“Artificial Republican Unity On Immigration”: There’s No Reason For Progressives To Be Defensive About Obama’s Actions

Originally posted on mykeystrokes.com:

The grand irony of the president’s immigration action is that it was to a considerable extent the product of intra-Republican disunity on immigration policy–yet it will unite the GOP in real and fake outrage.

For all the yelling and screaming about “Emperor Obama,” his action was temporary and could be instantly revoked by a Republican president or superseded by legislation from a Republican Congress. But Republicans are in complete disarray on the subject, though there is a distinct trend towards “deport ‘em all” nativism (though not the will to provide the resources necessary to “deport ‘em all,” which would make actions like Obama’s impossible).

At present, though, the Establishment Republicans who privately view their nativist “base” as a bunch of destructive yahoos can join with said yahoos in an orgy of recrimination, mooting their agreement with the substance of what Obama is doing even as they pretend they believe the…

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Fear

State of Fear by Michael Crichton published in 2004. I read this book because Senator James Inhofe cited it in support of his contention that global warming is a hoax in his book The Greatest Hoax published in 2012. I will discuss Inhofe’s book in a future post; today I am going to comment on Crichton’s book, but not the global warming discussion. Instead I want to comment on fear used as a tool to manipulate and control the electorate.

Crichton postulates a politico-legal-media complex, PLM, more powerful by far than Eisenhower’s military-industrial complex.

“… Western nations are fabulously safe. Yet people do not feel they are, because of the PLM. And the PLM is powerful and stable, precisely because it unites so many institutions of society. Politicians need fears to control the population. Lawyers need dangers to litigate, and make money. The media need scare stories to capture an audience. Together, these three estates are so compelling that they can go about their business even if the scare is totally groundless. If it has no basis in fact at all…”

After the Cold War ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, a great burden of fear was lifted from our shoulders. To replace it, the war on terrorism began a few years later. Recent examples of the use of fear to drive an election were the twin scares over ISIS and EBOLA. Both have dropped from the headlines now that the elections are over. To be replaced by the fear of the undocumented and other minorities in Ferguson, Missouri and elsewhere.

FDR said it best, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”