A Study in Self- Afflicted Demise

I hope that students sitting in college political science classes have thrown away their text books and are watching TV in the past few weeks because ‘it’ is playing out before them on flat screen TV’s tuned to a cable station.  The subject of the lesson: “how a political party commits slow, agonizing suicide.”

The Grand Old Party may be in its death throes as I type. Months earlier, they were whetting their knives to carve out large a hunk of Democrat flesh.  Today they are self-destructing right before our eyes.

First, not one prominent national Republican Party leader has stood up to oppose the Arizona ‘show me your papers’ law- the law written by GOP members of the Arizona Legislature and signed by the GOP governor. Not one.

The political Science professor asks of the students before him, “What impact does such legislation have on the electorate?”  And further, “What  change in democraphics will the 2010 Census will be reported that directly impacts such legislation?”

The second serious mistake being made by the GOP is their public support of Wall Street by voting unanimously twice to filibuster the Finance Reform Bill introduced in the Senate. Again, the professor asks the students, “What is the mood of the nation at this time regarding Wall Street and the large Wall Street banks?”  Further he asks, “What image is created of the Republican Party with these two filibuster votes?”

Enough of the classroom. One does wonder, though, how the citizens of this nation are reading these issues[ or IF they are].  MoveOn.org  has a 30-second TV ad running in my neck of the woods featuring a close-up shot of Mitch McConnell’s eyes and a voice-over detailing his close relationship with Wall Street Bankers. Towards the end, the camera pulls out and his ‘shit-eating grin’ is displayed, full-face.  Powerful ad.

I can’t recall watching such an implosion  spectacle like this one unfold right before my eyes. It is amazing. If the GOP intends to extend their hold on Congress this Fall, then they must be reading the wrong playbook.  Those so-called independents must be terribly confused as they watch the same ‘show’ as I.  These are the ones who turn an election, not the party base.

Defending Nazi-like SS tactics and Wall Street clearly smacks of people sipping hemlock.

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24 thoughts on “A Study in Self- Afflicted Demise

  1. If only.

    (it worked that way)

    It were that easy.

    But, you do remember that they own the airwaves and ballot counters, right?

    Nationwide.

    They do.

    And no one (on the tv) will hear a whisper of these hearings and votes then.

    And they will not deny their financial backers who do not want any negative changes in the financial bill to their operations – just like Blankfein said yesterday on the TV when asked by all the Senators what he felt needed to be changed.

    You can be sure that these Rethugs (and other thugs in general like Ben Nelson-D who is owned by Berkshire Hathaway) have insert new changes into the regulations that will further benefit the banksters; we just don’t know what they are yet.

    But we will.

    We will.

    Thanks for all you do, friend.

    Did you see that Pottersville2 was linked yesterday at Paul KrugmanOnline.com?

    Wow!

    We are getting the word out s l o w l y.

    S

    Further he asks, “What image is created of the Republican Party with these two filibuster votes?”

  2. Mud, you make too much of this “show me your papers” legislation that was passed. It’s no different than when you get pulled over and do not have your driver’s license on your person. Most often you are detained until they can get your information from state licensing authorities. It’s no different than when an officer or agent sees a group of druggies possibly smoking dope on the sidewalk or alley somewhere…if they cannot show identification then they are, most often, detained until their identities are confirmed.

    I am Hispanic, from Arizona and spend much time there. I am in no way threatened or intimidated by this new law. In fact, I believe it’s a huge step in the right direction, the federal government is not doing it’s job regarding illegal immigration, so it is up the the states to do the job for them. There is nothing racial or Nazi-like about it Mud.

  3. I think this will probably go to the Supreme court eventually, because it singles out individuals for unlawful search and seizure; and the only “probably cause” involved is being brown skinned. This law is completely contrary to the 4th amendment to the constitution – of which people like yourself hold so dear… until it is an inconvenience for you. Just a cursory internet search by myself – a layman – I found plenty of case precedent to support the unconstitutionality of this law.

