Last night, Bill Maher delivered a brilliant “New Rules” monologue in which he outs Republican hypocrisy on immigration, climate change, and other hot button issues.
You can’t spend the first half of a debate bitching about how immigrants are ruining the country, and the second half on the uplifting stories of your immigrant parents.
Maher and his staff compiled a list of statements current Republican candidates love to use when highlighting the American ethos of “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.”
Kasich: “My grandmother was an immigrant who could barely speak English.”
Cruz: “My father was an immigrant from Cuba who didn’t speak English.”
Rubio: “My parents arrived with no money and didn’t speak English.”
When Republican candidates want to peddle the GOP narrative of meritocracy, start-up immigrant families are to be praised for their perseverance and revered when they succeed. Conversely, the word “immigration” assumes a negative connotation when Republican candidates want to cater to xenophobic supporters and caucasion nativists. Then, talk of immigration revolves around “deportation,” “building walls,” and forcing 1st generation, south of the border immigrants “to learn English.”
Maher also points out that “you can only get Republican support if it touche[s] one of their own.” Take for example Jeb Bush, who is softer on immigration because, well, he married one. Or Dick Cheney’s empathetic attitude toward gay rights because his daughter is a lesbian. Based on these trends, Maher laments that until climate change affects Republicans directly, our environment is pretty much screwed.