Since Walker moved away from Amnesty, the MSM says he flip-flopped. If he'd moved the other way, they'd say he had evolved.
March is coming in like a lion for immigration patriots, as the drama over Obama’s Executive Amnesty mounts. Three major signs of spring:
Needless to say, the Beltway Right’s usual cowardice did nothing to stop the Left’s usual attacks against it, as various Cultural Marxist enforcers demanded the power to determine who conservatives are and are not allowed to associate with at what is supposed to be the most important gathering of the American Right in the country. Yet even as the Left mustered its usual showy “outrage,” the undeniable fact is that CPAC’s management has all but banished populist Right organizations as sponsoring organizations, either deliberately or through the gouging prices the conference now demands.
Still, the politicians at CPAC were forced to show their concern about the immigration issue. The frankly anti-American (in the sense that he openly despises existing American citizens) Jeb Bush’s only supporters were those that he bused in. Senator Ted Cruz, who finished third in the Straw Poll, explicitly focused on (illegal) immigration during his speech and called out K street lobbyists.
Even Marco Rubio had to back down from openly supporting Amnesty. And the winner of the Straw Poll, Rand Paul, despite his flip-flops, was an opponent of the Amnesty/Immigration Surge when he actually had to vote. And Nigel Farage of UKIP condemned multiculturalism from the main stage, triggering Leftists.
What this tells us is that immigration patriotism is the opposite of an Astroturf issue. Immigration patriotism resonates among voters and at the grassroots, even though it is almost totally devoid of institutional support.
The real winner of CPAC: Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, whose strong second- place finish in the yearly straw poll can almost be called a victory when you can take for granted that Rand Paul (or any Paul) is going to win, given the strength—in some ways unfortunate—of libertarianism among the younger generation.
Walker has clearly established himself as the anti-Jeb among Beltway Republicans and grassroots conservatives who can’t quite bring themselves to support the libertarian-leaning Paul. But Walker has a mixed record on immigration and has supported an Amnesty/Immigration Surge in the past.
Which brings us to...
Walker is now saying that a path to citizenship for illegals qualifies as Amnesty. He says he changed his position after he “talked to governors on the border and others out there” [Scott Walker Flip-Flops on Immigration: “My View Has Changed,” by Daniel Politi, Slate, March 1, 2015.]Of course, if Walker had moved in a direction the Left liked, he would have been said to have “evolved”.
Walker now says that the border must be secured or else “none of these plans make any sense.” And he even said he wanted to give employers the “tools needed” to enforce immigration laws, through E-Verify. His support for a “legal immigration system that works” includes “putting the onus on employers.” This raises the delicious possibility of Romneyesque “self-deportation,” more generally known to immigration patriots as “Attrition Through Enforcement.”
Walker also noted that he was one of the first governors to join the lawsuit against President Obama’s recent Executive Amnesty.
This quite brave move accomplishes three ends for Walker. First, it strengthens Walker’s case to be the “anti-Jeb” by staking out the exact opposite position on Bush’s signature issue. Second, it guards Walker’s right flank and threatens to make candidates like Ted Cruz totally irrelevant.
But third, and perhaps most cynically, it establishes Walker’s patriot bona fides at little cost to him among Republican donors if Barack Obama’s Executive Amnesty remains in place.
And that leads us to our third major point…
The split in the Republican Party threatens to undermine any possibility of effective government by the new Congress. Already GOP immigration squishes like New York’s Rep. Peter King are demanding DHS be fully funded [Republicans blocking DHS funding are ‘delusional,’ Rep. Peter King says, by Laura Wagner, ABCNews, March 1, 2015] But if the party leadership simply can’t control rowdy conservatives, what can it do?
One positively mouthwatering possibility: Out of a lack of options, the Republican Party may actually be forced to attack on immigration. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, hardly a friend to immigration patriots, suggested that the Republican Senate could invoke the so-called “nuclear option” that would allow legislation to be advanced with fewer than sixty votes [Split over ‘tactics’ is to blame for DHS funding impasse, House GOP leaders say, by Mike DeBonis, Washington Post, March 1, 2015]. As four Democrats joined with Republicans to vote for a bill that would have overturned Obama’s immigration order, Republicans could credibly claim that invoking the Senate nuclear option was not a purely partisan action.
Of course, such a course of action would still lead to a veto by President Obama. But so what? Immigration patriots should hope that Barack Obama be forced to directly defend actions that he himself has repeatedly said are illegal.
Impeachment is still the ultimate remedy, but the more President Obama’s outrageous, illegal, and treasonable Executive Order is in the news, the better. And the more attention paid to immigration, the less chance Jeb Bush can bribe his way to the Republican nomination and the more other candidates will feel the need to follower Walker’s lead on immigration.
Momentum is shifting to immigration patriots. But the next week will be critical. All eyes will be on the House GOP. If immigration patriots in the House can stand strong, they have the chance to start a chain reaction that could change the course of American politics.
James Kirkpatrick [Email him] is a Beltway veteran and a refugee from Conservatism Inc.