  4. Oh.. and I also feel the need to point out that God has ordered us to be kind and take care of the Aliens in our lands. This passage can be found in Deuteronomy.. and we all know the importance of Deuteronomy. That’s the Bible book that we use to justify all sorts of crazy things. But strangely enough, God wants us to take care of the strangers in our mists (thank you Jesus General for this Bible verse)

    Deuteronomy 33 and 34
    33 When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him.
    34 The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.

    When God ends a phrase with “I am the Lord Your God”. I think he is pretty serious and It’s probably not something you want to try to worm your way out of on political ideology. But we all know that modern day evangelicalism has left God by the wayside to act as tools for the Corporatist (money changers) controlling the GOP.

  5. Hello Muddy,
    Last week I saw and spoke with an old high school class mate, as children the same church and Sunday school, next street over neighbor kids. We had not seen each other in a while. His father was a court judge in Caroline County, MD and now this person is head of the Republican Party in Caroline County, MD. We were both good friends with the former Republican Congressman, Wayne Gilchrest, and we spoke of issues with the Republican Party. This past election the incumbent Congressman Gilchrest lost the Republican nomination to a Right Wing Conservative but this person lost to the Democratic nomination. The Republicans bit off their noses to spite their faces. What had been a moderate Republican holding this 1st Congressional seat in Maryland…is now in control of a moderate Democrat….and I helped him get elected.

    I pass onto my friend that today; the Republican Party no longer speaks for me nor represents my viewpoints. I also made it a point that it was not I who left the Republican Party, but it was the Party that left me.

    Even though I now live in Dorchester County, MD; he invited me to attend their next Republican meeting in Caroline and put forth my viewpoints to those Republicans in Caroline. Locally, some within the Republican Party realize that the moderates need to take back control from the nut job Teabaggers, and bring sanity back to the GOP.

    Wish me luck as I will be going into the “Lion’s Den” so to speak as there will be Teabaggers in this group and I am not going to sugar coat my message.

    To others, I dare you to say I am not a true Republican!!! :-)

  6. Steve,

    Great point in your last comment. I’ve been saying for years that Christianity has a lot to say about how we treat foreigners. It’s not just from that section of Deuteronomy, either (although that one would be enough for me). It’s all over the Bible, Old Testament and New Testament.

  7. Thank you all for commenting here today in my absence. i had some official business to attend to.

    Suzan- congratulations on your great site [linked at the right] and that it was linked to Krugman. You deserve that tip of the hat.

    Fonso- although you may not personally ‘mind’ being pulled over and asked for your papers, it is, as Steve points out, a violation of the 4th Amendment. Further, I thought Republicans like you want government out of your lives. What’s up with that?

    Steve- always spot-on, my man. That Bible sure has a way of biting people when they try to hit others over the head with it.

    Matthew- does your church ‘fight’ for foreigners too? In 1979 my church supported/adopted 12 Laotian Refugee families who fled their country after we backed out of the Vietnam War. My wife and I have stuck with one of the families all of these years and just last week we were asked to help the wife of one of their sons to become a citizen. Jesus stuff, you know.

    Engineer- I applaud you very strongly for your courage to stand by your principles in the face of much turmoil and nastiness when, in fact, it would be so easy to just go along with the crowd. Please report back either here or on your blog how that meeting went. And if possible, tell us what the ‘agenda’ of the Tea Baggers is so that we can be clear on their ‘mission.’

  8. The shape of things to come? Sure looks like it. And this incident happened before Gov. Jan Brewer signed the SB1070 into law on Friday.

    PHOENIX – A Valley man says he was pulled over Wednesday morning and questioned when he arrived at a weigh station for his commercial vehicle along Val Vista and the 202 freeway.

    Abdon, who did not want to use his last name, says he provided several key pieces of information but what he provided apparently was not what was needed.

    He stated “I don’t think it’s correct, if I have to take my birth certificate with me all the time.”
    After he was released from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in central Phoenix. He and his wife, Jackie, are still upset about what happened to him.

    Jackie said, “It’s still something awful to be targeted. I can’t even imagine what he felt, people watching like he was some type of criminal.”

    Abdon was told he did not have enough paperwork on him when he pulled into a weigh station to have his commercial truck checked. He provided his commercial driver’s license and a social security number but ended up handcuffed.

