Saturday, December 6, 2014
The stupid runs deep
First, and most obvious, what has Cruz et al. so worked up was President Obama saying that he was going to direct immigration officials to narrow their focus when it comes to deportations. That is, instead of casting a broad net that sweeps up everyone, concentrate instead on the undocumented aliens who have committed crimes, i.e., go after actual felons and gangbangers instead of harassing the dishwashers at Olive Garden. Somehow saying that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (an agency within the Department of Homeland Security) should be more focused in its efforts gets translated by the right into an unconstitutional power grab by the President. WTF? President Obama says, in effect, "do your job more efficiently" and suddenly he's a tyrant? Give me a break.
In any case, just what effect do the right-wingers think cutting off funding to Homeland Security will have? They're upset because the President has directed an agency that's part of the executive branch of government to NOT do something for a short period of time. This may come as a shock to some people, but NOT doing something doesn't cost any money. If anything, it saves some. So, if you cut off funding to the agency that's already been told not to do something, what's the net effect? Well, you've just made it a lot harder for that agency to do the stuff you actually want it to do (border patrol, for example) and you've had absolutely no effect on the thing that pissed you off. Does that make any sense whatsoever? I didn't think so.
Because border patrol, airport security, and other functions of Homeland Security are considered essential services of the government, none of those things will actually stop if Congress does try to withhold funding. All that will happen is the poor saps working for those agencies will see their paychecks stop while they're expected to continue working with the expectation they'll get paid eventually. It'll be a mess, a fair number of people will quit, and in the end it'll cost the government (which is another way of saying us, the taxpayers) a lot more money than if the Republicans had just had the basic smarts (and balls) to get serious about immigration reform on their own.
I'm not even going to get into just how blazingly, unbelievably stupid it is for border states that bitch constantly about porous borders to now turn around and sue the President over an executive order that directs ICE to improve border enforcement. Not surprisingly, Texas (ground zero for stupidity in this country) is leading the pack.
The stupid, it burns.