What makes this Facebook post by Sarah Palin interesting to me is that she thinks the issue of immigration reform cuts across party lines when it comes to the threat of lower wages and job losses for working class Americans. She’s right, and I don’t see too many immigration-reform opponents making this argument:
Great job, GOP establishment. You’ve just abandoned the Reagan Democrats with this amnesty bill, and we needed them to “enlarge that tent” of which you so often speak. It’s depressing to consider that the House of Representatives is threatening to pass some version of this nonsensical bill in the coming weeks.
Once again, I’ll point out the obvious to you: it was the loss of working class voters in swing states that cost us the 2012 election, not the Hispanic vote. Legal immigrants respect the rule of law and can see how self-centered a politician must be to fill this amnesty bill with favors, earmarks, and crony capitalists’ pork, and call it good. You disrespect Hispanics with your assumption that they desire ignoring the rule of law.
Folks like me are barely hanging on to our enlistment papers in any political party – and it’s precisely because flip-flopping political actions like amnesty force us to ask how much more bull from both the elephants in the Republican Party and the jackasses in the Democrat Party we have to swallow before these political machines totally abandon the average commonsense hardworking American. Now we turn to watch the House. If they bless this new “bi-partisan” hyper-partisan devastating plan for amnesty, we’ll know that both private political parties have finally turned their backs on us. It will then be time to show our parties’ hierarchies what we think of being members of either one of these out-of-touch, arrogant, and dysfunctional political machines.
The expected flood of low-wage workers will no doubt give unions a boost, which means more money in their coffers to support Democrats. But beyond the politics is the point that Palin makes about arrogance on both sides. The immigration-reform bill will do nothing to address the illegal-immigration problem. It will probably exacerbate it because illegals coming across the border will expect similar treatment some day from Congress. The open-borders crowd won’t be satisfied until, well, we have open borders. Every few years, illegal immigration will come up as an issue again and we’ll be forced to go through the same rigamarole we’re going through now.
The bill also will not get even close to securing the border. There are no “triggers” that would allow a slowdown in the legalization and citizenship process for illegals if certain border security measures aren’t taken. It’s an open invitation for DHS to drag its feet on implementing the will of Congress.
But immigration reform is probably not the issue that will split the Republican Party. As Allah points out, we all have “red lines” that we won’t cross:
We all have our “red line” issues, as Drew says. Offhand, I can’t think of a single person I know privately or on Twitter who supports (or is indifferent to) the Gang of Eight bill and who also traditionally has treated border security as a “red line.” Everyone wants better border security and everybody thinks it’s important for immigrants to follow the rule of law, but when push comes to shove, some people are okay with bending on this in the name of other political goals and others are not. If you believe the polls about background checks and gun control, we might very well win a few extra votes by caving on that too. Want to do that? We might also win some votes by declaring our support for abortion in the first trimester. Okay to do that? We all have our “red lines.”
Indeed we do, but there is not much of a threat to tear the party apart if the House GOP caves on the Senate bill and offers some kind of legalization for those who broke the law. If it was a real threat, I doubt whether Republicans in the House would take it up.
A more likely outcome would be a turning inward by GOP activists and concentrating on electing conservatives at the local level. It is also likely to turn some voters off to the point of apathy.
This has been happening to a smaller extent since the Bush years and could accelerate if immigration reform is passed. It wouldn’t be the sudden rending of a political party, but rather a slow, steady dissolution as supporters fall away.
One can only hope that the president makes good on his threat to veto any bill without a path to citizenship. That’s reform opponents’ Alamo, and you should expect the House GOP to stay united on that.