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Posts Tagged ‘Republican Party’

Let’s Militarize the Border, They Said. It Worked for Nation-Building.

Yesterday I participated in a meet and greet with New Mexico State Senator Tim Keller.  I really wanted to write a whole post about that, considering that it’s super rare to get any state-wide candidates or leaders to come down to our region of the state.  However, because of today’s news dump, I realize that the campaign for New Mexico’s Office of State Auditor is going to have to wait awhile.

In addition to the ongoing NSA scandal and the mission impossible chase of Edward Snowden, today we all awaited news from the Supreme Court on various cases, more importantly related to the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8 decision.  As for Snowden, we have absolutely no idea where he’s at.  Apparently he never made his flight to Cuba and is MIA.  There is, however, David Gregory, who wants to arrest Glenn Greenwald and the Supreme Court ends up deciding to keep us all in absolute jitters by going another Monday without decisions on DOMA and Prop 8.

While we wait around for important outcomes of stories mentioned above or watching mainstream media ignore the important, non-sensationalist stuff, many of us sat through the torture of what we all call, the United States Senate.

Immigration reform has a better chance of passing Congress this year than any other year in my fifteen years of advocating for reform. Reasons are simple.  Latino’s scared the crap out of the Republican Party during the November elections, when an overwhelming amount of Latino voters came out in huge numbers, in support of President Obama.  While many of them voted, those who couldn’t vote encouraged friends and families who could, to do so with a simple request. Vote Democrat, because the likelihood is that they won’t say boneheaded things about your community.  So here we are.  President Barack Obama was reelected, the Senate remained a majority of Democrats, both insisting immigration reform was a priority and necessity.  The House, well…that’s a different story.

The Senate came up with its bill in April and after debates in the Judiciary committee, has finally made its way to the Senate floor for, up until Friday, we all believed that most of what many of us asked for (i.e. pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants) would stay in tact as it headed for the House for a debate. I mean, come on?  The Republican’s need to do what we’re asking from them, right?

Friday around noon, when all the Senator’s had left DC for their home states for the weekend, an amendment was introduced, now known as Corker-Hoeven, that overhauls border security in a way no one was expecting.  (womp womp)

Image

Courtesy of Center for American Progress

In 2012, the Department of Homeland Security reported that the border was as secure as it possibly could be.  Politically, however, we know that we can’t depend on Republican support without them insisting on more security. So the initial Gang of Eight bill not only provided for increased border security, but the President and Democrats made security a priority when the entire conversation began.  Well, I guess a “beefed” up border was not enough because what Corker introduced was border security on steroids.

The measure would double the total number of patrol agents and add more than 700 miles of fencing along the US-Mexico border at a cost of $38 billion.

As someone who follows Congress, I get that we have to compromise because that’s how our system works.  I get that our process makes it impossible for one party to dominate it all and pass exactly what their supporters expect.  But as an activist, who works day in and day out to defend and protect those that don’t have a voice, to what extent do we compromise and at whose expense?  When do we just stop handing over everything to the Republican Party, especially when they’ve been hijacked by extreme nativists who do not want immigration reform?

When the initial bill came out, a group of activists from across the state of New Mexico came together to develop a state platform and border security was one of the components we were worried about.  After speaking with New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich, we insisted, and he agreed, that the border was as secure now as it ever will be. However, although we were very concerned with the discussion of border security back in April, in no way did we expect it to reach today’s levels.  Not at all.

So here is the question.  Do we end our mission for reform because of plan to militarize the border, creating a greater nightmare for all those living along the US/Mexican border? Or do we suck it up and move forward despite the fact that a pathway to citizenship will come at a very tough cost?

NEXT UP…THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

If today’s vote reflects anything we’ll see on Thursday on the Senate floor, it will head to the House.   But the question remains.  Will Speaker Boehnor get his group of Republican’s in the House of Representatives to support this plan and send it to the President for his signature?

Remember.  This Congress has done absolutely nothing when it comes to public policy and bi-partisanship in the last four years.  As awful as this updated immigration bill is, can we actually rely on Congress to get it to the President and sign it into law?

The next few days are crucial as Democrats seek out Republican’s to get those critical 70 votes in the Senate for a final vote on the floor.  Unless Senator Ted Cruz manages to coerce his Republican colleagues and convince them to agree with his awful justifications for denying 11 million people their turn for citizenship, the Senate bill should be heading to the House.

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DON’T GOOGLE SANTORUM!!! And other things the GOP should worry about.

