Friday, January 12, 2018

On immigration, shitholes and presidential stupidity


A couple of days ago, I wrote that I didn't expect much to happen with immigration, but that the issue would be Congress.  We could ignore President Stable-Genius.

Then again, maybe this is just what happens when you have a president who can't find his shithole with both hands and a flashlight, as the old saying goes, modified for the Trump era.  I'll make a couple of quick comments on diction here.  First, there is a benefit to Trump's Trumpiness.  I enjoy watching the press trip all over themselves trying to deal with their standards-and-practices departments because they have a responsibility to report the fact that Trump called countries populated by people with dark skin, "shitholes," while asking for immigrants from what he considers aryan countries (and let's not mince words about what's going on here).  The fact that he actually said, "shithole," is important.  What is offensive is not the germanic-rooted word, "shit," but the nazi-esque sentiment behind what he said.  I have written about Germanic vs. Latin before (see, for example, here), but thank you, Donny-boy.  Your stupidity and vileness have given us another object lesson in the absurdity of arbitrary linguistic taboos and the mindless obsession that certain people have with banning words rather than focusing on the sentiments behind those words.  The word, "shit," is not offensive at all.  Anyone offended by the word, "shithole," on its own, is not a thinking person.  I have no respect for any such person.  Calling African countries plus Haiti, "shithole countries," contrasted with Norway... that's some KKK/nazi shit right there.  Racism is offensive.  Any press outlet tripping over its own standards-and-practices to avoid the word, "shithole,"  ...  you're a fucking joke.  But hey, we can thank Donny-boy for helping to reveal this, once again!

OK.  I just had to get that out there, because I'm me.  Now, immigration policy.  A "gang of six" Senators tried to put together a bipartisan immigration deal.  Note:  Senators.  Without buy-in from the House Freedom Caucus, this wasn't going anywhere anyway.  Any bill that includes any path to citizenship for anyone who crossed the border illegally will be called "amnesty" by the hardliners, and once that word gets attached to a bill, it's toast.  Remember Eric Cantor.  Remember how Marco Rubio went from tea party darling to cuckservative.

Remember George W. Bush's immigration ambitions from 2005.

The House Freedom Caucus and the rest of the hardliners in the House aren't going to accept any bill that provides any path to citizenship for anyone who crossed the border illegally.  Once you strip that out of the bill, all Democratic support goes away.  At that point, you no longer have bipartisan support.  The bill is filibuster-able in the Senate.  That's it.  The thing that brings in Democratic support is the very thing that makes the bill a no-go in the House.

One day, Trump says he'll sign anything.  The next, he says no deal, and fuck all those people from shithole countries.  Trump is just... a very stable genius.  But even without that... what's the difference?

Look, think of it this way.  What does the GOP want?  The wall?  No, that's just Trump's idiotic delusion.  The party?  They want a) more money for border security, b) restricted rules on new immigrants, and c) more deportations, including the "dreamers."  Democrats would accept a, oppose b but could agree to certain rules, and oppose c.  Without bipartisanship, nothing happens.  After all, you can't even try reconciliation since immigration rules aren't budgetary.  So, where's "the deal?"  It doesn't exist.  The basic problem is that, for all their bullshit, a big bloc of Republicans oppose DACA, not because it was an executive action that circumvented the legislature, but in principle.  Whether it is because of their own personal beliefs, or fear of getting Cantored... it doesn't matter.  It means they won't give on c.  If they won't give on c, there's no deal because there's nothing in it for the Democrats.

Remember why Obama issued an executive action on DACA in the first place.  Congress wouldn't do jack shit.  Why does anyone think they will now?  Because Trump is such a brilliant negotiator?

Or is it because the GOP thinks they need to move on immigration for their electoral future?  We've been hearing that for over a decade.

So, why am I supposed to expect any action now?

Any deal with Democrats going along would need a "path to citizenship" for some groups who crossed the border illegally.  That policy will be called "amnesty" within the GOP.  Once that word gets used, Republicans run screaming from the bill, the Freedom Caucus tells Paul Ryan he can't let that bill get a floor vote, and the whole thing comes crashing down.

And that's if Trump doesn't kill everything first with his idiotic, racist antics.

By the way, why do we let people from shithole states, like Mississippi and Alabama, pick our presidents?

I know I use the Drive-By Truckers a lot for the Saturday music series, but here's one of their less-twangy tracks, appropriate for today.  Not-incidentally, they are from Alabama, and have written some of the most insightful things I have heard about southern culture, politics and race.  Jazz will go up this afternoon, obviously.

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