Monday, November 11, 2013

Trash Day!

If you follow politics you are probably familiar with the phrase: “put it out with the trash.”  For the uninitiated, here is a primer.
Friday is ‘trash day” in Washington DC…specifically, Friday night after close of business.  That is when Washington insiders release volumes of information to the media; most of it nonsense…most of it irrelevant to the manner in which we live our daily lives.
It is among this mountain of nothingness that political class likes to disseminate information that may be politically damaging or embarrassing to whatever their cause might be at the time.  The hope is that the media will overlook the information as they scour this dumpster of material.  The theory is that even if the media manages to find the embarrassing nugget their reporting will fall during the weekend news cycle.  There it will reach smaller numbers and a less interested populace and hopefully lose its legs by Monday morning.  Thus the meaning of “put it out with the trash.”
That was certainly House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy’s plan when late last Friday night he informed the media that the House would not be voting on immigration reform this year.
As the third ranking member in the Republican Party, McCarthy has been pressured for months by Hispanic special interest groups to vote on the senate’s immigration reform bill.  They protested outside his office and badgered him constantly whenever he appeared in public.  Finally McCarthy relented and addressed the question. 
“Will the House take up a vote on the senate’s immigration reform bill?”  “Not his year” McCarthy said.  “There isn’t enough time.”  McCarthy vowed to take up the matter next year.
Not enough time?  Even under Eric Cantor’s lazy congressional schedule of “two weeks off for every one week worked” there are still 13 remaining days when the House will be in session.  The senate bill was passed last June.  Its components have been debated ad nauseam for the past five months.   How long does it take to vote?  Five minutes?  Yea or Nay?  Red button or green button!  Done!
The truth is that the senate bill has bi-partisan support and will pass in the House if Speaker Boehner allows a vote.  But Republicans want no part of this bill.  Because if there is one thing Republicans care about as much as keeping their own jobs…its preventing this president from doing his.  The president wants to pass immigration reform.  Republicans will do anything to keep him from getting a win.
McCarthy’s vow to take up the matter next year is simply a lie.  When was the last time you saw anything of consequence passed during an election year? 
Whatever happened to the “kinder, gentler more inclusive Republican Party that we were promised after the last elections?  Remember!  Romney had just gotten his butt kicked by the president.  Republicans retreated behind closed doors to finger point and figure out away to avoid another embarrassment in the future.  They emerged from that conclave promising to work with Democrats, to be more inclusive, to reach out to women and minorities.  They even produced a slick pamphlet out lining all the wonderful things they were going to do to be a “more inclusive” party. 
The only thing Republicans have done since that meeting is to vote to defund or repeal Obamacare 40+ times.
Republicans are stalling on immigration reform.  They will stall again next year as well.  They are gambling that in 2014 they can maintain control of the House and gain control of the Senate.  Then they will craft their own immigration reform bill…one that is heavy on fences, walls and alligator filled moats bet missing any path to citizenship.
Meanwhile, if you want any real news out of the Republican Party you’ll have to look in the trash.

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