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Thursday, September 29, 2016

During most of the Obama presidency, George W. Bush has maintained a decorous silence. Keeping quiet may not always have been easy for Bush, watching his successor repudiate and unwind his legacy, from Iraq to Afghanistan and beyond, but his discretion was wise under the circumstances. Suddenly, however, he is speaking out to urge a “positive resolution” to the debate over immigration reform  – and the time to listen to him has surely arrived.

In Decision Points, his memoir published in 2010, Bush explains how he came to understand that a “pathway to citizenship” had to be created for many if not all of the 12 million undocumented workers living in the United States, and their families. After 9/11, he recalls, his administration spent an additional $75 billion on border security, including new surveillance technology, additional detention facilities, and thousands more border patrol agents.

“I hoped our focus on security would reassure the American people that we were serious about stopping illegal immigrants from entering the country,” he recalls. “But defensive measures alone would not solve the problem. America’s economy was a magnet for the poor and the hopeful. The longest and tallest fence in the world would not stop those determined to provide for their families.”

In May 2006, during the first primetime televised presidential address on immigration, Bush proposed a temporary worker program, combined with stricter workplace enforcement and still thousands more border patrol agents. More to the point, despite his earlier opposition to any form of  “amnesty,” he declared his support for a clear process by which responsible, longtime residents who lacked documents might become taxpaying, voting, fully accepted American citizens.  In a foretaste of things to come, Bush got a bill through the Senate, which then stalled in the House.

Following the 2006 midterm election, when voters returned a Democratic majority in the House, Bush reached out to Senator Ted Kennedy to try again on immigration, along with Arizona Republican John McCain. Their reform bill included all the important elements of the previous legislation, including “a tough but fair path to citizenship for law-abiding immigrants who had been in America for a number of years.”

Ultimately the Kennedy-McCain effort died too, amid a furious right-wing radio barrage Bush describes as a toxic “blend of isolationism, protectionism, and nativism.” When a cloture vote failed, “Senators went home and listened to angry constituents stirred up by the loud voices on radio and TV. By the time they came back to Washington, immigration reform was dead.”

Today that same description applies to the troglodyte Republicans in the House, who ought to pay close attention to the leader they once lionized and instead heed bad advice from Bill Kristol and Rush Limbaugh. The learning process that inspired Bush to promote reform when he was president – and still motivates him today – would benefit them, their party, and the nation. The salient fact is that he once attracted nearly 45 percent of the Latino vote, while their candidate last year got only 29 percent, as their prospects of national success continue to diminish.

Even so, the chances of enlightenment in the rightward precincts of Capitol Hill seem vanishingly small at the moment, and meaningful immigration reform is almost certain to stall yet again. Sadly, those most in need of instruction by Bush are incapable of hearing him as they make demagogic noise.  The rest of us listen to the man we mocked, realizing that he is now a lonely voice of sanity in a Republican Party that has descended steeply since he left office.

And it will not bottom out, because there is no bottom.

White House Photo by Eric Draper via Wikimedia Commons

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    Biggest thickheaded Bull Males of the GOP NEVER listen. That’s why they are the weaker party. When you refuse to hear what others have to say, you box yourself into your own little corner of the world. Because…intelligent people know if you won’t listen, you aren’t worth wasting any more time, money or effort on.

    • charleo1

      The smarter version of the male specie learn very early to not do those
      things that tick off the fairer sex. For those quicker on the uptake, it starts
      with their Mothers. Later on, they will come to see how extending this
      lesson learned from their Mothers, to the other women they come to interact,
      is one of the more valuable life lessons to remember. Valuable life lesson two.
      It’s not hard to remember. We only need witness the resulting carnage of
      our other male counterparts, that failed to learn lesson one.

      • Eleanore Whitaker

        I’m perhaps a peculiar woman in that I live in a totally all male world. My best teachers were men. I spent a childhood observing the operatives and strategies of 4 half brother and 2 biological brothers. I married and had two sons plus the ex. I work full-time among environmental engineers of the highest caliber. You are quite correct that men who take the time to learn to listen to the females in their midst are the most successful when it comes to socialization with them.

        Whether it’s men or women who don’t take the time to listen, the equation comes out the same…they are the common denominators in their own troubles.

    • Guest

      just as Harold said I didnt know that someone able to get paid $6714 in four weeks on the computer. have you read this page w­w­w.K­E­P­2.c­o­m

      • JDavidS

        You’re an idiot also. Why don’t you run along as well.

