Memo From Middle America | Oklahoma Voters Immigration Patriots—But Congressional Delegation A Study In Terminal GOP Uselessness
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On Super Tuesday, March 1, Ted Cruz won the GOP primary in my home state of Oklahoma with 34.4%. Donald Trump was a close second with 28.3%. Disturbingly, the appalling Marco Rubio was only two points behind Trump with 26%. [OK Primary Results—NYT] All three had visited Oklahoma shortly before. Both Cruz and Trump campaigned as immigration patriots, and I’d venture to say that Rubio has bamboozled some patriots, so it was a blowout. My question: why is Oklahoma’s congressional delegation so bad on immigration?

Oklahoma is a “red state”—perhaps the reddest state of all. In both the 2008 and 2012 Presidential elections, the GOP won every single one of its 77 counties and its congressional delegation is 100% Republican. The congressional delegation have safe seats. Nevertheless, they are useless.

I pointed this out in September 2014. But the situation seems even worse now.

Numbers USA rates all members of Congress on their immigration records. (Check out your own senators and representatives—click here).

Here’s how the Oklahoma congressional delegation is doing:

  • Senator James Inhofe has been in Congress since 1987, since 1994 as a senator. In 2014 Inhofe had a grade of B+ but it later fell to a C and has recently risen to a B. Inhofe won’t even consider a reduction in legal immigration. In writing to a constituent, he goes off on the time-honored “nation of immigrants” spiel and talks about his own German immigrant grandparents, none of which is relevant today.
  • Senator James Lankford had a grade of B in 2014, when he was still in the House. He’s now a senator, but his grade has fallen to a C-.
  • Representative Frank Lucas (District 3) has been in the House since 1994, and is famous for bringing home the bacon for farmers. The congressman’s Numbers USA immigration grade has gone up from a D+ in September of 2014 to a C now. That’s nothing to brag about.
  • Representative Tom Cole (District 4) has been in the House since 2003, and his immigration grade has dropped from a B- in September 2014 to a D today. (But don’t worry, Congressman Cole has taken a bold stand against the use of the term “Redskins” by a certain NFL franchise!)
  • Representative Mark Wayne Mullin (District 2) has just been in the House since 2013, From September 2014 to now, his grade has dropped from D+ to D.
  • Representative Steve Russell (District 5) wasn’t in the House in September 2014. Until recently, Russell had a D grade from Number USA but now has managed to raise it…to a C-!
The only member of the Oklahoma delegation who is a positive influence on the National Question: 1st District Representative Jim Bridenstine. He had a D+ in 2014, but now has a solid A.

Maybe not coincidentally, Congressman Bridenstine was also the only member of the Oklahoma delegation to vote against December’s massive 1.1 trillion dollar “omnibus” budget. He said:

I cannot support a bill which funds Planned Parenthood, Obamacare, illegal executive amnesty, onerous EPA and Department of Labor regulations, and the Syrian refugee resettlement program, among other inappropriate government programs. The Omnibus also increases funding for the IRS and quadruples the number of low-wage “guest worker” visas.

(Only One Congressman from Oklahoma Voted Against the 1.1 Trillion Budget Plan, Forty-Six News, Dec. 19, 2015. Emphases added. For Pat Campbell’s interview with Bridenstine, click here).

But the immigration page on Bridenstine’s website, while stressing border security (doesn’t everybody?) contains this:
…We need additional guest worker visas to fill immediate gaps in our workforce and continue growing our economy…I support reforming our immigration system to prioritize expedited consideration of high-skilled workers, particularly those with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) graduate degrees. Foreign STEM graduates help our economy produce and innovate and they do not compete with lower skilled labor and drive wages down. We should speed up their naturalization process for STEM graduates with jobs and clean records.
After the vote for the omnibus budget, Senator Inhofe appeared on the Pat Campbell show to defend himself—Senator Inhofe Explains Yes Vote for 1.1 Trillion Omnibus Bill to Pat Campbell on 1170 KFAQ Forty-Six News, December 28, 2015. (interview on link)

Basically Inhofe said he voted for the budget anyway even though he didn’t agree with all of it. There were things, said Inhofe, that were good about the bill. And besides, said Inhofe, they were going to try to “reconcile” the bill.

The reconciliation bill (Obamacare and Planned Parenthood) was vetoed by Obama in January.[Obama Swiftly Vetoes Reconciliation Bill Because Congress Didn’t Deliver, By Twila Brase, CNSNews, January 8, 2016 ] In February the House failed to override it.[House fails to override president's veto of Obamacare repeal, By Erin Kelly, USA Today, February 3, 2016]  But doubtless its promulgators felt good about it.

In a letter to a constituent, Inhofe plowed some of the same worn-out ground. He says he is against the way things were done and doesn’t want that sort of thing to continue.

