Two Bastards Sitting in Governor’s Mansions

Governors Abbot (Texas) and DeSantis (Florida) are playing a game of Russian roulette with the lives of people – families with children.  And why?  Because there are 52 days left until the mid-term elections and they are both up for re-election.  Because both are Republican incumbents who don’t have a whole heck of a lot going for them right now and who are up against strong Democratic opponents.  So, they respond by playing a deadly game with the lives of people who trusted in the goodness of this nation enough to come here in hopes of a better life for their children.  Dan Rather and I are in complete agreement on this …


A Shameful Stunt

Dan Rather and Elliot Kirschner

16 September 2022

A bus carrying migrants who crossed the border from Mexico into Texas arrives in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

It is easy to demonize the “other” — the one who looks different, speaks differently, or comes from somewhere else. Especially during periods of deep social, political, and economic anxiety, pounding one’s chest about “us” and “them” and using fear as a rallying cry can whip populations into a fervor.

It is clear that Republicans, facing tremendous blowback in the face of the Supreme Court’s abortion ruling, falling gas prices, the specter of Donald Trump, and the backlash he provokes for many voters, have settled on immigration as a motivator to turn out their base in the upcoming midterm elections.

The stunts by Republican politicians — specifically Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis — of busing and flying migrants and asylum seekers to places like Washington, D.C. (including outside of the vice president’s residence), New York City, and now Martha’s Vineyard have all the toxic energy of a fraternity prank. This is deadly serious.

And it may be effective politically. It has been the case many times before, both in this country and abroad. History is replete with political power built on vilifying foreigners and immigration. As much as they might not like to admit it, Democrats may worry about their vulnerability on this issue, especially in close elections. Fear can be a motivator to get people to the polls.

The public rationale for what Republicans are doing can’t be only to “own the libs,” although that desire is clearly behind the glee with which the governors and their supporters justify their actions. They say they are pointing out rampant hypocrisy, that blue states should have to carry the burden of immigration. The truth is, of course, that blue states, and cities in particular, are full of immigrants, documented and undocumented. And many of these immigrants are thriving members of local communities. Furthermore, blue state tax revenue is a major source of federal government funds, which are then distributed across the nation, including to red states and in support of immigration infrastructure.

You could imagine a reason it would make sense for migrants and asylum seekers to travel from the border to other parts of the country. But a good faith effort would include planning and resources. It would include giving people full and accurate information about where they would be going and some choice in their fate. These current stunts are nothing of this sort. They are driven by cruelty and lies. They are certainly not for the benefit of the immigrant or even the immigration system. They are about scoring political points on the backs of others. Can you imagine being put on a bus or a plane with your children — or even being a child yourself — and arriving at some street corner, maybe late at night, with no idea where you were or what would come next?

Immigration is a complicated issue. It always has been. It stirs emotions deep and powerful.

The movement of people across oceans, over lines on maps, and within nations is a fraught endeavor. It is often driven by desperation, coercion, bondage, and hope. Those in transit tend to be vulnerable for exploitation.

One of the hallmarks of the human species is that we are incredibly mobile. From our origins (probably in Africa, say scientists) we spread out to almost every imaginable corner of the Earth — from the arctic tundra to equatorial rainforests, from the tops of mountains to remote islands. We invented all manner of conveyances to carry us over open seas, across continents, and even through the air. Horizons beckon us to go beyond them.

Humans, however, are also territorial. We have claimed time and time again, around the world, and throughout history, that this land is “ours.” We have divided the globe into discrete states. We have created borders, sometimes hundreds or thousands of miles long, that delineate divisions over who has the right to live on either side. Sometimes these boundaries follow geographic reasoning — rivers or mountains. Sometimes they are literally just random lines on the map.

For all this human movement, however, we are also a species with a strong sense of home. We group ourselves in regions where we share language, culture, family, and friends. Some of us may be inveterate wanderers, but many would rather stay close to where we are most familiar and comfortable.

