DC Response to SOTU

After all is said, done, and drunk…a couple of post-SOTU thoughts.

I’ve mentioned before the amount of political capital the President seems to want to spend on a couple of issues that go beyond the usual talk of jobs, economy, deficits, education, health care, wars, etc. Obviously, I speak of comprehensive immigration reform and gun control.

It was difficult not to notice that he gave only 212 words to immigration and 626 words to gun control. And while he gave an impassioned plea to control the guns based on the various victims, he spoke not one word of the realities faced by families split apart by his record deportation policies. Instead, he boasted of the “progress” made by the administration on the “southern border and the ever-popular “learn English” and “back of the line” phrases that have become quite tiresome tired. And quite frustrating, too.

The rest of the speech had great ideas on job creation and how to responsibly decrease the deficits. With the vast majority of his proposals I agree–even some of the gun control stuff if it didn’t appear to be a bigger priority than immigration reform.

And although the drink of water seen around the world provided comic relief, nothing was more disturbing than Marco Rubio’s response.

Without apology, I will say his family’s “immigration” experience is much different than the vast majority of others’ experiences, particularly what the sons and daughters of immigrants experience today. And while he has enjoyed various government benefits, he seems to want to cut off everyone else, as if he has some air of superiority.

He seems to conveniently forget that the reason we spend more on federal financial aid is because we have more students enrolling in college than when he and I were in school, especially Latinos. Although he mentioned higher tuition, he didn’t offer an idea about how to make college affordable–no, he stated we don’t need to spend more on federal financial aid. In other words, he offered nothing in regards to expanding opportunities, especially for kids who come from working class parents, as was his and my experience, apparently. Simply put, he is out of touch, embracing a right-wing political ideology after enjoying benefits abhorred by that ideology. He is the poster-child of hypocrisy.

Ultimately, both sides need to work together to enact policies that even President Obama states we will not get 100% of what we really want. I’ve accepted that much, but for those of us who think beyond the political (or nonprofit) paycheck that others strive for in this game, it has become a lot more difficult to stomach the politics, the policies, and the rhetoric.

Obviously, it was difficult for those protesting the Senate hearing today.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was interrupted at today’s Senate Immigration Hearing as she boasted that U.S. borders have “never been stronger.” The protesters who interrupted the hearing on multiple occasions demanded that the administration cut deportations and focus on the human rights of undocumented immigrants.

I rest my case.

 

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