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, 10-17-2013 at 05:20 AM (2300 Views)
With Wednesday night's 11th hour vote in Congress to reopen the government for three months and raise the debt ceiling for four months, thereby kicking the fiscal can down the road (by a few yards), these issues are now resolved, the GOP leaders have learned their lesson never again to give into the right wing fanatics in their own party, and America can now get back to business, including finally passing immigration reform.
This, at least, is the message that came out of the self-congratulatory speeches of Harry Reid and other Senate Democratic leaders right after the Senate vote, and, albeit in a more muted and restrained way, in President Obama's comments shortly after, both of them before the House had even voted on whether to accept this short term fix, which actually solves none of the underlying issues.
So, now that the debt ceiling and government shutdown crises are over, the Republican leaders have been properly humiliated for shutting down the government and threatening a world wide economic meltdown, the president has answered a resounding "no" to a reporter's question about whether this will ever happen again, and the wicked witch of Cruz is politically dead, we can now get on with passing CIR. See the October 16 Reuters article: Obama plans immigration push after fiscal crisis ends also mentioned in Immigration Daily's October 16 editorial.
This is certainly a nice scenario, one which all of us who support immigrant rights hope will come to pass, but it is not one that everyone in America necessarily subscribes to. The Tea Party and their supporters beg to differ.
Even several hours before the votes in Congress, on Wednesday afternoon, Politico reported that right wing GOP Representative Raul Labrador (Idaho), who until recently, was in the House Gang of Eight that were working and drafting their own version of CIR, is now adamantly opposed to negotiating further on reform. Politico, in its article Raul Labrador: Budget battle hurts immigration push (October 16), quotes Labrador as follows:
"I think that what [President Barack Obama] has done over the past two and half weeks, he's trying to destroy the Republican Party and I think anything we negotiate right now with the president on immigration will be with that same goal in mind, which is to destroy the Republican Party and not to get good policies."
Of course, one might point out that the Republican party has been destroying itself and doesn't need any help from the president in this endeavor, thank you, but logic and reality have never been strong points among right wing Republicans and Tea Party supporters.
As an aside, it is also worthy of note that a certain Senate Gang of Eight immigration reform supporter by the name of Marco Rubio (R-Florida - anyone remember him?) returned to his Tea Party roots Wednesday night by joining 17 other right wing Republican senators (including bitter immigration opponents such as Jeff Sessions of Alabama and Charles Grassley of iowa) to vote against reopening the government and raising the debt ceiling.
The Tea Party lives. And it lives to fight immigration reform. The Washington Post reports that, as far as immigration and other issues are concerned, the Tea Party is bloody but unyielding Tea party activists call bipartisan deal a capitulation: say they are unbowed (October 16).
Rather than slinking off with its tail between its legs, the Tea Party is vowing to fight even harder. The WP writes:
"The fight revved up the four year old tea party movement, which is now training its sights on blocking immigration reform and challenging incumbent Republicans up for re-election in 2014.
'This is not all for naught' said Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots. 'Fighting for freedom is always the right thing to do. We will take the energy and passion and put it into watching what the House does with amnesty legislation, and then put it into action next year that will involve elections.'
'We will keep fighting', she added. 'We are not going to go away.'"
Nor is the wicked witch of Ted Cruz, the Tea Party's hero and an immigration reform opponent, politically dead either, as Edward Luce writes in the October 17 Financial Times: We will be hearing more from Ted Cruz.
(With regard to Cruz's ongoing demagoguery, once again, and with apologies to ID readers, I cannot resist repeating my favorite Latin quote, from Horace: Non omnis moriar - "I will not wholly die.")
No one should expect House Republicans to ignore the threats of revenge and retaliation over immigration reform from the people who came within hours of bringing down America's economy, if not the world's financial system, because of their hatred of the ACA - another measure which, like CIR if it passes, will better the lives of millions of brown people, among others who will benefit (if enough qualified foreign IT experts can be granted H-1B visas to get its computer system up and running, that is).
We will without any doubt be hearing quite a bit more from the Tea Party and its supporters as the battle for CIR resumes.