The Endangered Specious Act
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, please direct your attention to the Center Ring as the Republican Party does the Death-Defying inexplicable without a net!!!
Yesterday, the Trump administration announced two executive actions. One, that would strip away major protections from the Endangered Species Act, and the other that basically does what it can to block immigrants from coming into the United States. Among its provisions are that you need to show proof of private health insurance and a strong credit rating -- and if you apply for public benefits, you can't get a green card.
So much for "Give me your tired, your poor."
And not a peep from the elected officials of the Republican Party who enable him and are complicit in it all, everything.
Several months back, I wrote about a Trump action that gave lie to his and the Republican Party's insistence that their concern is "only" with illegal immigration, not all immigrants. With this action yesterday, I think we can dot the "i's" and cross the final "t's" and put this one to rest. Which in the end, xenophobia, is another of those definition check marks on the "Is it fascism?" list.
The thing is, this isn't just "fascist" and gut-wrenchingly despicable, but bizarrely like the most mind-numbingly counter-productive political move I can imagine, and I say that without hyperbole. I saw a headline yesterday, and thought it missed the sub-headline. So, I added it --
Republicans Gut Endangered Species Act.
Party decides it doesn't want itself to be federally protected anymore.
I've written often that one of the more near-inexplicable things in politics over the past 50 years or so is how the Republican Party has convinced so many people to vote against their own self-interests. Little did I think the GOP would do the same thing to itself. What the Republican Party has been doing towards Latinos is a deep layer of psychotic madness towards its own survival.
For decades, Latinos were a mainstay of the GOP, largely based on their strong Christian faith. Anti-abortion was a strong foundation of that tie. It was one of the groups Republicans could count on. Furthermore, Latinos are well-recognized as the fastest growing demographic in the United States. And despite all that, Republicans for years have been doing everything they can to push Latinos away to the Democratic Party. And they've ratchested it up under Trump to a higher level, totally accepted by the Party.
Latino voting for Democrats is not yet at the same level yet as the Black community, but they’ve certainly been pushed far away from the Republican Party. Once a very safe GOP group, in 2016 they voted 66% for Hillary Clinton I’m quite sure that that number is going to be much higher in 2020. Yet this effort to lose the Latino vote is even more insane than that – six years ago the GOP put out a position report on the future of the party and they specifically made a point of saying they would be doing more outreach in the Hispanic community to get them back.
It was called the "Growth and Opportunity Project" (GOP, for short...). And within the study, they themselves noted that whites as a majority could end in 30 years or so. It said that unless Latinos, Asian Americans, and African Americans could be brought back into the Republican Party demographic changes would “tilt the playing field even more in the Democratic direction.”
This wasn't some third-party liberal think tank document that could be dismissed with an uncaring wave of the end. This was Their Own Report!! So, Republicans KNEW it was a problem for them, and they SAID they had to work to get Latinos back! And what did they do over the never six years??? They pushed them so much further into the Democratic camp that they might stay there fore generations.
The horrific insensitivity of it aside, that's what is SO utterly nuts about the GOP pushing the Latino community away. I get Trump doing it – he’s a white supremacist. But the rest of the party leadership and elected officials knows better. They know SO WELL that this is the fast-growing voter group – and one that was traditionally strong-reliable Republican -- that they wrote about outreach to Latinos being a top priority!!! And they not only did the opposite, they did it so deeply that it will likely have long, lingering impact.
Even ignoring the hideous racism of it, it’s just mind-mindnumbingly idiot politics. But when you make a white supremacist your bus driver, and pander to the base that adores him blindly, and get the party leaders and elected officials to agree and enable it all, you deserve what you get.
Unfortunately others have to pay the immediate price. But I believe it is short term. In the long-run -- and by "long-run" we might be talking about only 15 months from now -- it is poised to turn around.
GOP Guts the Endangered Species Act.
So, the Republican Party wants to be all-white, ignorant and rich. As the expression goes -- Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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