Drawn from CarlsbadDem's diary with permission
Last night Congressman Bilbray hosted a constituent teleforum- a sort of hybrid robocall/conference call. One of the contributors at Calitics was on the call and caught one of the more honest moments of the Congressman's recent career. The conversation turned towards a discussion over whether undocumented immigrants perform manual labor that citizens otherwise would not perform. Congressman Bilbray, needless to say, does not see this as either an excuse or a problem. All it takes is some good old fashioned American ingenuity to overcome the challenge. Or, maybe, exactly the opposite. As closely as blogger CarlsbadDem could get it down:
What those people are really saying is that we aren't producing enough unskilled, poor workers. They're saying that we aren't producing enough poverty in this country. Well, my answer is that the federal government could produce a lot of poverty if it wanted to. We spend billions on education and training. We could create our own.
That's right. Create our own poverty. So there you have it, boiled down nice and easy. All the United States needs to do is stop educating people. No fuss, no muss, and market forces will drive out all those immigrants. The problem is just that we aren't competing for the jobs because we're too busy pursuing college degrees and jobs that would pay rent.
This fits rather nicely with many of Bilbray's other political positions. Like not funding SCHIP healthcare for children (if they're healthy, they'll go to school and get all uppity about graduating). Like opposition to lower interest rates on student loans (college graduates are bad for the economy- they won't do manual labor). Like opposing a cost of living increase to the minimum wage (a remotely living wage will empower too many people). Like supporting warrantless spying (if people have rights, they'll want to use them). Like opposition to hate-crime legislation (hate is healthy, it gets people elected). Like tax breaks for the rich (they can hire more of our new virtuous class of uneducated native-born citizens).
It's one of the most fundamental pieces of governance that a population kept insecure is easier to control. Keep them poor, sick, hungry, uneducated and desperate and they're docile. They'll turn on each other instead of turn on their government. We've seen this theory in action for the last seven years, if not for nearly 40. Heck, Brian Bilbray's entire platform is "blame the guy next to you, not me." It's rare though that anyone is this blatant about their deeper intentions.
When Bilbray was first in Congress from 1995-2001, he was one of the more moderate members of the GOP. That reputation played no small part in his winning the special election to succeed Duke Cunningham in California's 50th district in 2006. But he spent his years away from Congress as a supershady lobbyist and, as may be clear by now, the guy is a total nutjob.
Nick Leibham is the Democrat aiming to send Bilbray back to the K Street breadlines. I'm guessing he wouldn't mind some scratch.
Oh, and I called Bilbray's office hoping to hear the comments for myself and was informed that the call was not recorded (very odd), so confirming the exact wording is probably impossible. But CarlsbadDem says "is my sincere best recollection, that I believe to be accurate in all significant ways." I have no reason to doubt that.
Another proud day as a member of the 50th...
Maybe we should call Auday and have him step in. He worked for the guy and gave him $6,000 for his re-election campaign last time around...
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