Share This Article with a Friend!

Outsiders vs. Insiders: Will the GOP hold the line on immigration? We’ll soon find out.

Has President Donald Trump gone rogue?

It’s something many conservatives are wondering in the wake of recent events where the outsider president elected by millions of forgotten Americans betrayed for decades by the political establishment in Washington appears to be throwing in with the swamp creatures instead of ratcheting up demands for additional and more Donald Trumppowerful pumps to drain the stagnant bog water encircling the capital city.

Yes, it’s true Trump was infuriated over Hollywood Reporter Michael Wolff’s tabloid-style book where former senior advisor Steve Bannon and others made insulting and false comments about the chief executive and his family. It’s also correct that Trump feels shamed by the lingering media-driven impression he’s become politically weaker because he backed Roy Moore’s ill-fated candidacy last month in Alabama.

But are these legitimate reasons to surrender to the “dark side” and now snuggle up to Mitch McConnell and the GOP ruling class?

McConnell’s apparently been gloating over the Trump/Bannon feud. Kevin Robillard and Eliana Johnson of Politico reported, “The elation inside McConnell's camp could hardly be more apparent. When McConnell assembled his leadership team on Wednesday for a new-year huddle, he focused first not on a looming government shutdown or the recently-passed tax bill — he celebrated Bannon’s self-destruction.

“The president had released a statement hours earlier disavowing Bannon, stating his former aide had ‘not only lost his job, he lost his mind’ when he was fired. McConnell gleefully told his colleagues that he had spoken with the president moments earlier and told him: ‘I couldn’t have said it better myself.’

“But it's unclear how much of a factor Bannon would've been in the country's most competitive Senate races, anyway. Several Republican vs. Republican battles will rage on without him.”

As is typical with a set of elites who simplify their own jobs by attaching someone they hate’s face to every political scenario (in this case Bannon’s, but it used to be Sarah Palin, etc.), the general consensus among establishment political consultants is Bannon’s absence will make a significant difference in the upcoming GOP primaries.

This may or may not be true; each race has its own dynamic and just because Bannon may be out of the picture nationally doesn’t mean the country’s strong anti-establishment fever exhibited in the past ten years’ worth of elections disappeared in an instant. As has been pointed out a lot lately, there are several strong grassroots conservative groups still operating at full steam (such as Club for Growth and Senate Conservatives Fund) that will be backing conservative Republicans in their primaries regardless of who the establishment puts forward.

If anything the lack of Bannon’s presence could help a few incumbent Republican senators have a bit of an easier ride in their primaries – but there will still be serious challengers. Over the weekend Trump supposedly indicated he would not be opposing any of the party’s incumbents (though Trump also said he didn’t envision it happening “at this moment”) – a blow to the cause of reform, for sure, but the greater battle is just getting started.

If it’s true Trump’s decided to employ Mitch McConnell as his chief advisor for picking sides in senate races it could end up being the biggest single error of his presidency. These establishment backed candidates may look good on paper and might even win a race or two that a more conservative candidate (without support from the national party) would lose, but the real difference shows up once the lawmakers get to Washington and start breaking promises because McConnell or a pollster said a proposal is “too difficult to pass” and shuts down the process.

This is the way government has grown so out of control – there weren’t enough “nay” votes to stop it.

Trump also seems to be a little starry-eyed with gratitude towards McConnell in the aftermath of the passage of last month’s tax bill; otherwise the bespectacled senate leader might not look so wise right now. Trump is no fool but he is new to the Washington game and doesn’t have a lot of “outsider” advisers left to warn him of the dangerous minefield he’s attempting to navigate.

Meanwhile, the Democrats are not showing any signs they’ll cooperate with the Trump legislative agenda this year. By all appearances a showdown is looming over immigration – and the two sides’ stated positions reveal very little room for retreat.

Seung Min Kim of Politico reported, “A top Senate Democrat trying to hammer out a deal to protect hundreds of thousands of Dreamers trashed a White House border security plan on Friday, while warning that Washington is headed toward a government shutdown over the issue.

“Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the second-ranking Senate Democrat, called the Trump administration’s proposed new security measures an effort to undermine bipartisan negotiations on Capitol Hill — talks that have plodded along so far with no resolution in sight.