But that changes when violence threatens us, when living conditions prove inhospitable, when our prospects for earning a livelihood and providing for our family are hopeless, when our freedoms are trampled. Then a primal survival mode kicks in. We would do anything to protect ourselves and our families. We would put our own health and security at risk in search of a better life. It was this very instinct that over the course of many centuries brought waves of immigrants to the United States.

America, it is often said, is a land of immigrants. Most of us here had ancestors who attempted a similar journey to that of those now being used as pawns in political showmanship. Back in our family tree, someone made the decision that they needed to leave somewhere else and come here. For some of us, that decision was decades or centuries in the past. For some it was recent. Many in this country now are immigrants themselves.

There are also those among us whose ancestors didn’t choose to leave. They were ripped from their homes by force — chained, beaten, and raped — and taken to a new land where they were separated from their families and forced to live in bondage. Others still are the descendants of the original inhabitants of the Americas, whose lands were taken by new immigrants. Many of these Native peoples perished from the diseases brought by white settlers. Those who didn’t were forced from their homes and pushed into far less hospitable lands.

Of course, you won’t hear any of this context from those sneering now with xenophobic fear-mongering. There is no nuance in the MAGA slogan. Heck, they want to ban the teaching of this very history in schools. The truth isn’t comfortable, and it challenges their divisive narratives.

For as long as America remains a beacon for those seeking a better life, we will have to find ways of creating a fair, equitable, safe, and humane system for immigration. What can be done? Recognize the incredible advantages immigrants have brought to this nation. Be driven by empathy. And keep our nation protected. We should not expect these balances to be easy. And that is all the more reason to debate the issue with seriousness instead of scapegoating, with a commitment to our noblest values rather than an appeal to our basest instincts.

We would do well to remember those stirring lines from the Emma Lazarus poem “The New Colossus” that adorn the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor:

“Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

We are talking about people here. Our fellow human beings. And there but for the grace of God go I.

52 thoughts on “Two Bastards Sitting in Governor’s Mansions

  1. “Instead of going along with the new Democrat narratives emerging about illegal aliens, lucid Democrats should question the premise itself. Why didn’t the Democrats’ policies work? Washington DC, Martha’s Vineyard, and New York City should have been able to easily accommodate the tiny influx of illegal aliens based on what Democrats have been saying for the last decade. If they expect border cities to be okay with it, why can’t they handle it themselves? And what about the Biden-Harris regime flying many, many more illegal aliens to Republican cities and towns across the country? What’s so different between that and what Governors Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis are doing other than the secrecy behind the White House’s midnight flights?” by J.D. Rucker NWO Report

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  2. Little off topic, but not necessarily. I recommend the new Ken Burns PBS series on the Holocaust. I have recorded all of them and they are free right now on the PBS app. I have not seen the first one yet, but this is a comment off Robert Hubble’s fine newsletter. And it seems, the show will be pertinent to our current times and a history we will want to know more about.

    “Last night we watched the first of three parts of “The Holocaust” by Ken Burns, Lynn Novick and Sarah Botstein. It was titled “The Golden Door”. Yes, it’s about the door for immigration and and the nonsense spouted about the Statue of Liberty – “bring me your tired, your poor”.

    To say that this documentary is timely is an epic understatement. It is in the category of “MUST WATCH” – if you want to know where the new shoots our current hate wave have sprouted from. I am sure the DeathSantis stunt coming during the premier week of this documentary must have stunned the producers. And yet, after learning what they did while researching, I guess they could be numb…

    I knew that there was a segment of US citizens during the 1930’s that did not want us to help the Jews of Europe. I didn’t know that for quite a while it was the vast majority – MOST Americans including many Jews who were established Americans. You begin to understand how and why FDR did as little as he did to help the Jews desperate to leave Europe. That boat of about 900 Jewish people that was turned away was just a symbol of the millions who suffered and died because Americans were so caught up in their misery from the Depression. They chose to look inward. The pain Americans were feeling was legitimate and long lasting. But how fast this “Christian nation” cast aside the teachings of it’s prophet.

    At the risk of providing a spoiler, my jaw dropped (several times) as the narrator (the perfect voice of Peter Coyote) explained where Hitler got some of his ideas for new laws and how to treat the “others”.

