La negra tiene tumbao. 

You’re going to be hearing a lot about immigration politics in the next week, and throughout this election year.

You may think you are hearing about immigration policy, but you’re really hearing about immigration politics.


Here’s a clue from a new Pew Research poll (emphasis added): 

The public backlash over gay marriage has receded since a controversial decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Court in 2003 to legalize those marriages stirred strong opposition, says a poll released Wednesday.

Gay marriage remains a divisive issue, with 51 percent opposing it, the poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found. But almost two-thirds, 63 percent, opposed gay marriage in February 2004.

[Snip. . .]

The number of people who say they strongly oppose gay marriage has dropped from 42 percent in early 2004 to 28 percent now. Strong opposition has dropped sharply among senior citizens and Republicans.

Members of the Rubber Stamp Republican Congress will still run on anti-gay hate this November because they are weak and because they have failed completely at governing.  But anti-gay hate is fading, and political campaigns based on anti-gay hate yield diminishing returns.  Fewer voters who strongly oppose marriage equality means less passion to turn out and vote.

So the failed, weak Republican party must find another way to change the subject from having lost Iraq and from wholesale Republican corruption.  Enter an old standby:  racism.

It’s not exactly Bull Connor, anti-integration racism.  It’s racism, 21st Century style.  Us pale Muricans are swimmin’ in coloreds, and sumpthin’ must be done!

Now, I’m all for immigration reform.  Sentor Kennedy has worked out a bipartisan compromise bill with suckup Republican hack John McCain, and there are reports Arlen Spector is looking to merge his proposals with theirs.  The conservative establishment media published a reasonable editorial on Kennedy-McCain last week. This in spite of the hiring of the racist, plagiarist little wingnut.

But there will be no good policy work done by a Rubber Stamp party that hates government tossing red meat to its racist base.  There are a couple of other vindictive, racist immigration policy proposals floating around that hold no basis in common sense or reality, but what else would you expect from this crew? 

We can talk about substantive immigration policy once we have grown ups in charge of writing the laws.  To write good laws, we need people who actually believe government exists to serve the people, not the American Taliban or the big corporate robber barons.

Until then, the rest is political theater:  a pathetic, malicious attempt to change the subject from the devastatingly obvious Republican Reign of Failure.



Pachacutec did not, as is commonly believed, die in 1471. To escape the tragic sight of his successors screwing up the Inca Empire he’d built, he fled east into the Amazon rain forest, where he began chewing lots of funky roots to get higher than Hunter Thompson ever dared. Oddly, these roots gave him not only a killer buzz, but also prolonged his life beyond what any other mortal has known, excluding Novakula. Whatever his doubts of the utility of living long enough to see old friends pop up in museums as mummies, or witness the bizarrely compelling spectacle of Katherine Harris, he’s learned a thing or two along the way. For one thing, he’s learned the importance of not letting morons run a country, having watched the Inca Empire suffer many civil wars requiring the eventual ruler to gain support from the priests and the national military. He now works during fleeting sober moments to build a vibrant progressive movement sufficiently strong and sustainable to drive a pointed stake through the heart of American “conservatism” forever. He enjoys a gay marriage, classic jazz and roots for the New York Mets.