…the young leaders at DREAMActivist.org tell it like it is. This morning, Organizing for America, the grassroots offshoot of President Obama’s campaign (now housed within the DNC) sent out the following message with the subject heading, “This is not the end of DREAM”:
“This weekend’s vote on the DREAM Act was a disappointment. Republicans voted against a measure to give folks who are American in everything but their legal status an opportunity through military service or education.
I’ll be blunt: this vote failed because a group of Republicans stood with their party, instead of their principles.
Senator John McCain cosponsored the DREAM Act in 2003, 2005, and 2007. But this weekend, he voted against it.
Senator Chuck Grassley cosponsored the DREAM Act in 2003 — and voted against it this weekend.
Neither of them were alone — there are five Republican senators who have voted for the DREAM Act in the past decade, but failed to support it on Saturday.
We need to send a clear message to the Republicans that none of us are going away — that we will continue to fight. That’s why we’re asking people who support the DREAM Act to call the GOP leaders and express their disappointment — and to tell them to stop playing politics with immigration reform.
Call Representative Boehner at (202) 225-6205 and Senator McConnell at (202) 224-2541 today.
When President Obama was in the Senate, he was a cosponsor of the DREAM Act. It remains a major priority for him today.
And OFA supporters like you — along with advocates across the country — have done the important organizing work in our communities to build support for this crucial measure.
But the fight ahead of us will be difficult.
Prominent Republicans have come out against birthright citizenship, fought for English-only laws, and generally moved their party toward greater levels of extremism.
With the House under Republican control in the next Congress, we need to make it clear that we will stand strong for an America built on hard work, fairness, and equality — not one ruled by xenophobia and fear.
This fight isn’t over — and when it comes up in the next Congress, we need to be on the record saying that Republicans can’t hold reform hostage to political games.
Let’s start by telling that to the Republican leaders today. Will you call Representative Boehner at (202) 225-6205 and Senator McConnell at (202) 224-2541?
Thanks for fighting,
Organizing for America”
Obviously, these paid hacks are pointing fingers directly at the GOP Senators, but let’s remember that three Republicans voted in favor of DREAM, while five Democrats voted against it. Those five Democratic senators, had they voted in the affirmative, would have given the DREAM Act the 60 votes needed to proceed to debate. So the blame can go to both parties, but it is especially stinging for the Democrats since so much has been made about the possibility of comprehensive immigration reform happening in the current administration.
I sense that beyond sending e-mails to the Democratic Party faithful that the Democrats start doing some soul searching. It’s one thing to call Representative Boehner and Senator McConnell and beg that they keep immigration reform on the radar in the next congress, but it’s another matter entirely to take stock of the Democratic Party and identify where some of its members have acted in an obstructionist fashion as well.
And beyond the two party system, Latinos need to start examining their issue organization leadership. Are we best represented by NCLR or LULAC and its leaders? Could they have been more vocal in speaking out about the immigration conundrum and/or could they have offered more support to the DREAMers? Unless strategies change or evolve, it is going to look like these organizations are disconnected from the masses they purport to represent, especially if they don’t deliver a victory at some point on the immigration issue.
So while Democratic establishment and many beltway organizations will point fingers at the Republicans, DREAM Activists will keep it real. Check out this audio from NPR’s Talk of the Nation from Today with Flavia de la Fuente. Hat tip to Gustavo Arellano of the OC Weekly.