Senate Republicans Set to Hand Obama a Major, Game-Changing Victory Today
The Senate's members haven't even read the original 1000-page Rubio-Schumer immigration bill, let alone the 1200-page Corker-Hoeven amendment. But they're set to pass it today before even finding out what's in it. The immigration bill is the Son of ObamaCare, and will have an even more transformative effect than its predecessor has already had. ObamaCare fundamentally changed the citizens' relationship to our government, making us less citizen than subject. The immigration bill waters down the rule of law, while bringing wages down by flooding a weak economy with cheap labor.
Passing the Senate's bill will hand a scandal-plagued president who is impotent in the eyes of the world a major victory here at home. His party can be expected to focus thug tactics on the House to try to force it to pass the bill. In fact, if the House passes any bill at all it will be a victory for Obama. Whatever the House passes, it will go into the conference process and come out, thanks to Democrat bully tactics and rank cowardice among senators like Rubio, Graham, McCain and Flake, as a package of gifts for Democrats.
Republicans who pass the bill are casting votes to lose 2014 in advance and possibly hand the Democrats majorities for a generation. They believe that not passing any bill kills GOP chances to win over more of the growing Hispanic vote. But voting for this bill will fracture the party base going into next year's mid-terms, dampen enthusiasm and weaken the party overall. There is no evidence at all that passing the bill will help the GOP attract enough Hispanic voters to replace the base voters that it is guaranteed to lose. None. But passing immigration reform as it stands violates Republicans' fundamental sense of right and wrong, law and order and basic fairness. It's an excellent way for the Democrats to kill their political opposition.
Ironically, Republicans who favor passing immigration reform believe that they must pass it or the party dies. They base that both on demographic trends accelerated after the last immigration amnesty, from which they have learned absolutely nothing, and on the results of the 2012 election.
But the Republicans did not lose 2012 because they lost the Hispanic vote. They lost because the Democrats ran a campaign on marginal issues designed to attract low-information voters, Republicans nominated a weak candidate who never truly inspired the base, and because the Obama administration actively suppressed the Tea Party, according to a new academic study. According to the study the Tea Party handed Republicans 3 to 6 million votes and thus victory in 2010, and was poised to attract as many as 8 million votes -- victory -- in 2012. But the IRS stepped in and blocked for the Democrats.
President Obama's margin of victory in some of the key swing states was fairly small: a mere 75,000 votes separated the two contenders in Florida, for example. That is less than 25% of our estimate of what the Tea Party's impact in Florida was in 2010. Looking forward to 2012 in 2010 undermining the Tea Party's efforts there must have seemed quite appealing indeed.
Unfortunately for Republicans, the IRS slowed Tea Party growth before the 2012 election. In March 2010, the IRS decided to single Tea Party groups out for special treatment when applying for tax-exempt status by flagging organizations with names containing "Tea Party," "patriot," or "9/12." For the next two years, the IRS approved the applications of only four such groups, delaying all others while subjecting the applicants to highly intrusive, intimidating requests for information regarding their activities, membership, contacts, Facebook posts, and private thoughts.
As a consequence, the founders, members, and donors of new Tea Party groups found themselves incapable of exercising their constitutional rights, and the Tea Party's impact was muted in the 2012 election cycle. As Toby Marie Walker, who runs the Waco Tea Party, which filed for tax-exempt status in 2010 but didn't receive approval until two months ago, recounted recently: "Our donors dried up. It was intimidating and time-consuming." The Richmond Tea Party went through a similar ordeal, and was only granted tax-exempt status in December, right after the election--three years after its initial request. Its chairman explained the consequences: the episode cost the Richmond Tea Party $17,000 in legal fees and swallowed time the all-volunteer network would have devoted to voter turnout, outreach in black and Latino neighborhoods and other events to highlight the constitution and "the concept of liberty."
Too many Republicans have learned the wrong lessons from 2012. The largest lesson they're failing to learn is that the Democratic Party under Obama is willing to do anything to win, including massive and widespread cheating. The immigration bill must be blocked at least until we have clear answers in the IRS scandal. Did the White House order it, encourage it, or condone it at any level? Was the White House counsel's office involved in any way? Was the Obama campaign involved? Why did the IRS' top officers meet at the White House hundreds of times while the targeting was ongoing? What role did the IRS workers union play? What role did Obama's public rhetoric play in the IRS' decision to target his opponents?
Shouldn't we have answers to these questions and many more before handing Obama a huge victory?