    • Elizabeth M. Lane

      as Alexander explained I cannot believe that you can get paid $4705 in 1 month on the internet. did you look at this website w­w­w.K­E­P­2.c­o­m

      • Eleanore Whitaker

        I think they must be speaking of being sellers on Ebay and sites similar or else they are copywriters and content writers with a huge following and very much in demand. Many blog writers are pulling in more than that amount. It takes a whole lot of internet marketing savvy. I have a full-time regular job and two part-time jobs, both on the internet. The work is there. You have to dig and do your homework to find the ones that best suit your experience, skills and knowledge base.

      • JDavidS

        You’re an idiot…Now kindly run along.

  • charleo1

    Who would have guessed at the time, George W. Bush was the last, comparative
    to today, Conservative President, the GOP is ever going to produce? That is, if things keep going the way they are. And there’s every indication they will. There is a reason,
    for the obstruction in Washington. The action aganist women, the poorest of the poor,
    and more destructive wage suppressive policies, aganist American labor, so evident
    in Republican controlled State Governments, is set to go Nationwide by 2016. The
    directive to Republican Congressional bosses in Washington: Do nothing. With the
    unbeatable political operations we’re building in those States we control, we’ll have
    the Senate in 2014, and the Presidency in the next election. Hold on, we’re coming!
    Career advise for our, “loyal soldiers,” in Congress, now serving our cause, and vision so brilliantly in Washington? Collect your rewards in your own States. The Federal
    Government is done. No more National directives. States Rule!

  • Catskinner

    Defensive measures alone probably wouldn’t solve the immigration problem, but if they would just do away with family reunification and solve the Anchor Baby problem, they could most likely move forward.

    • charleo1

      History has proven, time and again, exclusionary measures that create
      a second class society, always hurt the host Countries in the long term.
      This nihilistic, and fundamentally, pessimistic view of the value of a young,
      energetic, and eager to succeed, labor segment. Being coupled with
      American ingenuity, one of the finest educational systems in the world, and entrepreneurship, and small business creation, which statistics show,
      immigrants are more than twice as likely to start their own businesses.
      Seems more of a crisis in faith in the traditions of free market enterprise, that has always served the Country so well in the past. Sure, the Irish were
      initially rebuffed, as were the Italians, as were the Chinese labor, brought in before them to build the railroad. Were according to some, not deserving
      of equal treatment. We’re supposed to be getting smarter here. By
      experience, if nothing else. What would this Country be without the contributions of any of these groups? I think many would be absolutely astounded, if the early contributions by immigrants were removed. Then, those advances that followed in quick secession by others, in fields of mechanics, finance, medicine. science, social leaders, and soldiers alike, would not have happened here. What would be the results of that?
      The hand wringing over the children being fully invested citizens. When
      compared with the dividends we have benefited from, because we didn’t
      concern ourselves with such foolishness. Why would we start now?
      Now is a terrible time to lose faith. In either our Country, or in the value of
      people coming to America to fulfill their dreams. We have another century
      before us to lead.

      • Catskinner

        Sorry, charleo, the US simply has too many people. We need to get a handle on population growth.

        • charleo1

          Our population is declining, and getting older.

          • Catskinner

            It would be declining if we could just stuff a sock in immigration.

          • Susan Powell

            And where would you be, catskinner if someone had “stuffed a sock in immigration” when your parents, grandparents or great-grandparents were ready to come to America to start a new life?

          • Catskinner

            There weren’t too many people at that time and we didn’t have a welfare state.

          • charleo1

            We don’t have a welfare state today. As the great majorities
            of those receiving one or more types of government assistance, whether it be, Medicaid, child care, housing, or food. We have government subsidization of sub par wages. Which is much different than the false picture conjured up by the, “What more can we do for you today?” Congressional Plutocratic Assistants.
            The Plutocrats say, “Well, since you ask.” It would improve
            our profits remarkably, if we didn’t need to pay a living wage.”
            Congress, “Go on we’re listening!” Plutocrat. “The thing is,
            our personal department is telling us, that if the wages we offer don’t cover the minimum expenses, like rent, utilities, food transportation, food, clothing, and stuff like that. Well, the applicants are just not taking the job, for what our stockholders allow us to pay.” Congress. “I see.” “Well, that is a problem.” “Stockholders are very important people to
            keep happy!” “You could promise the new hires a raise later.”
            “Just don’t sign anything.” Plutocrat. “They’re poor, because they’ve burned before.” “And well, it’s just real tough!” Congress. “Tell you what,” “What if we covered some of those expenses for ya?” Plutocrat. “Gee, that would be swell!” “Listen, corporate is flying us all down to Cancun
            next week!” “Why don’t you, Jan, and the kids join us?”
            “We would be honored, if you’d could come!” “All expense
            paid, of course!” Now, there’s your welfare state.

