The English Language Unity Act

THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE UNITY ACT…. We apparently have to go through this every few years.

Two conservative Republican lawmakers, Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa) and Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), introduced the English Language Unity Act of 2011 on Friday, a bill that requires that all official United States government functions be conducted in English.

“A common language is the most powerful unifying force known throughout history,” King said in a release. “We need to encourage assimilation of all legal immigrants in each generation. A nation divided by language cannot pull together as effectively as a people.”

Added Inhofe: “This legislation will provide much-needed commonality among United States citizens, regardless of heritage. As a nation built by immigrants, it is important that we share one vision and one official language.”

This is all rather pointless. Some older immigrants may be reluctant to learn English, but being in the United States, their kids and grandkids have no similar reluctance. These “English as the Official Language” measures come up, they give the right something to get excited about for a little while, and then they go away. Solutions to problems that don’t exist usually do.

But in the larger context, I’m curious, will congressional Republicans ever even pretend to focus on job creation? We’ve seen Republicans targeting abortion rights, access to health care, Muslim Americans, and a variety of domestic priorities, but the elusive GOP plan to create jobs is still nowhere to be seen.

Almost exactly a year ago, John Boehner asked, “When are we going to address the number one issue on the minds of our fellow citizens? When are we going to focus on the economy and getting people back to work?”

Perhaps after the House approves the English Language Unity Act?