One, the folks over at Our Liberal Friends have a breakdown of the good guys and the bad guys. It should be embarrassing for all Democrats to see who voted for this measure.
Two, Southern Beale calls this measure “hippie punching.” I think there’s something to that. But let’s not lose sight of what an enormous “fuck you” this is to immigrant Tennesseans.
Three, I am continually surprised, not just at the impulse of legislators in our state to make these sweeping “fuck you” gestures, but at the complaining they do when their efforts to hang a “you’re not welcome here” sign on the state are met with any resistance. That’s the thing that kills me. It’s not just the bullshit, but it’s the constant insisting that it’s somehow unfair when the truth is told about what they’re up to.
Four, as Michael Silence points out, this is costing taxpayers $185 per day per legislator. Republicans talk about smaller government and less waste, but they’re the ones who spent $185 per legislator yesterday to send a note of support to Arizona. This is their dry-run for how they’ll fix the state? Ha ha ha ha ha.
Five, and here’s the rub, though. The districts of the representatives who voted for this are hurting. The whole state has high unemployment, but some of these places have crushing unemployment. Some of these places have infant mortality rates that tower over Memphis. Some of these places have grinding poverty.
And there’s not a thing anyone has proposed (and is willing to fund) this year that will solve that. It’s not that illegal immigrants are taking your jobs, folks. It’s that jobs are gone and no one knows if they’re coming back.
If we have anything to offer those rural areas, I haven’t heard it.
So, it’s understandable–inexcusable, but understandable–why the legislature is offering them bullshit like this. They might be hurting, but, by god, at least they can make sure their “fuck you” is read loud and clear.
It’s not a solution, either, but at least it feels like something.