Pamela J. Powers, a progressive voice for Arizona
Remember all of the right-wing blather about the Constitution last winter when President Obama was trying to push health care reform through the Congress?
Blah, blah, blah, we have to stick to the Constitution! The Constitution doesn’t say the federal government should provide universal health care, so we shouldn’t do it!
“It’s not in the Constitution!” was used repeatedly as an excuse to do nothing to solve the country’s multiple problems. Republicans proudly wore the badge of “Constitutional Conservative”– until Arizona’s chief wing nut Russel “Father-of-SB1070” Pearce came up with another popular white supremacist idea– anchor babies.
What’s a Constitutional Conservative– a defender of the Constitution’s purity– to do?
The Constitution clearly says that any baby born in the US is a US citizen. There are no qualifications to that statement– no stipulations about race, ethnicity, religion, parental citizenship– or exclusion for mixed race Hawaiians born in the early 1960s. For a humorous look at the Congressional debate that took place when the 14th Amendment was passed originally, check out this Daily Show link…“I know it’s hard to be tough on babies, but…”
Now that prominent national whities like US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have picked up Pearce’s anti-anchor baby idea, things are getting progressively scarier, and right-wingers are coming out of the woodwork to speak out against the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.
To put all of this Constitutional rhetoric into perspective, the Huffington Post published Republicans Hot, Cold on Constitution last week. The article is full of interesting factoids about politicians using the Constitution– when it suits them– and offering changes when it doesn’t. According to Huff Post, Republicans have offered 42 amendments to the Constitution in this session, and the Democrats have offered 27.
Both numbers are shockingly large in my opinion, and all of these amendments– and the anchor baby rhetoric, in particular– smack of political grandstanding and just plain hogwash.
Our forefathers– in their infinite wisdom– made it really difficult to amend the Constitution– thank God (or our elected officials would have thrown the country into the abyss in the name of ideology long ago.)
Does anyone remember the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)? (I do, and here is a photo of my ERA bracelet– none of those plastic things for us feminists. We knew we were going to be wearing these ERA bracelets for a long time as we fought for equality for women.) The ERA was an amendment to the Constitution that would have guaranteed equal rights under any federal, state, or local law and would have prohibited discrimination based upon sex. It received the required 2/3 vote of each house of Congress– a feat that seems miraculous now– but failed to be ratified by 3/4 of the state legislatures by the 1982 deadline (10 years after it was originally proposed).
The whities who are blabbing about an anchor baby amendment aren’t serious. They’re using this issue as another wedge to pit races and ethnicities against each other… divide and conquer, and by the way, don’t forget to vote for the wise whitie who can save you from the Hottentots and the Mongol hoards. (Sarcasm here, check out the link.)
All I can say is that it is a sad day in America when anyone outside of Mesa listens to Russel Pearce’s ideas.
>Thanks Pamela, quite a while ago I said to somebody (probably my wife during one of rants) that the constitutions is the word of god to conservatives until it isn't. This has angered me for a long time, and of course they are totally blind to their hypocrisy. Ug.
>Thanks for the comment, Scott. Right you are. I guess I could have added the opposition to Manhattan Mosque as another example of how they twist the Constitution, but that is a whole other, very long story. 🙂