If you happened to catch Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce this morning on MSNBC, you got a glimpse of just how low America’s political discourse has sunk. Interruptive, combative and utterly boorish, Pearce let loose with a barrage of non-facts that would make Rod Blagojevich blush.

Just a couple of this morning’s Pearce-isms:

According to Pearce, the horde of illegal immigrants crossing our border is composed chiefly of child molesters, drug dealers and rapists (fiendishly masquerading as people looking for work, I guess).

Asked to comment on Mexican president Felipe Calderon’s assertion that America’s addiction to illegal drugs is partly to blame for the violence and racketeering of Mexican cartels, Pearce countered, “Those drugs are illegal; you can’t even get them in the United States.”  Evidently, the narcotraficantes are moving copious amounts of blow and Mexican tar northward just in case Gringos ever do find a way to “get them.”

Say What?

I’m not sure that even Pearce knew what he meant by that last one, but both statements are prime examples of the new “Proudly Dumb” movement galumphing its way into cable news and talk radio.  Just yell louder than your opponent, and make up any darned “fact” you please, no matter how easily disprovable. Oh, and remember to shake your head emphatically while the other guy is speaking. According to Students Against Drunk Drivers (SADD), one-in-six American high school seniors has driven high on reefer during the last year alone –If that ain’t demand, what is?

On this particular morning, however, Pearce didn’t even have an opponent. He was being interviewed by MSNBC anchor Contessa Brewer, whose only challenge to Pearce was her seeming inability to make sense of what he was hissing at her. Pearce was in full combat mode, nonetheless.

The Face of SB 1070

To a certain segment of the listening and viewing public, Pearce’s debate style probably seems commanding and effective (much like a well-slammed folding chair across the back of a WWE wrestler seems commanding and effective). To thinking people, however, it comes off as the raving of a guy who is sorely lacking a fundamental understanding of illegal immigration — and manners.

The real losers in Pearce’s performance were supporters of SB1070, Arizona’s anti-illegal immigration law. As the author of the legislation, Senator Pearce did for the law’s detractors what no demonstration could ever do. In one 3-minute tantrum, Pearce managed to lend a lot of credence to those who claim the law is mean-spirited, reckless and vindictive.

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  1. victoria childs says:

    I think whole issue goes against everything america stands for. Not to mention discrimination. Are we saying it’s ok to bulley these people because they are a 3rd world? Most just want a better life. I think we need to leave them alone since they perform jobs that most americans don’t want or won’t do. That’s why they’re among us in the first place. My parents came here from europe as did most of us. They met with a lot of discrimination too, but they worked hard and built a life. What happened to America??


  2. Russ Buchanan says:

    Hi Victoria – Thanks for the comment.

    Granted, there are problems with the sheer numbers of illegal immigrants heading northward, but Arizona’s approach is terribly wrongheaded. Set aside, for the moment, the scapegoating and the underlying racism oozing out of the likes of dear Sen. Pearce and the Tea Party crowd. It’s the playing with the “unreasonable search and seizure” protections of our Constitution that scares the hell out of me. A person’s skin color, clothing and accent are just not “probable cause” enough to detain or even stop someone. What’s next? “Well, that guy looked like a drug user, your honor” or “The gal seemed to be an Arab; could’ve been a terrorist.”

    And yes, there is a mean, selfish streak that seems to be getting wider and bolder in our country. When the “O’reilly Factor” is a top-rated program, something is terribly wrong.


  3. Charles says:

    Victoria and Russ

    You guys need to come to Az before making an opinion about an issue in state. This is a state of emergency. It is not safe to go anywhere alone here in Az. Do you want to live in a state like this?

    Az is the kid-nap capital of the world. Of the world!! People are afraid to go out at night. I do not allow my family to leave the house after dark and i certainly do not allow them in the city by themselves.

    We have homes being invaded at an alarming rate. People are not safe to even be at home.

    Just 2 nights ago, a girl was kidnapped, rapped and beaten to death. They caught the guys. All illegals from mexico. what if it was a member of your family who had been killed?

    Our hospitals are full. Nobody is paying the bills. I am a nurse and work at one of the charity hospital in the area. Over the month of January and february we saw over 11,000 patients. None of them had insurance. The tax payers are having to pay of this. I dont know about you, but i am broke. Arent you tired of paying high taxes? Maybe if one of you guys were directly affective by a death, your opinions would matter.

    Call me a racist if it makes you feel better, but we are dying down here. Votes for Obama should not come at the expenise of an american teenager.

    God Bless


    • Russ Buchanan says:

      Hello Charles,

      First, thanks for the comment–always glad to hear opposing views, though your position–on illegal immigration, that is– is not all that different from mine.

      I live in Southern California so I am no stranger to the negative aspects of unchecked immigration–overcrowding, overuse of infrastructure, depression of wages,
      drain on social services, etc. (however, when I think of my taxes, illegal immigration falls far behind our government’s “continual war” policy and Congress’ pork-fest).
      The point is, something must be done to stem the flow, but SB 1070 ain’t it. Out of frustration with the federal government’s cowardly inaction on the matter, Arizona
      has adopted a law that defies the U.S. Constitution and actually works against developing sound immigration policy. For the meantime, let’s leave the scapegoating,
      non-facts, poorly hidden racism and political opportunism of SOME of the law’s supporters for another time.
      Though the Justice Department has cited the Supremacy Clause (federal law trumps state) as the major problem with SB 1070, I can’t help believe that our
      protection against illegal search and seizure would also be a violated. Though SB 1070 is careful to refer to “legal stops,” it is wildly un-careful about whom will be
      subject to detention and “removal.” Many legal immigrants–and citizens–could be in for some mighty rough treatment while the cops, the state and the feds work out the
      detainee’s true immigration status. Not everyone has their “papers” on them at all times (in fact, not everyone has papers)–there are always special circumstances that
      will fall through the cracks.

      A patchwork of immigration laws guiding our immigration policy is simply unworkable–immigration must fall under federal domain. That’s where Congress comes in.
      Our representatives have been putting illegal immigration on the back burner for far too long. Perhaps SB 1070’s crowning achievement will be to wake them–and the electorate–up.

      Thanks again,



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