          • Catskinner

            We didn’t have a welfare state prior to the Great Depression. Since that time, we–as a country–have done a number of things to help people who are financially stressed deal with economic shortages. I’m not saying that’s bad. I just think it kind of lost its way.

            If you ever saw Oliver Stone’s movie, JFK, you’ll recall the movie left the viewer feeling that the military industrial complex had JFK rubbed out because, under Johnson, they knew they could get the Vietnam War escalated and that would be good for profits.

            But I think there were other players. I think the people who were really pulling the strings wanted what finally became the 1965 Immigration Reform Bill enacted. And JFK wouldn’t go along with it, and that’s why he was assassinated.

            But the Military Industrial Complex got paid off in spades. The losers were the American people. Civil Rights legislation had just been passed. America should have been working on integrating the population it had at the time. Instead, we threw open the doors to millions of dependent immigrants who sucked the life blood out of the economy, and the American people–white and black–have never recovered.

          • charleo1

            The programs, and regulations, instituted after the markets
            collapsed, were done as much to stabilize the financial, and farming sectors, that had been driving the free market based Capitalistic economic system from boom to bust about every
            30 to 50 years. Banks were not insured. So savings for most
            of the population, hard to come by in the first place, were
            not made available for security reasons, for investment. So
            the money supply, and the interest rates were essentially controlled by the wealthy. Who in the boom times supplied
            the cash for expansion. And in the bust times, foreclosed
            and now owned the town, and half the farms around it.
            I’m not anti-Capitalism. However, to be a successful form
            of exchange for a society to use, it takes a lot of regulation,
            or it impoverishes, and financially enslaves the vast majority,
            due to it’s predatory nature. As it tends to use every
            monetary advantage, where everything is theoretically for
            sale, to corrupt the authority necessary for a civilized society. Which gets us to Oliver Stone’s theory on Kennedy,
            the military industrial complex, and so on. Opening the doors
            to millions of illegal immigrants is exactly something a
            Capitalist run economy would do. If you want low wages,
            and a workforce you treat as you please, because that
            increases profit. And that’s the name of the Capitalist’s
            game. Let me do what I want, and build the most successful
            business. It will play Hell with everything else Holy. But,
            Capitalism has no rules about improving society, or being
            fair to those whom you’ve put into a disadvantage. You
            press their disadvantage, to increase your profits. Or, cut
            your overhead. If misery disturbs you, become a Community
            Organizer. Don’t you think that’s how Capitalism is supposed
            to work? Or, you want to regulate it?

          • Catskinner

            Well, charleo, I don’t disagree with anything you’ve written in this last passage. And I agree, opening the flood gates to millions of illegals would, most definitely, drive wages down. Further, I agree that is exactly what “laissez faire” would do–and has done. So here we are: That is a very good reason to oppose the current immigration reform bill. Concern about the environment is another.

