This is not meant to be a discussion on the topic of immigration per say, that discussion will happen with the next post that I do. This is about the politics of those discussions in the narrow sense, and in the broader sense, it is about the complete inability of the GOP to engage competently engage in, much less win, any battle that occurs in the political arena. The on again off again flirtation with immigration reform that keeps getting brought up by the GOP House Leadership, despite the clear and demonstrable fact that America does not want it, their voting base does not want it, the vast majority of the membership of their own caucus does not want it, is that perfect demonstration of the suicidal tendencies that the GOP has, when ever clear victory is almost guaranteed by every readable tea leaf that floats at the bottom of tea cups across the fruited plains. Before any of you start chiming in with how they’ve given up attempting to stick us with this particular albatross, just remember back to the summer of 2009, when the Affordable Care Act was declared to be dead at least five times before its passage at the end of that year. Declaring unwanted legislation to be dead is the political equivalent of a deceptive cop chanting, “move along people, nothing to see here,” while the whole mess is pushed through under the smoke filled, glad handing, favor granting, cover of darkness.
Such is the state of the American Political System these days, cynical does not begin to cover it. Right vs. wrong, good vs. evil, what the will of the citizenry actually is, these are considerations for lesser minds than those ruling elite who have descended from Mt. Olympus itself as our intellectual superiors, taking it upon themselves to organize our society for us, and to show us the error of our foolish ways. They know better than we mere mortals, what is in our best interests, which happily coincides with that which allows for gratuitous payoffs, bribes, nepotism, and graft on their part. As things in our political world descend further and further down the moral rat hole, blame and electoral benefit are not evenly distributed. Many have blamed the main stream media for this effect, but once again dear Brutus, the fault lies not in our stars, but in ourselves that we are underlings. The media, such as it is, also has an interest to serve, which is their assured invitation to the party. As for me, I blame the GOP establishment for its seemingly endless wish to lose, and to always seek the role of subservience.
Americans can easily be divided into two camps. There is the camp that sees the excess of government, its inefficiency, the graft, the cronyism, the misery that it creates by inflicting its wisdom upon a populace who has long succeeded without its intervention into their lives, and wishes to constrain that government to only the barest of functions for which private measures have not yet successfully manifested. Then there is the other camp, that sees the same things, and declares that the answer is to create an even more powerful government, except with different people in charge, who will act in an even more beneficent and wise manner.
In order to serve those two constituencies, we have formed two major political parties. It is here that I wish to center my discussion. One political party, Democrats, the one that purports to serve the latter constituency, pretty much stays true to what they claim to represent. They promise to inflict us with a larger more powerful centralized government, and further promise to put different people in charge. For the most part, whenever they have won electoral success, that is exactly what they have gone about the business of doing. The second political party, Republicans, the group that purports to seek a smaller more limited central government, one that is constrained by the consent of those governed, and more importantly, an original literal translation of our Constitution, is peopled at least in part by those who use this as electoral rhetoric, and once elected seek to help build the very same massively powerful centralized government.
Before anyone takes this as a, “pox on both their houses,” essay, let me make it clear that there are plenty of honorable folks inhabiting the party of smaller government. Bobby Jindal, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Scott Walker, Nikki Haley, Susana Martinez, Rob Portman, John Kasich, Rudy Giuliani, Thad McCotter, Duncan Hunter, and Marco Rubio, to name a few. It just also happens that there are plenty who’s brand of Republicanism does not include a smaller government view, but rather, “a we’ll get there slower than the other side,” view. What we are seeing with the whole immigration reform push however is something else entirely. It is a, “we wish to lose elections,” maneuver. The news so far this year has been so bad in terms of the Democrats electoral prospects, that every Democrat and his brother who is facing election this year has taken to resignation. That way, they can enter their new careers as lobbyists with the claim that, “no, I was not fired, but decided on my own for a career change.” Republicans have been given a gift, unlike any other, rarely seen in the world of political battle. The political left has implemented every aspect of their governing wish list, and each and every thing that they’ve implemented has failed in spectacular fashion. The failures of liberalism have been laid bare, and what’s more, not a single GOP fingerprint can be honestly connected with that failure. Bipartisanship was not necessary for Obamacare’s passage, and it was not sought.
Each day in America, somebody else awakens to the reality that not only have their insurance premiums increased two or three fold, or that they were forced to find and purchase new policies with price tags doubled or even tripled, but the deductibles associated with the new improved policies have become so steep, that in most instances it is no different in terms of what people are being forced to spend than not having any health insurance to begin with. Americans are angry with this realization, and justifiably so.
