Thursday, August 5, 2010

Tiananmen In America

The Morning Joe Rebuttal for August 5th, 2010


1) You can’t really write this column daily right now. One has to let the worm turn and that takes at a minimum 2 shows in a lot of cases. There is often not enough material to cover, not because there is not enough news, but because the show either chooses something you just wrote about to go nuts on, like the EPA not knowing the long term effects of the dispersants, or because they go after a subject superficially at first, knowing themselves and that any full take will lead to embarrassing revisions later.

The 14th amendment thing is one of those. The Morning Joe show had a take that the Republicans were far, far off the grid to be debating a repeal of the 14th amendment, but of course, that wasn’t the real debate. Pat Buchanan was able to quickly parse that the debate was about anchor babies, a subject that deserves debate and should in fact be covered in any forthcoming immigration legislation.

But the Morning Joe debate that yielded “the Republicans are dead wrong on this one” raged for all of yesterday unimpeded by the narrow scope of the Republican’s intended exploration. Not being a Republican, I should have been content to let that lumping of the issue go on unabated for as long as the cast was willing to trot through it at this superhumanly superficial level.

But if anything, the shouting despite the facts version of manufactured debate on Morning Joe is best highlighted when a faux separation from the right is the attempted engineering. This takes a complex issue and reduces it to a litmus decision: are you for or against repealing the constitution if that’s what it takes to solve our immigration crisis? We recently were forced to submit to this type of dilution of our constitutional rights with the Patriot act, now we’re looking at the 14th amendment from another angle given the next day coincidence of the California gay marriage rule.

Now Joe Scarborough has a problem, and at it’s root is the utter hypocrisy of the Republican party.

If you really want to selectively ignore equal protection under the law so that the institution of marriage can discriminate against the union of same sex life partners, then how different is the selection of certain territorial births as not eligible for citizenship?

If I were to play the other side, on which I am firmly and permanently entrenched, I think the 14th amendment needs to protect gay marriage rights universally in this country, and I would welcome a debate about the exclusion of anchor babies from automatic citizenship

Republicans need the whole 14th amendment debated now that they want automatic citizenship repealed and they want to turn off the equal protection clause for gay marriage. Joe Scarborough can’t explain his anger yesterday about how ridiculous the Republicans were for their anti-14 stance, then explain in any reconciled manner his state’s right to void equal protection stance today. Maybe he can, double speak is a talent that allows you to be on both sides of an issue with a straight face.

2) While Mr. Scarborough had a point that today’s cast was largely identifiable as the coastal blue state types who would always support the evolution of our nation towards recognizing gay marriage, the proposing that the red state average voter should have a right to ban gay marriage at the state level is a revolting throwback to fiefdoms of hate that existed throughout the darkest moments of our nation’s history. What if the blue state types got away with this, would you arm the red state types and send them in to quash the liberal rebellion?

Isn’t that sort of what the real agenda of the Tea Party movement is all about? They lost the election and this is how red state America shows off how to be a sore loser? Isn’t that the core of the issue that ‘we have to take our country back’ types everywhere are militant in their disapproval of gays, immigrants, a black president, and Chinese debt?

Encouraging the middle of the country to stand up for their right to hate gay marriage is the sort of pandering that gets people killed. Elections everywhere have shown that 55% of Americans want the illegal immigrants out, and want gay marriage banned. This is 1859 all over again. The evolution is inevitable, and for all of the people who expressed wonderment that there weren’t tanks in the streets following the crooked path of the 2000 election of George W. Bush, where is that same determination not to have these similar evolutionary steps be peaceful?

How many Republicans are going to pander this way, the same way Joe Scarborough did all day today, to create an anger in their voter base? State’s rights! You have to let the states decide for themselves! In 1859, some states decided for themselves that slavery was enshrined in their states principles. How did that turn out?

Arizona is a bellwether for this kind of sentiment. The roots of the immigration law there are people who believe that it’s OK to promote a society based on the domination of settlers of ‘European descent’. They fear they will be overrun soon and that the lack of federal enforcement of the current immigration statutes have created an existential crisis for them, and that union be damned, they will fix this problem for themselves if the alternative is to let their state become dominated by a different demographic.

What happens if 30 states create anti immigration legislation, ban gay marriage, repeal the health care reform, and do so cooperatively in a soft secession? What next?

3) Speaking of faux anger, that charade today about the Peter King vs. Anthony Weiner dispute was a real step backward for the show. All the same recent symptoms: we can make the government change course by shaming them, making a complex issue a litmus issue, we are the first people to have this take, these were all present in their altruistic glory. All were regrettable occurrences.

Mr. Scarborough, even Peter King told you why the House of Representatives took the course that led to a 2/3rds approval process. He told you that they did it to prevent ‘poison pill’ amendments that have become customary tools of obstruction on behalf of the Republicans as they lock step towards trying to shut the government down. We have talked forever about the concept of Republican amendments attached to bills only to make them politically costly for those voting yes, knowing that the author of the amendment is inserting it even though he will vote no on the ultimate passage of the bill. That is dishonest governing and the type of gamesmanship that you should be angry about.

But no, here we go again, let’s say Nancy Pelosi’s name as spitefully as possible in the neighborhood of 30 times while ranting that this congressional leadership is to blame for it’s attempt to fend off unsavory tactics of it’s opponents.

You can’t vote no on a bill and put “this bill is criminally unjust” amendments on the bill as an additional condemning step. Congress is broken, and myopic interpretation adorned with an element of anger based fakery just won’t help matters.

Did you see Peter King go from his normal ‘waiting to get mad’ self to a sheepish ‘this is a mess’ regret? You made that happen by misguided histrionics, they were all ducking out of embarrassment.

That’s all for today, see you tomorrow.

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