However, that doesn't mean that anyone should discount his intelligence or political acumen.
He knows that the one issue that the Rs can win on this fall is immigration, and as long as the average American is distracted by undocumented immigrants and not paying attention to the Republicans' efforts to obstruct an economic recovery for the middle and working classes, cut taxes for corporations and the wealthiest Americans, to foment a full-fledged return to the disastrous Bush-era policies that created the mess that we're in, they stand a very good chance of gaining control of one or both chambers of Congress in November.
So the following story in the Arizona Republic should come as no surprise -
U.S. Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl on Sunday expressed support for hearings on the 14th Amendment's guarantee of birthright citizenship to U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants.The quote from Kyl came Sunday on CBS' Face The Nation. CBS News coverage of Kyl's appearance here.
"Well, actually there is a constitutional provision in the 14th Amendment that has been interpreted to provide that if you are born in the United States, you are a citizen no matter what," Kyl, R-Ariz., said Sunday on CBS' Face the Nation. "Now, there are limitations on that. For example, for the children of diplomats and so on. So the question is, if both parents are here illegally, should there be a reward for their illegal behavior?"
The part of the Constitution under attack from Kyl (and Russell Pearce, and the rest of the nativist of the GOP) is the first clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which reads -
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. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.In his appearance on Face The Nation, Kyl alluded to the fact that the amendment doesn't apply to those, such as diplomats, who are immune to (not "subject to the jurisdiction" of) American laws.
Since the ability of Joe Arpaio et. al. to arrest, detain and harass brown-skinned people continues unabated, and I expect that lawyer-by-education-and-experience Kyl is cognizant of that fact, Kyl's intended targets for selective application of the Constitution are obviously *not* immune from American laws.
As such, no matter how much the nativists wish otherwise, the Fourteenth Amendment applies to undocumented immigrants.
Unless, of course, he wants to propose granting them diplomatic status...
OK - probably not. :)
Anyway, if any of Kyl's proposed hearings take place, you can be certain that Fox News and the rest of the R echo chamber will do everything that it can to ensure that the cacophony surrounding them drowns out discussion of any issue other than immigration.
BTW - I'm not sure that a minority party Senator can call hearings on a given topic. However, the Senate's rules can be rather arcance and antiquated ("antiquated" as in "harkening back to the time when there was less pure partisanship in D.C.") - so anything is possible.