Not that the Democrats need the help after the House of Representatives made an ostentatious display of passing their Fuck the Hispanic Vote bills last week, but Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) did their part for the Dems by producing some great campaign video for them last night. The only thing that was worse than spectacularly failing to pass a bill that juices deportations of children and DREAMers last Thursday was actually passing a harsher bill the next day.
Since video of a C-SPAN roll call vote isn’t that great for a 30-second campaign ad, though, DREAMer and activist Erika Andiola enlisted the aid of King and Paul, approaching them at a fundraiser in Iowa on Monday night to discuss Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) with them. Paul’s role in the drama was smaller, but perhaps more useful given his credibility relative to King. After Andiola introduces herself as a DREAMer, and shakes Paul’s hand, he abandons his sandwich in mid-bite, and high-tails it out of there like the Roadrunner. If there had been a wall in his way, he’d have left a Rand Paul-shaped hole in it.
As for King, he does an admirable job sticking to his “rule of law” talking point, and lying about his “cantaloupes” remark, but he just can’t keep himself from grabbing Andiola and testily asking, “You understand the English language, right?” or keep an aide from hassling the woman shooting the video of Andiola and fellow activist Cesar Vargas, or keep his supporters from shouting at them to “Go Home!”
Paul’s office later released a statement explaining that the senator had a press availability to get to, one which presumably could not have accommodated his remaining half sandwich, which, according to witnesses, spun around in the air for several seconds before falling back onto the plate.
Seven minutes is too long for a campaign ad, but those three moments will fit nicely into a 30-second ad, and perfectly illustrate the ugliness of Republican base opposition to immigrants, and the cowardice of every other Republican in the face of it. They have gone from looking for a way to appeal to Hispanic voters after their 2012 walloping, to being such complete assholes about immigration that they will now start alienating non-Hispanic white voters. Average white people can be entranced by “rule of law” talk, but screaming at children, sending them back to be murdered, and deporting people who’ve served in our armed forces is a bit much.
The Tea Party Summer of 2010 changed the game for that year’s midterms, but it remains to see what effect the August recess will have on the GOP’s fortunes this year. It’s hard to see how it will do anything other than further clarify who the bad guys are.