GOP rebranding fail on immigration: Rep. Steve King


Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

House GOP leaders have embraced something called the "KIDS Act,"
which is basically a scaled down Republican version of the DREAM Act. It is a cynical attempt by Weeper of the House John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor to offer something to soften the political impact to the GOP if Boehner allows the radical Tea-Publicans in the House to kill comprehensive immigration reform.

Let's  be clear: the fate of comprehensive immigration reform rests squarely in Boehner's hands and whether he will allow a comprehensive immigration reform bill to go to the House floor for a vote.

Former GOP Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott tells the Philadelphia Inquirer today that he’d
bring the Senate immigration bill up for a floor vote in the House,
even though a majority of fellow Republicans oppose the idea. Lott says he'd allow a House immigration vote. “If you don’t have the majority of your conference that you’re leading, and you do that too much, you won’t be the leader very long,” Lott said. “As for myself, I would do it even if it meant losing my job,” he added.

I have seen no evidence that the TanMan possesses the fortitude it takes for a "profiles in courage" moment. As I said the other day, John Boehner epitomizes Wally in the Dilbert
cartoon strip: he is an employee so deeply jaded that instead of doing
any real work, he spends all his time and effort trying to game the
system. Like Wally, the TanMan is incentivized to be a low performing
worker. He cares more about keeping his gavel than doing the right thing.

In a cynical opinion in the Arizona Republic this morning, Laurie Roberts tells the DREAMERS that they should just accept the crumbs off the table that the House GOP is offering them, or they will get nothing. Will Dreamers regret decision to oppose GOP DREAM Act? That's right, take the honus off the GOP leadership and the 17-20 GOP House members it would take to pass the "Gang of Eight" Senate bill with Democratic votes in the House, as Trent Lott proposes.

What reason does anyone have to believe that Weeper of the House John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor are serious aboiut the GOP's scaled down "KIDS Act"? Troubles plague the 'KIDS Act':

There are, of course, several problems. For one thing, Boehner and
Cantor have already voted against a nearly identical measure,
reinforcing doubts about their sincerity.
For another, their bill would
let children who were brought into the U.S. illegally stay, but still
call for the deportation of those kids' parents.

La Opinion, a Los Angeles-based outlet with a larger circulation that any other Spanish-language newspaper, is unimpressed (via Benjy Sarlin).

Family values are a pillar of traditional Republican discourse. But
as soon as it comes time to address immigration issues, all of their
emphasis on family unity goes out the window, replaced by advocacy for
division. […]

In reality, using Cantor's own words, it is cruel and indecent to
think that the young Dreamers would be satisfied with a measure that
protects themselves but simultaneously deports their parents. Likewise,
it is the height of hypocrisy to posture oneself as representing family
integrity, while heartlessly promoting actions that divide the family
, whose human worth knows no borders.

La Opinion, not fooled by the shell game, dismissed the Republican bill as "unacceptable."

The next question is whether House members themselves will reach the same conclusion.

Boehner and Cantor see this modest measure as a face-saving tactic —
something to point to when immigration advocates condemn GOP opposition
to a bipartisan reform bill. But even this half-step is depending on
the House actually passing the "unacceptable" KIDS Act.

I haven't
seen a firm head count, but right-wing lawmakers, including but not
limited to Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), have already said the legislation
is too liberal for their tastes . . . Republicans may once again find themselves in the awkward position of
rejecting a sensible bill, crafting a weak alternative, and then failing
to muster sufficient support for that, too.

The Tan Man's utter failure of leadership in the House is allowing the anti-immigrant nativists and racists like Rep. Steve King (R-IA) to fill the vacuum left by his failure of leadership. Steve King fills a vacuum left by Boehner:

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was asked over the weekend for
his personal opinion on a pathway to citizenship, and the Republican
leader was so overwhelmed by weakness and fear that he refused to give an answer.

This in turn creates a vacuum within the Republican Party, which is filled by folks like Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa).

Here's what the GOP lawmaker told a right-wing website about Dream Act kids:

"There are kids that were brought into this country by their parents
unknowing they were breaking the law. And they will say to me and others
who defend the rule of law, 'We have to do something about the 11
million. Some of them are valedictorians.' Well, my answer to that is
… it's true in some cases, but they aren't all valedictorians. They
weren't all brought in by their parents. For every one who's a
valedictorian, there's another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds and
they've got calves the size of cantaloupes because they're hauling 75
pounds of marijuana across the desert. Those people would be legalized
with the same act."

In case facts still matter, King's assessment isn't even close to being accurate.

But even if we put that aside, King's offensiveness reinforce a larger
dynamic in Republican politics that party leaders are eventually going
to have to address.

To be sure, House GOP leaders eventually got around to criticizing King's comments last night, just as they did in March when another House Republican lawmaker used the "wetbacks" slur.

But soon after, King doubled down on his remarks, appearing on an Iowa radio show to say, "It's not something that I'm making up. This is real."

And while King keeps talking, and party leaders keep wringing their
hands, it's worth appreciating the political circumstances that have
brought us to this point. Note, for example, that the right-wing Iowan
may come across as a racist buffoon that the American mainstream finds
repulsive, but at this point, he's winning — King has been fighting to
kill comprehensive immigration reform, and by all appearances, House
Republican leaders intend to hand him and his allies the outcome they

In other words, as ridiculous as Steve King appears, he
and his kooky friends are shaping the House Republican caucus' position
on immigration policy, largely because Boehner and his friends are too
inept to lead.

* * *

If Boehner wants to make this nightmare go away, the Speaker is going to
have to try to pass immigration reform. Unfortunately for his party,
the weight falls on Boehner's shoulders, and he may not be up to the

Rep. Steve King engaged in his hateful bigotry last week in a Univision interview with Hispanic reporter Jorge Ramos. Confronted By Univision Reporter, Steve King Says Comparison Of Immigrants To Dogs Was A Compliment:

In a Univision interview, leading Hispanic reporter Jorge Ramos confronted Rep. Steve King (R-IA) over remarks in 2012 where the congressman likened immigrants to dogs. King refused to apologize, even as Ramos told him “many people would find that offensive and racist.”

Video of King’s 2012 town hall shows him saying America has the “pick
of the litter,” and should pick the “friskier” immigrants, “not the one
that’s over there sleeping on the corner.”

But King denies that he ever made the comparison.

Watch the full interview with King on Al Punto here. And as they say, "let's go to the video."

King has compared immigrants to animals more than once, including the
time he suggested an electrified border fence because “we do this with livestock all the time.”

During the same interview, the leading opponent to immigration reform
also remarked that what happens to DREAMers and undocumented immigrants
is not his “responsibility.” “American citizens and legal Americans do
not have a moral obligation to solve the problem of the 11 million
people that are here unlawfully,” he said.

Earlier this year the GOP "autopsy" advised Republicans that they needed to reach out to Hispanics or face demographic extinction. It looks as if the pachyderms have chosen to march off to the elephant graveyard. How's that GOP rebranding working out for ya?

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AZ BlueMeanie
The Blue Meanie is an Arizona citizen who wishes, for professional reasons, to remain anonymous when blogging about politics. Armed with a deep knowledge of the law, politics and public policy, as well as pen filled with all the colors stolen from Pepperland, the Blue Meanie’s mission is to pursue and prosecute the hypocrites, liars, and fools of politics and the media – which, in practical terms, is nearly all of them. Don’t even try to unmask him or he’ll seal you in a music-proof bubble and rendition you to Pepperland for a good face-stomping. Read blog posts by the infamous and prolific AZ Blue Meanie here.