          • charleo1

            Well great! Because we start from the same premise.
            We both want what’s best for our Country. I say that a lot.
            And I’m sure some think what a sappy dope. Or, it goes
            without saying. But, I read it your posts. Sometimes you
            say it up front, sometimes, it’s between the lines. We disagree on a lot of things. But, I’m pretty sure you’re a
            good guy. Because, I’m a good guy. And on the most important thing, to do what’s ultimately best for the
            Country, we agree. Another important thing I think we
            agree on, the description of the battlefield where the issue
            is being fought out. We are a Capitalist Country, at our
            roots. No economic system is pure. But, Capitalism is
            where we start. Capitalism favors the player with the most
            money. He tends to have the most options. The most
            ability to influence public opinion. The most ability to
            quickly enlist the help of others to work on his behalf,
            to bend in his favor, the legal, and political system that
            frame the battlefields on which this, and most issues are
            be decided. See, if we can find more common ground on
            who would be the winners, if immigration reform were to pass. The immigrants is the obvious answer. Since no plan
            offers citizenship right away, let’s look at wages. You say,
            it would drive them down further. I say not. Here’s why.
            Which worker has a better chance of making a higher
            wage? The illegal one, or the legal one? Both are working
            now. Which is cheaper for the employer? The one he has
            to count on his worker compensation policy? Or the one he
            doesn’t? If the worker is injured, who pays the bill? For the
            legal? For the illegal? Which of those workers would the
            employer be most likely to give extra hours to? The one he
            had to pay overtime? Or the one he didn’t? Which worker
            is most likely to call the labor board? Which worker is being
            cheated? (I say both.) Is the community being cheated? Is the government being cheated? And who profits most, if the
            immigration reform never happens. The American workers,
            or the employer of the illegal worker? And which of these
            four players involved here, the public, the illegal worker, or
            legal worker, has the most money to bend the system?
            I realize politics are now involved. But that’s not always
            been the case. So, we must assume the player with the greatest ability to influence the issue, must have agreed
            with a system that has allowed 11 million people to
            illegally immigrate, and live below the radar, while driving cars, having children, buying homes, running their own businesses, since Reagan granted blanket amnesty back in 1984. I know, “”they,” say, but we supposed to increase
            enforcement, but didn’t. Okay, but look. Since the amnesty
            deal, Reagan served a second term. His vice served a term,
            Clinton served two, and Bush two. So, Righties, and Lefties,
            and still they came, for 24 years they came. And Obama
            gets elected. Republicans start looking for reasons. And
            somebody says, do you know how many f,ing Mexicans
            we got in this Country?!! Bush got close to 40% of the
            Latino vote. McCain not as much, but respectable upper 30s. Romney lost them by over 70%. Obama must have bused
            them across to vote for his open border welfare state! No,
            we have an immigration problem. The Senate voted to spend
            30 billion dollars on Southern boarder enforcement. When
            a tenth of that could set up an identification, and foreign worker, registration, and verification program, that would
            cut illegal crossing by 80%. And illegal hiring by at least as
            much. So, when you have time, tell me what you think.

          • Catskinner

            Reagan signed the Amnesty Bill in 1986. I was in California at the time, and I had two choices–hire illegals or go out of business–because all of my competitors were hiring illegals. I went out of business.

            I think Romney had the right answer. “Encourage them to self deport.” Make e-verify mandatory, place heavy fines on employers who hired illegals, make it hard for them to rent homes, impossible to get driver’s licenses, food stamps, welfare, rent subsidies, and etc. I think that would have been the best answer. I think, because of that, illegals helped Obama get elected to a second term. I think that was a bad thing for the country.

          • rustacus21

            All of what U mention goes specifically back to voting by citizens, who are “IN” & “OUT” of the know, as far as the issues are concerned. Nixon should never have been elected to office. As a child, I could see there was something not quite right about him. The same w/Reagan. I somehow ‘saw’ that this guy was too jovial & upbeat to have a clear grip. In both cases I was correct, in terms of the outcome. My joy was voting for the winning candidate in 2 consecutive elections, that for the 1st time in my living memory, did everything right, that a chief executive could do (President Clinton). Whatever it was that people were looking for in Nixon, Reagan & both Bush’s & every conservative Congressional majority in between, they were deceived & frightfully mistaken. So, this is all about the intelligence, the sophistication, the “WILL”, in other words, of the voters, to see that we install representatives who are knowledgeable, wise & considerate of our commands. Democracy can’t get much simpler…

  • Dominick Vila

    Bush supported immigration reform, and would have solved the immigration problem when he was in office had it not been for 9/11 and its aftermath. Sen. McCain proposed viable solutions to the problem, but had to change course when his re-election chances were jeopardized as a result of it. The largest influx of illegal immigrants occurred when Ronald Reagan was in office.
    The sudden attention rank and file Republicans are paying to our immigration problem, at a time when the influx of illegal immigrants is at an all time low, when over a million illegal immigrants have left voluntarily, and when a record of illegal immigrants have been deported is due to one reason and one reason only: Barack Obama supports immigration reform.
    In addition to moral issues, immigration reform is needed because our companies benefit from the availability of cheap labor, because the substandard wages we pay to workers in sectors such as the agri-business contribute to low inflation, and the fact that most of us are unwilling some of the jobs illegal immigrants are doing.
    Opposition to immigration reform is not based on logical thinking or even legal considerations, it is influenced by cultural intolerance and the fear that millions of newcomers may change our way of life.

