By the time you read this the Republican-only immigration “compromise” bill on which McMorris Rodgers said she was “working hard” (Green Bluff town hall on May 29th) will either be discarded by the House Republicans for lack of votes to pass it or she and the Republican leadership will scrape up enough Republican votes to sent it on to the Senate and legislative oblivion.
Her expressions of concern and sympathy for the Dreamers ring hollow in light of her actions. She refused to sign the discharge petition that fell just two signatures short of forcing a clean vote on the Dreamers fate, a discharge petition that would have temporarily loosened the stranglehold she and the Republican leadership hold on House business. No. Instead, she insisted on using the Dreamers as hostages for a Republican re-write of immigration law affecting all immigration.
In working to construct this disgusting Republican bill, McMorris Rodgers’ completely ducked any effort at bi-partisanship. Instead, she withdrew into the Republican propaganda bubble where all immigrates, legal or illegal are tarred with the same brush. McMorris Rodgers completely ignores a bi-partisan majority of Representatives who might have actually voted relief for the Dreamers in a clean bill.
Her rhetoric suggests motherly sympathy–her actions say she’ll smother her sympathy to appease Trump’s, Steven Miller’s, and Jeff Session”s xenophobia, racism, and subversion of American values manifest in their immigration demands.
I leave you today with this observation. Words matter. A week ago Mara Liasson, long time Washington D.C. political correspondent for National Public Radio, spoke at the Bing in downtown Spokane. She is an impressive intellect. Her careful choice of words drove home a very important point: words matter.
Ms. Liasson dispassionately pointed out the obvious, but little-remembered fact that Mr. Trump and his allies over years have set up an artificial and unnecessary aura of crisis around immigration. She cited Trump’s pre-election demonization of Mexicans as drug dealers and rapists, his post election unnecessary cancelation of DACA, the family separations, and, importantly, the early and ongoing linkage of the word “illegal” to any mention of the word “immigration.”
With impeccable verbal hygiene, each time Ms. Liasson mentioned the Republican “compromise” bills, she subtly emphasized reality: Both of these bills use rhetoric and impressions around “illegal” immigration in order to extract a sweeping changes in legal immigration.
Her carefully stated words hit me hard. I, constantly bathed in the bilge water that is Republican rhetoric, had started to think of immigrants as “illegal,” to imagine, somehow, that immigration was a “problem” in need of “fixing.” I gagged on that realization.
Listen carefully to the words. Listen to how the Republican propaganda machine pounds home its ideas. Use every opportunity to use the correct words: The Republicans, including our complicit honey-won’t-melt-in-her-mouth mom, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, are building a narrative around supposed horribly threatening illegal immigration in order to justify a massive cutback of legal immigration.
Words matter. Don’t let McMorris Rodgers get away with supporting Trump’s and Steven Miller’s racist, xenophobic agenda.
Keep to the high ground,