“’President Trump has said he may need a good government shutdown to get his wall. With this demand, he seems to be heading in that direction,” Durbin said in a statement. “It’s outrageous that the White House would undercut months of bipartisan efforts by again trying to put its entire wish list of hardline anti-immigrant bills — plus an additional $18 billion in wall funding — on the backs of these young people.’”

Durbin’s is just the latest Democrat ploy to distract from the main issue. Far from constituting some sort of humanitarian crisis illegal immigration uncovers a lot more about the American political leadership’s lack of willingness to adhere to the plain language of federal statutes for decades. Quite simply put, if the government had done its job when the issues first surfaced we would never need something like a 30-foot high wall on the southern border to deter and hopefully end illegal crossings.

Not only do Durbin and his cohorts not want to do anything to stem future illegal immigration they are dead-set against addressing the status of the tens of millions of aliens who are already in the country today.

Aside from that, Democrats actually want a government shutdown and any denials to the contrary are flat-out lies. And why not? They figure one, it’s an election year and two, with the media’s ready assistance public opinion polls will side with them on any shutdown scenario.

For the GOP, on the one hand you have Trump who’s been swearing ever since he ran for president he’s going to get a wall, a position from which he can’t shrink if he’s going to maintain the loyalty of his coalition. On the other you have an establishment-dominated party leadership that doesn’t give a hoot about stopping illegal immigration. With the backing of their buddies at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce the country club big business Republicans love the cheap labor illegal immigrants provide.

The only ones who wholeheartedly insist the wall be built are the principled conservatives in Congress along with millions of voters who chose Trump precisely because he articulated what they felt in their hearts about America’s lax enforcement of its own immigration laws. Uncontrolled borders bring about undisputed problems – crime, drugs, human trafficking, public health problems and all of the maladies associated with extreme poverty.

That’s not even mentioning the severe national security threat involved with failing to control who gets in and stays in.

At this point the wall makes too much sense not to do even if there are sections of the border where a physical barrier is highly impractical and seemingly useless. For those stretches of miles where a wall could be built with little impediment there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be done.

But the Democrats won’t go along with it nevertheless because of political reasons. In the past they’ve drawn their line in the sand around Planned Parenthood funding but now they’ve got an additional cause célèbre – the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Again, with the aid of the media, large swaths of the public (and apparently Trump himself) believes failure to extend the unconstitutional Obama-instituted program will result in mass deportations of first graders with buses lined up outside of schools waiting to whisk them away in chains.

That’s far from the truth. But even if the DACA program were legally prolonged the immigration crisis won’t be alleviated until the internal enforcement measures – and the wall – are enacted to remove incentives for people to come here without fear of being sent back.

A nation without borders is not a nation. Communist regimes erect walls and fences to keep their people in; the land of the free needs a wall to ensure potential newcomers take legitimate steps to come here before setting foot on U.S. soil. Is that too much to ask?

No country on earth would stand for such lax prosecution of its own laws. Maybe we should start exporting Democrats and the world will become a more “welcoming” place. Until that happens we should hope Trump holds out for the wall and the rule of law.

It won’t be easy. Byron York wrote in the Washington Examiner yesterday, “Nearly everyone on Capitol Hill wants a fix that results in legalization for the Dreamers. Democrats want to legalize right away, straight up, no strings attached. But Trump and most Republicans want a deal: immigration reforms — the wall, chain migration, visa lottery — in exchange for legalization.

“That's where funding the government comes in. A temporary funding resolution passed last month expires on Jan. 19. Congress can pass a ‘clean’ bill to avoid a partial shutdown, or it can have a fight if one party tries to attach unrelated policy preferences to the must-pass spending bill...

“It is a decisive moment in the Trump presidency, and in the debate over immigration. Right now, it's fair to say nearly no one in the Washington press corps is paying much attention — they would much rather discuss Steve Bannon, or the 25th Amendment, or whether the president watches too much TV. But the coming weeks will be crucial for the agenda that won Donald Trump the White House.”

Common sense indicates the media will pay attention if Trump tweets about the Democrats stonewalling the budget negotiations – but all the focus will be on Trump’s unbending position.

History suggests President Trump has a few aces up his sleeve on immigration and in the upcoming GOP primaries. Some may have set aside Trump’s promise to drain the swamp but it’s doubtful he has. Making American Great Again won’t happen without his key agenda items.

Share this