Earlier today in “Refugee Blowback: More Than Half Of America's Governors Oppose Entry Of Syrians,” we brought you a look at just how much effort the nation’s Republican governors are putting into fighting a losing battle against the Obama administration’s plan to settle some 10,000 Syrian asylum seekers.
As a refresher, here’s a look at which states oppose the plan:
As we noted, this is all for political points, because in the final analysis, it’s not up to state and local officials as they “cannot”, to quote WaPo, “physically prevent refugees from being resettled in their areas.” And even if they could, why would they really want to? After all, these refugees were properly “vetted,” much like the “moderate” Syrian rebels the Pentagon sought to train earlier this year.
Of course the Paris attacks virtually ensure that no matter what federal law says, there’s going to be a fight over this and now, GOP Presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz is set to introduce a bill that would prevent Syrian refugees from coming into the US. Here’s WaPo:
Cruz (R-Tex.) said after a campaign event here that the legislation is still being drafted and wouldn't offer details of exactly what it would say. According to reports, Cruz told CNN that it would bar Syrian Muslim refugees from entering the United States.
Cruz has said numerous times in the past few days that Muslim refugees from Syria should be resettled in majority Muslim countries in the Middle East.
Cruz has said it is "nothing short of lunacy" to allow Syrian Muslim refugees into the country, particularly after Friday's Paris attacks.
But while Muslims aren’t welcome under the Cruz plan, Christians apparently are:
"There is no meaningful risk of Christians committing acts of terror. If there were a group of radical Christians pledging to murder anyone who had a different religious view than they, we would have a different national security situation," Cruz said Sunday in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
And here’s an incredulous Obama:
"That's not American. That’s not who we are. We don’t have religious tests to our compassion," Obama said.
Maybe “we” don’t, but Ted Cruz does:
"I'll tell you what's shameful is that the president after seven years still refuses to utter the words radical Islamic terrorism [and] claims that somehow [it's] a religious test. [It's] not that at all. It is understanding the nature of the evil we face."
But it's not just Ted Cruz (whose religious based test isn't likely to win the day even among the GOP). New House Speaker Paul Ryan is also out calling for a review of the refugee plan. Here's The New York Times:
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan called Tuesday for the suspension of a program to accept Syrian refugees into the United States, and two influential senators announced a renewed push for a formal authorization of military force against the Islamic State as Congress moved to respond to the terrorist attacks in Paris.
The developments on Tuesday suggested that the attacks in Paris had shifted the calculations on Capitol Hill, with potentially greater support for authorizing military force against the Islamic State. But there was also a fast-rising backlash, particularly among Republicans, against allowing Syrian refugees into the United States.
Led by Mr. Ryan, the Republicans said there were grave reasons to fear that terrorists would be permitted to enter the country posing as refugees.
“Our nation has always been welcoming,” Mr. Ryan said at a news conference. “But we cannot allow terrorists to take advantage of our compassion. This is a moment where it is better to be safe than to be sorry. So we think the prudent, the responsible thing is to take a pause in this particular aspect of this refugee program in order to verify that terrorists are not trying to infiltrate the refugee population.”
You can see how that comes across as a bit more measured and (importantly) much more feasible than "maybe we should only let in the Christians", because after all, what's to keep a terrorist from simply lying and checking the "Christian" box on the entry form right along with the "Not A Suicide Bomber" box?
Not to be outdone, GOP frontrunner Ben Carson is out with a new anti-refugee ad in which the former neurosurgeon hilariously threatens to "defund Obama's breakfast":
And then finally there's poor Jeb Bush, who is desperately seeking to come across as an island of sanity in a political arena gone batshit crazy on both sides of the aisle (via Bloomberg):
"The answer to this is not to ban people from coming," Bush said Tuesday in an interview with Mark Halperin and John Heilemann for Bloomberg Politics' With All Due Respect. "The answer is to lead, to resolve the problem in Syria."
Bush stressed the United States shouldn't allow in refugees "if there's any kind of concern."
"But I don't think we should eliminate our support for refugees," Bush added. "It's been a noble tradition in our country for many years."
So yes folks, this has become a circus inside the Beltway and the sad thing about it is that at the end of the day, nearly (and we only say "nearly" because we would certainly hope that at least someone, either Republican or Democrat has actually taken the time to rationally weigh the importance of both national security and alleviating human suffering) everyone involved is simply jockeying for political points among their various constituents.
And this will go on and on and will invariably end up being inextricably linked to Obama's executive action on immigration and, by extension, to the man who knows better than anyone that you can never let a good crisis go to waste, The Donald.
Finally, we leave you with some food for thought, which we'll let readers assess in the context of the current situation and interpret as they see fit: