February 7, 2014
Conservative talk show hosts and literary pundits have been speculating as to why the GOP House leadership supports amnesty.
Benny Goodman found the formula for a cogent explanation decades ago – keep it simple.
You may not remember Goodman. "The King of Swing," played the clarinet – as good as it's ever been played. The "Patriarch of the Clarinet" also led a great swing band in the mid 1930s.
"The Professor" was a simple, humble man. The ninth of twelve children born (in 1909) in Chicago to Jewish immigrants David Goodman from Poland, and Dora Grisinsky from Lithuania.
David Goodman, who worked in the Chicago Stockyards shoveling lard, signed his son up for music lessons when Benny was 10.
Year later, when his music was heralded around the world, a reporter asked him, "Why do people like your music so much, Benny?"
Benny blinked fast a couple of times, looked down, and said, "Well, I guess because it's good." And there it was - the simple truth. Actually, it was better than "good."
Today, the question is "Why do House GOP leaders push amnesty?"
Pundits wonder what's behind Boehner and the boys' support for amnesty for millions – no one knows how many – of illegal immigrants.
Columnist Ann Coulter recently put the GOP on suicide watch in a piece entitled "GOP Crafts Plan to Wreck the Country, Lose Voters."
Rush Limbaugh cited one blogger's theory that the GOP is pushing amnesty so that when they win the midterm elections they don't win so big that it'll boost the TEA Party movement.
Another popular hypothesis asserts that the GOP blue-bloods adhere to a statist political philosophy akin to that of the Democrat Party. The heavy elephants are merely Democrats-lite.
Then there's the theory that leading GOP House members – like Paul Ryan – are looking past their current employment toward a time, relatively soon for some, when their salary balloons from about two hundred thousand a year to a lobbyist's two million, and more, as they cash in on their bipartisan, consensus-building, non-extremist creds on K Street.
Now, all of a sudden, Boehner announces that "immigration legislation" can't advance because President Obama can't be trusted to enforce the law. Really? Has John been in a comma for the last five years?
In 1986, Benny Goodman's clarinet went silent for good. So we can't ask him why he thinks Boehner and the boys start playing the amnesty tune that, if completed, would damage their party's future.
But that question is based on a questionable assumption. Namely, that amnesty is not in Boehner and the boys' perceived self-interests. That assumption may not match their musical score.
Here's a Benny Goodman-like answer to the question: "Well, I guess they just want to please their big-donor base."
In music, it's all about notes. In politics, it's all about money.
There's no law that says opposing organizations – like the RNC and the DNC – must refrain from embracing the same outcome based on varying self-interests.
For example: Democrats fear out-spoken conservative Republican Senators backed by the TEA Party movement. And, "moderate" Republican Senators clearly feel the same way.
Both camps see Senators Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Michael Lee as political opponents, because, in politics, the enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend.
Big Republican donors want a huge new pool of cheap labor because, without it, re-industrializing America will be prohibitively costly.
Democrat progressive socialists want a huge new pool of loyal voters because, without them, their welfare state agenda can't be sustained.
It's just a simple tune in 4-4 time.
Or, as Benny might say, "Well, I guess because they both want to gain something for themselves from amnesty."
Where's that leave the country?
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