Thursday, February 20, 2014

Is the Tea Party turning potentially reasonable politicians into liars?

I must have ignored local politics for too long, as Chris Stewart is kind of a mystery to me. Not like he's an enigma or something; I just don't know anything about him. But, for starters, he represents Utah's 2nd congressional district in the US House.

He recently spoke to the Utah legislature. When asked about immigration reform, he said this:
There has been so much distrust between the executive and Congress now that many of us don’t believe any longer the president will enforce the laws we give him.
And he says this despite the fact that deportations under Obama have been roughly double the amount during the Bush administration:

The figure is from this Economist article. I'm not saying Obama is good or bad because of large deportation numbers, I'm just pointing out the fact that Rep Christ Stewart is being dishonest about immigration. If we're going to have a debate in this country about what works vs what doesn't, we probably ought to start by understanding what's actually happening.

Perhaps Rep Stewart is just pandering to the Tea Party here. It seems that after Mike Lee outflanked Bob Bennett on the right and stole his senate seat, GOP politicians are scared of it happening to them. Note the trite and pandering tweets we've been getting from Senator Orrin Hatch recently:

For the State of the Union, President Obama speaks for over an hour, touches on a dozen different policy proposals, and all Hatch can come up with is that? The man's been in the senate since 1976 and these are the tweets he's sending. Where's the gravitas? Where's the reasoning? Perhaps all Republican politicians are scared to death of being ousted by the Tea Party, and aren't allowed to reason publicly as a result.

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