Beck was exercised about the meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus with President Raul Castro of Cuba:
By the way, under Castro, 93 percent of Cuban labor force works for the state. Sound familiar? Average worker -- making a whopping $9 a month there in Cuba. He's fantastic. We should buddy with him. What would it be like to work for $9 a month? Oh, we may all find out soon. (h/t Media Matters)
Of course, Beck, like all others who oppose relations with Cuba, didn't call for cutting U.S. ties to China, where worker abuse in sweatshops is widespread. The bulk of Beck's rant, however, was on Obama's plans for immigration reform:
I see that Obama wants to legalize the illegal aliens, you know, when unemployment is 8.5 percent and underemployment rate is 15.6 percent. You know, you're having a hard time finding a job, you know, without having to be forced -- do you have any matches -- forced to complete, you know, compete with a whole new crop of workers.
Once again, Beck reduces the debate to its most simplistic terms. The Obama administration does not plan to recruit new workers, but to acknowledge realistically that millions of illegal immigrants are already here and are not leaving. From The New York Times:
Administration officials said that Mr. Obama’s plan would not add new workers to the American work force, but that it would recognize millions of illegal immigrants who have already been working here. Despite the deep recession, there is no evidence of any wholesale exodus of illegal immigrant workers, independent studies of census data show.
Ultimately, the administration's goal would be to place controls on the current status of illegal immigrants and prevent illegal immigration in the future. Not exactly a plan to open the floodgates:
In broad outlines, officials said, the Obama administration favors legislation that would bring illegal immigrants into the legal system by recognizing that they violated the law, and imposing fines and other penalties to fit the offense. The legislation would seek to prevent future illegal immigration by strengthening border enforcement and cracking down on employers who hire illegal immigrants, while creating a national system for verifying the legal immigration status of new workers.
The most dishonest part of Beck's diatribe is when he states, "We didn't vote to lose the republic. We didn't vote for any of this stuff. We voted for change." Please. Beck voted for change? Beck didn't vote for McCain, the candidate who stood for the ongoing deregulation of the financial industry, more tax cuts for the wealthy and continued war in Iraq? Had McCain won, Beck wouldn't have considered these policies and asked, as he does of Obama, "...how much more can he disenfranchise all of us?" Does "all of us" include the fully two-thirds of Americans who approve of the president's job performance?
Beck's pretend use of gasoline and a match is an apt metaphor for a pundit whose entire goal is to inflame and burn.