Saturday, April 15, 2006

lobbing grenades in the propaganda wars

Just in case anyone was confused by the latest Republican propaganda, the wicked House bill that Latinos are reacting to is a Republican bill, not a Democratic one. Republican Rep. James Sensenbrenner introduced the bill making illegal immigration and aiding/abetting a felony, and then an amendment was introduced to soften it to a misdemeanor.

So the story goes, the Republicans added the amendment because they didn't want to give illegals the right to an attorney and a jury trial that would be afforded them if accused of a felony. Judging from the recent media onslaught, however, it looks like there was more to this.

The amendment was a trap. It was sorta like asking the Democrats, "Yes or no, have you stopped beating your wife?" If the Dems voted for it, the Republicans would say they were for criminalizing illegal immigration and selling out their principles; if they voted against, they were for felonizing illegal immigration.

The Democrats did the smart thing; they knocked down the amendment, because the Sensenbrenner bill in its original, undiluted state was more likely to scare lawmakers away and fail to pass the House, and extremely unlikely to survive the Senate.

Thus, the Republican tripe on the airwaves right now is a pathetic and mendacious attempt to foist their own scapegoating and hatemongering onto the Democrats who actually protected illegal immigrants and their families.

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