Tea-Publicans demanded that President Obama do a symbolic photo-op at the Texas border that even they acknowledged would have no practical impact. The courtesan Beltway media villagers who take their cues from the conservative media entertainment complex obliged by playing along, e.g., the Washington Post’s The Fix, In defense of “photo ops“, and Arizona’s own media villagers, E.J. Montini, President Obama should — he must — go to the border, and Laurie Roberts, Obama should visit border then visit Congress.
This is why we should never allow media villagers to determine public policy. They are too easily distracted by bright shiny objects, and focus on the trivial and the mundane. They would spend a week writing about and talking about this photo-op to fill column space and air time, and at the end of the day what will the courtesan media villagers have accomplished? Not a goddamn thing.
Do you know what the media villagers should be spending their time on with a laser-like focus? There is a comprehensive immigration reform bill passed by the U.S. Senate more than a year ago sitting on the desk of the TanMan, Weeper of the House John Boehner. He could schedule that bill for a vote today in the House, and it would likely pass on the strength of Democratic votes and the few remaining GOP House members who do not take their marching orders from the conservative media entertainment complex and Sen. Ted Cruz.
The comprehensive immigration reform bill contains provisions to address the current child refugee crisis on the border. Congress could always add an amendment to strengthen those provisions, and if they were actually interested in solving this humanitarian crisis, Congress could pass a conformed bill by the end of next week.
Boehner could also schedule a meeting with Senate and White House conferees to draft the alternative emergency appropriations bill requested by President Obama in his letter to Boehner earlier this week. Obama seeks $3.7 billion to deal with border kids. Has he done this? Of course not. As Greg Sargent explains today in the Morning Plum:
There may be something to the idea that Obama is on defense, in the sense that the press is far more focused on the question of why the President won’t visit the border than it is on why Republicans won’t fund the expedited removals they themselves say they want. At the same time, though, a larger truth is captured by the notion that the national face of the GOP opposition on immigration is scoring because he’s getting in “timely shots” on Obama, which is “what Republican voters want.”
The question is whether that’s a sustainable posture. How do Republicans continue decrying the crisis while denying the funding to address it, without revealing that they are wholly uninterested in participating in basic problem solving? Jackie Calmes and Ashley Parker offer a pitch-perfect explanation of why this creates a conundrum for Republicans:
Congressional Republicans are left with a dilemma. Their goals are to increase the federal presence on the border and address what they agree is a humanitarian crisis, but they do not want to accomplish them by giving Mr. Obama $3.7 billion that would help get him out of a situation that they believe is of his own making.
Well, there you have it. Republicans don’t want to provide the funding for the expedited removals they say they want because it would “help” Obama “get out” of a political “situation,” never mind whether it would help solve the problem.
The GOP is a party of post-policy nihilism. It is an anti-government insurgency enthralled with the idea that government does not work, and they are committed to the idea of not governing to prove it.
The GOP is controlled by the conservative media entertainment complex which is only concerned with “winning” the 24 hour news cycle with partisan attacks and GOP talking points. It has no interest in nor any capability to govern. They are willing to “let Rome burn,” like Emperor Nero, than actually do the work of the people and to govern effectively, because that is contrary to everything they hold dear. Not one of these anti-government insurgents should be returned to office in November.
Arizona media villagers, instead of being distracted by the bright shiny object of a GOP talking point about a border photo-op, should be demanding that Arizona’s congressional delegation — we are a border state — should be working together to craft a bill that addresses the problem. Remember when Sens. Carl Hayden and Barry Goldwater, and Reps. Mo Udall and John Rhoades worked together to further the interests of Arizona?
Instead we get B.S. like this: Ariz. delegation picks apart Obama border request. As Greg Sargent observed, “Republicans don’t want to provide the funding for the expedited removals they say they want because it would ‘help’ Obama ‘get out’ of a political ‘situation,’ never mind whether it would help solve the problem.”
This is an abdication of their oath of office, and the trust that voters entrusted in them by electing them to Congress. If they are only interested in playing partisan politics and will not do their duty to govern, then they should not be returned to office in November. Period. This should be the laser-like focus of Arizona’s media villagers, not the distraction of some B.S. photo-op GOP talking point.
UPDATE: As if to prove my point, Arizona media villager E.J. Montini has another opinion to fill column space, this time focused on a master of political theater over substance and results. BREAKING NEWS: Sen. McCain and I agree … on Obama. Not one word in this piece about Sens. McCain and Jeff Flake, co-sponsors of the Senate comprehensive immigration reform bill, being miserable failures at convincing their GOP colleagues in the House to take up the bill and to vote on it. If you want to get your panties in a bunch, E.J., this is what you should be upset about, not some B.S. photo-op.