VDARE.com is focused on immigration and the National Question—whether the U.S. can survive as a nation-state, the political expression of a particular people. It does not take a position on abortion, and we know our writers and readers are on both (all) sides of the issue. But we are vitally interested in any clash between GOP leaders and the party’s base, because it is the GOP leaders who have systematically frustrated the base’s desire for patriotic immigration reform.
And Ellmers turned on the pro-life Republican base faster than the French government turned on free speech after the Islamic terrorist attacks on Charlie Hebdo. On the very eve of the annual March for Life, an event that brought half a million pro-life protesters to the Capitol, Ellmers waged an insurgent campaign within the Republican caucus to defeat a bill that would have banned late term abortions. [Abortion bill dropped amid concerns of female GOP lawmakers , by Ed O’Keefe, Washington Post, January 21, 2015] Thus, at the hands of a Southern Republican, the pro-choice movement can celebrate a victory and the already disorganized Republican caucus looks even more hapless [Planned Parenthood seizes on House GOP’s abortion bill retreat, by Sarah Ferris, The Hill, January 22, 2015]
The base is outraged. Jim Duncan, chairman of the Chatham County Republican Party, was apparently already looking at a primary challenge to Ellmers but his incipient rebellion now has serious momentum behind it. Roll Call is reporting that her abortion vote may mean Ellmers will face a “bruising primary from the conservative wing of her party in 2016 [Renee Ellmers May Face Primary Challenge, by Emily Cahn, January 23, 2015].
The Respectable Rightists of RedState are especially outraged. Erick Erickson spat that Ellmers is a “damnable liar” who “must be ruined politically” for claiming “she’d vote for the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act after she ensured it would not pass.” He proclaimed that “the pro-life movement must stop being the whores of the GOP” and mused, “Maybe it is time for a third party to give the GOP competition” [The Pro-Life Movement Must Stop Being Whores of the Republican Party, RedState, January 22, 2015].
Thomas Crown, a former Director of RedState vowed: “I will never vote Republican again. Not for any reason… today, the Party stands for indifference in the face of a man-made cataclysm of flesh and blood, and for apathy toward good and cooperation with evil.” [The Friend of My Enemy is My Enemy, by Thomas Crown, RedState, January 22, 2015]
RedState Commissar Leon Wolf wrote:
Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC ) was swept into office in 2010 on a wave of Tea Party support and based on the fact that she had the good fortune to have a Democrat incumbent who let himself get videotaped assaulting some college kids. The video in question went nationally viral and Ellmers’ election became something of a cause celebre in conservative circles. When she narrowly pulled off the victory, people expected great things from her.And RedState regular Aaron Gardner triggered progressives around the country by demanding of Ellmers, “Tell me why you are worthy of this life you have been given, Representative.” [Is Renee Ellmers Worthy of Life?, January 23, 2015]
However, since her election, she has been one of the worst members of the GOP caucus…Ellmers is either lying to her constituents about being pro-life or she has become a poltroon on this issue now that the GOP has taken control of the house and she figures she can increase her district’s share of the federal feeding trough... It would be better to have a Democrat in this seat than a cancer in the Republican caucus.”
[Renee Ellmers is Worse Than a Democrat, January 21, 2015]
Nevertheless, it’s hard to take these kinds of militant statements seriously when we review RedState’s recent record on immigration. After all, Erickson has made some excellent comments in the past about the baleful impact of consultants on the Republican Party, but has apparently retreated on the issue now that the Republicans might have the potential to do something about it.
Significantly, RedState purged Daniel Horowitz for his excellent immigration updates and issued an abrupt volte face on the immigration issue. Leon Wolf openly urged the Republican Party to pass Amnesty as quickly as possible. Wolf also whined about the “toxicity of immigration rhetoric” and even about the “racism” of referring to George Bush or John McCain as “Jorge Arbusto” or “Juan McCain.” When someone posted a link to VDARE.com in the comments section, it was deleted and Wolf congratulated himself for it.
As for Aaron Gardner, he previously wrote that the likes of Glenn Beck providing showy charity for the Obama administration’s orchestrated “Central American refugee crisis” was really about “Christians living their faith” and called out the American Thinker for criticizing it [On Immigration, the Border, and Dana Loesch, The American Thinker Isn’t Thinking or American,” by Aaron Gardner, RedState, July 21, 2014].
