Russell Pearce is a bigot but he’s not a true believer.

28 Oct 2010 05:21 pm
Posted by: Donna

He’s not and his involvement with Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in the drafting of SB1070 make it more obvious than any explanation I can give you.

Oh but, Donna, how can that be possible? He demagogues the issue with such vigor! He must believe of what he speaks!

Sure he does. Russell Pearce wants illegal immigration to go away so badly that he had CCA, who stand to profit handsomely from an influx of detainees, author SB1070. The other corporate backers of ALEC beamed proudly. Russell Pearce so dearly wants to defend the flower of white Arizona purity that he cut a deal with the AZ Chamber of Commerce to strip the teeth out of employer sanctions in SB1070.

In short, Russell Pearce LOOOOOOVES illegal immigration. He hearts it. Russell Pearce and illegal immigration are BFFs. For real. Pearce is a Republican and like approximately 99.97% of the Republican elite, he does not want illegal immigration to go away. Ever. And yes, he’s a racist too. These two aspects of wingnut nativists like Russell are not mutually exclusive.

Everyone, but liberals and progressives especially, needs to focus on the real issue here. Illegal immigration is a goldmine for the GOP. It’s a wedge issue for their politicians which goes into the arsenal along with abortion and gay-bashing. We know about the private prison industry now. But we’ve always known that the rich business owners who fund Republican politicians and think tanks get to have a workforce that is not only desperately poor and exploitable but that is hated by their working class and poor American counterparts. Win-win.

To recap: For progressives and immigrant rights activists, Jeff Flake has never been “good on immigration”. I don’t care how nice he was when you visited his office to lobby him or how he puts on his concerned face when you tell him about anti-Hispanic harassment. The Goldwater Institute and Chamber are also not “good on immigration”, no matter how many forums you’ve been in with them where they seem so reasonable on the issue. Where have they been in the wake of SB1070? GI currently has its thumb up its collective ass and the Chamber endorsed every single pro SB1070 statewide candidate. Jeff Flake is talking about ending birthright citizenship now.

Similarly, if you’re hardcore anti-illegal immigration you should know that Russell Pearce, Joe Arpaio, and their ilk are not really interested in reducing the flow of illegal immigration so that employers are forced to hire Americans. No, they’re really not. If they were the business community would have gotten rid of both of them long ago. They’re bigots for sure but they don’t believe their own bullcrap about immigration and they’re definitely all about self-preservation.

Democrats, please pay attention. If we want to stop getting our clocks cleaned on this issue we need to understand what motivates Republicans and stop letting them define us on this.

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