Newt Gingrich and Tom Delay took part in a walk down memory lane to celebrate their 1994 Contract With America with some of their former playmates:
A half-dozen lawmakers joined nearly 40 former colleagues, including former speaker Newt Gingrich, inside the National Resources Committee hearing room to reminisce about one of the biggest “wave” elections in congressional history.
What a time that was. Some of their disasters include Gingrich shutting down the government and then leading the charge to impeach President Clinton, which in turn led to him being kicked out of the very wave election that he helped orchestrate. Not a bad result, really.
Anyway, he joined in with the Cersie Lannister (Laura Ingraham) group of xenophobe immigration paparazzi and warned that illegals will come into America, infecting us all with Ebola and Benghazzzziii!. Sorry, I lost it for a moment. He didn't mention Benghazi.
Gingrich and DeLay also fielded questions about immigration policy, though neither acknowledged the growing realization among many of their peers that if the GOP doesn’t take some affirmative stance on the issue in the next two years, they could pay for it at the polls in 2016.
Gingrich said a porous border meant undocumented individuals could come into the United States carrying Ebola. Wicker piped in that if Congress were ever to try again to pass a comprehensive immigration overhaul legislation, it would have to be piecemeal, and the very first bill — a border security bill — would need to be signed into law by the president before lawmakers did anything else.
Good old, Newtie. I sure hope he runs again in 2016.
There's been a long line of right wing xenophobes throughout our history that have lied about diseases to scare the public against all immigrants.
With each wave of immigration, nativists have made public-health excuses for keeping out migrants. In the 1830s, cholera was described as an "Irish disease," and in the late 1800s Tuberculosis was portrayed as a "Jewish disease." In 1891, Congress banned any immigrant “suffering from a loathsome or dangerous contagious disease.” Even at Ellis Island, a site we celebrate as America’s front door for the “tired and weary,” medical inspections were a weapon aimed at immigrants who traveled on second and third class and were commonly used to quarantine and turn back unwanted immigrants.
Public-health nativism was also used to justify violence against immigrants. After a Chinese immigrant died of the bubonic plague in 1900, San Franciscans quarantined Chinatown and threatened to burn it down. Mayor James Phelan said that Chinese immigrants were “a constant menace to the public health.” Later, he ran for the Senate under a pledge to “Keep California White.”
More than a century later, the overt racism is gone but the underlying sentiment is the same. The ugly rhetoric we've seen over the past few weeks didn't emerge out of thin air. In 2005, Lou Dobbs's CNN show falsely reportedthat there had been 7,000 leprosy cases over the previous three years—one of immigration's "deadly imports," he said. The following year, Pat Buchanan claimed that "clearly the illegal aliens" were to blame for the rise in bedbug infestations. And so on.