If Only Some Blogger Could Have Predicted That Illegal Immigration And Spending Would Become Such Contentious Issues Well Beforehand
“A large portion of the conservative base is angry about government spending and illegal immigration. They were willing to compromise — for a while — in order to get Bush back in. The days of compromising on these subjects are largely over which will make for particularly nasty fights on the Hill.” — John Hawkins, November 17, 2004
Question: “Now that Republicans have firm control of the Executive and Legislative branches of government, what, in your estimation, would be the biggest threat to GOP unity in the halls of power in Washington, DC?” — huckupchuck
Answer: Illegal immigration and spending, illegal immigration and spending, and illegal immigration and spending. The base feels very strongly about both of these issues and quite frankly, George Bush is a big government Republican who believes in coddling illegal immigrants.
Things almost came to a head over these issues early in 2004, but because of the election, the party managed to hold things together. But, now that Bush is out of danger? A lot of Republicans in Washington are going to be willing to fight him on these issues and the base will be cheering THEM, not Bush, for doing it.” — John Hawkins, November 12, 2004
“But if you Republicans in Washington want to keep the base happy through 2006, three things are going to have to change.
1) You’re going to have to get spending under control.
2) You need to stop increasing the size of government.
3) You better get a handle on illegal immigration.
Maybe George Bush is a “big government Republican,” but the base is still full of Reagan conservatives who want to see budgets slashed, government weakened, and an end to the never ending stream of our tax dollars flowing out of Washington in the form of pork.
Nobody expects you to wipe the deficit out in a year or two, but let me tell you, the base has had enough of these highway bills, farm bills, Medicare prescription drug programs and other bloated, worthless, government spendfests that sound like they should be coming from the desk of Lyndon Johnson, not from a Republican administration with a Republican Congress.
I will also tell you that much of the base is boiling mad about illegal immigrants. We want the border locked down. We want to see business owners who hire large numbers of illegals doing the perp walk on TV as they’re taken to jail. We don’t want to see illegal aliens getting free college tuition, we want them slapped in handcuffs and sent back to where they came from.
We are a nation of laws and a lot of us are sick and tired of seeing criminals being rewarded for breaking our laws by sneaking across the borders. My guess is that the immigrants who followed the rules and became citizens here aren’t particularly happy about it either, so is it really worth making a misguided attempt to pander to them at the price of infuriating your base? The party got by with it in 2004, but I don’t think it’s going to work again in 2006.” — John Hawkins, November 9, 2004
In all fairness, I didn’t think things would get as bad as they are today, because at some point, I figured the political self-preservation instincts of the Republicans in Washington would kick in and they’d start making changes, if only to protect themselves. That has started happening in the House, but unfortunately, not in the Senate or the White House.
Here’s a hint for all the Rockefeller Republicans in the Senate and Gerald Ford, Jr.’s in the White House: it doesn’t matter how many Mexican flag-waving illegal aliens march in the streets demanding that they be allowed to break the law with impunity. Illegal aliens can’t vote. On the other hand, your base does vote, and they’re chewing up steel girders and spitting out nails over this issue. Moreover, according to Zogby, (who admittedly, you have to take with a grain of salt) your base opposes the McCain-Kennedy bill and the “compromise”/capitulation Republicans in the Senate almost signed onto, by an almost 6 to 1 margin.
“A majority of Americans said they oppose amnesty for illegals who already reside in this nation. While 52 percent said there should be no amnesty, 32 percent said they’d favor it.
The survey shows significant partisan divide on this question. Among Democrats nationwide, 51 percent favor amnesty, while 29 percent oppose it and another 20 percent said they are unsure. Among Republicans, just 13 percent said they favor amnesty, while 76 percent said they oppose such an offer. “
So, in an election year, when the Republicans are doing poorly, we have the GOP taking a position on a crucial, high profile issue that is wildly unpopular with the majority of the American people and about as popular as creating a, “We Hate Ronald Reagan,” holiday with the base.
The Republicans in Washington are being sent a message here that might as well be in 50 foot high neon letters and it reads, “You can toe the line on illegal immigration or the voters will bury you under it at the ballot box in November.” It’s not too late for the GOP to save their jobs and a Republican majority in Congress, but they better take the hint.