    • ram1020

      National Memo’s job is to make everything partisan. Don’t fall into the trap.

      There has been GOP support for immigration reform, and the amnesty from the Reagan administration that resulted in the largest immigrant influx was because the border wasn’t secured. If you look at the current Senate bill, all of the heavy talk about immigrants needing to have a job, needing to learn English, and not qualifying for government benefits all have provisions for them to be avoided. You will note that the GOP House is not going to address those loopholes because the heavy talk is just to keep the Rand Pauls of the world happy.

      The only thing that it looks like the House will address is securing the border. This should have little effect on those already here, but it may keep young people from places like Chechnya from abusing their abusing student visas. It could also prevent a massive influx like the Reagan amnesty, without secure borders, encouraged.

      We should ask ourselves what the objective of the bill should be. If it is designed to help those here, then the Senate Bill with some provision for stronger border control would meet the objective.

      If the objective is to encourage a massive influx of immigrants into Texas, Arizona and Florida to insure one party’s dominance, then a sloppy and toothless law should be passed quickly, even before it is read.

      • Dominick Vila

        Berlin-style fences will not prevent people like the Tsarnaev brothers, or the 9/11 terrorists for that matter, from entering the USA with tourist or student visas. In fact, they have done it with absolute impunity via some of our major airports, and if security turns out to be a problem all they have to do is come in via our open northern border.
        Several GOP senators did step up to the plate and did what they know needs to be done, but most Congressmen, especially those from red districts, understand that supporting and passing comprehensive immigration reform is political suicide. I agree with your conclusion regarding what the latest attempt to correct something that should have been corrected long ago is likely to end up being.

        • ram1020

          Of all the options, the Berlin style wall is probably the least cost effective, if not the least effective. We can post some of the returning military to patrol the border, we can use cameras and drones to record and identify problem areas, and objectively determine security effectiveness. We can enforce existing laws and even allow states to assist in enforcement.

          The Tsarnaev brothers were US citizens; however, there are those who stay beyond visa expiration. Monitoring those people and enforcing this and other immigration violations will result in better security than some of the broad, unfocused surveillance that is practiced today.

          My fear is that the choice will be a Congressional proposal for Berlin Wall paid for with ACA funds, or the Senate proposal which is essentially the word of Janet Napolitano. If that happens, we need to replace legislators from both sides of the aisle.

          • Dominick Vila

            I agree, especially with the distinct probability of ACA funds being used to pay for the Berlin-Wall on our southern border and related enforcement costs.
            The Tsarnaev brothers were/are naturalized U.S. citizens. My point, which I suspect you understood, was that people like them, and the terrorists that destroyed the Twin Towers, damaged the Pentagon, killed 3,000 people on U.S. soil, and undermined our confidence did not have a problem entering the USA via our international airports. Along the same lines, they would have no problem entering the USA via our northern border.
            Sometimes, it almost seems as if we are more worried about Mexicans and Central Americans changing our Norman Rockwell society, than making it as difficult as possible for potential terrorists to enter the USA to carry out their crimes.

          • TZToronto

            Again, there is no evidence that terrorists are entering the U.S. through Canada. Canada has very strict immigration controls (at least at the moment). The Conservative government in Canada is not-anti-immigration, but they are looking for immigrants with higher levels of education and skills that can be utilized quickly. As an example, my son-in-law, who is an American lawyer, had to wait 11 months to be allowed to immigrate to Canada–and only after he completed the educational requirements to become a Canadian lawyer. Some traditional sponsorship programs (e.g., elderly parents and adult children) have been discontinued, at least to some extent.

            And it appears that there are more home-grown terrorists (i.e., not Islamist, anti-American terrorists) killing Americans than there are foreign-born jihadists.

          • Dominick Vila

            Canada’s immigration laws are strict, but to the best of my knowledge there are no barriers in place to limit the number of foreign tourists that want to vacation in Canada. There is nothing in place to prevent those tourists from crossing the border and entering the USA. My point is that if our concern is the probability of foreign terrorists entering the USA, we should erect walls in both borders.
            I agree with you that there are more American born and/or naturalized U.S. citizens determined to harm Americans and our interests than there are jihadists.
            Most importantly, let’s not forget that those jihadists that did enter the USA with tourist or student visas, and attended prestigious institutions of learning such as Embry Riddle University, did not have to jump walls or crawl under them, they entered the USA via our international airports without impediment or question.

