Last night the GOP trotted out a woman to deliver their response, once again expecting to wash away a long record of destructive stances towards a demographic by allowing one of them to have a moment in the spotlight. They tried it with Jindal and last year with Rubio. Their motive was obvious- to defuse the well-supported notion that the GOP has been and continues to conduct a war on women.
But it wasn't who said it but rather what was said that caught my attention and that happened when the Congresswoman talked about immigration.
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers said
"And yes, it's time to honor our history of legal immigration. We're working on a step-by-step solution to immigration reform by first securing our borders and making sure America will always attract the best, brightest, and hardest working from around the world... That is what we stand for -- for an America that is every bit as compassionate as it is exceptional."
Now, forgive me for being a teary-eyed idealist but a few years ago, I moved to Brooklyn and on my subway ride into the city, it comes above ground for a few stops and I'm able to see the Statue of Liberty off in a distance. At the base of it is a plaque with a poem, with which you might be familiar. Part of it reads:
"Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Now, poetry's not really my thing, so maybe some of you could help me along here and point out where it says we should only be looking to let in the bestests of all foreigners and to hell with those the GOP might consider "wretched refuse". And where is this "compassion" for those whose story or background might not be compelling as others?
Maybe it's time we just rip that plaque off of Lady Liberty and put it in the basement of the Smithsonian, a musty relic of a time long past.