As usual, the Republican Party is snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. With a President in the midst of seven serious scandals and facing a declining public approval rating, the Republicans have a tremendous opportunity to make serious gains in the upcoming mid-term elections.
Unfortunately, Republicans are in the midst of angering their base and daring grassroots conservatives to form a new party. In fact, former Alaska Governor and 2008 Republican vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin is already considering such a move. In an interview last weekend on Fox News, Palin said she liked the idea of forming a Freedom Party with talk show host Mark Levin “if the GOP continues to back away from the planks in our platform, from the principles that built this party of Lincoln and Reagan.” Palin believes that the Republican Party has ignored conservatives “with that libertarian streak” who want limited government.
In recent years, Republicans have bypassed conservatives and nominated moderate presidential nominees such as John McCain and Mitt Romney. Despite control of Congress and the White House in the Bush administration, the government grew with new entitlement programs and uncontrolled spending.
Since January of 2011, the Republicans have controlled the House of Representatives, but they have not been successful in stopping the massive spending of the Obama administration. Our political leaders have led us to $17 trillion in federal debt, and, despite sequester mandated cuts, will be ushering in an annual budget deficit of approximately $1 trillion.
Last week, the damage continued with the Senate passing an immigration reform bill with a 68-32 margin. This included typical pork barrel spending such as giveaways for the casino industry to help Nevada Senator Harry Reid, special accommodations for the cruise industry to help Florida Senator Marco Rubio and $1.5 billion for a jobs bill to recruit the support of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
The 1,200 page monstrosity was loaded with extras just like the 2,700 page Affordable Care Act of 2010. None of the Senators actually had time to read the entire bill and it will take plenty of time to understand everything that is included in the legislation.
Tragically, 14 Republican Senators supported the bill, which has been sent to the GOP controlled House of Representatives. House Speaker John Boehner should declare the bill dead on arrival and promise to do nothing but bolster border security. Instead, they are promising to tweak the bill and pass their own version.
All of this effort on immigration is a misguided attempt to lure more support from Hispanic voters who supported Barack Obama in the last election by a 77-23% margin. In their craze to lure Hispanic votes, Republicans may very well lose the votes of white conservatives who are demanding border security and not amnesty.
Recent polls show that Americans want action on the economy and jobs, not immigration, so Republicans do not face a political risk if they sidetrack the bill
If the GOP continues to ignore their base, conservatives like Palin and many others may walk away and form a new party. This would devastate the Republican Party and insure the country is saddled with one party Democrat rule for the foreseeable future. If Democrats have nothing to stop them from their excesses, the country will suffer tremendously.
Fortunately, it is not too late for the GOP to take corrective action, but something needs to happen soon. If the Republicans continue down this path, talk show host Rush Limbaugh believes the party is “in the process of engaging in policies guaranteed to lose them elections.”
It is time that the GOP listened to these warnings from conservatives, who are trying to save a party that specializes in self destruction.
Jeff Crouere is a native of New Orleans, LA and he is the host of a Louisiana based program, “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Fri. and 10:00 p.m. Sun. on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 till 11 a.m. weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore. For more information, visit his web site at www.ringsidepolitics.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.