the high cost of feeling better than others

Today the Hill reports on Republican Connie Macks outrage over the new Arizona Police State Act. Clearly, the new law is revealing a fracture line between the teabaggers and the economic old liners of the Republican Party. Echoing the fracture is Republican Charlie Crist leaving the party Lieberman style, capitulating to (Florida) teabag challenger Marco Rubio. While this story is largely a replay of Bush’s failure to instigate immigration reform, those against comprehensive reform now have a new political weapon in the white supremacy teabag movement. The root of the problem with immigration reform is of course, same as it ever was, in that federal reforms are likely, for practical reasons, to develop into some form or other of amnesty for the illegals already in the country. The new law in Arizona is a repudiation of immigration reform, that seeks to rid the country of illegals through other means, instead of integrating them into society legitimately. This is amply illustrated in the said fracture within the Republican Party, with one side looking to maintain and legitimize the advantages of a cheap labor force, and the other side wanting to eliminate it altogether. Passage of the new Arizona Police State Act is nothing less than a major  victory of the white supremacist teabagger mentality over the old school Republican Party.

Seeing that under no circumstances the white supremacist teabagger movement can be imagined as racist, the justifications for the new law all revolve around the legality and undue costs incurred for public services and crime prevention that’s caused by the illegals. This might all be believable were one to disregard how the law is framed and the implications that flow from it. On the first count, the law is formulated with dubious constitutionality, as a state power riding tandem and dependent on federal law. This is likely to generate countless federal and state lawsuits that could cost the state millions in litigation. The second two counts can be considered together in that the first is likely to remain the same and the second is even more likely to explode both in terms of crime and enforcement costs. If we think of the half million illegals as being already disenfranchised (with hate crimes already up 40% this year) in terms of rights and protection under the law, the new law, since it is aimed at eliminating them altogether, will in all likelihood intensify that disenfranchisement to the extent that they become even easier prey for those looking to extort, blackmail, and exploit them. This will no doubt escalate crime, and the costs of crime, in a state already reeling from elevated crime statistics. It’s no wonder that the Association of Chiefs of Police in Arizona are opposed, in that they know the law will not only decrease cooperation in the prosecution of crime, open themselves up to lawsuits from citizens for not arresting more illegals, make them add as many as 15,000 new officers to enforce the law, but will also force them to incarcerate and fine all the captured for up to six months, all on the states dollar.

So there you have it, in a state with escalating crime rates, the early release of prisoners from incarceration due to budget reduction, a two billion dollar deficit, record foreclosures, and a flagging economy – what good could possibly come from a law that does little besides legalizing fear,  harassment, and racism – that will little doubt, cost massively more than the costs already incurred?

This is nothing more than the price of white supremacist teabagger feel good.


As if the above weren’t obvious enough team Arizona is at it again:

Just a week after signing the country’s toughest immigration bill into law, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer now must decide whether to endorse another bill passed by her state legislature — one that outlaws ethnic-studies programs in public schools.

The bill forbids Arizona schools from using any curriculum that promotes “the overthrow of the United States government” or “resentment toward a race or class of people.” It also disallows any curriculum that’s “designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group” or that seeks to “advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.”


In another controversial shift in state education policy, the Wall Street Journal has reported that the Arizona Department of Education has begun telling principals to remove teachers who speak English with an accent from classes with students who are still learning English. Some school officials are complaining that the move will remove experienced teachers from classrooms that need them. Margaret Dugan, the state’s deputy superintendent of schools, told the Journal the request is “politicizing the educational environment.”

4 Responses to “the high cost of feeling better than others”

  1. Funny Guy Says:

    As an Arizona resident, I am really getting tired of being portrayed as a racist because I am in favor of SB1070. I hope this legislation leads to reform on the current immigration laws. It’s a travesty that more illegals aren’t even given an option to enter the country legally. However this law isn’t going to “legalize profiling.” The law is going to require officers to obtain proof of citizenship only in situations where a crime has taken place.

  2. Political Junkie Says:

    Has anyone even bothered to read the new law instead of repeating what they heard?

  3. a.m. Says:

    spin spin spin away

    you all are all workin’ overtime today – must be all the demonstrations.


  4. TomPier Says:

    great post as usual!

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