John Derbyshire: Idiot Party Should Go To Plan B—Defang Obamnesty By Abolishing Birthright Citizenship
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We really need to retire the epithet “The Stupid Party” for the GOP. The DHS funding fiasco plainly shows that “stupid” is too mild an adjective to describe the Congressional Republican leadership.[John Boehner ends stalemate, Politico, March 3, 2015]

I turned to my thesaurus in hopes of finding something more apt. Alas; in this age of microaggressions, of mimosa-like sensitivity to offense, the stronger adjectives—“retarded,” “moronic,” “imbecilic,” “cretinous”—are out of bounds.

“Idiotic” is borderline acceptable, and it brings with it a helpful mental image of the gibbering snaggle-toothed Village Idiot; so I’ll take a venture on “idiotic” for the GOP congresscritters.

No offense is intended to Republican voters at large. The old (and nowadays out-of-favor) quip about the WW1 British Army is apt here: “lions led by donkeys.” And there are even a handful of lions in the congressional delegations, notably Rep. Steve King and Senator Jeff Sessions.

But, really: Didn’t they game the thing? When playing chess with an acquaintance—for which the stakes are far lower than in congressional maneuvering—we try to think things out a few moves ahead: “At this point I can do A, B, or C. If I do A, he can do x or y. Ax goes nowhere for me; Ay opens up Ay1—no, that puts me in check—and Ay2, aha! …”

If the GOP congressfolk are too dimwitted to do the gaming themselves, don’t they have staffers to do it for them? This was pathetic.

What might congressional Republicans have done? We weren’t short of suggestions.

  1. Instead of a Department of Homeland Security funding bill with amendments, make it two bills: one funding ICE, but minus Amnesty processing, the second—which Senate Democrats would have no reason to vote down—to fund all other DHS functions. Downside: the Amnesty would have gone ahead anyway, funded by ICE applicant fees.
  2. The DHS could have been left unfunded. Since fees can keep much of the ICE bureaucracy afloat, and most security functions of DHS are staffed by “essential personnel” under quasi-military discipline who would be expected to continue working while waiting for back pay, the effect here is not much different from the previous. Same downside.
  3. The Senate GOP leadership could change the rules to bypass the filibuster threat, as Democrats did in 2013. This is the famous “nuclear option.” Downside: The rule change would be revolutionary, more so than the 2013 event (which did not concern legislation).
  4. Sue the President. Downside: years of legal bickering.
  5. Impeach the President, for his failure faithfully to execute the people’s laws. Downside: None.
Options 1, 2, and 4 would likely have been ineffectual against Amnesty, so that the failure to take them up was no great loss. Options 3 and 5 required courage, a quality not much in evidence among the leaders of the Idiotic Party. Boehner and McConnell, remember, would have preferred a sixth option:
  1. Do nothing at all.
Well, here we are. What do we learn from this, comrades? And: Is there a way forward?

One thing we learn is the mighty power of a Democratic President. Mass Amnesty for low-skilled illegal aliens is of great importance to the future of the Democratic Party.

On an issue of that nature, a Democratic President can rely on well-nigh solid support from his party in both houses of Congress, as well as—of course—from the Main Stream Media, the universities, the law schools, Hollywood, etc., etc.

There are no patriotic qualms in any of those areas of support. This is now the transnationalist post-American party. Blue Dog Democrats are a fading memory.

The solution to all that is to get the Presidency out of the hands of the Democrats. Unfortunately the only organized opposition is the GOP, whose leading lights seem keen to do the Democrats’ work for them.

Pending the arrival of a plausible, patriotic Third Party, we can only seek out and try to promote Republicans who have a clue about demographic trends, who are immune to immigration romanticism, and who are willing to stand up to the Slave Power donors.

At the same time we should monitor and relentlessly harass ambitious but less stalwart Republicans, to remind them that their fortunes do not depend solely on the favors of the donor class. As Marco Rubio showed in his interview with Sean Hannity the other day, they are educable. [his interview with Sean Hannity]

And even in the absence of any organized leadership in the GOP, there are guerilla operations congressional conservatives might conduct. One approach with particularly strong return on investment would be a campaign to end birthright citizenship—which, contrary to the widespread misapprehension, can be done by statute and does not require a Constitutional amendment.

As Peter Brimelow has pointed out here on, ending birthright citizenship “would at a stroke at least deprive the Democrats of the political fruits of Amnesty and future illegal immigration.”

Of course, while defanging Obamnesty, abolishing birthright citizenship would not prevent illegals and their voteless children from stealing jobs from American workers—but, all too clearly, nobody cares about them.

There would also be a pleasing jiu-jitsu aspect to such a campaign. The globalist Left never hesitates to appeal to “international norms.” Well, birthright citizenship is very far from being normal:

There are 31 countries on the International Monetary Fund’s list of advanced economies as listed in Table 2. The United States and Canada are the only advanced economies in the world which grant automatic birthright citizenship to children of illegal and temporary aliens. [Birthright Citizenship in the United States: A Global Comparison by John Feere; Center for Immigration Studies, August 2010.]
We have been reminded just this week of the absurdities that arise from this principle, so anachronistic in an age of cheap international travel.
Southern California apartment complexes that doubled as “maternity hotels” for Chinese women who want made-in-America babies were raided early Tuesday, capping an unprecedented federal sting operation, officials said.

NBC News was on the scene as Homeland Security agents swept into The Carlyle, a luxury property in Irvine, California, which housed pregnant women and new moms who allegedly forked over $40,000 to $80,000 to give birth in the United States.

“I am doing this for the education of the next generation,” one of the women told NBC News.

[Feds Raid California ‘Maternity Hotels’ for Birth Tourists by Andrew Blankstein and Tracy Connor; NBC News, March 3¸ 2015]

This obstetric tourism is an obvious outrage even to milquetoast Conservatism, Inc. types. [A Better Solution to America’s Immigration Problem | End birthright citizenship, By Reihan Salam, Slate, November 21, 2014] Birthright citizenship is a great point of leverage; we should work it for all it’s worth.

Say not the struggle naught availeth!

John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him. ) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. His most recent book, published by com is FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle).His writings are archived at

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