Friday, December 23, 2011

Editorial: Feds shrug off right-wing kibitzing

In today's editorial the unnamed Courier editor seems to anticipate a ruling by the SCOTUS that Arizona's beloved SB1070 is an illegal encroachment on federal jurisdiction and must be struck down. In a tone reminiscent of "Remember the Maine!" (does anyone?), he says, "as we have stated before, if the states are not to do the immigration work, then the federal government must. The legislation is a result of that lack of work."
     Yup, the editor's right -- federal responsibility over federal jurisdiction is correct. What he implies, though, and the reason for the whole argument in the first place, is this: "if the states are not to do the immigration work, then the federal government must according to how right-wing state legislators demand." This, I hope, is about to get the slapping-down it so impertinently deserves.
     The entire "immigration issue" as it's currently formulated was invented out of nothing by political manipulators and spread far and wide by political opportunists and unabashed racists with the sole aim of electing more Republicans. There is not and never has been any kind of public emergency or unusual problem related to illegal immigration. With Bush Jr showing just how badly a president can do in his second term, the Right needed something to run on, it's that simple, and it was brilliant in that it presented a problem that, in large part because it didn't exist, could never be solved in any practical manner.
     It worked. Lots of Republicans, with no better understanding of how the political world works than a hamster, got elected. But the legal wheel has at last turned to deal with the fundamental issues involved, as we always anticipated, and the customary overreach of the Right could well bring the whole shaky edifice down.
     Oh, and that Arpaio bust the editor mentions -- ICE refused to take Arpaio's prisoners because Arpaio has demonstrated severe malfeasance in how he arrests people, thereby screwing up the cases against them very broadly. This was Arpaio's fault, not the feds', and yet another clear example of why Maricopa County should boot Sheriff Joe from office forthwith.

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