Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

New Lows for Tea Party Meanness

House curmudgeons are working on a trifecta of malice and spite. Not only are they gutting the Senate immigration bill, John Boehner’s Scrooges are taking food out of the mouths of poor children while renewing subsidies for corporate farmers who don’t need them and trying to hobble a 2010 law with new food safety provisions before it goes into effect.

Patriots with “the bloodlines of the Founding Fathers” are resisting a “huge influx” of low-wage foreigners who would become a burden on the federal government. “You bring in foreigners who are going to be net tax producers, not net tax consumers,” says one House sage.

They want to reform immigration in “bite sizes,” spending billions on border security now while, like Scarlett O’Hara, promising to think about pathways to citizenship tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the House passes a 608-page farm bill, the first since 1973 not to include food stamps. Eric Cantor says they will act on those “with dispatch” but does not specify when.

Such patterns of disdain for the poor and helpless, coupled with concern for wealth and power, have become so pronounced that they are parodying themselves. Little wonder that a new Gallup poll finds “Hispanics of all ages in the U.S. today are more than twice as likely to identify with or lean to the Democratic Party rather than the Republican Party.”

If voters act with awareness next year, such Tea Party antics may be gone with the wind, but for now, we have the departing Michele Bachmann warning that immigration reform would give the President “a perpetual magic wand, and nobody’s giving him a spanking yet and taking it out of his hand.”

Symbolically, as Bachmann sounds off, one of her aides is being arrested for “a string of burglaries” at the House Office Building. Not all redistributions of wealth, it would seem, are off limits.

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