Three phenomena have created a perfect storm that has swept over the political landscape, creating a new litmus test for Republicans on immigration policy.
Ann Coulter’s latest book, Adios, America, came first (though the author and analyst has been a bellwether on our abject border security failures for some time now).
Then the unexpected resonance of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign blew in.
Finally, the cowardly murder of Kate Steinle by a multiply-deported illegal alien felon and a subsequent call for a Kate’s Law by Fox News host Bill O’Reilly.
No single notable analyst has done more to bring the disaster of a collapsing border to the fore than Coulter. Her statistics and analyses come across in light of recent events like a doomsday journal that is read only after it’s too late.
She trenchantly points out that all the hand-wringing on the right about the Hispanic vote is clueless, that most Hispanics—especially those related to recent immigrants who will need entitlement largess–will never vote Republican, and that signing on to any version of amnesty will be tantamount to signing a death warrant on the GOP’s future.
For the record, Coulter affirms in a July interview in Rush Limbaugh’s Limbaugh Letter that she still has hope and does not feel our country is irretrievably lost.
Meanwhile, the “Republican establishment” has made a muddle of circling the wagons against Trump’s poll numbers.
The Weekly Standard crew has made no bones about the Trump candidacy’s “clown” status. Yet in a recent editorial, Editor in Chief William Kristol, after characterizing his publication’s official position as “deriders,” urged in the same piece that the Republican field take a page or four out of Trump’s populist playbook.
It is obvious watching Karl Rove that he worries Republican chances in 2016 might be hamstrung by Trump’s brash, theatrical, racially-charged call to arms. But he is nonetheless counseling the platoon of GOP candidates to adopt the tone of “respect” channeled by Senator Ted Cruz when he was asked to weigh in on Trump’s controversial announcement speech.
Esteemed Washington Post columnist and Fox analyst Charles Krauthammer has uttered the clown-word too, obviously concerned that the Hispanic votes needed to win will blow away like Arizona tumbleweeds if Trump doesn’t implode or otherwise bow out soon.
The sub-context to all this punditry is: Trump has hit a nerve.
In addition to being an indefensible scumbag, the individual who shot 32-year-old Kate Steinle in the back on a tourist pier in San Francisco may end up becoming the final nail in the coffin of criminal illegals—hopefully while Katie’s murderer rots in prison.
Assess Bill O’Reilly on the political spectrum as you will, but there is no better media personality to lead the charge to get Kate’s Law (or something essentially analogous) passed. The law would mandate a five year federal prison sentence for any illegal felon who reenters the country after deportation, a mandatory sentence that would increase to ten years on a second offense, and twenty on a third.
There’s your immigration litmus.
In the minds of immigration hawks, the number of which has likely increased in recent days, Governors Rick Perry and Jeb Bush have the most to answer for on the subject of illegal immigration. Marco Rubio is suspect due to his participation in the so-called Gang of Eight’s amnesty proposals.
The problem is, every GOP candidate claims that sealing the border (either with a wall, or by electronic database, or both) should be the first step in the process of reforming immigration policy. But entrenched politicians have had ample opportunity to do what the majority of citizens, and especially conservative nationalists, want them to do: enforce the laws, close the border, and protect the citizens of the United States. What they’ve done is zero, zilch, nada, or worse, promulgated more illegal immigration.
Nudge and wink about the Donald’s candidacy all you want. With every news cycle rife with reports of overrun hospitals and schools, and incidences of victimized and murdered Americans, time has run out, and talk is cheap. Trust on the issue of illegal immigration is at a premium. You can’t govern by news cycle, but a groundswell remains a groundswell.
If you plan on pitching why you should be president on The O’Reilly Factor, which draws an average of 4 million viewers a night, the vast preponderance of whom vote, you’ll need to come prepared to weather a perfect socio-political storm.