Family Values My Ass

George W. Bush’s time as president is, in so many negative ways, still touching our lives today. We see it clearly in the Middle East, as the repercussions of the Iraq invasion and occupation have profoundly destabilized the region, which has led to thousands of deaths and millions of refugees, not to mention the unspeakable horrors we have witnessed lately.

But we also see the negative effects of Bush II’s compassionate conservative presidency here at home, even though they are sometimes harder to see. With the Great Recession now clearly behind us, maybe we are tempted to think that the gift that was George W. Bush has finally quit giving.

Not so.

Enter Andrew Scott Hanen. He’s the federal judge in Texas—appointed by George W. Bush—who gave the finger not only to President Obama and his executive action of deferring the deportation of millions of paperless immigrants, but he gave the finger to families. That’s an odd gesture for a political party that, quite falsely, prides itself as being the party of family values.

Illinois congressman Luis Gutiérrez was on television this morning and he got it right. What Judge Hanen and the Republicans who brought the lawsuit against Obama’s executive order have done should be characterized as “an attack on families.” There simply isn’t any other way of describing it.

In his own way, President Obama said the same thing:

…keep in mind that this is something that we necessarily have to make choices about because we’ve got 11 million people here who we’re not all going to deport.  Many of them are our neighbors.  Many of them are working in our communities.  Many of their children are U.S. citizens.  And as we saw with the executive action that I took for DREAMers, people who have come here as young children and are American by any other name except for their legal papers, who want to serve this country, oftentimes want to go into the military or start businesses or in other ways contribute — I think the American people overwhelmingly recognize that to pretend like we are going to ship them off is unrealistic and not who we are…

We should not be tearing some mom away from her child when the child has been born here and that mom has been living here for the last 10 years, minding her own business and being a important part of the community…

That’s what it is all about. Tearing moms from their children. Separating families. That is the policy position of the Republican Party. That is what the party proudly—proudly!—stands for these days. They are so proud of it they are willing to deny funding to the Department of Homeland Security in order to achieve their goal of dissecting families.

As Congressman Gutiérrez said this morning to Republicans: “This will come back to haunt you.” Whether it will be in the 2016 election, as Hispanics punish them at the polls, or whether it will be when the God who family values Republicans allegedly worship dispenses his own justice, it will most certainly come back to haunt them.




  1. Troy

     /  February 18, 2015

    Yes the G ood O ld P arty of family values ! What a crock of shit! Phoney bastards!


    • It’s unbelievable to me that there are so many evangelicals in the Republican Party and that nevertheless the party’s most outspoken members, and its leadership, are so anti-family, in terms of what our immigration system is doing to Hispanic–and most of them are Christian Hispanics–people here in America.

      I understand there are some evangelical groups who are arguing for a more rational and family-friendly immigration policy, but there voices are muted compared to, say, how they sound off about gay marriage. That tells you something about their priorities, as far as I’m concerned.


  2. The problem, I submit, is that the GOP’s definition of family values is constrained by its tribal view. It only applies to people who look like them, talk like them, act like them, and think like them. The possibility looms: what will they do when “not Obama” doesn’t suffice anymore?


    • Good question. Only a couple of years before we find out. But I suspect that somehow Obama will haunt their heads for a long time after he has departed the scene.


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