Fresh off the failure to repeal Obamacare, the GOP Congressional Leadership and President Trump are trying desperately to get people to care about tax reform. But the GOP, despite controlling both legislative chambers and the White House, may not be able to pass a budget because it needs sixty votes to avoid a government shutdown. Some Democrats, who have made Open Borders the defining issue of their party, will not sign any bill unless there is an extension of the DACA. Possible presidential candidates like California Senator Kamala Harris are among those grandstanding on the issue. [Harris calls for Congress to pass ‘clean’ DACA bill, by Julia Manchester, The Hill, October 12, 2017]
But there are also signs of Democratic weakness. They want to avoid receiving the blame for a government shutdown. For that reason, the Democrat leadership has been “encouraging their members their members to hold off on nuclear rhetoric for now.” Even the most militant members, reports Politico, are hesitant to commit to a government shutdown if they don’t get their way on DACA. [Congress speeds toward shutdown over Dreamers, by Rachael Bade and Heather Caygle, November 21, 2017]
President Trump gave Congress until March to come up with a solution on DACA. But needless to say, the Stupid Party is filled with far more disturbance and division than the Evil Party. So some Republicans are pushing granting legislative Amnesty to DACA recipients even with nothing in exchange from the Democrats.
For example, Florida GOP Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, whom only a cynic can describe as an “American” in any meaningful sense, wants DACA immediately. And Michael McCaul of Texas, who has consistently pushed for weak immigration policies throughout his career, thinks a vote on DACA this year would be the “ideal scenario”. [Congress barreling toward explosive immigration fight, by Mike Lillis, The Hill, November 21, 2017]
But there are other, patriot GOP voices. Oklahoma Senator Tom Cotton wants to stop DACA cold.
Meanwhile, Senator Leader Mitchell McConnell believes there is room for a compromise. According to Newsweek,
In exchange for a DACA fix, conservatives want to boost border security, curb “chain migration” and force companies to set up e-verification systems to check that their workers are in the United States legally.But even these common-sense measures are things “most Democrats would oppose” [Will the government shut down in December over immigration reform? By Linley Sanders, November 23, 2017].
Ultimately, this battle over immigration in Congress will be a contest of political will. And both sides will be looking to current political races to judge the relative strength and weakness of Right and Left. Today, there is only one political race that matters: Judge Roy Moore vs. Democrat Doug Jones.
Moore is still trailing in the RealClearPolitics average of polls and given the likelihood of more Democrat turnout than usual in an off-year election, the danger he could lose is real [Is Roy Moore Losing? By Harry Enten, FiveThirtyEight, November 22, 2017]. He’s been damaged by the over-hyped accusations of sexual impropriety four decades ago, but not crippled. The national party has distanced itself from Moore, but this can perhaps best understood in the context of the Establishment’s extraordinary decision to spend $30 million in a vain effort to defeat Moore in the primary: they hate him. [What is the danger that Roy Moore poses to the Senate GOP? By Elfego Baca, American Spectator, November 22, 2017]
Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell claims to be worried that Moore will drag down the Republican brand in 2018. However, the real drag on the GOP is the insistence by both President Trump and the GOP Leadership to push policies that reward “their donor and executive class” instead of championing the populist policies that put Trump in the White House [Whatever Happened To Trump’s Populist Agenda? By Henry Olsen, New York Times, November 20, 2017]. New York Times, November 20, 2017]. As Olsen accurately notes:
The traditional Republican policy agenda is a political zombie, a relic that once served our nation well but is out of touch with what Americans want today.Even in Roy Moore had dropped out of the race, the Republicans would still be facing an uphill battle in 2018 because of the Stupid Party’s sociopathic insistence on ignoring the voters who delivered the most unlikely political upset in history. It needs a shock to the system. And while President Trump could have saved himself a great deal of trouble in Alabama by backing immigration patriot Rep. Mo Brooks instead of Establishment appointee Luther Strange, a Moore victory in the teeth of united Main Stream Media opposition will be far more devastating to Democrats than Luther Strange or even Mo Brooks cruising to an easy victory.
For Moore is, above all, a direct challenge to the entire political and cultural System. Roy Moore’s campaign has officially designated The Washington Post a “worthless piece of crap,” which is a good reason in itself to support Moore [Roy Moore Campaign: ‘The Washington Post Is A Worthless Piece Of Crap,’ by Jeff Poor, Breitbart, November 22, 2017]. The MSM has so blown its credibility with conservatives that the possibility Alabama voters might elect Moore out of sheer spite is being seriously discussed [Want to know why Roy Moore might win? Blame the media, by Matt Latimer, Politico, November 25, 2017]. On current form, in the aftermath of a Moore victory the MSM will likely grow even more antagonistic to Republicans—which will make grassroots Americans tune them out even more.
As for substance, immigration is an issue which Moore is seizing on to recapture momentum in the race.
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In the past, Moore has hardly covered himself in glory on the issue. During the primary, he didn’t appear to know what DACA was [Roy Moore, leading candidate in Alabama Senate race, doesn’t know what DACA is, by Philip Wegmann, Washington Examiner, September 1, 2017].
However, today is slamming Jones not just for supporting DACA, but for Jones’s opposition to President Trump’s proposed border wall [‘Mexico First’: Roy Moore slams Doug Jones on amnesty, border, by Ian Mason, Breitbart, November 21, 2017].
Jones’s defensiveness on the issue is indicated by the lack of any mention of immigration on his campaign website. Jones also sounds incoherent when trying to explain his Open Borders policies. His opposition to Trump’s signature border wall for example, is because it is “too expensive” [Alabama Democrat Doug Jones denies being an ‘ultra-liberal,’ says he opposes Trump’s border wall, by Alex Pappas, Fox News, November 19, 2017].
Indeed, as Jones’s media backers admit, the Democrat’s best bet in Alabama is to try to back away from the party while quietly encouraging large African-American turnout and guilting Republicans into staying home [The Best Chance To Defeat Roy Moore May Be For The Democratic Party To Lie Low, by Amanda Terkel, Huffington Post, November 24, 2017].
Moore’s best counter, of course, is to energize the GOP’s white base in Alabama by appealing to immigration, which Moore is now trying to do with proposals like using the military on the border [Excusive - Roy Moore: Deploy Military To Fortify U.S.-Mexico Border, by Aaron Klein, Breitbart, November 20, 2017].
Politics is war, and war is about breaking the will of the enemy to fight. David Brat’s victory over Eric Cantor was credited by many mainstream outlets with killing Amnesty [Cantor loss kills immigration reform, by Seung Min Kim, Politico, June 10, 2014]. The unexpectedly competitive race in Alabama is a danger, but also an opportunity.
If Moore is defeated, the spooked GOP will most likely try to pass a bipartisan immigration betrayal which is what McConnell and Ryan have wanted to do all along. But if Moore can survive, the power of the Main Stream Media—and the GOP Establishment—may be definitively broken. The immigration issue will have proven its ability to propel candidates to best scandal and GOP resistance to DACA will be strengthened.
And the shock will be so great that maybe the Republican Party, and President Trump, can start acting on the populist program that put them in office.
James Kirkpatrick [Email him] is a Beltway veteran and a refugee from Conservatism Inc.