When you look at Judy’s premium plus deductible, she will pay out of pocket $20,320, before she sees a penny of benefit from the insurance company to help her with any bills that she may incur. Don’t blame the greedy insurance company for this however, since this law was a)ostensibly passed to deal with that greed. This whole thing was sold to us with the claim that this law would make life more fair for Judy, and b)most of that $20,320 will not be filling the coffers of the insurer, but the coffers of our government in the form of compliance fees, regulatory costs, and subsidization for others. Others by the way who as of yet have not successfully been signed up to benefit from Judy’s involuntary generosity. Americans are angry. They are angry at being fleeced, fooled, swindled, and most importantly, with liberalism itself. The only thing that the Republicans need to do in order to capitalize on this political aligning of Jupiter and Mars, is to not screw the pooch by focusing on issues that nobody wants to discuss, implement, or even consider.
This is the precise reason that I label the latest undertaking of the House GOP leadership as both stupid and suicidal. Hardly anyone in the nation wants immigration reform. The vast majority of citizens want to see enforcement of our national laws, and does not want blanket amnesty for however many millions of people living here who have arbitrarily decided that our laws simply do not apply to them. Now, you might feel as though you have some insight as to what my views on immigration are as a consequence of reading what I have written on the subject so far, and I would caution you that you are probably not correct in your thinking. This is more about the politics of taking this up now, and consequence of going about it in the wrong manner.
For the true conservatives in the GOP who find themselves elected to represent us in Washington D.C., please contemplate this theory as to why John Boehner has chosen this moment to push this latest bit of idiocy.
From the Hot Air article linked to above:
If a fight is inevitable, have it now rather than a much messier one in 2015. Maybe the Senate Democrats won’t be able to swallow a bill with tougher enforcement provisions and without a path to citizenship, and they will own part of the death of immigration reform. Or maybe they’ll pass it, and the issue will be partly cleared off the table for an election year. For an establishment Republican, that’s win-win…
What I am saying is that they [the GOP leadership] are closer to neutral about big [midterm] 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.
Now to my point:
I have suffered insults due to my loyalty to the GOP cause. I have suffered insults due to my lack of loyalty to the GOP cause. Since it is literally impossible, as I have learned many times over the years, to satisfy everyone, I do not care. I have always said that we should all vote for those candidates who represent our values and wishes, while keeping in mind that without winning elections, and a lot of those, we will never get our way on anything. With that being said, this really ticks me off. I receive in the mail, no less than three pleas for money from the Republican National Committee or some other GOP cause or candidate each and every week. They ask my opinion, tell me to help them fight the radical agenda of the political left, and then turn around and eschew those principles in as public a manner as is possible. This is nothing short of the House GOP establishment flipping me the middle finger.
The answer is not in forming a new political party to replace the Republican Brand as a the other major party in American politics. That would eventually leave us with the same problem, a two party system, for which our choices would be limited to the lesser of two evils. A continuing world of political concerns trumping quaint ideas of right vs. wrong. Our nation has undergone some fundamental shifts over the 230 years since our humble beginnings as a fledgling republic. One of those shifts was in our Legislative Branch becoming a full time endeavor, and moving away from private citizens with day jobs sacrificing their personal time to tend to our national business. Another such shift was the establishment of a government mandated monopoly of two major political parties.
There has been much debate recently about the perils of allowing private donations to help political candidates get elected, or the dangers of PACs, which might be used to amplify the voices of the rich and powerful, because we little folk are so incapable of making up our own minds or speaking them. But what of the government’s role is establishing the Democrat and Republican Brands as constant monopolies in a world where our choices for representation are predetermined by an approved list of viable candidates that total in number at two? I have stated often that a third party would solve nothing. One will never be allowed to rise to the level of viable in this world of two party subsidization. Third party votes are a waste of time, effort, and serve only the opposition of the side from which those votes were pulled. If the last Five years have taught us nothing else, they have taught us that. A way to solve this problem however would be to end the true graft of money in politics. It is time to put an end to the government’s mandate of holding the number of major or viable political parties to two.
Personally, I do not mind political parties, but I believe that we need dozens, if not more, with the very same open competitive spirit with which our economic system professes to encourage. As long as the two major parties are allowed to write the campaign finance rules, the viability of third party success will remain a wish, and not one thing more. The current gift of tax payer money to political candidates was put in place so that fairness could be maintained, removing the advantage unfairly garnered by having well to do friends unduly purchase influence. That was the claim anyhow, the reality is somewhat different. The Republican Brand is filled with some who quite frankly do not care what their voting base wishes, after all, they run a government approved monopoly and under the current rules, there’s not one gosh darned thing that can be done about it. If you want to inject electoral honesty back into our political parties, end public subsidy.
Cross Posted from Musings of a Mad Conservative.