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If We Were Serious

Boulder Avoids War With Arizona

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, July 07, 2010.

I live in Boulder, Colorado. Boulder periodically provides the nation with punchlines and opportunity for shocked gasps, smacked foreheads, and lowered-eye glance-aways along with hysterical laughter. In this, we're like liberal enclaves in either conservative or purple states around the nation, but Boulder is - how to put this - more cool than the others, and so we continue to get designated as The People's Republic of Boulder, 20 odd square miles of diabetes inducing sweetness in skulls entirely of plaque-covered calcium surrounded by reality. You know the drill.

And while our elected officials seriously discuss whether your snarling pit bull on meth is your companion or actual responsibility, and whether prairie dogs that breed only slightly more often than male rabbits being tested for Viagra endurance while the females watch Sandra Bullock movies are an endangered species, eventually they get down to serious business like all dubious marriages and older jokes. The plantlife on the City Staff can decide the boring things like budgets and projects; the Council decides on interstellar communiqu├ęs, national defense, foreign policy and succession movements in other states. Like in Arizona.

Tuesday night at their regular social grouping, Boulder's City Council, no doubt with our famed therapists on call, walked back their May 5th resolution that announced we were in solidarity with those against Arizona's pander to its third rate and very white retirees under the gossamer of defending our borders. Among the charming innovations Arizona seeks to install in this nation, police can ask to see the papers of anyone without particular reason, just the suspicion they weren't here legally. It was so retro, so Humphrey Bogart movie, so Nazi, so adaptable to well known templates of Heroic Activist Postures that the thighs of Boulder's Left scrunched loudly together as it envisioned forthcoming displays of said heroism on its part.

But, as the Feds have noted, this is a violation of stare decisis in state-federal relations, and so they filed a lawsuit against Arizona earlier Tuesday. It's in federal courts and rather underlined the stupidity, however generous in intent, of boycotts and melodramatic stapling of wrists to foreheads.

If the US was honest about this, and it has never been, we'd mandate prison terms for corporation HR departments or owners and managers who pass as heroes of American small business who entice and hire illegal labor. But, we don't do that, because it's a Republican trope that without near slave wage labor our economy collapses, when in reality it would mean waiting a year for the auto upgrade for the trophy wife or, to be au courant, male prostitute. Republicans want to focus on the far sexier issue - at least to white folks of sixty and up - of drug running by Mexican 'mules', an image the Tea Party loves because the mule is the Democrat symbol - and the horror of diminutive people of certain skin tones not using leaf blowers but having press conferences as major elected officials. The World Turned Upside Down, don't you know, as they revert to their idiot understanding of the point of our Revolution and resultant Constitution.

So, despite the howls of former Sandanista Supporters Who Are Now Greenies, Freedom Fighters with their Pedestrian Shop footwear and unearned income, the Council also, I guess, will relent and allow our citizens to travel to Arizona and perhaps even talk with them. Freedom is on the march. It's all very dramatic, considering the Arizona law in question had yet to be enforced, but a way out was provided by Obama, and now everyone can say we need to wait to see how the federal lawsuit plays out. Of course, Boulder's Human Relations Commission offered a draft resolution that says Arizona's law creates the possibility of "institutionalizing a practice of racial and ethnic profiling that will infringe upon the civil rights of individuals and families across the U.S." It pains me, but that is very true and rather the bill's intent, much like the supposed Patriot Act had domestic intent more than national security.

I hate bad theater, and so much of this and all governance in Boulder, right and left, is very bad theater. People come from Mexico in general for a better life, because our culture of illegal drugs provided the financing and the impetus for the drug wars beneath the border. Boulder played and plays a role in that, and not a small one. The issue of drug money in Boulder's history is large, interesting, and utterly undiscussed, because god knows what local power structures are built upon it beyond the obvious ones.

If anyone on either side were serious, how can illegal immigration be discussed in City Council without that subject arising at all? Answers itself. So is Boulder still less disgusting than Arizona?