Fear and Self-Loathing in the GOP

Barb Wire

Never before in human history have so many people been so eager to self-immolate for a worthless cause. If the leadership of the Republican Party really is hell-bent on passing what I call “scamnesty” (aka immigration “reform”), it might as well change its mascot from an elephant to a bottle of lighter fluid.

The GOP’s self-loathing was already legendary. Its base consists of patriotic lions led by corporatist lambs. After it loses the 2012 election, it puts out an aptly named “autopsy” that confirms every pointless anti-GOP diatribe ever aired on MSNBC, while ignoring the real reasons Barack Obama is unfortunately still president. It works and cheats harder to defeat its primary challengers than it does Democrats in general elections. Everywhere you turn this is a party at war with itself because its leadership hates itself.

But if I didn’t know any better, I’d say the GOP brass’s willingness to go along with the biggest Democrat voter drive of all time is its way of saying “we’re so tired of you guys expecting us to keep our promises, we’re just going to hit the self-destruct button and be done with it.”

Why do I call it scamnesty? Let me count the ways.

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I sat there for two days in Washington, D.C. last week and listened to hours of testimony from those impacted by the decades-long invasion of illegal aliens courtesy of FAIR, or the Federation for American Immigration Reform.  Testimony the GOP leadership didn’t bother traveling to the Phoenix Park hotel to hear for itself, by the way.

I saw the lists of names of those murdered by people in the country illegally, and most of the victims’ families still have not received justice going back 20 years in some cases. That list was presented by a woman named Maria Espinoza. A former immigrant strawberry picker, no less, so I’m sure she’s a “nativist.” Speaking of which, isn’t it something how the leadership of the Republican Party always saves its most vicious name-calling for other Republicans? I guess Reagan’s 11th Commandment only applies when the base is primarying a GOP incumbent, but I digress.

I listened to John and JoBeth Ladd, who live on a ranch that has been in their family since 1896 and covers over ten square miles on the Arizona-Mexican border, regale us with stories about the drug cartels literally operating on their lawn almost daily. They told me over 300 politicians have visited their property and seen this for themselves, and still nothing changes.

I listened to a border-state local law enforcement officer named Rusty Fleming, who told me the border has become so dangerous in some places the Feds don’t allow their border patrol to actually patrol the border because it’s not safe. That’s right – the border is not safe enough for the border patrol. So we can domestically spy on every legal U.S. resident because it’s a post-9/11 world and all, but we still can’t secure our own borders with millions of Jihadists waiting in line to come across it and kill us.

Makes sense.

And there’s plenty more where that came from. I suppose these people could all be racists and liars or something, but what if they’re not? How is it the folks that run FAIR are able to find them and bring them to Washington, D.C., but the leaders of the “rule of law party” are not?

There aren’t any good answers to that question.

Here’s a novel concept. How about every public policy begins from the premise of what’s best for the law-abiding and the taxpayers? Maybe we should try incentivizing good behavior as opposed to victimology? Seventeen trillion dollars of debt later, it seems like that might be worth a shot.

Not only is this terrible public policy, but scamnesty is also terrible politics.

The average Hispanic turnout for GOP presidential candidates since 1980 is only 31 percent. So if more than two-thirds of Hispanics were already supporting the socialist party, why wouldn’t the bulk of illegal aliens who come here for welfare state benefits do the same once normalized? The Hispanic vote had absolutely nothing to do with why there is no President Romney. He was going to need to win 72 percent of the Hispanic vote to win the presidency, or more than twice the GOP average.

In fact, among the traditional “swing states” crucial to capturing the Electoral College map, only Colorado has more far Hispanic voters than black voters (14 percent Hispanic, 3 pecent black). Florida (17 percent Hispanic, 13 percent black) is pretty split. The other swing states – North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia – have low single-digit Hispanic voting populations but up to five times more black voters.

Look at a state like Michigan, which a GOP presidential candidate hasn’t won since 1988. Mr. Obama got 95 percent of that state’s 748,000 black voters in 2012, but his overall margin of victory there was just 449,238 voters. In other words, the black vote accounted for 158 percent of Mr. Obama’s total victory margin in the state. With only 3 percent of Michigan’s electorate Hispanic, there was no percentage of the Hispanic vote Mr. Romney could’ve received in Michigan to overcome that deficit and win the state.

Black Americans tend to disproportionately serve in the U.S. military, and have been strong supporters of marriage in all 35 states the issue has been contested at the ballot box. Yet with those values in common the same people in GOP leadership pushing for scamnesty have provided no credible outreach to the black community. Ironically, it’s actually been the allegedly “racist” Tea Party that has provided diversity through names like Allen West, Mia Love, and Tim Scott.

Look at the state of California. Prior to the Reagan amnesty of 1986, California was to conservatives what Texas is now. It was the birthplace of the Reagan Revolution, and regularly went GOP in presidential elections. In 1984, Reagan got 58 percent of the vote there and won in a rout, but after the Reagan Amnesty George H.W. Bush won the state by just three points four years later. Since 1988, no Republican presidential candidate has won the state, and four times the GOP nominee didn’t even get 40 percent of the popular vote. The percentage of registered Republicans in California has fallen below 30 percent. And keep in mind that’s California Republicans. Otherwise known as Democrats in Texas.

Speaking of Texas, since 2000 Hispanics (legal and illegal) have accounted for 65 percent of the state’s population growth. So imagine what passing scamnesty will do that state. Exactly what the Reagan amnesty did to California, that’s what. If both California and Texas are blue they would represent more than one-third of the Electoral College votes it takes to win the presidency.

Translation: Every liberty issue you care about – life, private property rights, Second Amendment rights, religious liberty, limited government, etc. – would then be in grave danger if scamnesty happens.

There aren’t any good reasons for this.

Repeat: There aren’t any good reasons for this. We can’t afford the welfare state we already have, let alone millions more newly eligible for the welfare rolls. It rewards illegality and de-incentivizes the millions currently waiting to immigrate here legally. And it not only won’t help the GOP win elections, but it will finish off whatever is left of this once grand old party.

So why does the GOP establishment want scamnesty so badly? There are only two options. Either these people are all just collectively stupid, or they really loathe their own party so much they’re out to destroy it.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Steve Deace is one of the "Heavy Hundred" talk show hosts in America according Talkers Magazine. His influence in the first in the nation Iowa Caucuses has been profiled in much of the national media, and he's also a columnist for The Washington Times. His new book, out now and endorsed by a who's who of conservative leaders, is titled Rules for Patriots: How Conservatives Can Win Again.

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