          • ram1020

            I disagree with the Norman Rockwell comment. When I lived in Chicago, there were a number of eastern European illegals; and the same was true when I lived near Spokane.

            There are economic impacts. Americans may not want to pick vegetables in California, but they would be roofers and work in other construction trades. A homeowner may pay a slightly lower price for the work from those who use illegals, but they are creating a condition where these immigrants are nearly slaves. You don’t know who the contractor is hiring when you accept the quote! We need to correct this, but we won’t if we don’t control the inflow.

            I also agree with TZToronto that Canada is much stricter on immigration. We will always have people come here on visas, but we should not let them continue to stay and take flying lessons once the visas expire. If we are going to monitor people in the US, we may want to monitor those on visas and address those with expired visas with a bit more effort, rather than try to monitor everyone equally.

            I also know that we will never reach 100% Secure borders, but we darned sure can do much better. If that isn’t truly accomplished, not just a showy wall or some politician saying all is well, then we have been let down by legislators of both parties.

        • TZToronto

          You seem to be suggesting that terrorists are entering the USA from Canada. While there have been a few wannabe terrorists who have been intercepted at the Canada-U.S. border (caught and not allowed to enter the U.S.), the myth that Canada is teeming with Islamic terrorists who entered Canada due to lax immigration controls is completely false. As for the alleged September 11 hijackers, they didn’t enter the U.S. through Canada. If there was a flaw anywhere, it was at the U.S. border, not in Canada.

          • Dominick Vila

            No, based on what I have read or heard on this issue the overwhelming majority of the terrorists that have carried out or attempted to carry out acts of terrorism in the USA came via our international airports.
            What I tried to say, perhaps not clearly enough, was that if we are concerned about foreign terrorists coming to the USA from a neighboring country, should we take precautions in both our northern and southern borders? There are no basis to suggest that any of the terrorists that have done us harm came to the USA from Mexico. In fact, everything suggests otherwise.

      • rustacus21

        While this may be the case, the real issue is jobs, whether considering immigration reform or not. Ignoring the jobs issue leaves 10’s of millions of American’s in the purgatory of economic uncertainty, while we waste time on an issue that is as easily rectifyable as holding employers accountable to KNOWINGLY hiring illegal immigrants & failure in deporting illegal immigrants guilty of ANY FORM of criminality. Those who have conducted themselves along the ideal rules & norms of society should, of course, be considered for naturalization, but the jobs issue for American’s should be a far greater priority than the jobs & tax issues for currently illegal immigrants. This issue is a smoke screen in other words, b/c it costs no money & saves the administration from having to fight for/about something of SIGNIFICANCE! A sad commentary on an administration that should, after 5 years, know a bit more about the ‘ground game’ OUTSIDE of the electoral understandings…

    • TZToronto

      Actually, the far right are playing on “conventional wisdom,” which says that illegal immigration is at an all-time high, and the federal government is doing nothing to stem the tide of those brown-ish people. This is the falsehood that the far right has latched onto and is promoting as the truth. The vision of immigrants that the rank and file of the far right have is of lazy, Latin moochers eating sumptuous meals that they bought with food stamps, getting free education, abusing free comprehensive medical care in emergency rooms, and living in luxurious, free housing while hard-working Americans (read as exclusively white) struggle just to put food on the table while trying to keep the roof from caving in during the next non-climate-change-related natural disaster. And if it weren’t for those darn immigrants, all of the struggling white people wouldn’t have to pay income tax and would be living like kings.

      • Dominick Vila

        I couldn’t agree with you more. The only thing I can add to that is the tendency of many white Americans to assume that every person that speaks Spanish, has children in school, or is sitting in an ER lobby is in the USA illegally. Most of them are Puerto Ricans who are U.S. citizens at birth, many are Cuban-Americans, and many are first generation Hispanic-Latino U.S. citizens, born in the USA, trying to preserve their heritage.
        I am convinced that cultural intolerance is the most important factor for the hatred that is apparent among segments of our population. I believe some are concerned about how the influx of Spanish-speaking immigrants may affect our culture and way of life. Some hate the fact that many of these immigrants prosper and some become well off, while so many American born citizens rely on handouts to subsist.
        Hyperbole is often used to distort reality and influence the opinion of those who for a variety of reasons refuse to research and learn more about this issue.
        I am not among those who believe our elected officials are inept or a bunch of racists, but I believe many are afraid of the backlash they will get from their constituents if the support effective immigration law reform.

