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An old couple I know real well, who are my handy barometer of the lower regions of rightwing sentiment, have been apoplectic since they started seeing those hordes of brown refugee kids flooding across their teevee screen. ALL their fears and loathing rushed back in full force, as they once again felt that horrid vertigo of the world they once knew melting away beneath their armchairs!
And here I’d been thinking that the Republican Party was pulling itself out of its immigrant hate, its Latino hate, since the low-water mark of 2010. Scott Baugh’s OCGOP had been trying awkwardly to do “outreach” to the Latino community (whispering to them in Spanish that Barack is the Great Deporter, as though Latinos don’t know who’s stopping immigration reform.) And even the sometime Minuteman leader Tim Donnelly kept quiet about the issue during his gubernatorial campaign, communicating his steadfast xenophobia only in furtive winks and nods.
But this month it came back like … SOME grotesque pathological metaphor, I’m not sure what. Something that lurks under the surface of the skin, even when it looks like it’s gone, but meanwhile just gets more and more painful and poisonous, until just the right little trauma makes it explode more spectacularly than ever, hurling pus, blood and bits of scab onto distant walls and ceilings.
We’re in a world without facts or logic here. This old couple is sure – and by extension millions of American Republicans are sure – that these Central American refugee kids have been intentionally summoned to America by Barack Obama in order to swell the Democratic voter rolls so there can never again be a Republican President. PLUS these “kids” are fully aware of this plot too, they’re part of the conspiracy. Never mind that many of them will probably be sent back, never mind how young they are or that most will probably never be U.S. citizens who can vote, at least within any decade in sight. I figure this must be what this couple is hearing on FOX and hate radio … and sure enough, I’ve tracked some of these memes down to newly bespectacled Governor Perry and the slimy fop Tucker Carlson (both of whom start, “I don’t want to sound conspiratorial, BUT…”)
Smelling opportunity in all this, and jumping into it with both feet, is trainwreck-of-a-congressman Darrell Issa, who since the 2011 redistricting whence he inherited San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, and Dana Point, is now this blog’s problem. At least as disastrous of a political force as our Dana Rohrabacher, but less obviously comical, he’s begun to hit the end of his credibility with his own Republican colleagues, with his nonstop bluster and his endless, pointless “investigations” which never lead to anything substantive but the occasional national-security-damaging blunder.
So last week, sensing how the wind blew, Darrell sent out a letter ordering President Obama to deport all the young people who would be covered by the DREAM Act – i.e., cease the President’s “DACA” executive action whereby he “defers” deporting kids who were brought here illegally by their parents but who have meanwhile been living a model life in school or military, no brushes with the law.
As you see, this has NOTHING at all to do with the humanitarian refugee crisis going on right now, except for the young thing and the brown thing. (Although it MAY resonate with the “SJC Americans” and other South County Minutemen/skinhead groups Darrell now represents.)
What do you think, this Issa fellow sure has some Arabic chutzpah, wouldn’t you say? Grandson of Lebanese immigrants himself, who misspent his own youth stealing cars with his brother, bullying strangers, weaseling out of debts, burning down his own buildings for insurance money and otherwise flouting the law, he now dares to scapegoat immigrant kids who BY DEFINITION are the cream of the crop, kids with spotless records, who are studying law or medicine or serving in the military. He should be licking their boots I say.
Issa’s Democratic opponent this year, Dave Peiser, might express himself a bit more temperately; let’s check in with him:
With Darrell Issa’s July 2nd letter to the President demanding that he immediately deport undocumented children who have lived here all their lives, he conflates the situation of these children with a crisis at our southern border, where many very young people have traveled from Central America to escape persecution and possible death.
These are two separate and unrelated issues, yet Issa is using this humanitarian tragedy purely for publicity. Rather than work to find real solutions, Issa has chosen to be part of the problem. We should instead be working toward a much needed comprehensive immigration bill in the House of Representatives.
For a full statement, please go here: http://www.peiserforcongress.com/darrell_issa_out_of_touch_on_immigration_reform_and_dream_act