Feeding red meat to voters

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has joined the chorus of congressional Republicans calling for hearings on the 14th Amendment.

For now, though, McConnell is just providing some backup harmony, while illegal immigration hawks, such as Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, belt out the solos blasting the amendment's provision granting citizenship to anyone born in the U.S.A.

Ho, hum. Must be an election year, and Republicans must be indulging their habit of waving raw meat around in hopes of inciting their base.

What better way to do that than to do a little screaming about "anchor babies," "birth tourism" and women who, in Graham's words, "Come here to drop a child. It's called 'drop and leave.' To have a child in America, they cross the border, they go to the emergency room, have a child, and that child's an American citizen."

OK, for argument's sake, let's say this nation has a problem with millions of anchor babies who will one day claim their citizenship rights under the 14th Amendment, sponsor 1,000 of their closest relatives for citizenship as well and colorize America in ways that don't show up on maps of red and blue states but do scare the bejabbers out of the mostly monochromatic Republican base.

Surely, we can't be alone in thinking it's darn convenient for McConnell and friends that the problem finally achieved "Let's hold hearings" status three months before midterm congressional elections.

Think of the C-SPAN theatrics and campaign video clips a few hearings could produce.

Surely, we can't be alone in recognizing that the cynical Republican posturing and blathering is designed to mask the fact that they have no real intention of dealing seriously with the problem of illegal immigrants.

McConnell, in particular, falls into that category. In 2007, after helping draft a bipartisan immigration reform measure, he joined 11 other Republican senators in voting against it.

Some commitment to problem-solving.