By now, it is apparent that in 2020, Donald Trump and the Republicans intend to brand Democrats as a wild-eyed, radical socialist, and un-American mob. Well, we have yet more proof that right-wing wailing about “socialism” is staggeringly hypocritical. This week, the Democratic-controlled House voted to make it easier for those fleeing a tinhorn Marxist tyrant to seek asylum here in the United States, one of the most rabidly pro-Trump blogs howled in outrage.
On Thursday, the House voted to grant “temporary protected status,” or “TPS,” to nationals of Venezuela in response to that country’s mounting economic and political crisis. Temporary protected status allows nationals of countries that have been ravaged by famine, war or natural disaster to be able to remain in this country without fear of deportation.
In the last decade, Venezuela has suffered what has been described as the worst economic crisis in almost half a century that has not been brought about by war. This began under Hugo Chavez, and has only escalated under Chavez’ successor, Nicolas Maduro. The faltering economy, as well as attacks on basic freedoms, led thousands of Venezuelans to flee their country, with many seeking refuge in the United States.
Matters came to a head in May 2018, after Maduro was “reelected” in a contest deemed fraudulent by many international observers, in large part because major opposition parties were barred from participating. This should have put to rest any doubt that Maduro had become a tyrant.
For some time, the GOP has cited Venezuela as an example of what could happen if the Democrats were allowed anywhere near the levers of power. And yet, when plans to create a TPS program for Venezuela were bandied about, the White House was decidedly cool about the idea. A White House official told Breitbart News that Trump did not want to “open the floodgates” for Venezuelans.
Fortunately, the warning went unheeded. When the TPS bill came up for a vote, it easily passed, 272-158. Every Democrat voted for the bill, along with 39 Republicans and Republican-leaning independent Justin Amash.
Oh, how Breitbart howled.
Breitbart claimed that those who voted for TPS “voted with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Rep. Ilhan Omar”–an obvious scare tactic. But many of the Republicans who engaged in this act of “insolence” can hardly be described as RINOs. Among the GOP ayes were no-questions-asked conservatives like Don Bacon, Tom Cole, Dan Crenshaw, Vicky Hartzler, Clay Higgins, Francis Rooney, Austin Scott, and Ted Yoho.
An example of the mental gymnastics displayed by those voting “no” came from Mo Brooks of Alabama. Watch here.
In the same breath that he denounced the dangers of socialism, he claimed that the Venezuela TPS program would create a “tsunami” of people who couldn’t take care of themselves, and argued that this country can no longer be “the world’s orphanage for children and adults alike.”
Really, Mo? So you rail against the evils of a Marxist tyrant, but claim that those fleeing such tyranny shouldn’t have a chance to flee and make a better life, or at least be able to stay here until the tyrant is thrown out of office? You and your party can’t have it both ways.
This is actually the second time in a week that the GOP has contorted and distorted itself in its effort to warn the American people about the evils of “socialism.” On Monday, after China violently cracked down on pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong, the White House sided with Beijing. And yet, 24 hours later, Trump urged his followers to join him in the fight against socialism.
So in the space of a week, we’ve seen the GOP rail against socialism after publicly siding with Communists, then rail against socialism while voting against a measure that would help people flee a Marxist tyrant. They can’t even keep their own alternative facts straight.
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