Fernando Mendez | 6/26/2017, 8:42 a.m.
In 2016 the GOP took over the government of the United States. It controls the presidency, the U.S. senate and the House of Representatives. The Republicans control 34 state legislatures and there are 33 Republican governors. After they lost the most recent special election in Georgia Jose Scarborough intoned in Morning Joe on MSNBC that the Democratic Party cannot win “marching in the streets.” His point is that the Democrats need a plan, they need to campaign at the street level and talk to the people about their needs. “Historically, we have seen a shift over the last 30 years to more Democrats in urban areas and more Republicans in rural areas,” said Brooks Rainwater, senior executive of the National League of Cities (NLC). Of the largest American cities 67 are controlled by Democrats while 28 are under Republican control. An article by Eric Rosenbaum states that the shift has “big implications in two major policy areas, infrastructure and immigration.” These are two issues in which there has been tension between the federal government and the cities. As usual, it has to do with money and the way city budgets are affected by Washington. We can see the way the federal government has already applied pressure on some cities to abandon the Sanctuary City idea, threatening to cut off funds. Most of the big city mayor favor liberal ideas on education, the environment, immigration and wealth creation. In Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney came with promises to build the infrastructure and use funds from the soda tax to fund pre-K, and repealed his predecessors executive order to stop the city from being a sanctuary city for undocumented immigrants. Trump actually promised to fight poverty and rebuild the inner cities. He said black voters “have nothing to lose” if they voted for him.
Rural priorities versus the needs of the large urban centers. It is the dichotomy that threatens to paralyze our government. There is little doubt that spending money on rebuilding the infrastructure would create jobs and provide city dwellers with better environments, better schools and improved city services. Those funds would also benefit the rural population with better roads, better schools, subsidies, and job opportunities. But Washington may not be that interested in supporting the ultra liberal agenda of large city mayors who favor Obamacare, immigration reform, and spending on infrastructure, policing, and public schools. At this point there is an air of hostility between the federal government and the cities that have become Sanctuary cities, for the most part large urban centers. Mayor Kenney and others have promised to fight the federal government in the courts. Partial victories that have stopped enforcement of the Muslim ban encourage the mayors to think that the courts will favor their stance. But the courts will not necessarily agree with the mayors. ICE will not give up the battle to deport undocumented immigrants and it will continue to imprison thousands no matter how long it takes to move them through the court system. The federal government has ultimate control over immigration. With the GOP in power everywhere our laws do not favor a move towards a kinder and gentler nation.