Contempt of Congress used to be a serious offense. Those who were accused of it faced prosecution, fines and perhaps worse.
These days, we are being subjected to contempt by Congress – more specifically, by the U.S. Senate. As it prepares to ram down our throats a seriously defective “comprehensive immigration reform” bill thrown together by the so-called “Gang of Eight” led by Sen. Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York, and several fellow travelers (notably, Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Republican Senators Bob Corker of Tennessee and John Hoeven of North Dakota), that contempt is palpable. Let us count the ways:
O Contempt for the national security: To be sure, what amounts to a Schumer-Corker-Hoevel amendment is ostensibly meant to fix our present border insecurity. A clue about its true purpose and character is that it has been put forward with the blessing of the Gang of Eight (rightly dubbed “the Gangsters) in the wake of their assiduous, and to date successful, efforts to prevent real fixes when they were offered in previous amendments.
In fact, as one of the most effective opponents of this legislation, rising Republican rock-star Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, noted at Red State on June 24th (https://www.redstate.com/ted_cruz/2013/06/23/latest-deal-from-the-senate-pass-amnesty-first-read-the-bill-later/), the “national security” amendment the Gangsters now profess to favor actually weakens existing border and interior security laws in a number of ways. It also will, as a practical matter, end arrests and deportations necessary to enforce statutes relevant to illegal immigration.
At a minimum, the amendment persists in the fatal flaw inherent in the Gangsters’ initiative from the get-go: It provides amnesty first, in the form of legal status as Registered Provisional Immigrants (RPIs), and national security second. And there is no reason to believe that promises broken again and again in the past on the latter score will be honored this time.
O Contempt for the Senate itself: The order of the day is to jam through this legislation with limited opportunity to read the Gangsters’ bill, let alone seriously debate its contents. The Schumer-Corker-Hoeven version is nearly 1200-pages long. And it amends the underlying Gang of Eight bill in myriad ways besides purportedly bracing up its now-acknowledged shortcomings on securing the border.
Two things seem to be operating behind these changes: 1) creating a false impression of that shortfalls in the underlying bill’s border and interior security provisions are being meaningfully addressed; and 2) buying swing senators’ votes by including a number of their favorite hobby-horses.
O Contempt for the rule of law: This legislation will reward with amnesty people who have, as their first act in the United States, broken the law to get here. The Gang of Eight bill not only responds to such felonious conduct by giving individuals who may include terrorists, drug-dealers, human-traffickers, etc. the right to become U.S. citizens. It also relieves them of any responsibility for having done what many did once they got here, namely broken a host of other laws, as well.
The end result will be not only to make citizens out of people we definitely do not want here. The effect will also be to destroy the cardinal principle of equal justice under the law and, with it, our existing citizens’ confidence in their government.
O Contempt for Republicans: A number of GOP senators are evidently prepared to vote for this monstrosity on the grounds that, if they don’t, alienated Hispanic voters will condemn them permanently to the minority. Actually, that will certainly be their fate if they do vote for it.
There is no persuasive evidence that Hispanic immigrants from cultures where government-dependency is the norm will align with a party that professes to revere individual responsibility and seeks to shrink the welfare state. Republicans simply can’t out-pander the Democrats in appealing to such a constituency. What is evident, though, is that large numbers of conservatives and Republicans won’t vote for those who inflict this travesty upon our country.
O Contempt for the American people: The sponsors of the latest amendment clearly believe the public, their constituents included, are no wiser to the ways of Washington than when Obamacare was foisted upon us. They contemptuously think we are too stupid to notice that once again we are being force-fed an obscenely voluminous bill, conjured up behind closed doors, with limited opportunities to read its contents before critical votes are taken and the promise that we’ll know what’s in it once it’s passed.
In his first Senate race in 1994, then-Rep. Jim Inhofe was running against a Democratic colleague, Rep. Dave McCurdy. The latter made the strategic error of showing contempt for his constituents at some hoity-toity public event “back east,” declaring that folks in Oklahoma’s idea of quality entertainment is “sitting in a backyard with a six-pack of beer and a bug-zapper.” In the hands of the brilliant political strategist Fred Davis, a devastating ad’s tag line ran: “If that’s what Dave McCurdy thinks of Oklahoma, let’s show Dave what we think of him.” In short order, the Democrat’s contemptuousness became the end of his political career.
Every Senator who votes for the Schumer-Corker-Hoeven amendment and, thereby, helps to enact what can only be correctly described as immigration deform, is on notice: Later if not sooner, the American people will show them what we think of their serial contempt for all of us.