When you see things like this, it’s no wonder most Americans have thrown in the towel when it comes to our elected officials, or their ability to govern. It seems that Washington has turned into nothing more than a glorified play-pen where these immature toddlers, masquerading as elected officials, squabble about anything and everything on the taxpayers dime. Actually, that might be an insult to toddlers.
Senate Republicans Tuesday, decided to boycott a subcommittee hearing on Arizona’s immigration law, SB 1070, citing “political theater” by the Democrats and the fact that the case is set to be brought before the Supreme Court on Wednesday:
“This is not an attempt at having a sincere hearing on the merits,” Cornyn said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the Democrat majority seems to have embraced President Obama’s ‘mañana’ approach to immigration reform.”
Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) also said the hearing was “strictly political theater” aimed at garnering publicity and trying to influence Wednesday’s oral arguments before the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the state measure.
“I will not participate in today’s hearing because it is strictly political theater,” Kyl said in a statement. “The timing of the hearing just one day ahead of the Supreme Court’s review of the law suggests that its purpose is either to influence the court’s decision or to garner publicity.”
‘Mañana’ approach? Political theater? And we can be certain that no Republican has ever been guilty of those, can’t we?
To be fair, it was pretty pathetic from the Democratic side as well. Besides Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who called the hearing, only Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) bothered to show up. Between the two of them, they grilled several witnesses, including the author of Arizona’s “Papers, Please” law, Russell Pearce, who was thumped out of office last year by voters, and got in a verbal tussle with Schumer and told the committee that perhaps parents should get an ID for their kids to avoid confusion over whether a child is legal or not:
Schumer also wondered why the bill did not exempt minors from having to produce proof of citizenship.
“Again, reasonableness is the thing,” Pearce said.
“All the children can be checked and should be checked under the law and its regulations,” Schumer pointed out. “What are the children supposed to show?”
“Mr. Chairman, if they don’t have ID then they’re not supposed to show anything,” Pearce replied. “You’re not required to have ID unless you’re a driver or — In Arizona, we allow parents to go and get an Arizona ID at any age if a parent so chooses.”
“So you think under this law, children, to prevent themselves from being sent to a detention center or whatever, would have to carry some kind of ID?” Schumer observed.
“Mr. Chairman, that’s not accurate,” the former Arizona Senate president insisted. “Mr. Chairman, there’s a reasonableness, again, inferred. You know, you’re taking the extreme and I understand trying to make a point, but, Mr. Chairman, it’s just not accurate. It’s just not so.”
“This makes exceptions to law enforcement, you know to make reasonable decisions based on the circumstances at the time. I think it’s demeaning to law enforcement to assume they don’t know how to do their job in a respectful proper manner,” he remarked.
Unfortunately for Schumer, even adversaries of the bill were unhappy about his decision to hold a hearing:
Immigration activist and former Arizona State Senate majority leader Alfredo Gutierrez (D), who opposes SB 1070 but was not in attendance, also wasn’t convinced that the hearing was more than politics.
Gutierrez pointed out in an email that Pearce was measured and calm during the hearing, despite a 30-minute-straight questioning from Schumer.
“This cynical circus by Schumer and his fellow Dems is backfiring on him,” he wrote in an email. “A reasonable sounding Pearce is being given a platform to further espouse his views. I think Schumer thought Pearce would be unintelligent, clumsy and unprepared … Schumer [is] getting an unpleasant surprise.”
I think Gutierrez could be right.