Thursday, May 24, 2007

Rant du Jour: Why People Might Hate Us

I was optimistic about the new immigration bill. For about 5 minutes. After looking at it more closely it looks like a calculated move towards creating a permanent servant class in the US. Politics Plus has a good breakdown of it if you haven't already looked it over.

Sorry, several countries in the middle east have tried versions of that...the Saudi's with their guestworkers, the Lebanese with their never-to-be-assimilated refugees, etc.

This is not the fucking middle east and I do not need to keep underpaid workers with few if any rights, to clean my toilets. I know how to clean my own damned toilet. When I decide I'm too fancy to do that I'll pay $15 an hour to a willing worker with health insurance to do it, m'kay? And no, I am not willing to pay farm workers less than a living wage just so I can get cheaper salad greens. That's because I'm an American and this is America and REAL Americans don't play that way. If you're willing to consign any group of people to an artificially manufactured underclass please move to Saudi Arabia right now because even though we seldom manage to live up to our ideals we still have them and we're still trying to live up to them and what we do not need are asshats trying to take us backwards on this path.

Bill Richardson had much the same take on it (gee, big surprise there) which will likely make him quite unpopular in some quarters but hey, both of us are accustomed to being unpopular for some of our stances and it has not slowed either of us down one whit.

Mr. Richardson initially said he would support the immigration compromise announced earlier this week. But on Wednesday, he said that after reading it in detail, he had decided to oppose it, saying the measure placed too great a burden on immigrants — tearing apart families that wanted to settle in the United States, creating a permanent tier of second-class immigrant workers and financing a border fence that Mr. Richardson had long opposed.

“This is fundamentally flawed in its current form, and I would oppose it,” he said. “We need bipartisanship, but we also need legislation that is compassionate. I’m not sure that this is.”

He is the first major Democrat to call explicitly for defeat of the bill in its current form, a decision that he said would no doubt echo across the presidential playing field and in Washington. And his is a voice that carries particular weight: he grew up in Mexico, but went on to became a state governor who once declared a state of emergency in response to turmoil and violence on the border caused by illegal immigrants.

“I’m going to be speaking out on this issue, given that I’m a border governor and my heritage,” he said. “Maybe it won’t help me nationally — but I believe it is my responsibility to do that and not take a mushy position. I notice everyone else is taking murky positions.”

Naturally the pundits don't get it:

But Brian Sanderoff, the head of a New Mexico polling firm, said Mr. Richardson had handled the issue adroitly in New Mexico, presenting himself as both tough and compassionate. Mr. Sanderoff said that might serve Mr. Richardson well as he tried to navigate this more complicated national terrain.

“This is typical Bill Richardson,” he said. “Bill Richardson tends to take a middle of the road empathetic position with an act of toughness with it. That’s Bill. He’s hard to pigeonhole as being definitely anti-immigration or pro-immigration. He’s going to take a middle stance where he’ll seem to have positions on both sides of the fence.”

Well no Mr. Retardo. It isn't a fence-straddling issue. It's a case of both entrenched sides doing what they usually do, trying to define a broad issue into two simple, narrow camps. Richardson is smart enough to know there is a goddamn difference between drug runners and economic refugees. Aside from humanitarian considerations he's also smart enough to know that it's bad policy to start alienating any population living within ones borders...especially when their cousins live right next door. There's also a world of difference between rampant, unchecked immigration and our current immigration policies which effectively lock out nearly everyone trying to come here legally, especially people from Mexico and other Latin American countries. Oh, except Cuba because we hate Castro so much we're willing to give carte blanche to anyone just to spite him.

There's an idea, hey Mexico, overthrow your government and put a socialist in charge and we'll break out the welcome wagon.

I heard Michael Chertoff the other day talking about our approaches to terrorism and he said in the future we face a growing threat from "individual, independant terrorist cells" and stated the "we are studying the matter to try and figure out what radicalizes people". Doh, this one is not rocket science Mikey. How about doing shit like call their mother a "cockroach"? Would do it for me.

Figure that one out or shut up when some little boys grow up hating you and get together to kill a bunch of you because when they were 5 years old some assmonkey in Pennsylvania decided to deport their parents.

NY Times


RJ Adams said...

An interesting segment on NBC Nightly tonight examined the effect on south-western farmers of the sudden shortage of immigrant workers. One onion farmer was losing thousands because he couldn't hire enough immigrant workers. When asked why he didn't employ Americans, his response: "There are no Americans willing to do this work, not even for $20 an hour."
I hope Lou Dobbs was watching.

pekka said...

I am just waiting with a considerable anxiety whether the large, permanent underclass is there to stay? Shortly, what are the chances when the vast majority of the lawmakers are business orientated individuals with truck loads of money invested in various entereprises with unsatiable need for cheap labour?

Not Your Mama said...

Don't think so. Several of my friends are "2nd generation" and they don't do windows. Their parents worked their tails off so the kids became nurses, teachers, policemen etc, etc.

We'll have to use and abuse some other population group in 20 or 30 years.

TomCat said...

And that population is today's middle class, gradually pushed toward poverty by the Bush reich.

In response to RJ Adams, I wonder if that farmer actually offered $20 per hour in an attempt to find Americans to do the work.

I like Richardson's position.