Special to WorldTribune.com
Is the Republican Party coyly planning to stab its supporters in the back?
Recently, House Speaker John Boehner declared that immigration reform would be put on the back burner this year because President Barack Obama cannot be trusted to enforce the nation’s laws. Yet, if that is the true calculus for the decision, why did the GOP release a set of immigration reform principles in a step-by-step plan just one week before that press conference? Was the president trustworthy in late January but not in early February?
Speaker John Boehner and President Obama at this year’s State of the Union Address. / AP
Squishy is as squishy does. The Republican Party has an identity crisis, veering from decrying the principles of the Democratic Party to accepting them. It is no wonder the GOP was unable to oust Obama from his leadership perch in the reelection of 2012, despite the president’s dismal record.
The major problem confronting the party is that it has become every bit as untrustworthy as the president. The conservative base is tuning out, concluding the Republican Party has no “principles” at all — only claptrap among the ever-shifting sands of political expediency.
The House Speaker’s radical shift within one week raises doubts amongst both supporters of immigration reform and opponents regarding what the true plan of action really is.
The GOP is currently focusing on highlighting the failed Obamacare rollout — and avoiding any other distraction — in order to win back the Senate in the midterm elections of 2014. Yet, at the very same time that the momentum was gearing toward GOP cohesion, Boehner performed immigration gymnastics, leading the anti-immigration reform crowd to wonder if they are being played like fools.
Is Boehner going to solicit the votes of conservatives in 2014 to win the Senate only to advance immigration reform in 2015? Will this be another pyrrhic victory for the base, whereby elections are won only to concede more and more ground to the values of the left?
The president seems to think so. He said in a recent Univision Radio interview that “immigration reform will get done before my presidency is over.” In other words, Obama has concluded that even if the GOP wins the Senate, his agenda will nonetheless be implemented. He is convinced that the nation’s changing demographics have put the GOP in a vice-grip — either accept the growing number of Hispanics, both legal and illegal, and cater to them, or be confined to political oblivion.
Yet what Boehner and Obama fail to grasp is that there is a third alternative — a groundswell revolt against both political parties that is simmering now but may erupt at any moment in a manner no on can predict. There are growing pressures of resistance emerging from both sides of the political aisle that threaten what Angelo Codevilla termed “America’s Ruling Class“, the Big-Government plutocracy that is currently bankrupting the nation and running roughshod over individual rights.
The Tea Party movement, on the right, in conjunction with the libertarian movement, and the anti-war movement on the left are all fed up with a class of politicos in Washington D.C. that appear to be transgressing the nation’s core values. While these groups may disagree with one another on some issues, they nonetheless all agree that the status quo is untenable.
In addition, there are long-term patterns of disaffection. The middle and working class increasingly feel that no matter how hard they try, they cannot pull ahead economically — squeezed by incessant taxes on the one hand and high costs to purchase basic items, on the other hand.
The youth, once the core of Obama voters, perceive a bleak future of limited opportunities. And our military class — including military families — is stirring with resentment against both military and civilian leaders who do not care for their best interests. In addition, red states are beginning to whisper: Is this federalism for us?
This means that the days of political doublespeak are numbered, as sooner or later, the nation’s endemic ills will result in leadership changes.
Boehner may think he is being very clever by appeasing the base until 2014 and planning to sabotage us in 2015. But what he fails to realize in his current state of hubris is that a blade cuts both ways.
Grace Vuoto is the Editor of Politics and Culture at World Tribune, host of American Heartland with Dr. Grace on WTSB Radio and is the founder of the Edmund Burke Institute for American Renewal.