Thursday, April 22, 2010

WTF, Arizona?

UPDATE: Well, it's official. Arizona's governor has signed the immigration bill into law. Congratulations, Arizona. You're the South Carolina of the American Southwest.

Oh, man. Arizona. Jiminy Christmas.

Sometimes I forget that you resisted recognizing Martin Luther King Jr. Day for so long. Then you go ahead do something like this:
Passage of the law, which would, among other things, allow the authorities to demand proof of legal entry into the United States from anyone suspected of being in the country illegally, testified to the relative lack of political power of Arizona Latinos, and to the hardened views toward illegal immigration among Republican politicians both here and nationally.
Oh, but cops will be able to act only if there's "reasonable suspicion." So if "Existing While Hispanic"  wasn't a crime in Arizona before, it sure could be really soon.

Oh, and then there's this bullshit:
The Arizona "birther bill" would require Arizona's secretary of state to review a presidential candidate's birth certificate before that candidate could get on the ballot in the state. It was attached as an amendment to a larger bill modifying the way candidates' names appear on the state ballot. That bill passed by a vote of 31 to 29 and received only the support of Republicans. It now moves to the state Senate before the governor can sign it into law.
Haha! Well, isn't that pleasant?

Thankfully, Anderson Cooper took one of these Arizona lawmakin' fools to task. Actual journalism on CNN. Whodathunkit?

COOPER: But this is all about Barack Obama. I mean, this is -- this is completely partisan, no?
ASH: Well -- well, that's why I spoke up on the bill. They were -- the other side, the Democrats, were saying this is racist; it's to embarrass Barack Obama.
And I spoke up to say, this is not a matter of race. It's not a racist issue. I'm merely voting for the -- as you call it, the birthers amendment.
COOPER: So, where was George Bush born?
ASH: I have no idea where George Bush was born.
COOPER: But you -- that wasn't a concern for you when he was in office?
ASH: The issue never came up.
COOPER: What about Bill Clinton? Where was he born?
ASH: I have no idea.
COOPER: So, all of a sudden, you're concerned about where the president of the United States is born, based on calls you're getting from constituents who are misinformed?
ASH: Actually, I did not get any calls from constituents until after this bill was passed.
I'm probably going to regret saying this, but here goes:

Hey Arizona, go fuck yourself.

(hat tip to Daily Kos diarist DiegoUK for the CNN transcript/YouTube link)


  1. I'd seriously sign up for another civil war to take to take on these people
    "anonymous marty"

  2. Racial Profiling

    I don't think the bill will/should pass. Immigration reform is a matter of the federal government. Arizona can disguise it and call it what they want, but I agree that his bill essentially allows for racial profiling to occur which is strictly prohibited under all immigration policies. If it were to pass, I believe it would create a dangerous slippery slope.

    Birth Certificate

    When I first watched the Anderson Cooper interview regarding the "birther" bill, I immediately questioned its constitutionality. After a few moments of thinking about it, I believe it probably would be found constitutional even though the eligibility requirements for the president is set forth in the Constitution. I believe that Arizona is simply exercising their police power as a State entity in enforcing the "natural born" requirement of the Constitution.

    I do question Arizona's motive behind this bill and I do believe that it is being proposed at a questionable time, but irrespective of that, there has been controversy surrounding this issue like Ash mentioned. Although, this particular issue can be easily dispelled, it does not take away from the validity of the concern especially in an effort to eliminate or reduce similar concerns or issues in the future where it cannot be as easily dismissed.

    Cooper Interview (Side Issue)

    I usually like Anderson Cooper and I appreciate aggressive journalism, but I'm not too fond of the way he conducted this particular interview in such an accusatory manner. I can understand where he was coming from, but he was so close-minded about the whole issue. To me, it almost negated the point in which he was trying to make. I can see why there are critics of CNN whom chastise it as biased news.

  3. Andrew, two things:

    1. The immigration law did pass, and the Arizona governor signed it into law yesterday.

    2. The birther bill may somehow be constitutional, but it's both unnecessary (no way someone could get close to a presidential ballot, let alone become a U.S. senator, without producing proper documentation to begin with) and racist.

    Forget the tone of the Cooper-Ash interview (which I found entirely appropriate given that Cooper was clearly dealing with a charlatan), look at how Cooper subtly reveals the racism of the whole affair without ever calling the guy racist. It's in the passage I excerpted above.

    It doesn't matter to the birthers where George Bush or Bill Clinton were born, but it just so happens that this measure is being seriously discussed at a time when a black man named BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA has been elected president. The same Barack Hussein Obama who just so happened to be the subject of many an insane, stupid and disgustingly racist rumors perpetuated by email forwards and reports on extreme right wing Web sites.

    Now compare that distrustful treatment to the eligibility questions JOHN SIDNEY MCCAIN III faced. Oh yeah, he didn't face any. You know where McCain was born? The Panama Canal Zone, which is technically U.S. soil and passes muster for the natural-born citizen requirement, but there's certainly more room for doubt there. Why his mom could have given birth to him outside the Canal Zone and his dad, a top-ranked Navy officer, could have had the paperwork doctored. (I don't doubt McCain's actual citizenship, by the way. I'm just trying to apply birther "logic.")

    The birthers didn't call for McCain, who represents Arizona, incidentally, to produce his credentials, and they wouldn't be trying to pass laws like this if he had been elected president.

    As for Cooper's tone: This birth certificate has been dealt with ad nauseum. What's there to have an "open mind" about now? For supposedly rational adults in leadership positions to be pursuing this issue right now is worthy of contempt and intellectual weariness.

  4. What?? Ok, I haven't been up to date on current events and I probably won't be until after May 6th (when finals are over)but I'm very surprised the bill was passed. I definitely expect that there will be a lot of opponents of the bill fighting to strike it down and I think that they will have a legitimate shot of doing so. I think that after further review of the bill if it gets brought to the courts, that they will realize that it substantively advocates racial profiling and while under a strict scrutiny test, it will not be justified to compel a government interest.

    I absolutely agree that the "birther" bill is unnecessary and racist, which is pretty much what I was alluding to when I said I question the motive behind it. I really believe that if McCain was the one elected President, that this would never have been an issue and probably wouldn't never would be until we had someone like Obama elected in office. I think that it's unfortunate that just when you think that as a country we are making great strides towards breaking racial barriers by having our first "black" president, that we have one of our very own states try to implement a bill that is clearly motivated by race.

    However pre-emptive this bill may be, all I'm saying is that on its face, that it could prevent a similar issue from occurring in the future, however unlikely that may be. I definitely give Cooper credit for being aggressive and pretty much calling Ash a racist because he was calling it like it is, but I think that when you come at someone in an accusatory manner (however right you may be), that you need to come with an open mind. Although, the Obama issue is a moot concern at this point, potential similar issues can arise in the future and that is where the open mind comes in.

  5. O, and I'm indifferent whether the "birther" bill passes or not. I don't think it's necessary, but I don't think it does any harm either...

  6. Mike i can solve this whole debacle in one swift shot. "Ass backwards is a direction." It pretty much explains everything any governemtn or agency works at any given moment. I like it so much i may make my own blog and name it that. Allfrey


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