    I may need to take a one or two night break before seeing the next two parts. The first was sobering and frightening in its parallels with today. When it concluded, we just stared at each other and we were on the verge of tears.

    Brace yourself. Prepare to be further disappointed by who we have been. Prepare to be stunned by how similar the themes are between then and now. And prepare to be horrified.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • As it happens, this is not at all off topic, Mary! I have loved the Ken Burns’ series that I’ve seen, and with yours and Robert Hubble’s recommendations, I am adding this one to my watchlist right now! Thank you for this … I’ll let you know my thoughts after I watch it … gonna try to watch Part I tonight.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Embarrassed to be a native Floridian, though it was not like this in years past. The racist loons full of hate are in full force here now..old farts who are bitter about getting old and having nothing better to do and braindead cultists who wouldn’t know a fact, if it bit them on the ass. But mostly it’s pure unadulterated racism.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, my friend, much as I hate it, the Republican Party of today has stopped trying to do anything useful, stopped caring about people’s problems, and is focusing on attempting to turn this nation into a lily-white, Christian, straight, male-dominated society. Sadly, even some people who I once called ‘friend’ are on the GOP train of bigotry. I even know someone … a white woman married to a Black man … who supports the GOP hate agenda. Florida and Texas SEEM to have more than their fair share, but … do they really? Professor Taboo mentions the extremely low voter turnout rate in Texas … about half the national voter turnout rate … and I have to wonder if that isn’t the biggest part of the problem. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes apathy is a huge part, but you have to wonder if these people were forced to vote, just who would they vote for? Does apathy relate to not caring one hoot about country or party and therefore they’d vote for the bully? Who knows.

        Liked by 1 person

        • That’s a good question, Mary. Judging from the 2020 election when, in response to the pandemic, voting restrictions were eased and postal voting was made available in areas it had not been before, it seems that overall, the more people who vote, the more likely Democrats are to win elections. Which is the underlying belief of Republicans as they gerrymander and pass restrictive voting laws. This is largely the reason that Republicans are against postal voting, as well, and are doing everything in their power to remove polling places from poorer neighborhoods and even to remove drop boxes. Who knows, but I think that voting must be seen not only as a right, but also as a responsibility. People died to give us that right … and we’re throwing it away???

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for sharing!! DeSantis and Abbott (and Trump) are arrogant and like the power and they get by with it only because the people that support them let them… and the people that support them are self-centered and care little about anyone but themselves… your thoughts and words need to be directed towards the people in hopes some of them will change their way of thinking, though some never will… 🙂

    Have a wonderful day and until we meet again….
    May your day be touched
    by a bit of Irish luck,
    Brightened by a song
    in your heart,
    And warmed by the smiles
    of people you love.
    (Irish Saying)

    Liked by 1 person

    • So true, Dutch! It is the people we must convince to vote with their minds, to educate themselves about the candidates and the issues. If you have a minute, check out the Professor’s comment below … he lives in Texas and I was appalled by the voter turnout statistics he quotes! Far lower, even, than the national average, which is a disgrace itself!

      Thank you for the Irish Saying and … my day was already touched by a bit of Irish luck in hearing from you today!

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  5. “falling gas prices” ? That is just another scheme by The Tyrant stealing oil reserves prior to the midterms that are supposed to be for emergencies like a war. Prices will soar again after the midterms. I guess the Democrites don’t like a taste of their own medicine. Who are the real racists? It’s the Democrites who are a bunch of NIMBYs.

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  6. Pingback: When real people are used as pawns | musingsofanoldfart

  7. It’s just like the policy of our current excuse for a government who are trying to fly asylum seekers to Rwanda, which doesn’t exactly have a good human rights record. No concern being shown for people who in many cases have fled desperate circumstances. Your Republicans and our Conservatives are cut from the same cloth – one I would never wear.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Trying, to divert the public’s attention, off of the bad things they’d already, done, hoping, that by election time, people will forget, and go to the polls and vote for them again, and it may just work too, as we only have, a less-than-three-seconds’, attention span.

