By J. Robert Smith – American Thinker: Tony Lee at Breitbart’s Big Government reported a few days ago that John Boehner still craves immigration reform this year. Boehner also wants to be speaker again in 2015, goes a Washington Times report. No, he doesn’t. The speaker’s immigration drum-banging has him acting more like a man who’s already signed his own political death warrant. Boehner’s insistence on pushing immigration reform this year only harms his party’s candidates – up and down the ballot – this November.
Why raise Boehner’s doggedness for amnesty again? Isn’t it old news? Because of the way politics are played today, that’s why. The Democrats do it ceaselessly, and RINOs are learning. The tactic is “wear them down and wear them out.” That’s what the speaker’s doing. In the face of strong public opposition to immigration reform that amounts to a grant of amnesty (the only sort that President Obama will accept), Boehner keeps hoofing for “reform.”
Yes, we know: Boehner’s doing the old soft shoe, politically. He has important caveats attached to his notion of immigration reform. The midterm elections are coming, so don’t tee off Hispanics, goes the conventional wisdom. Boehner and his establishment Republicans are merely attempting to reassure Hispanics that their passion for amnesty hasn’t been forsaken by the GOP.
Add that the speaker’s desire is to care for and feed big business interests, since big business strokes lots of checks for Republicans. Big business wants amnesty, however it’s sugarcoated.
From a Rasmussen survey conducted last October, via the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), we learn that Hispanics aren’t wild about blank-check amnesty. In this critical election year, here’s the big takeaway: “Hispanic voters ranked immigration reform last (31%) among a list of four priority issues, behind the economy (62%), healthcare (57%), and education (45%).”
Republicans aren’t going to fetch many Hispanic votes in the midterms anyway. In all likelihood, the 2014 midterms will mirror the 2010 elections. That means mobilizing core constituencies and picking off enough independents to tip the balance in competitive races.
Per the 2010 pattern, there’ll be a significant drop off in Hispanic, black, and younger voter participation. White liberals? Most are confined to safe Democrat U.S. House districts. Their impact on U.S. Senate contests? Varies by state, yet white liberal votes matter only in states where there are closely contested races. Otherwise, white liberals might be a dispirited lot. ObamaCare is a bust. The economy isn’t revving. Putin’s putting the lie to the president’s Kumbaya foreign policy.
Via the Daily Caller, which cites a recent Washington Post poll on voter attitudes toward amnesty, this about Hispanics:
Thirty-six percent of Latinos say a vote against amnesty would be welcome or would make no difference.
In 2012, GOP candidate Mitt Romney won 26 percent of the Latino vote. That’s the same proportion of Latinos who trust GOP legislators to do a better job on immigration than Democrats, the poll reported.
Appears that in 2014, Republicans are going to top out at about a quarter of the Hispanic vote – however how many turn out, that is – as they’ve done before. Or Republicans actually may do worse among the GOP’s Hispanic voters if Boehner continues to agitate for immigration reform. Many Hispanic Republican voters hold similar attitudes toward amnesty as their Anglo conservative counterparts.
Here’s a bigger, more glaring point from the Post poll:
The poll showed legislators’ support for amnesty inflicted a 12-point penalty from registered voters, 28 points from white people who did not go to college. 14 points from middle-class people who earn between $50,000 and $100,000, and even a few points from college grads, people who earn over $100,000 and people who earn less than $50,000[.]
What did we learn from the 2012 presidential elections? Turnout was noticeably down from 2008. Many of those absent voters were white working- and middle-class folk who hold generally conservative worldviews. Their absence cost Mitt Romney the presidency. Shouldn’t the speaker be concerned about how to attract, not turn off, hard-pressed white blue-collar and middle-class voters – those who view amnesty as a jobs-buster, primarily, but also as a threat to their communities, schools, and services? As fundamentally unfair?
Nevertheless, Boehner prattles on about 2014 being the year for immigration reform. If the midterm congressional elections go Republicans’ way, the House will be at least as Republican (perhaps marginally more so), and the Senate will be controlled by the GOP for the first time in eight years. The House Republican caucus will be more, not less, conservative. The Senate will have a bit more conservative cast, too.
In fact, Boehner, despite his predictable bravado about now being better anchored politically among House Republicans, might find that, post-November 4, he lacks the votes to win renomination as speaker. Between a more conservative 2015 House Republican caucus and Boehner’s problematic speakership fortunes, he might be correct that his best bet is to reach agreement with the president (meaning cave in) on amnesty this year, cobble together his die-hard RINOs with Democrats, and push legislation across the goal line. Boehner’s been passing unpopular major legislation recently with his “coalition of the willing” (the farm bill, debt, and spending measures are striking).
A continued push for amnesty by Boehner – even if he starts to low-key it – serves only to rile and alienate grassroots conservatives who are indispensible to GOP election prospects. And then there are the AWOL white conservative voters who need to be wooed back into polling places.
ObamaCare’s unpopularity and economic uncertainty are powerful drivers in the November elections. Boehner and his election whizzes may assume that those issues will push conservatives to the polls regardless of a resolution on immigration reform. This is a miscalculation of giant proportions. The amnesty issue cuts deeply with GOP base voters. Boehner may not, but other Republicans will rue having pimped amnesty and deflating turnout when Election Day is finished.
Of course, Boehner might decide to cool his jets until after the elections, wagering that in tandem with the president and Nancy Pelosi, he could pass immigration reform during a lame duck session. Would a new Republican-controlled Congress move to repeal Boehner’s and McConnell’s handiwork? It would depend on the mettle of the men and women leading Republicans. McConnell most certainly wouldn’t double back, assuming he still leads Senate Republicans.
With each passing day, John Boehner acts more like a dead speaker walking than a leader with a future. If Boehner finagles his way on immigration, he bequeaths nothing to the GOP but division, strife, and electoral woe. Far more critically, on many different levels, the speaker’s immigration ploy could set back an energizing conservative movement that means to right wrongs caused by a increasingly disastrous five-year-plus liberal binge.
RINOs like John Boehner prefer big-government management and left-leaning accommodation, not conservative-driven movements encompassing reforms aimed at greater liberty, that uphold the law and seek to protect national integrity.
The stakes are too great to let Boehner wear us down.