UNLESS you're considered an 'undesirable'. You can equate the words 'immigrant' or 'immigration supporter' with undesirable. Evidence that 'patriotic' anti-government, destroy-the-union, divide-the-nation rhetoric is all about 'loving' your country in the hands of the teapublican party? (at least, as they see it):
"There's a lot of different scenarios," Perry said. "We've got a great union. There's absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that. But Texas is a very unique place, and we're a pretty independent lot to boot." -- Texas Governor Rick Perry addressing the Dallas tea party
Then there's this:
"Is it scary? It sure is," said Tea Party leader Al Gerhart of Oklahoma City, who heads an umbrella group of Tea Party factions called the Oklahoma Constitutional Alliance. "But when do the states stop rolling over for the federal government?"
...Tea party leader J.W. Berry of the Tulsa-based OKforTea began soliciting interest in a state militia through his newsletter under the subject "Buy more guns, more bullets."
Chris Matthews sums up the recent rash of Republican anti-government sentiment in the following statement:
There are people like Bill McCollum running for—he‘s attorney
general of Florida. He talks about this as an invasion of the sovereignty of Florida, this bill. They use words like "invasion." We‘ve got, of course, the governor of Texas using words like "succession." You‘ve got, We‘re going to meet them at the border, at the state line. That‘s a phrase used, We‘re going to meet the federal government at the state line and almost like a posse comitatus kind of thing, We‘re going to meet them with arms.
Thank goodness for Democrat Mike Shelton who saw the direction this argument was headed and offered legislation (now since passed) to make recruiting for militias, gangs, and other such organizations illegal in the state of Oklahoma and subject to incarceration!
Shelton's amendments would extend those penalties to other groups, including the Christian Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and "any independent military organization that is neither recognized nor authorized by the Commander in Chief of the Militia for the State of Oklahoma."
As has been pointed out many times before, the U.S. Constitution appoints the U.S. President as the commander-in-chief of state militias, as well. The teabagging crowd, and the elected republicans who have offered them support, were clearly unaware of that. I've come to learn that republicans claim to love the Constitution, as long as they're not forced to live by it. They also claim to love and respect the government, as long as they're in charge of it.
In addition to Shelton and his work in fighting back the madness in Oklahoma, thank goodness for the many others who are fighting and will continue to fight the madness and the bigotry of the Arizona anti-immigration bill. Why does it matter? These things are linked, they always have been and always will be if we don't recognize the pattern and put an end to it. Consider the hypocrisy of Arizona's anti-immigration law banning Ethnic Studies programs.
Under the ban, sent to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer by the state legislature Thursday, schools will lose state funding if they offer any courses that "promote the overthrow of the U.S. government, promote resentment of a particular race or class of people, are designed primarily for students of a particular ethnic group or advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals."
I believe in the right of citizens to be critical of their government. It's something I advocate. We should all question every move our government makes in our name. It is critical to our survival that we make sure that elected members never forget that they've been elected to work on our behalf, and not work toward lining their own pockets - which we've allowed them to do for far too long. They claim to come to Washington wanting to make a difference, but they often leave Washington wealthy, disinterested, and heavily paid for. Our current congress has worked harder to make a significant change in the lives of the American people (for the better) than at any other time in recent memory. It should be the rule, not the exception.
There are some concerns which Progressives and Conservatives (thinking conservatives) share. There are issues we have in common. What I don't understand is the radically different departure on those things on which we disagree. At some point, even the rank-and-file of the right wing (yet mostly wrong) party has to start asking why they're so easily led down paths that over time, have not served them well. They crow about being the 'party of Lincoln', but as Chris Matthews and others have pointed out, they've abandoned Lincoln's principles. Secessionist talk? Threats against and American President and his supporters? What part of that would Lincoln support?
They crow about their party's support for 'civil rights' in the 1960s- a gross exaggeration, yet they neglect to remind voters of where anti-integration Democrats like "States' Rights" Strom Thurmond ended up. After leaving the Democratic Party, and before defecting to the Republican party, Thurmond initially joined the "States' Rights Democratic Party" (the Dixiecrats) which included as part of its presidential platform of 1948 another race-based 'state's rights' issue:
- 3 -
We stand for social and economic justice, which, we believe can be guaranteed to all citizens only by a strict adherence to our Constitution and the avoidance of any invasion or destruction of the constitutional rights of the states and individuals. We oppose the totallitaran, centralized bureaucratic government and the police nation called for by the platforms adopted by the Democratic and Republican Conventions.- 4 -
We stand for the segregation of the races and the racial integrity of each race; the constitutional right to choose one's associates; to accept private employment without governmental interference, and to learn one's living in any lawful way. We oppose the elimination of segregation, the repeal of miscegenation statutes, the control of private employment by Federal bureaucrats called for by the misnamed civil rights program. We favor home-rule, local self-government and a minimum interference with individual rights.
One other oddity, but possibly not a coincidence? The headquarters were located at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Immigration is shaping up as the new civil rights issue. What part of the "pro-civil rights" party of the 1960s republicans claimed to be a part of has survived through to 2010? It wasn't true true then, it's not true now. It's not enough to attempt to stifle discussion about race, racism, immigration and integration by misrepresenting and then outlawing Ethnic Studies programs, citing them as subversive. Insult is added to injury by the same groups of people criminalizing critical nonviolent voices in some cases (Arizona) but supporting and praising clearly violent and anti-government voices in other cases (in Oklahoma, on rifle-site filled web pages, etc, etc, etc)
The right wing is wrong again, and unfortunately for them, while time will show them the error of their ways, it will probably do little to change their behavior. Without significant change, they will most likely continue to shrink as a party, as the national ethos and demographics change. I would never say that we are at the end of the republican party, but if it happens in my lifetime, I wouldn't miss it. In the event of its demise, hopefully nothing worse would come along to take the place of the republican party.
There is this report from the Dallas tea party 'rally', and it puts all into perspective:
For perhaps the only time Wednesday evening, the masses assembled outside Dallas City Hall grew quiet as the man who drew them there, Phillip Dennis, hunched over a wooden lectern, his eyes narrowing.
"We will be called haters, and we are. We are haters of big-spending politicians. We will be called racists, and we are – we are members of the human race," Dennis, a McKinney resident, said as silence turned to roars.
Nice, huh? That's something to be proud of... only not. Way to go on the word play, there.