For the few reasonable Republicans left in public life, Monday proved to be yet another day in which their sensibility got overshadowed by sensationalism. Yes, instead of seizing the opportunity the Supreme Court gave them to switch their language about immigration, we were treated to a patronizing presidential candidate, contemptuous congressman, and surly southwestern governor making transparent — and in some cases — bizarre statements at President Barack Obama.
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First was Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s distorted account of the Supreme Court striking down much of SB 170, calling it a “legal victory.” Now she’s accusing the Obama administration of telling her state to “drop dead.” This, after they announced that it was revoking agreements with Arizona police over the enforcement of federal immigration laws.
Brewer said to FOX News’ Greta Van Susteren:
“This is politics at its best,” she said. “It’s just unconscionable. What they said to Arizona is, ‘Drop dead, Arizona. Drop dead and go away. We’re going to ignore you.’”
The Republican governor repeated that despite the concerns of critics, law enforcement officials in her state would not engage in racial profiling and accused the administration of holding back Arizona from tackling illegal immigration.
“It just is incomprehensible to think that this has all taken place today. And it ticks me off. I think that it should tick the people of America off,” she added. “And it’s almost become apparent that they can do whatever they darn well want! They don’t want to enforce their laws. They won’t let us help them enforce their laws.”
Never mind that under her leadership, she’s already proven herself to be incapable of interpreting federal law, hence why her assistance is no longer requested. As far as that insinuation that Pres. Obama is acting a wee bit, draconian, well, you’re one to talk, governor.
She’s not the only one crying about executive abuse of power among her Republican brethren, though. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) has introduced the idea of impeaching Obama over his administration’s recent decisions about immigration. Where would someone promote such a delusional idea? Conservative talk radio, naturally.
BENNETT: How do you make the feds cooperate [with state immigration efforts]?
KYL: Well, that’s the executive’s job and there are only a couple of ways to do it…If the president insists on continuing to ignore parts of the law that he doesn’t like, and simply not enforce that law, the primary remedy for that is political. And you have it two ways: one is oversight through the Congress to demonstrate what they’re doing wrong and there are some potential criminal charges there for dereliction of duty. Although, I haven’t looked that up yet. And the other part of it is people need to react through the ballot box to turn out of office those people who are not doing their duty. Now if it’s bad enough and if shenanigans involved in it, then of course impeachment is always a possibility. But I don’t think at this point anybody is talking about that.
Lastly is the sort-of leader of the Grand Old Party, Mitt Romney, who has retracted almost every declarative statement he’s uttered in the last 15 years for political advancement and tried to scold Obama on his “lack of leadership.”
Here’s how his traveling press security, Rick Gorka, fielded questions as to what exactly is Romney’s position on immigration:
QUESTION: What is his position on the actual law in Arizona?
GORKA: Again, each state has the right within the Constitution to craft their own immigration laws since the federal government has failed.
QUESTION: But does he think about the law in Arizona? You’re just talking about the states’ right to have a law but you’re not giving any position on the actual law.
GORKA: Ultimately this debate comes back down to the federal government and the president failing to address this. If the president followed through on his campaign promise to address illegal immigration in the first year, this debate wouldn’t be necessary.
Translation: “Uh, uh, uh…I don’t know, but Obama is dead wrong about all of this.” If memory serves us correctly, it was a Republican Senate that killed immigration reform under President George W. Bush. Kyl is actually going around blaming then-Sen. Obama for the bill’s failure to pass, although Obama voted for it while Kyl and other Republicans joined the fillibuster to squash it.
There has got to be some bloc within the GOP with the good sense to talk immigration reform with some degree of realism. Here’s to hoping whenever that bloc appears, they’ll have a megaphone to drone out the noise other Republicans are creating.
Michael Arceneaux is a Houston-bred, Howard-educated writer and blogger. You can read more of his work on his site, The Cynical Ones. Follow him on Twitter: @youngsinick