Saturday, February 02, 2013

Curious Reversals

Even though the budget crisis has not been solved, and it appears that the national debt may be poised to grow to 200% of GDP in a few years, the elected officials in Washington DC have decided that it is far more important right now to deal with the problem of undocumented immigration from Mexico. Perhaps they feel they have time to deal with this, because working on actually fixing the budget was only postponed by a few months.

The mainstream punditry are discussing how the Republican Party appears to be trying to reach out to Latino voters by being willing to make deals on amnesty and other immigration related topics. Of course the analysis discusses how Republicans have a difficult time reaching out to minorities. Several months prior, when George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin, Latinos or Hispanics were not considered to be minorities but were considered to be white.

But the more curious aspect of immigration reform is how the Democratic Party, generally perceived as the racially sensitive party and contrasted with the Republican Party, is the party more favored by the Latino vote. Yet under President Barack Obama, deportations of illegal immigrants have proceeded at a far higher pace than under President George Bush.

Likewise, the Democratic Party is the party with a reputation for being generally opposed to aggressive warfare, which seems to make Democratic Party politicians more eager to prove themselves through militancy, and because of their reputation they do not have to worry about attracting blame for the wars they wage.

The Republican Party has a severely undeserved reputation for limited government. That is why there is far less of a reaction when Republican Party politicians create agencies such as the TSA or the DHS, pass legislation such as the USAPATRIOT Act, No Child Left Behind, or Prescription Drug Coverage for Seniors, or enact abuses such as Telecom Immunity.

The Republican Party also has a reputation for being fiscal hawks. While both parties are profligate spenders, at least the Democrats try to enact some minor token tax increases to address their proposed spending. The so-called fiscal hawks are regular advocates of deficit spending, which is why although the Democrats are very likely to maintain any rate of spending started by Republicans, it is the Republicans who accelerate spending.

On issue after issue, it comes up over and over again that what one party has a reputation for advocating, the other party is the actual advocate. It is bad enough that there is no genuine choice between the two wings of the one party, but the choice is made even more obscure by each party representing the opposite of what it stands for on the few issues that divide them.

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