"This is a self-inflicted crisis, made up by the Republicans. It is dangerous, it is the height of irresponsibility, and it's unnecessary."-Barbara Boxer, February 24, 2015 (regarding the GOP threat of a Department of Homeland Security shutdown.)
I love this lawmaker, and I love this speech. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) minced no words on Tuesday when addressing Republicans in Congress. There are so many outstanding quotes, I found it hard to choose only a few. More jewels can be found in the C-SPAN2 video at the bottom of the page. During the beginning of her discourse, Senator Boxer states:
We all know Republicans won in huge numbers in the 2014 election, and they took over the United States Senate and they run it. They run it. Or at least they're trying to run it. And let's be clear, less than eight weeks after they took over the Senate, we are facing a shutdown; a shutdown of the very agency that protects the health, the safety, the lives, of the American people - the Department of Homeland Security. They're shutting down the program that funds our police officers back home, our firefighters, our first responders. Any way you look at it - this is a national disgrace. And think about what our friends abroad, and those who are not our friends, are thinking about this. Republicans say, 'Oh, we're in danger, we have to go to go to war, put combat troops on the ground!' But they're wiling to shut down the department that protects Americans here in the homeland, from a terrorist attack. How does it make sense, at a time when we're facing serious threats to our national security, to furlough 30,000, thirty thousand, department of homeland security workers, and to force more than 100,000 frontline homeland security personnel to work without pay? Why don't theses senators go without their pay? Give up your pay! Give up your healthcare, give up your benefits, if this is so important to you. Oh, no, they'll collect their pay!
Senator Boxer reminds Congress that this shutdown threat is in retaliation to President Obama's recent plan for immigration. Boxer talks about those at risk of being deported. She talks about children who were born to American immigrants (as she was) who would be torn away from each other if the GOP had their way.
"I thought they were the party of 'family values.' Show me where that's true, ripping families apart. I thought they were the party of 'economic prosperity.' Show me how that's true, when we know from study after study show that one of the greatest things we can do for our economy and job creation is get people out of the shadows so they can go buy a home and hold a good job. They (Republicans) can't or won't pass an immigration bill. They will not do their job. So when the president steps in and does his job, they say, Oh, this is terrible! Let's shutdown a totally unrelated department. The Department of Homeland Security.
To make her points about Republican hypocrisy, Boxer brings up the GOP's 'claim' of caring about fiscal responsibility and executive orders. The senator references The Center for American Progress, saying it would cost more than $50 Billion to deport the entire population that the president is protecting.
And here's the deal - I've never heard of a Republican (and I will stand corrected if any Republican corrects me) I've never heard of a Republican complaining when President Eisenhower used his executive order power to help immigrants, when President Nixon did the same thing to protect immigrants, when President Ronald Reagan, their hero, protected immigrants, when George Bush Sr. protected immigrants, when George W. protected immigrants, they all used their authority. Show me one Republican that stood up and said, 'Oh, this is outrageous! Let's impeach the president!' But it's President Obama. And they're annoyed because he won twice. Sorry. Sorry. Wake up and smell the roses. He IS the President. And he is doing the right thing for America, because he loves America.
Boxer goes on to tell several stories, one about a young woman name Anna, born to hardworking undocumented immigrant parents. Anna has come out of the shadows and is now studying to be a bilingual first grade teacher.
So tell me, Republicans, how does it make sense to deport people like Anna, split her up from her parents, when all they want to do is contribute to the country that they love. How does it make sense? How does it make sense? Because you're too incompetent to hold a vote on your immigration plan? You want to kick people out of the country? Put it to a vote! Let's go. You want to deport 11 million people? Put it to a vote. Don't hide behind the Homeland Security Bill, holding the President's work hostage. You never did it to the other presidents. Our national security is at stake, our family values are at stake. And our economy is at stake here. So get over the fact that you don't like the president. We get it. You couldn't beat him. Too bad for you. But you're in charge here, in the Senate. Do your job! Don't hold it hostage due to your hatred of this president, and I use that word because that's what I think. That's what I think….
So I say to my Republican friends. There's a presidential race coming. Forget this last one. Get over it. Okay? Let's work together. Listen, I served with five presidents. I'm a strong Democrat. Everyone will tell you that. But I respect the office of the presidency. If I didn't agree with Ronald Reagan, I came down here and said it. But we had the respect back and forth. If we lost, we lost. And we moved on. And that worked both ways. I know what it is not to like the policies of a president. I get it. But don't overdo it and make it so personal. Get on with it. Grow up. Do your job, you know? Do your job! Have respect for the office of the presidency. Don't suddenly say executive orders are bad when the president you don't like does it, but you don't say one word when a Republican president does the same thing!
The speech is glorious and worth watching. Some of her vocal and physical inflections will make you smile. Boxer is not only speaking out for Democrats, she is speaking out for Americans. Her words are rousing and affirming, much like those in the speeches of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts). Republican extremists are getting away with the closest thing to treason many of us have witnessed in our lifetimes. And it's not only betrayal against the President, it's betrayal against the U.S. Constitution and the tax-payers/citizens. Here's hoping Barbara Boxer's words will resonate across social media. And let's see if mainstream media picks up on a politician like this, instead of the ego-driven Tea Party clowns like Ted Cruz. I mean, for crying out loud. Last month, Barbara Boxer announced she is retiring from the Senate. Hopefully, we'll see this lawmaker turn up in an even more influential position. For those who'd like to try and persuade her from retiring, or send thanks for her many years of service, you can write/call Senator Boxer here:
Senator Barbara Boxer 112 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510 (202) 224-3553 (202) 224-0454 fax Visit this Visit this page for more contact information.
Here is the video of Boxer's speech: It feels good.
It feels plenty good to see more Democrats grab the mic and tell Republicans, and this country, what time it is. Thank you, Senator Boxer.