Friday, September 23, 2011

Alien Invasion

In my opinion, gutless is bad but heartless is worse. I may be unhappy with the roll-over modus operandi of President Obama, but I am appalled at the right wing stances of the current crop of Republicans who are running to replace him. Last night's GOP debate was particularly painful when it came to the issue of immigration.

Of course, at this point in the race, the candidates are busy trying to knock the leaders from their positions. Romney is getting walloped for his Massachusetts health care plan. Perry is getting nailed for his stand on Social Security and, now, for his comments on allowing the children of illegal immigrants access to Texas universities under that state's version of the Dream Act. It is that latter issue that set my teeth on edge primarily because of the cutesy framing employed by the other candidates.

From the Los Angeles Times:

Romney wasted no time slamming Perry. “It's an argument I just can't follow,” he said. “I don't see how it is that a state like Texas -- to go to the University of Texas, if you're an illegal alien, you get an in-state tuition discount. You know how much that is? It's $22,000 a year. Four years of college ... almost a $100,000 discount, if you're an illegal alien, to go to University of Texas. If you're a United States citizen from any one of the other 49 states, you have to pay $100,000 more. That doesn't make sense to me.” ...

Earlier, Michele Bachmann staked out a hard-line stance on immigration. ...

And she directed her final barb directly at Perry, her rival for "tea party" support: “And here’s the other thing I would do: I would not allow taxpayer-funded benefits for illegal aliens or for their children.”
[Emphasis added]

There was a time when the use of the term "alien" was acceptable as a descriptor for one not a citizen of this country. Even as a technical term, however, it was loaded with an ugly connotation that went far beyond the sense of "foreign" into the realm of "not quite human." Gradually the term began losing its currency among the rational as new terms evolved. While I prefer "undocumented" as a replacement, I am not particularly offended by "illegal immigrant" as the designation for those who come to this country without formal permission.

Neither of those new terms has the cachet that the Right Wing apparently demands of its representatives. It would prefer the "not quite human" designation, especially for those who traverse our southern border. I guess Canadians get a free pass, probably because their skin tones more closely match the preferred color.

Many of my friends have been groaning about the number of debates in such a short time frame (and the debates will keep coming until the first primary sorts things out or one of the top contenders gets caught with a significant wardrobe malfunction). Me, I'm perfectly happy to let the Republicans point out the flaws in each of their candidates, especially since the Democrats haven't done such a hot job in doing so.

Besides, I still have plenty of popcorn.

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Blogger Florence said...

It is a sad irony that candidates for public office are ashamed of the few worthy things they have done--Perry and allowing the children of immigrants in-state tuition and Romneys health care for all state residents. But they are proud to want to trample on the poor while aiding the extremely wealthy. Ironic indeed.

6:51 AM  

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