    An agent called his wife and she had to leave work to drive home and grab other documents like his birth certificate.

    Jackie explains, “I have his social security card as well and mine. He’s legit. It’s the first time it’s ever happened.”

    Both were born in the United States and say they are now both infuriated that keeping important documents safely at home is no longer an option

    Fonso, is this reasonable? Are you comfortable with this? This is blatant racial profiling and discrimination. This was a violation of an American citizens constitutional rights. This is why many Americans militantly oppose this fascist mentality and will participate in a boycott of Arizona.

    Do you know the percentage of Major League Ball Players who are Latino?
    How many of them are here on work visas?

    There is a diiference between engaging in the constant struggle to protect our rights and pulling the covers over your head to “feel comfortably numb”.

  9. The law does not permit racial profiling. It specifically says racial profiling is illegal. It does not allow police to pull someone over for their skin color…they have to be in violation of another law first. All it does is give police the authority to ask for proof of identity and resident or citizen status. It is not unreasonable to ask for that. I personally keep my social security card on my person at all times. The man you use as an example did not need his birth certificate, he needed that or a social security card. All he had was the number…no proof of it. So yes micro, it is reasonable, I am comfortable with it and it is not a violation of anyone’s rights. And this boycott is laughable at best. I do not care about the percentage of Latino baseball players or how many are here on visas. If you’re legal and can prove it…you have nothing to worry about. It’s no different than if you’re driving and happen to forget your license…most times are you arrested until they can confirm your identity, the same as this man when he couldn’t confirm his status. Unfortunate for him this time…I’m pretty sure next time he’ll have his ss card or birth certificate. It was a one-time embarrassment, he and his wife need to not whine about it and get over it. What happened was legal. I don’t have sympathy for whiners…sorry. Too many cry babies in America today.

    Mud, it is not a violation of the 4th Amendment. It is fully within the Constitution. It does now allow for racial profiling. All it does and give law enforcement and extra tool to use AFTER someone has been detained or pulled over for another violation.

  10. The law does not permit racial profiling. It specifically says racial profiling is illegal.

    Come to Ohio, Fonso, and go where you wish because no one will stop you. It would be just like me going to Arizona. My German ancestry ‘shows’ well and no one will ever ask me for my papers. And I wouldn’t think of bringing anything with me other than my driver’s license.

    Polish, French, Hungarian. Swedish, Irish, Danish and other northern-eastern European people ‘show well’ in Arizona. Interestingly, for once, black men are not the target in Arizona as they are in Alabama.

    You need to get real, Fonso, ans stop living in that make-believe world that the GOP brainwashes you in.

  11. I just pulled out my social security card and it says “Not to be used for Identification Purposes” in bold letters.

  12. Nobody is being asked “szhow me zee papers”. Nobody is being targeted for being hispanic looking….as your media is trying to portray it.

    The cops can’t pull anyone over just to do a immigration status check.

    During a traffic stop, if the cop suspects a person may be an illegal, (no drivers license, no U.S or, state issued I.D, no title or registration for the vehicle, not being able to speak English or, speaking Spanish with a Mexican or, S.American dialect…which is different than that of Spanish speaking Americans.)

    Muddy, have you ever been popped for a traffic violation and NOT have the cops ask to see some I.D?

    You’re believing the spin in the media again. I heard the media call the law an “anti-immigration” law when it’s not.
    It’s an anti-ILLEGAL immigration law.

    NOBODY has complained about immigrants regardless of origin. But, as with EVERY other immigrant who comes here…even Mexicans should have to go through the process of entering the country.

  13. Or, if you’d feel better maybe we should adopt Mexico’s policy for immigration…just so it couldn’t be confused with being “racist”.

