Sens. Vitter (R-LA) and Paul (R-KY) have introduced S.J.Res. 2, which would amend the U.S. Constitution so that children born on American soil to undocumented immigrants can't gain citizenship by the fact of their birth, as the 14th Amendment currently guarantees. That we're even considering such a repugnant notion begs the question: what kind of nation are we? Are we a weak nation, that can't deal with some 400,000 blameless babies born to foreign parents out of a nation of 300 million people, that can't keep undocumented immigrants off American soil in any other way? Like, say, by adjusting quotas on immigration so that they bear some relationship to reality, or by passing the Employee Free Choice Act and/or amending the National Labor Relations Act to permit farmworkers to organize, so that workers can more ably prevent their employers from trying to give their jobs away to the undocumented? If you believe America is a strong nation, as I do, then I think a phone call to your Senators opposing S.J.Res. 2 is in order. And if you want to call Ron Paul and tell him to take his son out to the woodshed for saying citizenship is a privilege -- as jaw-dropping a moment as Paul the Lesser has foisted on us in his brief political career -- you're free to do that, too.
Meanwhile, Sen. Franken (D-MN) has introduced S. 31, the Prescription Drug and Health Improvement Act of 2011, which would give Medicare the power to negotiate drug prices with manufacturers. As stunning as it is that Mr. Bush's Medicare Part D drug program didn't give Medicare this authority (it's almost as if he wanted the program to fail!), it's just as stunning that the massive health care overhaul passed last year didn't solve the problem, either. Much as I laud Mr. Franken for trying again on an issue that really ought to get everyone's support, I wish he'd called the bill the "Saving Medicare Money and Cutting the Deficit Act," because that's what the bill really does. I think you may also want to call your Senators to support S. 31. And you may ask your more reactionary Senators: if you're not going to get rid of a program, isn't it still your job to get the program to run as well as it could? Presumably, if a program runs as well as it could, and still runs badly, that would make their argument against the program for them. I wonder why they don't see that.