On two crucial issues this week, the extremists who dominate the Republican majority in the House of Representatives made it clear how little interest they have in the future prosperity of their country, or its reputation for fairness and decency.
The House will refuse to consider a comprehensive immigration bill that could lead to citizenship for millions of immigrants, Republican leaders said on Wednesday, and will slowly and casually consider a few border-security measures that have no chance of passing on their own.
And, on Thursday, the House passed a farm bill that stripped out the food stamp program, breaking a pact that for decades has protected the nutrition needs of low-income Americans. It was the first time since 1973 that food stamps haven’t been part of a farm bill, and it reflected the contempt of the far right for anyone desperate enough to rely on the government for help to buy groceries.
These actions show how far the House has retreated from the national mainstream into a cave of indifference and ignorance. House members don’t want to know that millions of Americans remain hungry (in an economy held back by their own austerity ideology), and they don’t want to deal with the desperation of immigrant families who want nothing more than a chance to work and feed themselves without fear of deportation.