The GOP on Immigration: Life Imitating Satire -- And Vice Versa

On Thursday, New York Times best-selling author, Andy Borowitz, wrote:

In a sharp Republican rebuke to President Obama's proposed actions on immigration, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell accused the President... of "flagrantly treating immigrants like human beings, in clear defiance of the wishes of Congress."

Borowitz also said that McConnell blasted the President for "eliminating the fear of deportation, which is the great engine of the American economy", because "[f]ear is what keeps immigrants working so hard and so fast and so cheap...Remove the fear of deportation, and what will immigrants become? Lazy Americans."

Putting icing on the satirical cake, Borowitz said that McConnell warned the President, "If Mr. Obama thinks that, with the stroke of a pen, he can destroy the work ethic of millions of terrified immigrants, he's in for the fight of his life."

Finally, in a finishing touch to the cake, Borowitz said that McConnell added, "Obama's comments about deporting felons were 'deeply offensive' to political donors."

Many Democrats devoured the whole cake -- a testament to the outrages and idiocies that we have come to expect from our friends on the Right.

While I enjoyed Borowitz' delicious satirical cake, it is ironic but yet a sign of the (political) times, that other Republicans have now stepped forward in the wake of the President's speech on immigration with statements that trounce Borowitz' satire.

Even before his speech, the long, crazy knifes were already out. Take Tea Party darling Michele Bachmann who said, according to the Washington Post that "the immigrants given new protections by the president could become 'illiterate' Democratic voters."

When asked by the Post why she used the word "illiterate" to "describe a group of mostly Spanish-speaking workers, Bachmann said her view was informed by trips to the border," according to the Post.

ThinkProgress says, "To watch Republican commentary surrounding Obama's announcement, one would have thought there was a constitutional apocalypse," and provides, first, some (mild) examples:

• Sen. Jeff Session (R-AL) warned that "the president is endangering our entire constitutional order."

• House Judiciary Chair Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) said Obama's "rogue" action "threatens to unravel our government's system of checks."

• Rep. Steve King (R-IA) was ready to move forward with a three-step plan for all-out government obstruction and political retribution.

These are not by any means the most hysterical reactions to Obama's plans to take executive action on immigration. ThinkProgress also lists "some of the most offensive things lawmakers have to say," before and after the President's speech.

Here are some abbreviated examples. To read them in their glorious entirety, please click here.

Before Obama released the details of his plan, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) claimed Obama might be guilty of a felony for aiding or abetting a foreigner to enter the United States, although he couldn't be sure, adding that Obama might end up in jail. "At some point, you have to evaluate whether the president's conduct aids or abets, encourages, or entices foreigners to unlawfully cross into the United States of America," he continued. "That has a five-year in-jail penalty associated with it."

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, also before the President' speech, responding to a caller's "when one culture or one race or one religion overwhelms another culture or race," they "run them out or kill them," suggested that Obama's lawlessness could indeed lead to what he identified as ethnic cleansing. Kobach "explained":

What protects us in America from any kind of ethnic cleansing is the rule of law, of course. And the rule of law used to be unassailable, used to be taken for granted in America. And now, of course, we have a President who disregards the law when it suits his interests. And, so, you know, while I normally would answer that by saying, 'Steve, of course we have the rule of law, that could never happen in America,' I wonder what could happen. I still don't think it's going to happen in America, but I have to admit, that things are, things are strange and they're happening.

Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX), in remarks to Fox News' Sean Hannity after Obama's national address, doubled down on his claim that that immigration reform hurts African Americans, saying that Obama's action is "so offensive" to both African Americans and Hispanics "who have an enormously high unemployment rate." He then inferred that the 4.9 million immigrants who are being granted deportation relief from Obama would take others' jobs at a 1-to-1 ratio, saying, "that's going to leave 5 million people out in the cold."

ThinkProgress rebuts Gohmert's claim:

In fact, many undocumented immigrants are already providing low-wage labor. And economists have repeatedly found that in addition to reform being a net positive for the American economy, immigrants have a small but positive effect on the wages and job prospects of low-wage American workers, because they tend to fill complementary jobs, and are more willing to move locations when labor demand shifts. Hispanics and African Americans also overwhelmingly support immigration reform.

"Life imitating satire"?

But how about the rogue, cutesy, winking mama grizzly?

Except for a video on her Facebook page where she says -- wink, wink --that Obama is "giving voters the middle finger," Sarah Palin has been uncharacteristically quiet.

But wait; here is a news flash from the Daily Currant claiming that the former Alaska governor, when asked about the President's immigration plan, said:

If I were Obama I'd put all 11 million of these folks on boats and send them back to Mexico. The liberal media says it's impossible to deport that many people. But I say we can do it if we have enough ships.

When her Fox colleague, Sean Hannity, reminded Ms. Palin that "Mexico is just a short drive from the U.S. border," Palin replied, according to the Currant, "Sean you're just wrong on that. I've been to Mexico many times and I can tell you it has excellent beaches. How can you have beaches and not an ocean?"

To read more about this fascinating "Satire Imitating Life" interview, please click here.