    Liked by 2 people

    • So true, my friend. Every day there is some new horror that pushes the other ones out of our minds. The recent abortion ruling by the Supreme Court is an exception, though, for it has the potential to negatively affect every woman in the country and we’re not backing down. It may well be the one thing that has a very positive effect on the election this year, but as you say, the politicians are pulling other stunts to try to make us forget. Keep their name in the headlines … any attention, even negative attention, is better than being ignored.

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  9. Whoever thought up these inhumane political idiocies should be charged with terrorism, and assault too. What they did to their fellow humans is beyond disgust. And any MAGAts who applaud them should be put on an airplane to the middle of Death Valley to see if they can survive in a strange environment.

    Liked by 3 people

    • ‘Tis true that they failed the test of humanity and should pay the price … and dumping them in the middle of Death Valley or Siberia seems fair enough. But I’ll just settle for this stunt costing both of them their seats. We do NOT need such cruel people in positions of power!

      Liked by 1 person

      • That is the hope, along with DeSantis. But somehow I don’t see that happening. The one comment you got above that agreed with “immigtant dumping” said it all. They think they are the only o es suffering. They cannot see the people who are worse off than them!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. It’s hard at times to realise that either of the two is an adult given that they play ‘nasty’ children’s games .Mostly politicians should be making policies which they can fight on or debating points with an opponent. But, policies have never been the poilicy of the Republicans, and debate tends to be heated when they shout over their opponent rather than debate. Fear tactics are the underhand way to gain a stage and no0one is better at fear than the Republican politician. They’ll whip up a crowd in no time at all. Let’s hope for once this tactic backfires on them as people find unity with the immigrants.
    Cwtch.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Frankly, I’m not sure that either DeSantis or Abbott can be classified as an adult. To have such blatant disregard for human lives is … not only is it NOT adult, it is not humane! Bad enough they are the leaders of two states, but worse yet is the fact that DeSantis is hoping to run for president in 2024!!! Yes, their modus operandi is to instill fear … in this case, fear of “other” … and then to claim to have solved the problem that they, themselves created. I hope … I sincerely hope this backfires and blows up in both their faces. I’d love nothing better than to see Beto O’Rourke beat Greg Abbott and Charlie Crist wipe the beach in Florida with DeSantis! Fingers crossed!
      Cwtch

      Liked by 4 people

  11. Jill, if grandstanding were an Olympic sport, these two prone to exaggerating governors would vie for the Gold. If bullying the disenfranchised were a Commandment, these two prone to condescending governors would be very pious. If letting your dog go in your neighbors yard without clean-up was a character trait, then these prone to screwing people governors would be honorable..

    The migrant stunt is just poor form, but not outside of these two governors’ modus operandi. I did read the migrant stunt is not playing well with Latino Americans in South Florida, nor should it. People need to recognize when folks are grandstanding, bullying and screwing people like these two governors often do. Keith

    Liked by 5 people

    • You’ve got that right, my friend! They are just about as low as I’ve seen any politico in my lifetime go … and I’ve lived a lot of years, seen a lot of politicians come and go. They are devaluing their offices, leaving a stain that may never be completely cleansed.

      It is in poor form … worse, they are cheating the people of their state, many of whom wanted the migrants to stay. But, it’s more important, less than two months from election day, to make some big headline-grabbing news and keep their name in the forefront of people’s minds. So what if it costs a few lives, eh? Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. I hope … I sincerely hope … that the people of Texas and Florida see this stunt for what it is and that it works against them, just as the abortion ruling is working against Republicans nationwide.

      Liked by 4 people

  12. Jill,

    I am SO SICK-N-TIRED of Texas (Republicans) constantly obsessed with making national and global news headlines! 🤦‍♂️ It’s almost as if they think if they are NOT stirring shit up all the time, rubbing all moderate, sane Americans the wrong way and the sane, rational, reasonable rest of the world… that they are not doing enough or doing it right!? Whatever IT is in their messed up minds!

    That’s all pretty rhetorical, btw. Because I am an 8th-generation Texan and completely & exhaustively understand this cancer of new-wave Texas neo-Repub politics, and no inside-n-out WHY they all behave this way.

