Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Craziest Republican of the Day: Lou Barletta

By Michael J.W. Stickings

I'm not sure, though. Is this just craziness in the sense of being out of one's mind, or it is just another example of the sort of bigotry and ideological extremism one finds all over the Republican Party these days, particularly within the party's right-wing base?

Maybe both, but more the latter than the former, I would say.

In response to the bipartisan immigration reform plan currently being worked out on Capitol Hill, with the president prepared to present his own package, Pennsylvania Rep. Lou Barletta didn't hold back in explaining just what he thinks of these undesirables:

"It's amnesty that America can't afford," Barletta said Monday. "We have to stop people from coming in illegally. This will be a green light for anyone who wants to come to America illegally and then be granted citizenship one day." [...]

"I hope politics is not at the root of why we're rushing to pass a bill. Anyone who believes that they're going to win over the Latino vote is grossly mistaken," Barletta said. "The majority that are here illegally are low-skilled or may not even have a high school diploma. The Republican Party is not going to compete over who can give more social programs out. They will become Democrats because of the social programs they'll depend on."

And there you have it, a glimpse into the ugliness of the Republican mind: These Latinos shouldn't be granted a path to citizenship (even a tough one, which is what a deal would likely include) because they're lazy, stupid bloodsuckers who will vote Democrat because, of course, the Democratic Party is the party of lazy, stupid bloodsuckers also known as the 47%.

Oh, but it's the reformers (and, again, this is a bipartisan effort; it's not just Democrats pushing reform) who are playing politics? Seems to me that Barletta and his bigoted ilk (and Barletta has a long record of anti-immigrant activity) are the ones doing that, trying to block any such reform because they think it would hurt Republicans at the polls. This may be true, to a point, in the short term, as Latinos have overwhelmingly sided with the Democrats over the past couple of election cyles, but what it suggests is that these anti-reform Republicans have given up ever trying to win the Latino vote, writing off Latinos as worthless to them.

Yes, that's the message this sends: Latinos are lazy, stupid bloodsuckers, and hopelessly so, so fuck 'em.

In stark contrast, President Obama and many of the reformers on Capitol Hill (not the Republicans who are doing this for partisan reasons becasue they're scared shitless by demographic changes that could isolate them further as the minority party) are leading with humanity and compassion, trying to fix an enormously inhumane problem.

All of which makes the bigotry of the Republican Party even more clear in its ugliness.

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