    Mexico’s main immigration law welcomes only foreigners deemed useful to Mexican society:

    _ Foreigners are admitted into Mexico “according to their possibilities of contributing to national progress.” (Article 32)

    _ Immigration officials must “ensure (that) immigrants will be useful elements for the country and that they have the necessary funds for their sustenance” and that of their dependents. (Article 34)

    _ Foreigners may be barred from the country if their presence has upset “the equilibrium of the national demographics,” if they are deemed detrimental to “economic or national interests,” if they are not good citizens in their own country, if they have broken Mexican laws, or if “they are not found to be physically or mentally healthy.” (Article 37)

    _ The secretary of governance may “suspend or prohibit the admission of foreigners when he determines it to be in the national interest.” (Article 38)

    Mexican authorities keep track of every person in the country:

    _ Federal, local and municipal police must cooperate with federal immigration authorities upon request: i.e., help in the arrest of illegal immigrants. (Article 73)

    _ A National Population Registry tracks every “individual who comprises (sic) the population of the country,” verifying each individual’s identity. (Articles 85 and 86)

    _ A national Catalogue of Foreigners tracks foreign tourists and immigrants (Article 87), assigning each a tracking number. (Article 91)

    Foreigners with fake papers or who enter the country under false pretenses may be imprisoned:

    _ Foreigners with fake immigration papers may be fined or imprisoned.

    (Article 116)

    _ Foreigners who sign government documents “with a signature that is false or different from that which he normally uses” are subject to fine and imprisonment. (Article 116)

    Foreigners who fail to obey the rules will be fined, deported, and/or imprisoned as felons:

    _ Foreigners who fail to obey a deportation order are to be punished. (Article 117)

    _ Deported foreigners who try to re-enter Mexico without authorization can be imprisoned for up to 10 years. (Article 118)

    _ Foreigners who violate terms of their visa may be sentenced for up to six years in prison. (Articles 119, 120, and 121) Foreigners who misrepresent the terms of their visa (as by working without a permit) can also be imprisoned.

    Under Mexican law, illegal immigration is a felony. The General Law on Population says:

    _ “A penalty of up to two years in prison and a fine of 300 to 5,000 pesos will be imposed on the foreigner who enters the country illegally.” (Article 123)

    _ Foreigners with immigration problems may be deported, rather than imprisoned. (Article 125)

    _ Foreigners who “(make attempts) against national sovereignty or security” will be deported. (Article 126)

    Mexicans who help illegal aliens enter the country are considered criminals:

    _ A Mexican who marries a foreigner with the sole objective of helping the foreigner live in the country is subject to up to five years in prison. (Article 127)

    _ Shipping and airline companies that bring undocumented foreigners into Mexico will be fined. (Article 132)

    All of the above runs counter to what Mexican leaders are demanding of the United States. The stark contrast between Mexico’s immigration practices and its American-immigration preachings reveals the Mexican government’s agenda: to have a one-way immigration relationship with the United States.

  14. Muddy, have you ever been popped for a traffic violation and NOT have the cops ask to see some I.D?

    Of course: driver’s license and proof of insurance.

    Period. No ‘citizenship’ papers demanded.

    You’re believing the spin in the media again.

    Hardly. What I’m ‘believing’ Sepp is that the new Arizona law is unconstitutional [4th Amendment], specifically ‘probable cause.’ The only ‘probable cause’ that a police officer in AZ can ‘see’ is ethnicity.

    I would never be stopped for ‘probable cause’ while driving through or walking down the sidewalk of an AZ town because I’m ‘too Northern European.’

    Sepp- you seem to have a hard time with our Constitution. You and the Tea Party-goers carry ‘Constitution’ signs yet you honor it when, where and as you see fit. The Constitution is unilateral, not smörgåsbord.

  15. OK, I’m not a lawyer but luckily for all of us, the constitution is pretty straight forward and written so that we all can understand it.

    The language of the 4th amendment is very specific – warrants only if probable cause. What the Arizona law does is supersede the warrant clause and places the power to determine probable cause into the policeman’s hand. There’s a reason we have judges and the rule of law. Superseding the warrant clause, although you may consider it benign, according to the constitution, is placing too much power into the policeman’s hand. It opens up the potential of abuse – that’s what the constitution is there to protect us from. Sure, the “letter” of the law may stipulate that race is not to be the issue in demanding “papers”, but do you think policemen never bend the letter of the law?? It gives them a huge loophole to haul in anyone they want. The reason a lawman can ask to see your license when you get pulled over, is because that is in the arena of state enforcement of traffic laws. You can’t drive without a state issued license that prove you are competent to drive and if you don’t have a license – you’re not going to be hauled in, they are just going to take away your privilege to drive – take your license away. And as far as I know it’s not illegal to “speak a funny dialect”, or “to not possess a drivers license”. There is no “probable cause” to haul someone in.

