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by
Bryan Preston

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January 31, 2014 - 6:47 am

Someone needs to grab John Boehner by the lapels and shake him until he cries. Granted, that would be, at most, one shake. But still. The alleged leader of the GOP in the House just tossed a land mine into the path of his party as it was set to march to victory this fall. The immigration “principles” that Boehner backs are indistinguishable from the Senate Gang of Eight bill that Boehner rejected, according to Byron York. He looks like an unprincipled fool, and a rube.

Now that the principles — all 804 words of them — have been released, it’s clear those opponents will have a lot to work with. What the GOP calls its “Standards for Immigration Reform” is almost all boilerplate, mostly indistinguishable from the Senate Gang of Eight “framework” that Boehner and other House Republicans rejected.

This move is comparable to the Dallas Cowboys’ decision to throw pass after pass when they were sitting on a 23-point lead against Green Bay in the third quarter this past season. You may remember my position on that. I’m no longer a Dallas Cowboys supporter. Defeats happen and many bad things are tolerable, but weapons-grade stupidity is not.

Weapons-grade stupidity is exactly what John Boehner is flaunting. He is flying his idiot flag high.

This video started making the rounds yesterday. It shows employees at a small business in a swing state coping with the damage that Obamacare will do to them. Their reaction can be boiled down to, Obama lied and my bank account died. Similar videos could be produced showing similar effects on about 93 million Americans who now find themselves in similar circumstances.

They could be cut in with the moment from this week’s SOTU address, in which all of the Democrats stood proudly to applaud Obamacare.

Add to that, the fact that Obamacare’s rollout in Maryland has been so awful that the Democrats there — it’s a one-party Democrat state, by the way — are using Obamacare as a weapon against each other. Obamacare’s unpopularity is on the rise nationally. More Obamacare regulations and taxes are on the way. Obama himself is such popular fellow that Democrats like Mark Begich and Kay Hagan don’t want to be seen with him. Obama’s approval rating keeps sinking. The majority have tuned him out. Even labor unions are mad at him. Meanwhile, on the other end of the country from Alaska, the Democrats’ new darling, Wendy Davis, is proving to be one of the worst candidates for office of the 21st Century. Davis is making Kathleen Kennedy-Townsend’s run for gov in Maryland a few years back look like a dream ride. Davis is making the much-derided failed Tea Party candidacies look like they were run by Lee Atwater and James Carville together. Her awful campaign could be tied not only to all Texas Democrats, but to Democrats elsewhere.

One would think that this issue environment would be sufficient for the opposition party. But that assumes that we actually have one. I’m no longer convinced that we do. We have pockets of opposition within the party, but we do not have a party that is consistently standing in opposition and consistently offering an alternative to the toxic mess that the Democrats are selling. They talk a good game, then they trot Boehner out to lob an interception.

Republicans could be chasing Democrats around from coast to coast on Obamacare alone. But instead, they are picking a 3% issue and picking a fight with their own base over it. And they’re picking the fight now, ahead of most primaries and months ahead of the general elections. There is time for the badness that is “comprehensive immigration reform” to sink in and sink the party. If you think the media won’t take advantage of this and try to get Republicans in primaries fighting among themselves over this, you don’t know the media. Of course they will. That’s what they do.

Immigration simply is not a priority issue for 97% of the country. It doesn’t rank higher than about 15 out of 20 in issue priorities. It is not going to move votes toward the GOP — most of those who have the hottest hopes for immigration reform aren’t Republicans — but it may move a lot of voters into not moving at all this fall. Pushing immigration now is an excellent way for the GOP to convince lots of its voters that there is no point to voting. That attitude will not only hurt the GOP as it tries to re-take the Senate, it will hurt down ballot candidates all over the country. Picking this immigration fight now is the worst thing the Republicans could be doing. Yes, it will bring in cash from the Chamber of Commerce and business interests. It will not help them solidify or motivate the base and it will not help motivate independents. It won’t even help with the Hispanic vote. Hispanic voters care about jobs and hate Obamacare just like everybody else.

I’m not even going to address why the Republicans are doing this. Frankly, I don’t care about that any more than I cared why Tony Romo kept putting the ball in the air against the Packers. There was no excuse for such gross mismanagement. No rationalization was sufficient. It was just dumb.

Pushing immigration now undermines the case that Obama is lawless, since any reform depends on him to enforce it and the Republicans are in effect saying that they trust him. Pushing immigration now undermines the rule of law, which also runs against the ability to cast Obama as lawless. Pushing immigration now does nothing for the millions of Americans and legal aliens who cannot find work in the Obama economy.

Pushing immigration now is weapons-grade stupid. Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz have struck the right notes on immigration this week. Boehner should listen to them. Stop throwing interceptions, please. Run with the Obamacare ball and wear out the Democrats’ defense. And then break them.

