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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Explaining the GOP

ObamaCare is on the ropes, politically and literally. For instance, the Congressional Budget Office just released a report showing that ObamaCare will push over 2 million employees out of the labor market by 2017--and I think they are being optimistic. (See also here). Many businesses have cut health benefits, the number of employees, or the number of employee hours to avoid ObamaCare mandates. (See also here).

It is clear that ObamaCare is making insurance more expensive. Not enough young, healthy people are signing up for the plan. (See also here).

President Obama's repeated statements that "if you like your plan, you can keep it," has been rated the "lie of the year" by Politifact. Millions had their old plans cancelled. (As of Jan. 1, more people had lost plans than had enrolled in ObamaCare). In fact, his promises that you can keep your doctor and hospital have been lies. You can't even keep those medicines that have been working great.

Technical glitches still make the site largely unusable. And God help you if there is an error, because no one with the government will be able to help you. (See also here). Oh, and once enrolled, you can't cancel.

There have been many stories of security breaches with the ObamaCare website--everything from its is easy to hack to the hiring of felons to handle personal information. Now, it turns out that some of the coding was done in Belarus, and malicious code may have been purposefully built into the system to allow identity theft.

This is not just an issue like Benghazi, the IRS scandals, the EPA scandals, the failures in Middle-Eastern and Far Eastern foreign policy, gun running, and on and on that can be blamed on the executive branch. The Democratic Congress owns ObamaCare.

So, with such an opportunity to make a clean sweep in November, why is the national GOP leadership suddenly shifting to deal with immigration--a topic anathema to the conservative base, and one almost certain to spark a civil war within the GOP?

The GOP leadership can't be blind as to what they are doing. Thomas Sowell observes:
Some supporters of President Obama may be worried about how he and the Democrats are going to fare politically, as the problems of Obamacare continue to escalate and it looks like the Republicans have a chance to win a majority in the Senate.

But Democrats may not need to worry so much. Republicans may once again come to the rescue of the Democrats, by discrediting themselves and snatching defeat from the very jaws of victory.

The latest bright idea among Republicans inside the Beltway is a new version of amnesty that is virtually certain to lose votes among the Republican base and is unlikely to gain many votes among the Hispanics the Republican leadership is courting.

One of the enduring political mysteries is how the Republicans can be so successful in winning governorships and control of state legislatures, while failing to make much headway in Washington. Maybe there are just too many clever GOP consultants inside the Beltway.

When it comes to national elections, just what principles do the Republicans stand for? It is hard to think of any, other than their hoping to win elections by converting themselves into Democrats lite. But voters who want what the Democrats offer can vote for the real thing, rather than Johnny-come-lately imitations.
One theory is that Republican leadership is concerned about the future of the party, and are supporting immigration reform in order to entice Hispanic voters. If so, this is a losing strategy. As Ann Coulter writes:
Immigrants -- all immigrants -- have always been the bulwark of the Democratic Party. For one thing, recent arrivals tend to be poor and in need of government assistance. Also, they're coming from societies that are far more left-wing than our own. History shows that, rather than fleeing those policies, they bring their cultures with them. (Look at what New Yorkers did to Vermont.)

This is not a secret. For at least a century, there's never been a period when a majority of immigrants weren't Democrats.

At the current accelerated rate of immigration -- 1.1 million new immigrants every year -- Republicans will be a fringe party in about a decade.

Thanks to endless polling, we have a pretty good idea of what most immigrants believe.

... How are Republicans going to square that circle? It's not their position on amnesty that immigrants don't like; it's Republicans' support for small government, gun rights, patriotism, the Constitution and capitalism.

Reading these statistics, does anyone wonder why Democrats think vastly increasing immigration should be the nation's No. 1 priority?

It would be one thing if the people with these views already lived here. Republicans would have no right to say, "You can't vote." But why on Earth are they bringing in people sworn to their political destruction?
Ted Cruz has been quoted as saying:
Anyone pushing an amnesty bill right now should go ahead and put a 'Harry Reid for Majority Leader' bumper sticker on their car, because that will be the likely effect if Republicans refuse to listen to the American people and foolishly change the subject from Obamacare to amnesty.”
 The Diplomad subscribes to the theory that it is because the GOP really is "the stupid party." He writes:
The political environment for the opposition is a target-rich one. The Republicans should be rejoicing at the prospect of a clean sweep in November's mid-term elections and the Presidential ones in 2016. Instead GOP leaders engage in attacks on Tea Party activists--who have been consistently right on policy issues, by the way--and let the Democrats set the agenda and tell us what is and is not open for discussion. Bengahzi, IRS, EPA Solyndra, Fast and Furious, those are all phony scandals; what we must really be discussing is whether Governor Christie knew about, allowed, or ordered two lanes of traffic on the George Washington Bridge to be closed to get back at a political opponent in Ft. Lee, New Jersey. Even worse, we have prominent, once conservative and common sense politicians such as Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan going along with and promoting the Obama misadministration's push to completely undo what is left of our immigration system, reward lawbreakers, and spit in the face of the overwhelmingly majority of American citizens who reject yet another amnesty for illegal aliens. As I wrote before, the Democrats seek nothing less than to make US citizenship meaningless and, of course, to bring in millions of new votes to the party from the alien lawbreakers who will receive amnesty to go along with bounty of public benefits many already enjoy. The plan is the same as it was in the UK: Labour deliberately sought to encourage huge immigration from poor countries to transform British society permanently and create a lock on power for Labour. It, in essence and without fear of hyperbole, means putting an end to the United States as we know it.
 I think it comes down to the basic facts of power. The GOP establishment is very afraid of the Tea Party right now. Sean Trend, writing at Real Clear Politics, theorizes:
But I think it there’s another, broader factor involved. When you get past the top tier of recruits -- the Mike Rounds and Shelley Capitos of the world -- and get into the more marginal seats that could fall for Democrats in a wave election, you start to get into candidates like Ken Buck. People have almost written Buck off, but I haven’t; while I think there are smarter choices for the Colorado GOP, he barely lost in 2010, and conditions for Democrats are no better right now than they were in 2010. There’s a similar crop of candidates in second-tier House races. The last thing the leadership wants is another crop of Ted Cruzes and Rand Pauls in the Senate, nor does it want another dozen Tea Partiers in the House.

This isn’t to suggest that the GOP leadership is affirmatively doing this to minimize Republican gains. What I am saying is that they are closer to neutral about big gains than we might think, given the problems that the surge in base enthusiasm caused for them after the 2010 elections. So if they check agenda items like this off the list now and still get a landslide, great. But if they end up cooling off the base’s enthusiasm and get a narrow, establishment-based Senate majority and keep the House, well, that’s not the end of the world either. In fact, it would mean a more docile caucus in both Houses, which is good for those who run those Houses.
I think it all has to do with the Tea Party. Right now, the establishment Republicans live in a comfortable world. They live in districts where they are fairly safe from Democratic challengers. They don't have control of the Senate or the White House, so when their supporters take them to task, they can blame someone else for economic problems. But they have enough power that K-Street still comes to their door. Their only real threat is the Tea Party because the Tea Party has the potential of successfully running candidates against them in primaries. The Tea Party wants them to take positions that may not benefit Wall Street or K-Street. The Tea Party makes them uncomfortable because it expects them to live up to certain standards; to vote in a way that reflects conservative principles. In short, the Tea Party threatens to wreck their gravy train. And so they would like nothing more than to lose the mid-term election and discredit the Tea Party.

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