Republicans have an answer to the thorny problem of where President Barack Obama should put the 245 inmates of Guantanamo Bay – Alcatraz prison, in ultra liberal San Francisco.
Mr Obama issued an executive order last week directing that the controversial detention facility on the island of Cuba will close within a year. But he admitted that he has no plan yet for where to send the prisoners, many of whose home countries refuse to accept them.
Republicans charge that Mr Obama is basking in worldwide adulation for announcing the closure – something President George W Bush desired – without doing the difficult bit.
“If liberals believe they ought to go, maybe we ought to open Alcatraz,” Congressman John Boehner, Republican leader in the House of Representatives, told NBC. “It’s very secure.”
Perhaps by coincidence, or perhaps not, Alcatraz is in the constituency of Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives and a vocal liberal opponent of Guantanamo.
“There’s a lot of discomfort about the idea of bringing the detainees in to the United States,” said Congressman Bill Young of Florida, the first to make the proposal. “That’s why I’ve suggested Alcatraz.” Senator Kit Bond of Missouri said: “Let our good friends in San Francisco deal with these deadly combatants.”
…Republicans believe that Mr Obama’s Guantanamo closure plan will run up against NIMBY – Not In My Back Yard – difficulties among Democrats who like the notion of Guantanamo Bay closing as long as the prisoners are nowhere nearby.
Who says there aren’t any second acts in American life? William Shatner became successful after he gave up any pretence of being a serious actor and settled on becoming a comedian instead, which is what he was born to be. I say the House Republicans should follow his lead. When they have no power, they’re absolutely hilarious, almost a national treasure. They should content themselves with being funny house pets. They’re good at it.