Needless to say, Mitt Romney has disregarded my advice to pick as his running mate Kris Kobach of Kansas, an immigration patriot hero. Instead, he has picked Rep. Paul Ryan, who has a terrible record on immigration, all too typical of the purblind policy wonks who evolve inside the Beltway.
However, the really curious thing about this choice is not that Romney appears to be finally abandoning the winning immigration issue after using it, modestly but succesfully, in the primaries, but that he seems to want to take up losing root-canal budget-cutting issues. Even though he has the Awful Warning of the 2011 disaster in NY 26, which became a referendum on Ryan's Medicare proposals, causing our Ellison Lodge to say:
This is utterly typical of the Beltway GOP. Thus they are also trying to shove through various free trade agreements, with Panama, Korea, and Columbia. Presumably these agreements are popular with K Street lobbyists. But this priority shows that the Beltway GOP is out of touch with the public—and with its own base.
Tea Party voters are not dogmatic libertarians. According to a CNBC/Wall Street Journal Poll, 61% of self identified Tea Party members believe Free Trade has hurt the US—just four percent lower than labor union members.
Which will not surprise anyone outside the world of Washington wonkery.
In contrast, while the Republicans are busy alienating their white working and middle class base with libertarian policy wonkery, they have completely ignored the issue of immigration. But, as VDARE.com pointed out, on even the most controversial aspects of the immigration issue, such as ending birthright citizenship and supporting the Arizona law, Americans support hard-line policies by margins of 2-1. And Republican voters support them by margins of over 5-1 and 7-1 respectively.
So why has Romney done this? I agree with one of David Frum's speculations on the Daily Beast:
The donors demanded it. Romney is raising huge sums of super PAC money from comparatively few people. The result of this financial strategy is to empower donor preferences—and they may prefer Ryan
Which in turn means that Ryan's is the work of the DC campaign consultants who, as veteran Richard Viguerie said recently, are "stealing the soul of the GOP":
To most of these highly paid political “strategists,” the campaigns of Ronald Reagan are a grade school memory. Growing-up in the rarified atmosphere of Capitol Hill, where most of them got their start in politics, they know only one way of winning: raise a lot of money from special interests and buy a lot of negative ads on TV... and earn themselves millions in ad placement commissions in the process.
And most importantly, don’t run as a conservative or take any socially conservative positions that might be at odds with those of the urban elites who dominate the mainstream media.
This campaign is not about winning, any more than Conservatism Inc. is about conservatism—it's about enriching parasites.
More VDARE.com on Paul Ryan here.