But then he writes

Despite my frustration with the process, and the failure of the Senate to consider this bill under regular order, I decided to support H.R. 2029 because it lifted the ban on oil exports, made permanent a number of key tax relief provisions for Oklahoma's families, and provided funding for the Department of Defense during a time of war. Additionally, Senate Republicans were able to secure a number of significant reforms that would otherwise have not been possible had they not been attached to this piece of legislation.
Of course, lifting the oil ban is subject to Obama’s approval. The president can shut down exports anytime he wants.

Yes, yes, I understand politics requires compromise, but why does Inhofe wind up voting for legislation that goes against his principles? At what point must one make a stand?

Besides, there was an alternative approach. Inhofe could have voted against it. In the Senate 65 voted yea and 33 voted nay. (Marco Rubio was missing and didn’t vote either way). The nay votes included those cast by Senators Bernie Sanders, Rand Paul and America’s Senator Jeff Sessions.

Senator Sessions publicly spoke out against the bill, thereby attempting to educate the public. That’s leadership. Thus, even if you lose a round, you can still make a stand.

As for Senator Lankford, in November Oklahoma’s junior senator released his much-ballyhooed Federal Fumbles, a book exposing federal waste. Then, the next month, he voted for the Omnibus!

If waste-exposing conservative Republicans vote for the Omnibus, what hope for them is there?

Furthermore, last year both Senators Inhofe and Lankford voted for the TPA [Trade Promotion Authority] in which Congress voted to lower the threshold for approval of trade treaties from 60 senators to only 51. TPA would apply to various globalist trade deals including the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership), T-TIP (Transatlantic Trade and investment Partnership and TiSA (Trade in Services Agreement). It’s all collectively referred to as Obamatrade. [Exclusive — Donald J. Trump Makes the Case that Electing Him President Is the Only Way to Stop Obamatrade, by Matthew Boyle, Breitbart, January 30, 2016]

Senator Lankford, in a letter to a constituent, argued incredibly that

Contrary to several circulating rumors, TPA reinforces the authority of Congress, not the President, to establish our nation's trade priorities. Without TPA in place, the Administration and our trade negotiators are not bound to adhere to congressionally established trade objectives.
Emphases added.

Additionally, The TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) would affect American immigration policy. Senator Sessions pointed out that

…this is not a mere trade agreement. It bears the hallmarks of a nascent European Union. It is another step towards a world where people, goods, and services can travel freely across international boundaries – and a world where those boundaries mean less and less every day.

Jenks: Trade Deal will have ‘Massive’ Impact on Immigration Numbers USA, Nov. 20, 2015

Oklahoma’s Senators talk the talk about Small Government and all the other supposed conservative values, and they do some good things. But they fail to walk the walk on important national sovereignty and immigration issues. [Marco Rubio leads the presidential field in endorsements from Oklahoma state legislators by Patrick B. McGuigan, CapitolBeatOK, January 7, 2016]

Even worse, Senator Inhofe and Rep. Mullin have endorsed Marco Rubio (as has former Senator Tom Coburn, notwithstanding being a much-touted “conservative” leader—see Former Sen. Tom Coburn Endorses Rubio, Slams Trump,, February 29, 2016).

Needless to say, anybody who endorses or supports Rubio for president cannot be serious about controlling our border, let alone reducing legal immigration.

So what’s going on in Oklahoma?

Of course, there is the Chamber of Commerce and Big Donor influence. But I think there’s more at work.

Part of it is intellectual inertia. Oklahoma senators and congressmen just haven’t been used to talking about immigration except for clichés like “secure the border” and “nation of immigrants”. They just haven’t thought about it.

And GOP lawmakers from Flyover Country are often more “PC” than you might expect, with a strong fear of being called “racist”. There’s even a certain inferiority complex at work, a desire to prove to the Main Stream Media that they aren’t backwards rednecks.

It’s another case study in terminal GOP uselessness—just like the Montana GOP’s running away from the anti-illegal immigration initiative that passed in a landslide in 2012.

This year, 2016, Senator Lankford is up for reelection. Somebody could run against him in the primary—if he loses, it might help to educate Republican voters about the National Question.

In Oklahoma’s 4th District, Representative Tom Cole already has an opponent, a conservative black pastor and teacher, Dr. James Taylor. Click here for a James Taylor appearance on the Pat Campbell show. Campbell makes a good point—regardless of how these guys may affirm to be fighting Obama’s agenda—they’ve already funded it! They’ve already “written the check”.

Bravo for Taylor!

Oklahoma is only one of fifty states. Immigration patriots in every state could be looking at their congressional delegations. Maybe some VDARE folks could run for office.

After all, thanks to the Trump campaign, many of the issues we have been writing about for years are now on the front burner. It’s time to strike while the iron is hot.

American citizen Allan Wall (email him) moved back to the U.S.A. in 2008 after many years residing in Mexico. Allan's wife is Mexican, and their two sons are bilingual. In 2005, Allan served a tour of duty in Iraq with the Texas Army National Guard. His VDARE.COM articles are archived here; his articles are archived here ; his News With Views columns are archived here; and his website is here.


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