AL’s early morning post covered the human dimensions of the refugee crisis, and commenters linked to organizations that are attempting to help the innocent kids caught up in this geopolitical nightmare. Here are a few thoughts about the political dimensions.
The US is at a real crossroads on immigration, and this border crisis could blow the whole damn thing up. It’s obvious that the Republicans are counting on that, actually, because what else have they got? The question is, who will get blown up: Them? Or us?
We know that in the long-term, Republicans’ anti-immigrant hysteria is unsustainable; their big business paymasters don’t like it because it blocks a source of cheap labor, and imprinting their contempt for non-whites will doom Republicans to become a regional rump party as this country becomes more diverse.
Republicans with the baseline sentience of a turnip know this, hence Rubio’s and others’ feeble attempts to encourage reform, which ended in a humiliating retreat every time as the base rejected anything but balls-to-the-wall anti-immigrant hate.
But are we at that tipping point right now — are we at a place nationally where participating or benefiting from anti-immigrant hysteria dooms a candidate on the national stage? I’m not convinced that we are.
If the Republicans can manufacture and exploit a crisis that allows them to look like guardians of the border and saviors of American jobs and culture (read: white), they might get one more shot at looting the Treasury, stacking the deck even more firmly in favor of the wealthy and larding the Supreme Court with wingnut ideologues who will be a curse upon the land for another generation after Obama leaves office.
As is frequently the case with Republicans, they may overreach. One source of that overreach could be the militia crazies — emboldened in part by the Bundy Ranch clown show, which they regard as a roaring success.
As Crooks & Liars noted, one Bundy-inspired attempt to lure armed lunatics to the border recently fizzled. But that’s largely because the man who served as its rallying point was even less ready for prime time than Bundy proved to be.
Let’s hope no one who meets even Fox News’ subterranean standards for Constitution-humping patriot hero emerges with a similar message; things could get really ugly if unhinged gun fetishists converge on the border hopped up on hate, heat and meth.
But if this crisis drags on as summer wanes — and we can count on the Republicans to do everything they can to ensure that it does — I’m not sure where we’ll end up. Too many wildcards in play. What do you think?