Gardner concern-trolled by claiming “This sort of rhetoric does nothing but empower the left on immigration” and “will lend further credence to the liberal caricature of conservatives hating brown people.”
But it seems more accurate that the average person will be angrier at a conservative blogger demanding a female congresswoman justify her very existence than they will be about American Thinker’s criticism of Glenn Beck wanting moral credit for crying on his website again. And truly “living their faith” would require these Christians to pay a bit of attention to Matthew 6:2-6:8.
Ironically, immigrant Univision anchor Jorge Ramos, now a Mexican-American dual citizen, is pretty overt about his frankly racialist rationale for pushing mass immigration. “Conservatives hating brown people” is a media caricature but it seems pretty accurate that many “brown people” hate conservatives.
This holds true not just on economic issues like increasing spending but also, in increasing numbers, on abortion and other "white" cultural issues.
Exit polls after the 2012 elections show that “big majorities of Latinos across the country… agreed that abortion should be legal” and that their support for abortion exceeded that of voters in general. [Latinos Endorse Legal Abortion, by Richard Morin, ABC News, November 6, 2012] Allegedly “socially conservative” and “natural Republican” Hispanics are also one of the most important drivers behind the country’s rising number of out-of-wedlock births.
If Erickson was serious about a Third Party that would be defined by the pro-life issue, we have news for him—such a party already exists. It’s the Constitution Party and ran former Virginia Congressman Virgil Goode as its presidential nominee in 2012.
But Goode’s patriotic position on immigration was just as strong as his pro-life stance. And any serious effort to have an independent “pro-life” political movement would require immigration patriot backing to have any chance to get anywhere.
As much as RedState hates to admit it, elections aren’t just about ideas—they are about demographics, and Hispanics will never vote for them.
The pro-life movement needs patriotic immigration reform and the demographic base it represents—especially if pro-lifers are trying to be independent of Establishment Republicans. It’s true that some immigration patriot groups are progressive and overtly pro-choice, just as many pro-lifers are progressive except on the single issue of immigration. However, the mass base of any political movement would require a coalition of those groups that are currently perceived as expendable by the Beltway Right.
But is RedState really interested in preventing abortion or just making sure conservatives stay focused on issues other than immigration? In the past, Leon Wolf has attacked Tom Tancredo because of his alleged “ties” to immigration restrictionist groups like the Federation for American Immigration Reform and figures like Dr. John Tanton [Tom Tancredo’s Unsavory Backers, RedState Archive, 2008]. In fact, of course, as Tancredo himself noted in 2013, the former Colorado Congressman has a “100% rating from National Right to Life and a 99% rating from the American Conservative Union” [Immigration and the Pro-Life Movement, Townhall, February 17, 2013]. If a strong position on immigration cancels out a perfect pro-life voting record, then it’s fair to say that a weak position on immigration is more important to people like Wolf (why?) than a strong and consistent pro-life position on abortion.
Moreover, the real action on the abortion issue is not taking place in Congress or even the state legislatures. The pro-life movement has actually had notable success in the last few years by working to shut down abortion clinics directly, by exposing regulatory violations etc., rather than counting on the political process. The result has been a dramatic decline in the number of abortion clinics open throughout the country [Not Just ‘Marching for Life’ Anymore, WND, January 22, 2015], If the goal is to “save lives” as such, pro-life champions like those at RedState could be doing more to popularize these kinds of tactics.
Therefore, it’s hard to take this kind of tantrum seriously. RedState and its writers are no doubt sincere in their pro-life convictions. But it appears that they don’t really want to build a populist coalition that could challenge the Beltway Right. It looks like the abortion issue just provides a way to get grassroots conservatives to be angry at a faux Establishment, while leaving the donor-driven and immigration-obsessed real Establishment in place.
The real story is not RedState’s empty threats to destroy the Republican Party. It’s the RedStaters' unwillingness to seriously engage with the immigration issue—even if that is the only way to stop politicians like Renee Ellmers from taking the GOP base for granted.
James Kirkpatrick [Email him] is a Beltway veteran and a refugee from Conservatism Inc.