    Talk about ludicrous ideologies in action! JEBUS H. CHRISTMAS already!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I can only begin to imagine your angst. You are an 8th-generation Texan … Texas is your home, the home of all who came before you, and one wants to have pride in their home. And yet … how can one have pride in a home where the cockroaches and rats have taken over? Mr. Abbott needs to be forced into retirement and give Mr. O’Rourke a shot at it … Beto, at least, has humanitarian values! And while you’re at it … get rid of Ted Cruz!!! And Ken Paxton! You guys have the power in your hands … make some changes! Please???

      Liked by 4 people

      • You guys have the power in your hands … make some changes! Please???

        Ahh, and right there is actually the TRUE problem in Texas—as I suspect it is as well in Florida and other states. I’m speaking of Texas’ horrendous, terrible, shameful Voter Turnout Rates over the last 3-decades.

        Most Texas voters do not even participate in mid-term primaries:

        Nearly 18% of registered voters in Texas cast a ballot in the 2022 primary, with 55% voting early and 45% voting on election day. At least 18,000 mail-in votes were rejected in the counties with the most registered voters, most for failing to meet the new GOP voting law’s ID requirements. Mail-in ballots that were counted made up 7% of the early vote. This is a decline from 2020, when mail-in ballots comprised 10% of the early vote. — The Texas Tribune, March 2022

        So less than 1 in 5 registered voters in Texas consistently participate in primary elections. And here’s the headline of another February 2022 Texas Tribune article:

        “Analysis: The 3% of Texans deciding who governs the other 97% — Most Texas voters skip the primary elections, leaving many of the decisions about who serves in office to a relatively small group of Texas — voters who have more clout as a result.”

        And just wait Jill, it gets much more dismal than this. Do Texans historically love elections? From the Federal Election Commission, Texas Secretary of State Office:

        Texas loves elections. Or so it would seem, judging by the sheer number of them. Ignoring municipal and other local elections, Texas holds at least one statewide election every year and typically several. But judging by participation in them, Texans hate elections. This chart [seen in the link below*] shows that turnout in every type of election in Texas is lower than turnout nationwide in presidential elections which averaged 52.5 percent during this period. Turnout in Texas presidential elections is routinely higher than other types of state elections, though, averaging 45.2 percent. Gubernatorial election turnout averages only 28.4 percent while presidential and gubernatorial primary turnout is lower yet averaging 18.2 percent and 15.0 percent respectively. Special constitutional elections in which voters decide on changes to the Texas constitution epitomize the electoral turn-off, averaging a dismal 8.7 percent.

        Hence Jill, far too many Texans here, especially those registered as non-Republicans, simply DO NOT GET OUT or make the effort via other voting means—which btw, knowing this Republican Lawmakers here constantly make voting harder and harder and more complicated for the less-advantaged and poorly educated voters/populous, i.e. non-white voters—to make their non-Republican voices heard! It’s that simple. 😔

        It absolutely does NOT have to be this way if, and I emphasize IF, every single Texan got off their asses, got civically involved all the time, and with undying resilience… FIGHT threw the monstrous amount of bureaucratic (Republican) B.S. red-tape… AND VOTE!!! Unfortunately, Texas voter history over at least 3-decades does not reflect this level of optimism or resilience from potential voters.

        Link: https://texaspolitics.utexas.edu/archive/html/vce/features/0302_01/turnout.html

        Liked by 3 people

        • WOW, Professor! Just … WOW. Those statistics are horrifying! I’m always appalled by the low, often less than 50% turnout rate nationwide, but yours is … hideous! I would say … and started to say … it is unconscionable, but then I thought about some things. Many, perhaps, are un or under-educated, many are intimidated by language barriers, and many others, especially now, are disenfranchised in numerous other ways. I wonder if the same is true in other states like Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi. You’ve given me something to do a bit of research on in my “spare” 🙄time! I’ve often wondered how the hell Ted Cruz kept getting re-elected … now I understand. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. I wish I could say perhaps it will be better this year, given how much is at stake, but … obviously that would be a pipe dream. Thanks for that enlightenment, my friend. Not very encouraging, but at least I understand a bit better now.

          Liked by 1 person

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