Somewhere in the Bush years, I threw in the towel on the Republicans. It was not the endless and largely pointless wars that did it for me. Iraq and Afghanistan were understandable blunders. Maybe not excusable, but certainly understandable. When you have a big powerful military, you want to use it, so when the neocons cooked up these schemes, they found willing buyers.
No, what did it for me was the domestic side. They did not do a damn thing to roll back the welfare state, despite having control of both houses and the executive. Not only did they not cut a single penny, they went on a spending spree. Worse yet, they expanded the portfolio of every domestic agency. They left no doubt that Pat Buchanan was right along about so-called conservatives and the Republican Party.
Given the state of the other party a sober minded person was left with no choices on election day. The election of 2010 did not offer much hope. One look at Boehner made it clear he was a timid, unimaginative man with no spine. The nomination of Romney for the 2012 election was comical, in many respects. Romney is everything that is wrong with the Republican Party. You cannot be a credible alternative to the Left if you’re just offering more of the same.
The upcoming midterms promised to be uneventful. A president’s second midterm is always rough as his own base has run out of steam while the other party’s base is motivated to send a message. Given the state of the GOP, but adjusting for the endless list of scandals and buffoonery from Obama, it was looking like the GOP adds to their margin in the House and maybe wins the Senate by a seat or two at most.
John Derbyshire points out that Americans are talking about immigration. That’s something no one thought possible a year ago. Not only are they talking about it, they consider it the top issue. There’s also a big majority now in favor of decreasing legal immigration. Given the way we romanticize immigration, that’s mind boggling. What’s even more stunning is our rulers are now clutching their skirts over it. That’s when you know things have turned. Even usual suspects are running for cover now.
Potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidates are showing divisions over how to handle the surge of illegal immigrant children, underscoring how quickly the immigration issue has gone from what they thought was a guaranteed political winner to an electoral headache.
Some Democratic governors considering presidential bids also are having to grapple personally with the surge as they decide whether to fight or accept the Obama administration’s requests to house the children in facilities within their borders.
Those within Congress, meanwhile, will have to take tough votes on boosting spending and changing the law to allow for faster deportations — all under the close scrutiny of Hispanic groups that are prepared to punish those they deem to be working against immigrant rights.
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley sparked a feud with the Obama administration in recent days when he publicly called on President Obama not to send children back to their countries of origin but privately urged a White House official not to house them at a site in Maryland, either.
“What I said was that would not be the most inviting site in Maryland,” Mr. O’Malley told CNN on Wednesday. “There are already hundreds of kids already located throughout Maryland.”
Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has taken a more enforcement-centered approach. She told a CNN-sponsored town hall last month that the children “should be sent back as soon as it can be determined who responsible adults in their families are.”
She said some children might have valid humanitarian reasons to stay but the key was to send a signal of tough enforcement.
“We have to send a clear message: Just because your child gets across the border, that doesn’t mean the child gets to stay,” she said. “So we don’t want to send a message that is contrary to our laws or will encourage more children to make that dangerous journey.”
The thing to keep in mind is Obama is the leader of the radical wing of the Liberal Democrats. The Clintons are the leaders of the establishment wing. The two wings despise one another with the intensity of a thousand suns. People like Martin O’Malley are in the Clinton wing. Warren has the support of the Obama’s. If Clinton chooses not to run, she will throw her weight behind O’Malley in the primary. Immigration therefore becomes the dividing issue in the Democrat primary battle.
The disaster on the border is what’s driving the the news cycle. The administration has decided to take the Tony Blair approach to immigration. That is, they want to flood the nation with immigrants thus changing the debate from whether we should let them all in to how we should treat them now that they are here. That means the issue could very well be with us for a lot longer than the current news cycle.
Faced with a tailor made issue to use against the other party, the GOP will be tempted to screw it up by preemptively surrendering on the issue. The defeat of Eric Cantor, however, seems to have removed that knife from their hands. Now they have to fear being their Right in this election. That means groveling to the Left on immigration is not the obvious choice for them.
It’s way too soon to get hopeful, but the immigration bomb has gone off. Unlike most issues, this one is lethal for the Democrats. Blacks are strongly against any sort of immigration, but especially Hispanic immigration. Latinos are strongly against illegal immigration. On the other hand, the plutocrats at the top of the party want open borders and upscale whites are divided on the issue. Those in STEM fields are fine with low skill immigration, but against the H1B1 rackets.
The GOP is not shielded from this explosion. Boehner and Ryan and Cantor were ready to do the bidding of the Chamber of Commerce and pass amnesty this fall. That’s suddenly out the window. The people who vote for them and provide the boots on the ground are against amnesty. The shearing effect on the party will not tear it apart, but it does give the good guys a shot to force changes. Even Conservative Inc. is jumping on the bandwagon.
More important, 2016 may open the door for an outsider candidate to run on the issue.