Amnesty: The next GOP leadership betrayal
By Michael R. Shannon
web posted January 20, 2014
House Republican leadership is preparing to betray the base. Again. To illustrate the magnitude of the sell-out I was going to use a hypothetical analogy with Democrats and their base. Initially I was going to posit that Sen. Tim Kaine (D–Secular) had changed his mind about abortion.
For years Kaine has said that although he's personally opposed to abortion, he is not willing to impose his beliefs on a ‘woman's right to choose.' Essentially confessing that his Catholic faith is not strong enough to get in the way of his political ambitions. (In his last campaign he became even more weaselly, saying he didn't want to stand in the way of a woman exercising her "constitutional choices," unless the choice involved a handgun.)
In my hypothetical Kaine would announce he had decided that what the Catholic Church teaches and the Bible says is the truth and he will no longer support any abortion unless it is to save the life of the mother. Kaine would also declare that he will no longer vote for any taxpayer dollars to be given to Planned Parenthood since both his beliefs and opinion polls show Americans don't think tax money should pay for or help support abortion facilities.
It's a great analogy but it has one problem: No one, but no one would believe it. The Democrat base worships at the altar of abortion. The analogy is too fantastic for even temporary suspension of disbelief. Brent Bozell, chairman of ForAmerica, put it nicely last week: "So what's the difference between Boehner and Pelosi and McConnell and Reid? Answer: The Democratic leadership honors its promises. Republican leaders have abandoned theirs."
This House GOP leadership betrayal is passage of an amnesty bill, probably before the November election. Erosion in GOP leadership backbones started with Paul Ryan (R–Cheese Brains) when he began talking about a path to citizenship for illegals. Speaker John Boehner (R–Tanning Bed) went back and forth on "immigration reform." And now House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R–Sellout) says the leadership supports an amnesty bill for 12 million illegals that includes tighter border enforcement as a sop to conservatives.
This means Boehner and his merry men pay far more attention to agitation from people who shouldn't be in the country than they do to conservative citizens. And unprincipled businessmen who want a steady supply of imported serfs to compete with and lower the wages of US citizens are far more influential than mere voters.
National Republicans are forever pursuing the ‘independent voter' at the expense of the base. GOP campaigns downplay ‘social issues' in an effort to appeal to the uncommitted vote. Democrats on the other hand solidify their base first and then move to the independents. You think that might be why they win elections?
Besides the betrayal of the base, which is bad enough, what political goal do these masterminds in House leadership (to borrow an adjective from Mark Levin) think they are going to accomplish?
Boehner has picked an issue that was a failure the last time Republicans supported it. Ronald Reagan signed a one–time–only–amnesty–that–will–also–seal–the–border–tighter–than–a–teenage–miniskirt.
The results of that amnesty were threefold:
1. The bill gave citizenship to people who came and stayed illegally
2. It produced millions of new votes for Democrats
3. Legalized an influx of low–skill labor for employers that served to reduce wage rates for citizens
4. It attracted another 12 million illegals who came after and who want their amnesty now.
Does Boehner expect amnesty to make inroads into the Hispanic vote? There is evidence in California that has a direct bearing, not that he will pay any attention. Hispanics now make up the largest ethnic group in the state as a result of Reagan's amnesty and the subsequent Democrat failure to seal the border. Today there is not one Republican state-wide official in office. California is a GOP desert as Hispanics proved singularly ungrateful.
Does Boehner think amnesty will improve the party's image among independents? Today's Gallup poll lists a total of 3 percent of the populace ranking immigration "reform" as a top priority and I'm guessing all their names began with Jesus.
Does Boehner think amnesty will mean more contributions from big business? That's possible and it may last a cycle or two, but once the amnestied voters gravitate to the Democrats, Republicans will start losing. And the Business Roundtable doesn't back or finance losers for long.
Amnesty is a payoff to big business, Democrat interest groups and tribal voters. There is no compelling Republican rationale for passage either morally or politically.
Immigration polling, which has evidently frightened the GOP leadership, is dishonest. Respondents are offered choices that simply don't exist here in reality land, as Ann Coulter pointed out. For instance the Public Religion Research Institute proclaims, "This support for a path to citizenship has remained unchanged from earlier this year, when in both March and August 2013 an identical number (63%) supported a path to citizenship for immigrants currently living in the United States illegally."
Yet their poll offers three choices that are false or too general to be useful: "become citizens provided they meet certain requirements," "become permanent legal residents but not citizens" or "Identify and deport them."
"Certain requirements" is not defined and therefore is useless in determining public policy. Poll respondents can interpret "certain requirements" in a number of ways ranging from "learn to speak English like Tom Brokaw & pay back taxes and a fine" to "stand in a long line for an autographed photo of Obama."
"Legal residents but not citizens" is an outcome that creates a permanent helot class that won't survive the first Democrat Congress. And no sane conservative has ever advocated mass deportation. We believe they got here under their own power and they can leave the same way.
I have yet to see a poll that asks a question that offers a conservative choice. For instance: Do you support a step–by–step approach to the immigration problem that begins by removing the economic incentive for illegal immigration thru a law that makes it a criminal offense for employers to hire illegal aliens?
I'll even agree to change "illegal aliens" to "undocumented workers" if someone will just ask the dang question. But it won't happen because the support it will receive doesn't fit the MSM story line of overwhelming support for "immigration reform."
If illegals can't work and they can't collect welfare and rebates from the IRS then the invasion will begin to reverse. Presto the "immigration problem" solves itself! Sure the bill won't pass the current Senate, but so what? It offers a conservative alternative to the amnesty now crowd and it preserves the rule of law, but that pales in comparison to Boehner's dreams of campaign contributions from the Business Roundtable.
Before elected officials — Republicans again — got cold feet in Prince William County, illegals were fleeing after an anti–illegal enforcement act was passed. The county saved millions as they fled to nearby "sanctuary" cities and states. The same can happen in a nation that takes its own immigration laws seriously.
Unfortunately that is not this nation and it's not this Republican Party.
Michael R. Shannon is a public relations and advertising consultant with corporate, government and political experience around the globe. He is a dynamic and entertaining keynote speaker. He can be reached at mandate.mmpr (at) gmail.com. He is also the author of the forthcoming book: "Funny Conservative" Is Not an Oxymoron. (Or any other type of moron).