The Republican Party has it in its power to settle the immigration issue once and for all. And it can begin with tomorrow’s procedural vote in the Senate on health care reform.
All the Senators need do is hold the line against reform and entice at least one Democrat to join them in talking the bill to death. They can use the same filibuster techniques that allowed reactionary segregationists to stall civil rights legislation for generations.
Next, they only need wait while the status quo of skyrocketing health costs continues to do its work, undermining American business, boosting the relative competitiveness of other countries, bankrupting state governments, and sinking individual wealth into a black hole of rising cost and declining coverage.
Keep this up for another decade or two, and the immigration problem will go away on its own. Instead, we’ll have net emigration, as Americans leave home to seek jobs in more prosperous countries, like Mexico.
Getting back to town, I just learned that Susan Youngblood Ashmore’s book received two prizes at the Southern Historical Association meeting in Louisville. I’m doubly pleased because Ashmore earned her doctorate at Auburn and because her book is a contribution to the modern history of my home state. It’s another sign that the historiography of the civil rights era is getting better and more significant all the time.
The book is Carry It On: The War on Poverty and the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama, 1964-1972. For those quick to raise objections, Ashmore is not claiming that there was no movement before 1964. Rather, her work focuses on how the movement fared at the local level, especially in the Alabama Black Belt, after key legislative victories at the federal level. It is not a story with a happy ending, as any Alabamian knows who has spent time in Eutaw or Camden or White Hall.
Add one to the reading list, along with Wayne Flynt’s Alabama in the Twentieth Century and David Carter’s The Music Has Gone Out of the Movement.