January 3, 2012 3 comments

Really, Republicans? Here we are, the day of the Iowa Caucus and days away from the New Hampshire primary and we have Rick Santorum rising in the polls and perhaps the next flavor of the week. Did we just not have this conversation a few weeks ago with Newt Gingrich?…and Herman Cain?…and Donald Trump? I’m seeing a pattern here and it is obvious. GOP supporters have absolutely no confidence in their leaders and appear convinced that if it’s not this candidate, it has to be the next one. It has to be!

People. Mitt Romney will win the GOP nomination. This is a given. The man has the money and the backing from those at the helm of the Republican Party. Although this is obvious to those of us spectating the entertaining drama unfolding, there is a serious situation within the Republican Party and its base. The voters participating in the GOP primaries are not entirely comfortable with the idea of having Mitt Romney as “their” candidate of choice going up against President Obama in November. But what is the alternative? The other candidates surrounding him have not done it for the voters and like those before him, neither will Rick Santorum, today’s Republican sweetheart.

It’s likely Romney loses Iowa, but unless there is some freak of nature it appears he could go on to win New Hampshire and then gain momentum to take the nomination. But at what cost? Mitt Romney is currently fighting Ron Paul and RICK SANTORUM for first in tonight’s caucus! Yes, Iowa means nothing to us. It is more of a symbolic electoral event than anything else. But unfortunately for Mitt Romney, after a year long campaign, he is still not the GOP favorite. He may go on and win this thing in the end, but right now it’s not such a flattering position to be in.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about Mitt’s lack luster candidacy and how it was better for Mitt Romney to just drop out of the race. I knew then what I know now which is, Mitt will not drop out, but gawd…he really should! Yes, he pretty much has this thing in the bag and he just has to coast through until it’s all over, just like he’s done for most of the last year. And while politics isn’t about “feelings” I can’t help but wonder what the man must be feeling right now, especially today as Rick Santorum becomes the next best thing for Iowans and the Republican base. For a man that has been at this for almost a decade…seems to understand the ins and outs of the campaign trail, wouldn’t you feel a bit… inadequate? You’re obviously not your bases number one choice and I doubt he cares…but I think he should and this should worry him going in to the general election. If you’re own base doesn’t like you, what makes you think the rest of the country will?

The Mitt Romney of today is not the same guy we knew early on in the 2000s. He was not the guy we knew as Governor of Massachusetts and he’s definitely not the Mitt from 2008 when he had a pretty good chance of winning the nomination then. Today’s Mitt is desperate. He knows the Republican base has moved very far to the right in the last three years…so far right that I’m sure even he’s uncomfortable with it. Yet he wants this presidency so bad, he’s willing to look as ridiculous as this guy.

Mitt knows that if it’s not this presidential election, there will be no other and if so, Mitt is done and so he is panicking and doing and saying things that perhaps in the back of his mind he too realizes it’s too over the top. But let’s gain some perspective here. This is where today’s GOP is in general. Over the top! But in the end…when all has been said and done and the GOP nomination is handed down, Mitt will be the guy — despite the bases reservations the Republican leadership (if one exists) will not allow someone like Rick Santorum or Ron Paul take on President Obama…where they will lose and they will lose big.

Despite the disappointment people across party lines have had with President Obama’s administration (especially emoprogs), Barack Obama will win re-election. The GOP has no one and this primary has solidified that conclusion by the numerous flavors of the week in the last 12 months. There is also the massive shift to the right by the party, including Mitt Romney who has catered to the fringe and no one…and I mean no one, will take him seriously in the general election. Unlike what the Beltway media would like you to believe, the rest of the country does not think like the Tea Party, this is the truth. Additionally, with the growing populist movements across the country in the last year starting in Wisconsin and Ohio in early 2011 and Occupy Wall Street last summer, the right’s fringe is dilapitating in a huge way and will cost Mitt in the long run. While the turnout may not be as large as it was in 2008, the Republican’s are going down.

This is a GOP implosion. When 2011 began, progressives like myself were concerned about the future of our democratic ideals, wondering if perhaps we had missed our chance. What we didn’t see coming, however, was the strong turnout from the working class and the working poor who have voiced their disapproval in a way I could not have imagined and have proven how out of touch today’s Republican Party is. This, while a strong statement, in my opinion could result in their inevitable ideological demise. The Republican leadership like Speaker Boehnor and Rep. Cantor have done very little to exasperate the chaos not seen in Congress in a long time. Since winning the House in 2010, this uncertainity has spilled over to their presidential candidates, where there is no clear winner. Now it’s up to the Democrats to jump on this opportunity…that is, if they are tough enough to do so in 2012.