I posted the other day that The GOP is officially the party of Steve King and of mass deportation. Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal concurs in The GOP’s Border Spectacle – WSJ:
Earlier this week Speaker John Boehner had his caucus lined up to pass a modest bill that would have provided the Obama Administration with $659 million to deal with the border influx, while tweaking a provision in a 2008 law that even President Obama has said has encouraged the flood of unaccompanied minors to the U.S. This would have allowed Republicans to return home for the August recess saying they had voted to address the border problem and put pressure on the White House and Senate Democrats to act.
Instead, the GOP’s Deportation Caucus—led by Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions and Ted Cruz of Texas—lobbied House conservatives to resist any immigration compromise and pick a fight with Mr. Boehner. The dissenters demanded an array of policy changes, most notably new restrictions on the President’s executive order allowing some undocumented immigrants who were brought here as children to remain in the country.
Iowa’s Steve King and Minnesota’s Michele Bachmann were only too happy to follow the Senators into this cul de sac. And by Thursday evening the Republican caucus disintegrated into a screaming match on the floor in full view of the national media. Our sources say that nearly the entire Alabama delegation defected (thanks to Mr. Sessions) as did numerous participants at a Wednesday huddle held in Mr. Cruz’s office. House leaders had little choice but to pull the bill.
The result was to kill a solution to the border issue that Republicans have been declaring is a “crisis” that demands action.
* * *
House Republicans may have scrambled enough on Friday to save themselves from a total meltdown. But this latest immigration debacle won’t help the party’s image, which is still recovering from the government shutdown debacle of 2011. A party whose preoccupation is deporting children is going to alienate many conservatives, never mind minority voters.
The episode is also sure to raise doubts among swing voters about whether Republicans would be prepared to govern if they do win control of the entire Congress. Let’s hope they spend August planning how to return in the fall like a party that looks ready to do something other than fight with each other.
The Republican Party is now the modern-day equivalent of the anti-immigrant Know-Nothing Party of the 1850s. It is driven by fear of “others,” not just immigrants but anyone they do not deem to be sufficiently “American” enough — in other words, anyone who is not just like them. Their paranoia and fears are driven by the mighty Wurlitzer of the right-wing noise machine of the conservative media entertainment complex. They live in the epistemic closure of the conservative media information feedback loop. They are impervious to rationality, reason, and compromise. This is a dangerous thing in a democracy.
Americans need to stop this insanity. There is only one remedy in a democracy, and that is to exercise your right to vote to kick these Tea-Publicans out of office and to restore some sanity to our political process.