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Bush, Rubio and Kasich: The Establishment’s Whack-a-Mole Candidates

The news that there has been a last minute Jeb Bush “surge” in New Hampshire that has allegedly boosted him into second place behind Donald Trump and that Ohio’s establishment governor John Kasich won the Midnight “predictor” vote in the tiny New Hampshire metropolis of Dixville Notch reminds us of the arcade game of Whack-a-Mole. 

In the game, mechanical “moles” stick their heads up from holes in the board, players score points by “whacking” them with a padded cudgel and the more moles you “whack” the more points you get. However, as the game progresses the moles come at you faster and faster and, try as you might, you can’t whack them Whack a moleall. 

So it is with the establishment Republican candidates for President. 

They rise and fall through the ups and downs of the media cycle, mechanically mouth the same positions that are at odds with the views of the Republican Party’s conservative grassroots base and are eventually whacked back down below ground level when conservatives understand they hold the same views on immigration, amnesty for illegal aliens and Common Core as do Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.  

Jeb Bush started the campaign as “the great white hope” of the Republican establishment and in his case the similarity between his views and Hillary Clinton’s has been known from the beginning of the campaign. 

As we pointed-out in our articles “Jeb Bush = Hillary Clinton” and “Hillary Clinton Joins Jeb Bush In Pushing Amnesty For Illegal Aliens” (and many others) it appears to us that the only difference between Clinton and Bush is on the process by which President Obama implemented policies that he didn’t think the newly elected 2014 Republican majority in Congress would pass. 

As to who benefits; the Big Businesses and tech companies that are pouring millions into their campaigns are the ones who benefit from their shared ideas about "comprehensive immigration reform," not America's hard-pressed middle class families. 

Clinton is much too cautious a politician to reveal through her words specifically who she believes would be the beneficiaries of the policies she espouses, but Jeb Bush has made it quite clear that the beneficiaries of his “more economically driven” immigration system would be the Big Businesses that have profited mightily from the deluge of legal and illegal immigrants who have depressed the wages of American workers and left America’s middle class families struggling for almost two decades. 

Likewise, as we observed in our article “John Kasich: The GOP Establishment’s Spare Prince,” the Republican establishment has always had its suspicions about Jeb Bush’s “fire in the belly” to be President, and its Wall Street wing never likes to put all of their money in one sector of the market, so they’ve adopted the monarchist “heir and a spare” model in this year’s Republican presidential nominating contest.  

The “heir” is of course Jeb Bush and the designated “spare” has rotated among a cast of establishment candidates including New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Florida Senator Marco Rubio and now Ohio Governor John Kasich.  

The job of the establishment’s “spare prince” in this year’s campaign is to present himself as a more palatable version of Jeb Bush to those who might be skeptical of electing another Bush or to jump in and save the establishment’s hold on the throne should Bush’s campaign falter as it appears to be doing.  

And John Kasich is a perfect “spare” for the Republican establishment.  

Like Jeb Bush he is the Governor of an electorally important state and like Jeb Bush he can make some claims to have governed as an economic and fiscal conservative.  

But, as we pointed out in our article “The Big Government Four: Bush, Rubio, Huckabee and Kasich” Governor Kasich often claims to be governing as a fiscal conservative; however, the reality is this claim is largely blue smoke and mirrors.  

And on amnesty for illegal aliens and the impact of immigration, both legal and illegal, the positions of Bush and Kasich (and Hillary Clinton) are indistinguishable. 

While we’ve written extensively on Marco Rubio’s betrayal of conservatives (and the very ideas of constitutional liberty and American exceptionalism) our friends Phyllis Schlafly, founder of the Eagle Forum and First Lady of the Conservative Movement, and Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, have fresh perspectives on Rubio’s record that are worth reviewing as he appears to be the latest establishment mole to pop-up. 

As Mark Krikorian documented in an article posted yesterday in National Review online:

There’s every reason to suspect Rubio is merely an election-year immigration hawk. A devastating 14-page indictment of Rubio’s immigration record, prepared by Eagle Forum (html and pdf), lays out his duplicity in painful detail. Early in his career, anti-borders groups were delighted with Rubio’s conduct in the Florida legislature; the head of one of them, NALEO, said, “He, as speaker, kept many of those [immigration-control bills] from coming up to a vote. We were very proud of his work as speaker of the House.” 

Then, when Rubio ran for the Senate, he turned into a hawk. As CNN’s greatest-hits clip at last month’s debate showed, Rubio said the following, among other things, during his 2010 campaign: “Earned path to citizenship is basically code for amnesty, it’s what they call it. . . . It is unfair to people who have legally entered this country to create an alternative pathway for individuals who entered illegally and knowingly did so.” This hawkishness on immigration was an important reason for his upset victory over Charlie Crist. 

Once he got elected, he betrayed us all,” according to Phyllis Schlafly, Rubio’s first major outside endorser in the Senate primary. Rubio chose to become the chief salesman and public face of Chuck Schumer’s Gang of Eight bill and, as the Eagle Forum indictment shows, his mendacity went well beyond embracing the amnesty he’d so recently denounced: It included a calculated effort to dupe conservatives about what was really in the bill. It was so bad that the head of the ICE agents’ association said that “he directly misled law-enforcement officers” at a meeting right before the bill was introduced in the Senate. 

Then, when the voters rebelled at Senate passage of his monstrous bill and the House refused to pass it, Rubio denounced his own bill, saying the public doesn’t trust Washington to follow through on its enforcement promises. (Of course, this was apparent to anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear, not just in 2013 but even in 2007, when Bush’s amnesty push failed.) 

To sum up: Rubio was anti-enforcement in the Florida legislature, then an enforcement hawk at election time in 2010, then Schumer’s cabana boy in 2013, then a hawk again at election time. Anyone can flip once — people really do change their minds, or even see political writing on the wall and embrace a new position. But flipping and flopping in time with the election cycle should be cause for skepticism, to say the least. 

And Rubio hasn’t even really renounced Schumer’s bill. He still supports all the parts of it, but thinks they should be passed separately rather than in a comprehensive package. And he is still an enthusiastic supporter of the most important piece of the Schumer-Rubio legislation — its doubling of legal immigration, from 1 million a year to 2 million, which, combined with the amnesty, would have resulted in the issuance of 30 million green cards in the first decade after passage. 

Not only has Rubio not recanted his support for doubling immigration, he’s actually sponsored a bill in this Congress to triple H-1B admissions of foreign workers (the I-Squared Act — which Michelle Malkin has cheekily labeled Rubio’s second-worst immigration bill). What’s more, personnel is policy, and Rubio’s inner circle — pollster Whit Ayres, for instance, and Cesar Conda, his chief of staff during the Schumer romance and likely White House chief of staff — are confirmed opponents of immigration limits. The idea that the open-borders corporate culture of the Rubio operation would be trumped by some enforcement promises made on the campaign trail is a fantasy. 

As the Big Government, Common Core and open borders moles like Bush, Rubio and Kasich keep popping up conservatives must concentrate on whacking them back into their holes.  

Because, let’s face it, if Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio or John Kasich claims the Republican nomination for president that would ensure that the Republican establishment stays in power for at least another decade, and it would also ensure that, no matter if the Republican or the Democrat wins, Obama’s policies of Big Government, Common Core and open borders will remain in place.

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