jtyost2 + patrickleahy   1

Flashback: Grassley called on Dems not to `use’ Newtown deaths
Histrionics broke out at a Senate immigration hearing this morning when Senator Patrick Leahy called on Republicans not to use the Boston bombings as a weapon in the immigration debate. “Last week, opponents began to exploit the Boston Marathon bombing,” Leahy said. “I urge restraint in that regard.”

Perhaps the most prominent Republican official to have drawn a link between the bombings and the immigration reform proposal is Senator Chuck Grassley. And so, at today’s hearing, Grassley offered some curious pushback to Leahy that tells us a lot about how some conservatives are approaching both debates. Yes, Grassley actually said this:

“When you proposed gun legislation, we did not accuse you of using the Newtown killings as an excuse,” Grassley said. “I think we’re taking advantage of an opportunity when once in 25 years we deal with immigration to make sure every base is covered.”

Really? Here’s what Grassley himself said back on January 30th, over a month after the shootings:

Although Newtown and Tucson are terrible tragedies, the deaths in Newtown should not be used to put forward every gun control measure that has been floating around for years.

What’s more, Senator Rand Paul and other Republicans have accused the Obama administration of using the families as “props” in the push for gun control.

To be clear, if conservatives want to seize on the Boston bombings to make a political argument about immigration reform, that’s not necessarily something we should automatically condemn, as some Dems are doing. As Jonathan Bernstein notes, we should respond to events with politics. Politics are everywhere and they are inescapable. If major, consequential, nationally riveting events aren’t supposed to trigger debate over how we should organize ourselves and solve our problems, what should trigger it?
PatrickLeahy  senate  congress  boston  BostonMarathonBombing  usa  legal  immigration  crime  terrorism  ChuckGrassley  guncontrol  politics  logic 
april 2013 by jtyost2

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