A Dream Deferred, A Country Held Hostage
December 12, 2010
(ChattahBox Op/Ed) – Another DREAM deferred. It has become clear that Democrats will not have the votes needed to pass the DREAM Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act). Basically this legislation would have made it much easier for minor children under the age of 16 when they entered the country illegally and who have lived here at least five years to gain their American citizenship. It would have required them to attend college or serve their country after also passing criminal background checks.
Although the House voted to pass it, with eight Republicans voting in favor of it there are not close to enough votes in the Senate for it to pass and with each passing day and so much more to consider on the legislative agenda, it is clear that this will be a dream deferred.
The opposition, read Republicans, sees this as a form of amnesty, which is a bad, bad word in Republican circles. Proponents see it as a reward system to those who have demonstrated an ability to either serve this country or to better themselves through education. No matter where you may stand on this issue it is clear that there is little chance this will pass before lawmakers go home this week.
Sadly, as Republicans have done so effectively this last month, they continue to beat the same drum saying that they will not support any legislation until Congress passes the tax cut compromise, again holding hostage millions of people who are being punished by a Republican strategy of obstruction.
I have effectively demonstrated over the last few weeks that any measures that are seen as helpful: unemployment benefits, school lunch program, financial and medical aid to first responders from 9/11, DADT, etc., have been played by the hateful Republican minority to force the agenda into their side of the court for political posturing only. And why, you ask? This is just my liberal opinion, but it is clearly about wanting credit and believing that the mandate they are convinced they were giving by voters on November 2 is some kind of dictatorship for them to use as they wish without regard to protecting and supporting the very people who elected them. If you have another explanation, please share.
By this time next week I will have written on what was finally approved or shelved. I will have written on what the cost of obstruction will be to all of us and we will be living with a new reality of an American political profile that is serving no one at this point. Democrats are pissed off right now about so many things it makes one wonder where they have really been the last few years. Republicans are smug and irrational playing the political shell game everyone hates. And voters? Well, that’s the real quandary for me because the 30% of people who voted nationally on November 2 are more confused than they have ever been which is clear by their reaction to everything that has taken place since the election.
It really comes down to this: In spite of all the legislation enacted over the last two years that has been profoundly helpful and hopeful and in spite of critical reforms in Health Care and hate legislation, and in spite of a clear opportunity to move the country forward, which President Obama did, we are no better off today than we were two years ago when the criminalistic minds of George Bush and Dick Cheney left for greener pastures. Oh sure, we passed laws that would have never seen the light of day under that administration. And there is a legitimate argument to be made with respect to many other advances, especially as it relates to foreign relations, but as a country and on the level we are still mired in the kind of hate-filled, partisan posturing that holds us back from reviving the economy, bringing home the troops, and creating real living wage jobs.
The DREAM Act is just the latest victim to a minority strategy to wreak havoc on the country so that they may place the blame on President Obama and begin the slow and excruciating process of trying to get control of the White House again. President Obama isn’t helping himself by cow towing to Republicans and angering his base. Things are just messed up right now and how that gets better is for another column, but if you are starting to see a preview of what the next two years is going to look like and you don’t like the way that looks then you better be prepared to spring to action. If not, then honestly, shut up and go away and make room for those of us that will.
Tony Trupiano is a former national syndicated progressive radio talk show host, author, and a former candidate for Congress. He is also a nationally recognized media trainer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and can read his Blog at http://www.mediatraining.me