The dreamers’ nightmare

The Senate has failed to rescue the “dreamers” — young people brought here as children, without legal status. A big majority of Americans favor such legislation. And nearly every Senator voted for it.

So why the failure? Because they backed different bills, none of which got the 60 votes needed. So they can tell their constituents, with straight faces, “I voted for the dreamers bill — it’s the other party that blocked it.”

In fact it was Trump. When in September he cancelled the DACA program, with crocodile tears, saying he hoped Congress would fix it, he lied as always. He was taking the dreamers hostage, demanding as ransom funding for his wall (the one Mexico was supposed to pay for), and also a big cut in legal immigration. Backed by a farrago of lies about how the existing system actually works, and scaremongering about crimes by immigrants (who on average actually commit fewer crimes than the native born). Though previously lying that he’d sign whatever dreamers bill Congress passes, now he’ll only sign one including his two poison pills — my way or the highway. His plan got the fewest Senate votes.

Meantime, refugee admissions are way down in the past year; putting into crisis the infrastructure of charities that help them.

The Know-Nothing Party’s flag

It’s now clear that racist hatred of immigrants is the core raison d’etre of today’s Republican party. It’s not the first time we’ve had such a party. The previous one, in the 1850s, was the Know-Nothing Party.

Failure to pass dreamer legislation is emblematic of our galloping democratic dysfunction. Part of it is the Senate’s 60-vote rule (they passed the tax bill using a gimmick to evade it). Sixty votes are required to end debate on a bill. Through most of our history, only very rarely would a bill’s opponents “filibuster” it, forcing the issue of closing debate. But now it routinely applies to every bill, a symptom of today’s hyper-partisan scorched-earth politics.

That’s just one of the problems that saw our democracy already in real trouble even before 2016. But now it’s exploded into a grotesque caricature — with a president who trashes every ideal, principle, and value America used to stand for. A racist, uncouth, incompetent ignoramus; a fraudster rip-off artist; a preening egomaniacal mental case; a prodigious liar; a sex criminal; a Russian stooge; and did I mention racist?

Still, in the latest polls, over 40% of Americans give him a thumbs up. Among Republicans, 89%.

Happy “President’s Day!”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s