Last night, President Barack Obamapresented his case against the Syrian government and President Bashar al-Assad. In my opinion, the case is pretty clear. The Syrian government used chemical weapons against their own people. Then, to cover up their atrocities, they then shelled those exact same neighborhoods for three days straight. Then, they let UN weapons inspectors to come in with the hope that they would find nothing. Or at least, they would find nothing conclusive. The one thing that this whole ordeal has clearly shown us is the dysfunction of the Republican Party. On one hand, there are some of the Republican Party that have been yelling, as loudly as they possibly could, that a limited, targeted, surgical strike was not enough. We needed more. (Invade Syria?) Then, there are those who wanted immediate airstrikes. They didn’t even want President Obama to ask Congress for anything. They stated, clearly, that Obama had the authority and he was scared to use it. Finally, you had a group of Republicans who are calling Obama a warmonger. In my opinion, all of these extremes simply miss the point. I think the idea of Syria giving up their chemical weapons is a good one. Unfortunately, the implementation of actually getting them to give up their chemical weapons is going to be extremely difficult. For a second, it seemed that Russia was going to play a constructive role in the peaceful turnover of Syrian chemical weapons to the international community. Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to squash all that. The Russian president took to the New York Times. Not only is he falsely suggesting that the United Nations was founded so that we can start war only by consensus. That’s garbage. The United Nations was started to give Russia and the United States cover if they needed it. He even suggested that the rebels may have unleashed the chemical weapons. If, President Al Assad does not comply, we need to unleash the cruise missiles.
Do you remember all the hoopla over the immigration bill getting to the Senate? This happened less than a month ago. The mainstream media went crazy. There was a lot of discussion about how many Republicans voted for the final bill. Would the final bill have only one or two Republicans to support it or would they have more like 10-15 Republicans? The number of Republicans who supported the bill somehow would have a huge influence on the House. As I recall, I really didn’t make much mention of this bill for a reason. I thought it was going to die in the House. As it turns out, I was right. Immigration reform is dead.
The House Republicans simply have little or no interest in immigration reform. Their position on immigration has been crystal clear. Send all illegal immigrants home. That’s it. There’s no further discussion. Sure, they probably want to build an electrified fence along our southern border. They’ll even go for electronic surveillance systems along our southern border. They may even go for increasing the number of border security personnel along our southern border, but as far as figuring out a path to citizenship is concerned, that is simply a nonstarter. You can poke. You can prod. You can jump up and down. You can present charts and graphs about the benefits of making millions of these economic refugees into real, honest-to-goodness American citizens, but they don’t care.
From my standpoint, the benefits of immigration reform are clear. First of all, I don’t believe that in the United States we should have two or three different classes of citizens. If you are here, you need to be here legally. Making immigrants pay a reasonable fine for breaking the law and then giving them a reasonable path to citizenship simply makes sense. It is fair. I also believe that we should work to close the border. When I say the border, I’m not just talking about our southern border. I’m talking about all of our borders. We have hundreds of thousands of miles that are simply unguarded. If you want to walk across the border with Canada, it is very easy in multiple places. If you want to come to the United States via boat, that is also easy in a number of places. Close the borders.
Let’s be clear. None of this is going to happen. There are powerful forces on both sides of this issue which create the stalemate. From a political standpoint, Republicans have to make a decision. They can either have pain now or they can have pain later. There is going to be some pain. If they pass some sort of immigration reform now, a large number of those immigrants will become Democrats. This will cause short-term pain at the polls. If they continue to resist immigration reform, as I suspect they will, they will have a lot of pain later as immigration reform will get passed at some point as this population of “new Americans” go to the polls and will invariably vote Democratic. Currently, this crop of Republicans have decided that they’re going to postpone the pain for as long as they can. I wish them luck with that strategy.
There seems to be a lot of buzz over an agreement between labor leaders and business leaders which should clear the way for immigration reform. The media’s painting a picture where everyone is popping the champagne corks, but I’m not so sure. I believe that conservatives have not only said no, but hell no to any type of immigration reform. I’m not sure than an agreement between labor and business is going to change that. The recent reaction of John McCain to a constituent illustrates the point. Basically, conservatives believe, and rightly so, that these undocumented workers came here illegally. The problem is that they are here illegally and therefore you have to deal with the illegal aspect of their presence first. Any thought that these “economic refugees” (I still believe that this is a better term to describe the immigrants who have come here because of their economic status in their own country) are going to voluntarily go back to their home countries is laughable. I have a better chance of twitching my nose and making millions of dollars fall from the sky than you have of these undocumented workers simply packing up and going home. It simply won’t happen.
Rush Limbaugh is upset that Doctor Ben Carson is stepping down as commencement speaker because of his anti-gay statements. What really has gotten to Rush Limbaugh is the fact that medical students are bent out of shape. Unfortunately, what he doesn’t realize is that medical students are young, idealistic and liberal. It’s only later when they become old, seasoned and grizzled physicians, who are stuck in their ways, that they move on to the conservative side. I’m not sure what happened to me. I am clearly old. I’m clearly grizzled. I have yet to embrace conservatism. 🙂
I’m just wondering why I haven’t stumbled across buried treasure like an old Spanish Galleon filled with silver. Of course, I live in Asheville, North Carolina. There are not many Spanish Galleons here in Asheville. Then there’s that day job that I have that seems to take up a considerable amount of time.