        • TZToronto

          I guess it’s just less difficult to try to preach to the choir than to tell the choir that they’re singing off-key. I find that “conventional wisdom” often is diametrically opposed to reality. For example, Republicans always talk about fiscally-challenged Democrats, but it’s the Democrats who usually balance the budget. They bemoan taxes but forget that it’s taxes that provide them with public services–which they complain about when they are not there. They oppose the ACA because they don’t want their tax money paying for the freeloading sick–but their premiums already pay for treatment of others anyway. They oppose tax increases, but history shows that higher taxes typically lead to prosperous times. They claim that the federal government doesn’t know how to provide health care, but the federal government already operates three very large health care systems–Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA. They support wars in the Middle East in order to rid the world of terrorism–but these ill-advised wars serve to promote hatred of the USA among those whom the wars are supposed to benefit. They sign petitions for secession but fail to realize that the federal financial aid they rely on would dry up if their states were allowed to secede. They oppose abortion but deny aid to poor mothers who have children they do not want. And they think that banning abortion will actually stop abortions, totally ignoring the fact that abortion has always been a sad choice for women who, for one reason or another, do not want the babies they carry. They deny climate change as they watch ever-larger tornadoes and more destructive floods destroy their towns and cities. And they think that more guns will reduce gun violence. There seems to be no end to the Bizarro World the far right live in.

          • Dominick Vila

            Thank you for the concise and clear critique of Republican negative logic.

  • JDavidS

    Now that tells you all you need to know about the RepubliCONs/ Tea Clowns… That they could learn from Dubya…

  • howa4x

    Maybe Bush should start with fellow Texans Cruz and Gomert who seem to be on the vanguard of opposition to immigration reform. If he can’t convince some homeboys how does he expect to have any influence on the rest of the knuckleheads in the GOP. This is really the chance for the costal moderates to stand up for what is right and not cower away from the irrational tealiban. This is what gerrymandering has wrought, a recalcitrant group of mean spirited and backward thinking congressman. What we are witnessing is the destruction of one of the major parties in this country. It is unprecedented and historical and going on before our eyes.

  • bpai99

    Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Sadly for W, he was wrong so many times people will dismiss the blue-moon occasions when he is right. Put another way, liars are not believed even when they tell the truth.

  • rustacus21

    There’s something wrong w/those people; THAT is a fact. Not listening. Not caring. Not knowing. Not even ‘CONSIDERING’ – the consequences of their actions/inactions. But ‘they’ are the best representation of how great civilizations of the past have failed. Let me say that again. ‘THEY’ typify the leading edge of every degenerate breakdown of every formerly great culture thruout history, intimidating, bullying, deceiving, openly LYING even murdering citizens & competent citizen-representatives – to the point, as we are at THIS exact moment in time – of being frustrated, dejected & eventually giving up, allowing them to walk us ALL straight into civilizational self-destruction. WE, the PEOPLE should not be so weak, stupid & cowardly that we refuse to FIGHT BACK! It’s fine that conservatives don’t listen, don’t hear the commands & directives from WE, THE PEOPLE. But there’s a place on the sidelines for them.

    As in faith, Democracy works best for those who believe. Conservatives don’t believe in Democracy. Another unarguable FACT! Look at it this way, as in faith, there are those who believe in & advocate for the Divine. On there other side, there are those who believe & advocate for evil. Good works & virtue, on behalf of the greater number of people, are the outcomes of those of divine faith. Wrongdoing & wickedness acted out towards the greater number of people are the outcomes of those alligned w/evil. Americans know the difference between right & wrong, being a nation of faith. We have seen it play out in living memory, for good AND ill, as this article points out. We had better get our collective heads on straight & hearts on what is righteous if we plan to see the soul of this nation redeemed & civic culture saved. Voting Liberal/Progressive & getting money OUT of OUR political system, is the only way this happens…

  • irishtap

    To think the ‘incompetent Bush’ is now the sage of forward vision and wisdom for the GOP, says it all. God help us!