With GOP on the verge of committing suicide by immigrant-bashing, Boehner and Cantor desperately seek a way out.
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Wednesday offered an endorsement for a proposal to grant citizenship to children who were brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents.
"This is about basic fairness," Boehner said one week after convening a two-hour meeting to discuss immigration with his conference. "These children were brought here of no accord of their own, and frankly they’re in a very difficult position," he said. "And I think many of our members believe that this issue needs to be addressed."
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) recently sounded a very similar note. “It’s an issue of decency and compassion,” he said. “Where else would these kids go?”
To that end, The Hill reports that Cantor and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) are crafting a bill to deal with children brought to the U.S. illegally, and the measure will likely get an initial House hearing next week.
Of course, Benen points out some problems with this new line by House GOP leadership. First, they hated the DREAM Act when it first came around. Boehner and Cantor both voted against it. Further, “just last month, nearly every member of the House Republican caucus voted to deport Dream Act kids.” And finally, if the DREAM Act got passed, it wouldn’t be any sort of aternative to immigration reform, since it doesn’t protect the families of all these newly-minted citizens. “Congratulations, we’ve passed the Dream Act and you can stay,” Benen imagine House GOP saying. “Now say goodbye to your mom and dad.”
The fact is that immigration reform is dying in the House, Boehner and Cantor recognize that this would be electoral suicide for their party, but they can’t do anything to stop it because the “leadership” part of “House leadership” is entirely theoretical. They both lead by following and when the two bump heads, as they often do, the disagreement is over what faction should be leading them around by the nose.
So, politics still being the art of the possible, they see the DREAM Act as something they could maybe, possibly, with a little luck talk enough self-destructively bigoted Tea Party nutjobs into passing. Then they’ll just start talking about it as “immigration reform” and hope — as they always do — that voters are too stupid to know the difference.
Every year, I watch House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) speak at the Aspen Ideas Festival, hoping he’ll go beyond trite talking points and demonstrate some degree of intellectual rigor or policy depth. And every year, I’m disappointed.
Another day, another Republican victim card.
Republican aides are calling out the White House for scheduling President Barack Obama’s remarks on avoiding the sequester at the same time House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is delivering a major address Tuesday afternoon.
Cantor’s address to the American Enterprise Institute at 1 p.m. has been on the books for weeks, and is billed by his aides as an agenda-setting speech — and one, that according to excerpts, will continue the party’s shift away from a singular focus on fiscal issues.
“Why are they so worried about Americans hearing positive ideas on how to help working families,” asked a Cantor aide. “We’re flattered they’re putting so much emphasis on Leader Cantor’s remarks.”
The problem for Republicans here is that Cantor’s speech is not of Earth-shattering importance by any means. According to Politico:
Cantor plans to introduce his vision of America in a Tuesday speech at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. It includes granting more visas for highly educated workers, eliminating medical-device taxes and simplifying tax filings. His aides concede that all he’s doing is “taking policies that have been on the shelf for a while, or back burner, and elevating them.” He’s not completely abandoning Republicans’ core focus on slashing spending, just pairing it with other more palatable talk.
So it’s basically all the same old crap, arranged in a different order. Cantor’s trying to sell the same stuff no one likes by putting it into a brand new box. As Steve Benen says, “After digesting their 2012 setbacks, Republicans are absolutely convinced that the only thing standing between the party and electoral success is better rhetoric — the public would love the far-right agenda, if only GOP officials presented it in a more compelling fashion.”
Politico calls Cantor’s speech “Cantor 4.0.” “This isn’t Cantor’s first crack at repackaging Republicanism,” we’re reminded. “Or second. Or third.” It’s the fourth time Eric Cantor’s tried the same old “let’s pretend we’re different now” strategy. It’s a tiresome exercise in futility — does he really believe it’s going to work any better the fourth time than it did the first?
This may very well be one of the least consequential speeches of Eric Cantor’s career. No one’s going to lose any sleep over not watching it live. Republicans can stop whining now.
'As sex-discriminatory as legislation can get': how social conservatives see the VAWA.
Both sides do it.
This platitude is one of the most destructive myths in politics. But when it comes to the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which was drafted in 1994 by then-senator Joe Biden and signed into law by President Bill Clinton, the “both sides do it” canard becomes especially disgusting — and not just because the House GOP alone is responsible for letting the law lapse for the first time in over a decade and a half.
Writing in Townhall, longtime anti-feminist activist Phyllis Schlafly says that VAWA is “as sex-discriminatory as legislation can get.” Why? Because it isn’t designed to protect men. Schlafly argues that domestic violence is a problem that affects men and women equally: “A Centers for Disease Control survey found that half of all partner violence was mutual, and 282 scholarly studies reported that women are as physically aggressive, or more aggressive, than men.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control, women are more three times more likely to be killed, stalked or raped by an intimate partner than men. Arguing that women often start domestic violence doesn’t just ignore the obvious inherent physical difference between men and women, it echoes an excuse often used by abusers themselves.
“Half of all partner violence was mutual” isn’t extremely surprising. If someone’s beating on me, I’m going to hit back. But in Schlafy’s world, this means that the woman was either beating up on the man or asking for what she got. I’d think I wouldn’t have to point out that this is a sick worldview, but apparently I do. Schlafly’s always been bizarrely anti-woman, but this is just above and beyond.
And it was Eric Cantor who blocked the VAWA in the House, because of “provisions to extend protections to Native American women and undocumented women, as well as lesbian, bisexual and transgender women.” I guess some women are deserving of being slapped around more than other whiter and straighter women. After all, it’s the Violence Against Women Act, not the Violence Against All Women Act. Gotta watch out for that government overreach, you know.
After losing the female vote by a landslide in 2012, Republicans continue to wage their War on Women. If Republicans think women aren’t watching and keeping score here, they’re completely unable to learn from the past.