Feathered Bastard

DREAM Act Demise: Republicans, the Enemies of Christmas

I've always wondered who the Republicans hate more: Latinos or gays?

Now that the DREAM Act has failed a cloture vote in the U.S. Senate, while the effort to end Don't Ask Don't Tell succeeded, I guess we know.

Naturally, I'm more surprised by the latter than the former, but maybe I shouldn't be. There are likely more Republican gays than Republican Latinos nowadays. But ultimately, the GOP will rue its obstructionism in this matter.

Betraying their anti-slavery, anti-states' rights roots, the Republican Party -- the party of Abraham Lincoln and Dwight D. Eisenhower -- has become the party of reactionary white folks and a smattering of non-white stooges. 

Thing is, eventually -- perhaps as soon as 2050 -- Caucasians will no longer make up the majority of Americans.

Of course, 2050 is a long way off, and since Latinos are not yet the power at the polls that they should be, the GOP can afford to overlook them, even on an issue like the DREAM Act, which should be a nonpartisan no-brainer. 

The Democrats are not blameless. Five of them defected to the other side in the DREAM Act vote. Those five votes would have been enough to allow the Dems to lower the cloture boom, and cut off a threat of a filibuster.

But it was only a "threat" of a GOP filibuster Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid faced on the DREAM Act. Why not let Republican Senators pull a real filibuster, right before the holidays, holding up other important legislation?

The spectacle of the Republinuts denying undocumented kids, brought here through no fault of their own, a shot at legalizing their status, would have been an instructive one for the nation to observe.

The U.S. Senate has seen real filibustering before, where Senators talked nonstop in order to keep the debate going, and delay a vote on the legislation at hand. 

Most recently, Independent Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont filibustered the White House tax deal with Congressional Republicans, speaking for nine hours on the Senate floor. If the GOP had filibustered the DREAM Act, it would have been far more effective, as the Senators would be able to trade off speaking.

All the same, I wish the Dems had called the Repugnuts' bluff. The tuskers would've been the enemies of Christmas. Well, they are, mostly, but in a filibuster, it would have been that much more obvious.

Not all Republicans hate Hispanics -- the ethnic group that claims the majority of DREAMers. Indiana GOPer Dick Lugar, a longtime DREAM Act proponent, crossed lines to vote with Senate Dems, as did Senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Bob Bennett of Utah, both Republicans.

Kudos to them. Their votes cast even more shame on those Dems who turned coat, and voted with the other side.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons