51.