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An Academic, A Corporatist, A Marxist, and a Clown

We’ve all become quite familiar with the leftist/collectivist tactic of having a ‘panel’ of experts to discuss an issue.  The ‘panel’ is supposed to be an array of viewpoints in order to have surrogates from differing sides.   Inevitably, the Democratic spokesmodels in the media assemble a mix of a poodle-Republican, like David Brooks, a liberal, a progressive, and a Marxist.  They then parse the issue with the poodle conceding every point and everyone coming to the conclusion that something due left of Engels, but not as far as Marx, is the best solution.  House and Senate committees attempt to do the same thing.  In fact, Rep. Zoe Loftren, D-CA went one better.  Instead of having a poodle, she decided to present a clown, makeup and all, as the representative of the right side of the aisle.  Instead of achieving the slamdunk she hoped, the entire Democratic delegation on the committee ended up with yolk and white running down their cheeks.

I freely admit I watched the subcommittee on immigration hearing to see Stephen Colbert act like the fool, a virtual certainty.  He did a marvelous job mocking the issue and the people involved.  If he wanted to make illegal immigration and illegal immigrants and fruit and vegetable pickers a caricature and a symbol of how racialists like him view human beings, he succeeded.  If he wanted to prove to the nation he’s a sophomoric buffoon who has a slipping grasp on reality, then he won the race.  However, if he hoped to make these serious issues of economic development, immigration status, the interplay of labor and capital, and the role of government in our economic system become a talking point for Democrats, he failed miserably. 

Instead, the hero in this tale is an academic by the name of Dr. Carol Swain.  She was the first to speak before the committee and she explained some of the problems of illegal immigration and unemployment in the United States.  Her comments were thoughtful, well researched, and insightful.  Her comments also drew the wrath of the Democratic delegation. 

Swain spoke of how the rampant unemployment rates among native born minority populations show the illegal immigrants are driving down employment of these workers.  She explained that by allowing large numbers of illegals to flood agricultural areas, they were driving down wages and suppressing economic growth in poorly educated and poorly skilled native labor pools.  She argued for strictly enforcing immigration laws on employers both depriving the illegal immigrant population of the carrot of better pay and the stick of making farms and businesses increase their labor costs to draw native unskilled populations to work. 

I don’t agree with all Swain’s ideas, because she believed government would have to step in and create more programs to buttress this solution, but she was spot on with the basic ideas of capital and labor finding an equitable balance and employing more people currently living on the dole.  Government is the problem with a cushy safety feather bed, not a net and a policy of letting this flood of illegal wash over the land, not just Arizona.  But, Swain had the fundamentals down.  She argued this issue is important to tackle because so many people who are following the immigration law are being punished by delay tactics while illegals are being considered for eventual amnesty in the form of accelerated green cards. 

Swain, a black woman, was assailed by John Conyers.  He flipped out the race card a couple of times but she swerved from it.  Conyers then questioned about a case study Swain had talked about had stopped a native worker program.  Swain stated the local and state officials hadn’t provided enough support to this program and so the company ended up dropping the program.  He flipped out the capitalist pig card and suggested it was about not making enough money.  Swain suggested the Congressional Black Caucus wasn’t doing enough to help the disadvantaged communities of color in this nation.

Well, that just flabbergasted Conyers, whose wife pled guilty to bribery.  If you hand the CBC enough cash, they are willing to help just about any one.  Swain had stepped on his toes, and he called out Maxine Waters to prepare to excoriate Swain.  But, Swain didn’t back down.  Appropos of nothing, Conyers stated only 4% of ‘stoop labor’ was filled by African-Americans.  Swain stated the problem was these jobs were not paying enough to draw native workers.  Conyers didn’t want to hear that.  Conyers pressed Swain to admit the answer was ‘yes.’  Swain hit back.  She said, “I’m not in a court of law.   I don’t have to say yes or no.”  Ole Conyers tried to make light of this, but Swain held her own.  Her point being, she was asked to present ideas before the committee, not to answer rhetorical questions that would put the committee members in the best light.  She was here to present her findings and ideas and just because John Conyers wanted to score political points on her.  she would not be a stooge to it.

Sheila Jackson Lee, an African-American congresswoman who managed to put her phone down for a minute, then tried to explain in code how important it is for the Democratic Party to get a fresh influx of voters/illegal immigrants.  The Democratic Party could not continue shedding member like glaciers off Greenland, without these new party members.  Of course, she didn’t say it in those words, but the intent was the same.  Her demeanor was measured, but she was clearly angry that their little charade wasn’t going as well as they’d hoped.

Maxine Waters was visibly shaken, and shaking with fury.  They had presented a perfectly leftwing panel and this should have been a cakewalk.  This infuriating Dr. Swain wasn’t following the script.  So, Maxine went on the attack against evil corporations who were taking advantage of illegal immigrants.  “If I had to subsidize corporations, it would not be for foreign labor,” Waters argued.  No Maxine, you only support subsidizing and bailing out your husband’s bank and your friends’ industries.  She listed off a series of ‘educational’ programs that had helped minorities but, of course, these are just things she believes are worthy, not necessarily what needs to be done.  Troubled Waters could see the writing on the wall, and it wasn’t graffiti.

Swain, as well as an increasing number of her cohort, are rejecting the plantation life the Communist Black Caucus offers.  Swain was speaking about using capitalist philosophy to drive labor into areas it was needed and not pretending to ‘know’ where labor should be.  This is absolute anathema to the members of the Socialist Workers wing of the Democratic Party. 

Don’t these people understand?  You must first kneel to The Party, do its bidding, submit completely to its magnificence, and then we’ll decide what crumbs you get. 

Swain was flipping the damn script on them.

Meanwhile, the star of the show was struggling to keep in character.  Colbert had written out a little cheat sheet of vulgar one-liners he’d strung together to try and make a point.  Meanwhile, the rest of the committee was laughing, not at Colbert, but at the obvious foibles of the committee leadership.  The Democratic side of the committee was seething with fury, livid with Swain’s independence and Colbert’s frathouse humor.  The Republican side of the committee, which had been bracing for Colbert’s wit and instead found sense and intelligence from Swain, was beaming.  Colbert tried to score some points with Steve King of Iowa with some idiotic corn packing remark, but the damage was all but done.

The Democratic socialistic immigration stance looked bulky and nonsensical.  Their attempt to poke fun at the Republicans fell flat.  Their racial identity political expectations blew up in their faces.  It was like a pie throwing contest where the throwers turned the pies onto themselves.  The targets remained clean, while the tossers dripped with whipped cream and pie crust. 

What a lovely sight.

Oh, and the corporatist and Marxist, just made their points according to the script.  It was the academic, in this case, who refused to accede to their notions.

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