Saturday, July 20, 2024

Former Bush Administration Officials Speak Out Against GOP

Several former aides to both Vice President Dick Cheney and President George W. Bush have come out publicly against congressional Republicans for their push against birthright citizenship.

Last week La Plaza reported that Cesar Conda, a former domestic policy adviser to Cheney, said that the GOP would effectively be losing the Latino vote for their latest political maneuvering.  Now, the former aides are warning that the 14th Amendment, one of the party’s proudest legacies, is at stake.

A media adviser in Bush’s two presidential campaigns, Mark McKinnon, says the GOP could lose its “rightful claim” to an amendment the party itself was responsible for 150 years ago.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, once considered an important ally in the fight for comprehensive immigration reform, has called for congressional hearings to reconsider the concept of citizenship by birth.  Joining his ranks are Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Minority Whip Jon Kyl, and  Senators John McCain and John Boehner.

“The 14th Amendment is a great legacy of the Republican party. It is a shame and an embarrassment that the GOP now wants to amend it for starkly political reasons,” McKinnon said. “Initially Republicans rallied around the amendment to welcome more citizens to this country. Now it is being used to drive people away.”

A Republican Congress enacted the 14th Amendment during Reconstruction.  It officially overruled the infamous Dred Scott decision by the Supreme Court and defined citizenship for newly enfranchised blacks and all Americans.

Washington Post columnist and Former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday,“That is the wisdom of the authors of the 14th Amendment: They essentially wanted to take this very difficult issue — citizenship — outside of the political realm.  They wanted to take an objective standard, birth, instead of a subjective standard, which is the majorities at the time. I think that’s a much better way to deal with an issue like this.”

The citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment states: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

Republicans are now making the case that undocumented immigrants are not “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” and that their kids should not receive automatic citizenship.  Legal scholars say such a law would stand no chance against challenges in court.

To propose a change requires support from two-thirds of both the House and Senate.  It would also need the approval from three-fourths of the states to become ratified.