Feathered Bastard

Karl Rove, Tom Ridge and Janet Napolitano Disapprove of SB 1070, 24 Arrested in Illinois in Civil Disobedience, Activists Target Arizona Diamondbacks

Republicans Tom Ridge and Karl Rove have both expressed disapproval of Arizona's new pro-racial profiling law, which was signed by Governor Jan Brewer last week.

Tom Ridge, who was the first Homeland Defense secretary under President George W. Bush and is a former Governor of Pennsylvania, said he was "uncomfortable" with what he had heard of the Arizona legislation. He also went so far as to suggest that Congress needs to "legitimize" the status of the 12 million-plus undocumented in the U.S.

"It's ridiculous to think ... we're going to identify 12 million to 14 million people and send them back," the AP quotes him as saying.

Republican political strategist Karl Rove, often referred to as "Bush's brain" and the architect of W's 2000 and 2004 presidential wins, has also expressed misgivings.

"I think there is going to be some constitutional problems with the bill," he stated while addressing a Florida crowd during a book tour. "I wished they hadn't passed it, in a way."

Governor Jan Brewer, however, vowed defiance of the growing opposition to the law she signed Friday, writing on her Facebook page that supporters should "Rest assured, we will not back down."

Meanwhile, Department of Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano explained during a congressional hearing yesterday that from a "law enforcement perspective" the law was troubling.

"We believe it will detract from and siphon resources that we need to focus on those in the country illegally who are those who are committing the most serious crimes," she said.

In Illinois, 24 activists were arrested during an act of civil disobedience where they blocked a deportation van at a federal detention facility located in Broadview, just outside Chicago. The protesters chanted "Illinois is not Arizona" as they linked arms and placed themselves in front of the van.

The action to some degree mirrored the protest of nine college students who chained themselves to the doors of the Arizona Capitol building last week before being arrested for disorderly conduct. Will we see more such civil disobedience here in Sand Land? Could the anti-immigrant sweep by Sheriff Joe Arpaio this week be the catalyst for similar actions?

Regarding the widening boycott of the state, first called for by Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva, seven members of the Los Angeles City Council signed a boycott proposal yesterday, joining efforts by some on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to embrace a boycott of Arizona. As part of a boycott, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has imposed a ban on city employees traveling to Arizona.

"I'm wondering if we look at the map of Congressman Grijalva's congressional district, if we haven't already ceded that component of Arizona to Mexico, judging by the voice that comes out of him. He's advocating for Mexico rather than the United States and against the rule of law, which is one of the central pillars of American exceptionalism."

King's a longtime hater of the Mexican people, and has used his office to promote bogus crime stats about undocumented immigrants, so his McCarthy-esque remarks regarding Grijalva come as no surprise.

The move for a boycott of Arizona is also being aimed at the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team. Sportswriter Dave Zirin of the Progressive Magazine supports the boycott, and has written that he will not be covering the Diamondbacks "for the foreseeable future."

Bloggers such as Crooks and Liars' John Amato are supporting the boycott, and Facebook pages have sprung up directed at protesting or boycotting the D-backs' away games. How successful such a targeting of the D-backs will be, remains to be seen. But the effort is certainly afoot.

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