    The fourth amendment is “individual specific”, it is not “group specific”, and this law targets a broad group of people – that’s unconstitutional! If Arizona doesn’t like the constitution, then they should have their representatives or senators attempt a constitutional amendment that gives police greater power to detain certain groups of people on a whim.

    To me, the illegal immigration problem is like the war on drugs. You need to solve the root of the problems by attacking the problems at the tree roots and trunk, not pruning the branches surrounding the main problems. This is just another stupid law that costs a lot of money, causes a lot of suffering – but is just pruning the branches of the problem – to make politicians look good – like they are “tough on drugs” or “tough on immigrants”. It’s an egregious violation of the constitution just for political grandstanding – and the rest of us pay the price. It’s probably going to cost more money in tax dollars to process the illegals picked up than to incorporate them into the country as citizens. Just like drug laws cost us bazillions of dollars of useless effort. Drug laws and immigration laws like this one are like trying to swat individual wasps to solve a wasp problem instead of removing the hive. We would get more traction with our tax dollars and get much better results as far as illegal immigration is concerned if we demanded the Mexican Government and Mexican institutions clean up the corruption that has, and continues to drag their country down to 3rd world status. We can do that with a lot of diplomatic tools at our disposal. Every job that Mexico can produce by elimination of corruption, sound economic decisions, etc.. probably equals 10 illegal immigrants that no longer feel the need to make the arduous journey to ill Norte’.

  16. Mud – My church does all sorts of things to help people but I’m not sure I’d call it “fighting”. We don’t do much fighting. We’re more of a turn-the-other-cheek crowd. I’m the chairman of the deacon board there, which is the group formally responsible for distributing material aid.

    The Arizona law seems clearly unconstitutional to me. It’s obvious just on the face of it. Interesting how conservatives frequently go against their core principles when it suits them. Surely I’m not immune to this but I at least try to be consistent.

  17. Sepps argument boils down to, “it never happened because he says it never happened.”
    Fonso boils down to, “It couldn’t happen because it’s not supposed to happen.”
    Listen, it happened and it going to get weirder. This is not some conservative happy hour, this is brutal fascist racial fear inspired manipulation for political power.
    What is this, “it’s not racial profiling” BS? Again, denial and fantasy land…I can’t accept that you actually belive this line of apologstic misinformation.

    The law will prove to be impossible to enforce.

  18. I live in no make believe world mud. I’m not brainwashed. I was just raised in Southern Arizona. I know the dangers of illegal immigration and the toll it takes on American (both economically and physically to the people). It is not racial profiling. Sure, Hispanics would be more likely to be affected by this law, but so would my Dutch uncle. If pulled, law enforcement would recognize his accent and ask for proof of residency or citizenship status…it’s happened before…long before this new law. I know because I was in the passenger seat. I suppose he was racially profiled for being white…or maybe it was his accent that made the sheriff question his status? I don’t know, but I do know that the sheriff did his job when dealing with my uncle.

    One more thing…a VALID driver’s license or state identification card, according to this new law, is sufficient enough to prove status. As an adult American citizen, if you’re not carrying one of these two id cards then you are pretty much just stupid. And if you’re not a citizen, it is stupid to not carry proof of your status…at least a passport.

    Mud, this causes no hardship toward law-abiding citizens, residents or tourists. Only those here illegally need fear this new law. Again, I laugh at your claims Nazi-like activity and “show me your papers” haha. It’s nothing like that…nothing fascist at all.

  19. Muddy, the “new Arizona law” is the EXACT same FEDERAL law that has been on the books for almost 8 decades! Don’t try and quote me 4th amendment rights because my job requires me to know every bit of that law. Terry VS Ohio, research that.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terry_v._Ohio

    Then maybe you can bedazzle us as to how Mexicans are above showing identification during a traffic stop.

    All the law says is that anyone being stopped by an officer can be asked for I.D…and not being able to provide it, the officer can then ask for immigration status.
    And since illegals can seldom, if ever, provide actual state issued I.D, real vehicle registrations, insurance etc…the officer’s hands are no longer politically tied.

    My wife and my daughter are immigrants to this country…THEY got in line, went to the interviews, filled out the paperwork and answered the questions and followed the rules!
    Pardon my French but, FUCK those bastards who come here illegally, skirt the rules, won’t do the legwork, fill out the paperwork and, attend the inteviews with the INS!

    Since when are Mexicans exempt from the laws that EVERY OTHER immigrant to this country has to abide by? The illegals have become such a problem that the State of Arizona has no other choice than to simply enforce the law!
    Hate to bust your bubble but, it’s the rule of law and NOT the phony leftist “racism” that you’re trying to turn it into.

    Go visit Arizona, run a stop sign, speed, breeze thru a red light…and leave your license at home and act like you’ve never heard of a driver’s license when the cop asks for it.

    If the cop lets you go without asking to see any I.D, I’ll concede the racism point.
    I think we DO need to know who is comming into this country and , we have an INS that makes sure we’re NOT importing criminals, drug dealers or, human trafficers and their booty.

    NOBODY has a problem with folks entering thru the front door!

    But, THAT FACT is beyond the typical liberal’s comprehension.

    How many people were protesting the last immigrant’s swearing in cerimony in Toledo or, anywhere else? ZERO.
    If it was all “racism” don’t you think there woulod be people protesting those swearing in cerimonies?
    Look up the last swearing in in the blade…mexicans, africans, russians, chinese, polish, arabs, an Iranian, a Cambodian….where are the “racists” protesting those folks?
    Most of them have the same hue in skintone which is nonwhite! THAT is something your lefty blogs and media neglect to mention!

    I know it’s difficult for you, but when the laws apply to you and I, shouldn’t they apply equally to everyone else? Or is this more liberal hypocracy where one race is expected to behave in a certain way while others…while perfectly equal…are allowed to act in other ways counter to the law?
    Contrary to liberal beliefs, equlity means being held to the same standard as every other person! When you start making excuses / exemptions, it’s LESS than equal.
    In fact you’re admitting that some people aren’t good enough to be treated as equal and need race based rules in order to put them at a differnt standard.
    Is that what liberalism has become?
    If so, it’s nothing more than RACISM diguised as good intent!

  20. thanks for that wiki case study in proving the points I was making.

    “… in justifying the particular intrusion the police officer must be able to point to specific and articulable facts which, taken together with rational inferences from those facts, reasonably warrant the intrusion.”

    “In this case, for example, the Ohio Court of Appeals stated that ‘we must be careful to distinguish that the “frisk” authorized herein includes only a “frisk” for a dangerous weapon. It by no means authorizes a search for contraband, evidentiary material, or anything else in the absence of reasonable grounds to arrest. Such a search is controlled by the requirements of the Fourth Amendment, and probable cause is essential.’ ” (392 U.S. 1, at 16, Fn 12, quoting State v. Terry, 5 Ohio App. 2d 122, at 130)

    “The sole justification of the search … is the protection of the police officer and others nearby, and it must therefore be confined in scope to an intrusion reasonably designed to discover guns, knives, clubs, or other hidden instruments for the assault of the police officer.” (392 U.S. 1, at 29)

  21. Since when are Mexicans exempt from the laws that EVERY OTHER immigrant to this country has to abide by?

    Since when? Since the fruit and vegetable growers there decided that they could quadruple their profits by ‘hiring’ illegals.

  22. “Since the fruit and vegetable growers there decided that they could quadruple their profits by ‘hiring’ illegals.”

    #1 lamest assed excuse ever concocted…congrats!

    So anyone who enters the country illegally should just head on down to the nearest orchard and claim their exemption from obeying the law?

    How about just bringing your ass in through the front door? No hiding. No hoping not to get caught. Not being a criminal.
    Too damned easy eh?

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