The news out of Washington today is that the GOP has decided to table immigration "reform" for the coming year, ostensibly because of the impasse between the Senate's idea of immigration overhaul, which could eventually lead to citizenship for some, and the House's idea of it, which consists of saying "There are way too many brown people here".
Of course, the real story is this: Much like all of the other wedge issues Republicans use to try and divide Americans, this is not a "problem" that they wish to solve; It's simply something for them to complain about in an election year.
How many times can they run the "barbarians at the gate" electoral strategy without their voter base ever wising up?
Terrorism: "Islamic extremists are coming to destroy your country and your way of life... And only WE stand between you and them. " Meanwhile, we're coming up on five years since "Wanted dead or alive", and Osama and his lieutenants are on TV more often than the guy that played Urkel.
Gays: "Homosexuals won't be happy until your marriage means absolutely nothing. They're here to destroy your beliefs and your culture, and only WE stand between them and you." Meanwhile, there's little evidence that gay marriage is anything but a shell game designed to bring out religious voters every election year. Want some evidence? Why was the anti-gay marriage constitutional emendment not on the ballot here in 2004 when all those other states ran it? Because there was no Senate seat in play in 2004, and the GOP was going to win TN by a comfortable margin anyway. This year there's a Senate seat in play, so it's back to "gay bashing as political strategy".
Abortion: "It's murder! Elect us and we'll get rid of it." Meanwhile, we're coming up on 35 years since Roe vs. Wade, and the Supreme Court that was supposed to be some miracle salve to get rid of it has been in place for some time now. Much like a doctor performing a brain scan on the president, their voter base is standing around saying "Where is it?"
Immigration was "barbarians at the gates" at its most pathetic, though. Reasonable people can disagree over abortion. Reasonable people can disagree over startegy against terrorist groups (Although there aren't too many reasonable people left willing to make the case that attacking the wrong country was a smart idea). It's less reasonable to believe that two gay men being allowed to marry affects your own marriage somehow, but you don't have to be completely insane to take the conservative stance.
But the immigration issue is a whole different story. The greatest luxuries are made by the most humble of hands, as you'll see if you visit any construction site in Germantown, Collierville, or Cordova. You'll find a group of otherwise honest people that escaped a nation with no economic opportunities that entered this country without crossing the t's and dotting the i's. They're hardly the first undocumented people to enter this country--- The "wop" insult handed out to Italians meant "without papers".
Mexicans are the new Italians. And the new Irish. And the new Chinese. And the new "every ethnic group that small minded Americans see fit to portray as the enemy".
It's sold to us as a "security issue". So tell me--- How many 9/11 hijackers entered this nation through Mexico? If stopping immigration as a security issue was legit, don't you think there would have been a radical decrease in student visas, the means through which they actually entered? There were only 512 more rejected last year than in 2001, so we can rule that out.
It's language and culture. If you don't believe me, try listening to rightwing mouthpiece Michael Savage sometime. There are barbarians at the gates--- And only THEY stand between them and you! Panic! Run for the hills! If we don't build a giant wall (Using cheap Mexican labor, naturally), they'll destroy this nation by building cheaper housing!
The goal of every liberal this year should be the education of some sap that's bought into a wedge issue argument, so they can see the truth--- That Republicans will never fix a problem today that they can run on tomorrow.