 

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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Top Rated Comments   
I'm just wondering what possible under-the-table payoff could be worth scuttling the only chance the Institutional Republicans have of saving the traditional Republican Party?

If they stab the American People in the back with this Amnesty betrayal, what do they expect in return in 2014 and 2016? Whatever it is, it won't save them from a New political party rising from the wreckage of the Old Republicans.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (12)
All Comments   (12)
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If there is no primary opponent to Old Yellowstain this year, then sadly, I fear there is no alternative except to support the neocommie candidate for one reason only - send a clear message to the establishment that despite their finances, we can and will get rid of those who stab us in the back and threaten to further destroy our wonderful nation. The same strategy applies to Benedict McConnell....Mr. Ryan, are you listening? I am not a resident of Wisconsin, but I am still tremendously disappointed in Paul Ryan's abandonment of TEA Party principles....if he ever had them to begin with, or was it all just an act to win election? I would love to know what dirt Dear Leader has on Old Yellowstain....that NSA is a mother...

Remember BENGHAZI!
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's time to start asking hard questions about motives:
-- What does the GOP Establishment hope to get out of an amnesty bill?
-- Who -- what individuals and institutions -- is backing this play?

If the GOP is well and truly bent on political suicide, then it would be best to stand well back and watch in safety and comfort. But that won't be at all certain -- http://bastionofliberty.blogspot.com/2014/01/political-auto-da-fe.html -- until we can dispose of the possibility that Republican kingmakers see a prospect for profit to themselves and their cronies that we do not.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have said that the Institutional Republican Party is committing suicide, we can't stop it; but we can make sure that the attempt is succeeds. Little did I know that they are not committing seppuku. They are imitating David Carradine.

Subotai Bahadur
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
I read somewhere today that this is a deliberate power play to push the conservatives and Tea Partiers out of the Republican party. The rinos know the conservatives can not and will not stomach this and are hoping they will bail. To where I don't know.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
To a third party. That's the only place conservatives have left.

However, that could backfire on both the Republicans and Democrats, if enough people become disgusted with Washington, and the "institutional" parties.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's what the RINOs and liberal defecrats want - keep the Conservative base home and keep things just like they are. They don't want to have to deal with Tea Party Conservatives at all. Granting amnesty to 25 - 30 million new defecrat voters will ensure the status quo from here on out.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm just wondering what possible under-the-table payoff could be worth scuttling the only chance the Institutional Republicans have of saving the traditional Republican Party?

If they stab the American People in the back with this Amnesty betrayal, what do they expect in return in 2014 and 2016? Whatever it is, it won't save them from a New political party rising from the wreckage of the Old Republicans.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
Reminds me of historian Robert Conquest's Three Laws of Politics, particularly number three:

1. Everyone is conservative about what he knows best.
2. Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.
3. The simplest way to explain the behavior of any bureaucratic organization is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies.

It also reminds me of something written by leftist librettist Bertolt Brecht... (auf Englisch)...

"Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?"

But seriously, Stupid Party and all, are the Republicans really being stupid, or are they functioning brilliantly as the Democratic Party's fifth column?
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
Much like the Rick Perry primary debate line..."if you aren't for this, you have no heart".

I said at the time, it was an idiotic thing to say. It would play horribly with the base and the Propaganda Machine would have a field day using it as a wedge.

THAT horse has left the barn.

A REPUBLICAN put the issue of "having no heart" on the table. A border state nominee for President. Not a Democrat or a Midwestern Congressman.

The meme of "having no heart" is a very real image issue. The meme of "having no plans of their own" is a real image issue.

After reading the language, Bryan, this MAY not be a pass play. It's a delayed draw.

I want to wait to hear the reaction from the left. We could chew up chunks of yardage IF...we use this to pound out a ground game for EVERY one of their blitzes against it.

Let's instead talk about ALL the preconditions and how they MUST be implemented first. And let's fall back on the SUPPORT from the Gang of Eight these preconditions received.

Instead of coming across as "having no heart", that a TEXAS GOVERNOR accused us of...we can instead be talking about how leftists don't want "fairness". How their plan will hurt American workers and especially the young and African Americans. That Democrats want to hurt those two groups in order to buy 13 million voters.

Instead of infighting, we can take this lemon and make ...leg snares. It would be nice for ONCE to have the leg traps clamped on someone else...like leftists. This strategy could work...if only
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
What an idiot. The man who could see his party win the midterms, preside over part of the impeachment of a sitting president and wind up president himself is committing political suicide instead and likely dooming us to a full second term of Obama.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
What do you expect from GOP RINOs. Democrats bow to Soros, RINOs bow to the US Chamber of Commerce.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
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