When you’re a conservative Tea Party Republican and you’re not certain that you’ve fully established your Teabagger cred, there is only one place to go to shore up the wingnut reputation you so feverishly crave: WorldNetDaily – the premiere web destination for Obama-phobic conspiracy dementia. And that’s just where Tea Party queen Michele Bachmann went to unleash a stream incoherence that must be heard to be believed.
As tempting as it is to focus on Bachmann’s fixation on President Obama’s “magic wand” and her lessons on “the way we spank the President,” I’m going to resist and direct your attention instead to the blatant dishonesty in her interview. She begins with this deliberate falsehood:
Bachmann: “Republicans won’t get patted on the back, or get new votes for passing amnesty. They’re going to get blamed.”
There is, of course, nothing in the immigration reform bill currently being debated that has anything in it that even remotely suggests amnesty. First of all, you need to know that amnesty, by definition, is an act of forgiveness for past offenses. The bill, in its present form, does not forgive any offenses at all. There are stiff financial penalties, as well as obligations to be employed, fluent in English, and free from any criminal record. The process to become a legal resident would take about thirteen years. These punishments and penalties are the opposite of amnesty.
As for Bachmann’s assertion that Republicans would suffer some sort of blame were they to support the bill, she never bothers to explain how that would manifest. The more obvious consequence of failing to support the bill is the continued rejection of the GOP by Latino-Americans, the nation’s fastest growing electoral constituency. Many analysts, including those on the right, warn that Republicans are perilously close to handing traditionally red states like Texas over to the Democrats. And if that weren’t bad enough, Bachmann goes on to say…
Bachmann: “I think that the President, even by executive order, could again wave his magic wand before 2014, and he’d say ‘Now all of the new legal Americans are going to have voting rights.’ Why do I say that? He did it in 2012. Do you remember? Anyone who was here as a Latina, under age thirty, he said you get to vote. What? He decides you get to vote?”
Well, I don’t remember that, Michelle. But then again, I don’t suffer from paranoid hallucinations. In the real world the President never gave the right to vote to anyone, and he has no executive authority to do so. Immigrants can only obtain voting rights by fulfilling all of the requirements of residency and then applying for and passing the mandatory citizenship tests. Bachmann has made up an event that only occurred in her cartoon brain.
She may be confusing a presidential instruction to the INS to assign a lower priority to the deportations of certain undocumented residents who have lived in the U.S. from an early age, are in school or the military, and have no criminal record. These are people who never broke immigration laws because they were brought into the country when they were children by their parents. It is wholly within the authority of the INS to prioritize its enforcement procedures, just as every law enforcement agency does. And most importantly, the people to whom this applies did not, and will not, get any voting rights unless, and until, they become citizens through the usual process.
Of course, Bachmann has a somewhat notorious history for becoming confused, such as the time she claimed to have to have “the kind of spirit” of a serial murderer.
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