In the post-slavery days, it was Democrats who were the "racial demagogues," writes EJ Dionne. They railed against the so-called Reconstruction amendments with racist rhetoric, but Republicans won the day. Too bad their political descendants are happy to destroy that legacy by forcing a debate about the the 14th Amendment, which guarantees citizenship to those born on US soil.
Lindsey Graham in particular is leading the charge, sneering that illegals come here to, in Graham's only-a-man-could-say-this phrase, "drop a baby." Even worse, John McCain—who once referred to these babies as "God's children"—is buckling. "Rather than shout, I'll just ask the question in a civil way," writes Dionne in the Washington Post: "Dear Republicans, do you really want to endanger your party's greatest political legacy by turning the 14th Amendment to our Constitution into an excuse for election-year ugliness?"