The Vichy Republicans and What We Must Do
As Erick Erickson at Red State outlines in the article below, during the August Congressional Recess, we must rise up as we did in 2009, show up at Congressional Town Hall meetings and use all legitimate means at our disposal to voice our disapproval of what the current Congress is doing, especially the (alleged) Republicans in it.
We’ve got to be vigorous in contacting the Congressional offices voicing our disapproval. We’ve got to encourage others to do the same. The Vichy wing of the (alleged) Republican Party lied to us in the 2014 Congressional campaign. They promised “if you’ll only give us the Senate, we’ll undo the Obama agenda.” We gave them the Senate and now, Mr. Surrender himself, Mendacious McConnell, refuses to use his power as promised. As Ken Cuccinelli at Senate Conservatives writes about McConnell:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has done it again … he preemptively surrendered the power of the purse, vowing to give the Democrats whatever they want to avoid a government shutdown.
“Let me say it again, no more government shutdowns,” he told reporters.
This guy has to be the worst negotiator ever.
This means that he won’t block taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood because he thinks avoiding brinksmanship with the Democrats is more important than stopping this organization.
It means that he won’t block funding for sanctuary cities or for the president’s unlawful executive amnesty program because he thinks avoiding brinksmanship with the Democrats is more important than the rule of law.
It means he won’t block funding for the EPA’s new “clean power” rule because he thinks avoiding brinksmanship with the Democrats is more important than protecting American jobs and family budgets.
And of course it means he won’t block funding for Obamacare because he thinks avoiding brinksmanship with the Democrats is more important than protecting Americans’ health care decisions.
Surrender. Surrender. Surrender. Surrender.
Sadly, Senator McConnell’s refusal to fight against liberal policies in the annual spending bills represents yet another broken promise.
A year ago, when Senator McConnell was running for re-election, he vowed to shut down the president’s agenda by adding restrictions to the “must-pass” appropriations bills.
“We’re going to pass spending bills, and they’re going to have a lot of restrictions on the activities of the bureaucracy,” McConnell said. “That’s something he won’t like, but that will be done. I guarantee it.”
That was a simple lie.
The vote earlier this week on the bill to defund Planned Parenthood was nothing more than a drive-by “show vote” designed to make people think the GOP establishment cares about this issue.
Unfortunately, the Republican leadership in DC won’t fight for our principles and values when it really matters. They won’t use their leverage to stop funding for Planned Parenthood in the “continuing resolution” (CR) in September.
Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), McConnell’s sidekick, even went so far as to say that stopping Planned Parenthood was not worth a shutdown.
“I realize some people want to write this is going to be shutdown material … It’s not,” Cornyn said.
It’s not shutdown material?
Tell that to the Americans whose taxes are being used to abort over 300,000 innocent children each year and auction off their body parts for profit.
The rest of Cuccinelli’s letter is a request for donations, so I did not include that part of the text. That said, I can attest to the fact that the Senate Conservatives Fund is the REAL DEAL. They vet the candidates they support well, choose their fights well and don’t back RINOs in Conservative costume. If you make a donation to SCF, your money will be well-spent.
As I’ve pointed out recently in other posts, McConnell’s Washington office is not even answering the phone when constituents call and his Kentucky offices are refusing to take calls about comments on legislation. Thus, as most of us can’t show up in McConnell’s offices, we are left with contacting him HERE. Contact him we must! We’ve got to pepper his in box with our disapproval.
Now, let’s look at some posts at Red State and at American Thinker about what further we must do:
• Understanding the Vichy Republicans
By Leon Wolf at Red State
Read the whole article because Leon Wolf makes his case very well in comparing McConnell to Pétain, but the money quote is here:
It’s easy to think that Mitch McConnell and Sen. John Cornyn are just evil or weak people, and perhaps there is some truth to that. But I think that ignores the conditions that led them to the place that they have come to the point where collaborating with the Democrats in order to save the government from shutdown over the butchers at Planned Parenthood makes sense. I think quite frankly that they have made the same mistakes that Pétain was guilty of.
The first is that they have underestimated the depravity of their enemy. The Democrats of 2015 are a different breed from the Democrats of 1985 or even 1995, and what they want for the country is radically different and more dangerous. Working with them on reasonable compromises that are good for the country is no longer a viable option, but McConnell apparently doesn’t realize it.
Second, McConnell has come to view the preservation of literally all his troops as more important than any mission he might send them to, and thus he refuses to send them on any mission that involves any danger at all. This kind of shellshock is a fatal flaw in a leader and ensures total and repeated capitulation on every fight that the enemy might possibly force.
I don’t think Mitch McConnell started out his life or his career as a Senator wanting to make deals with Democrats to make sure Planned Parenthood kept getting tax dollars. But his fears have got the better of him and as long as he occupies the position he occupies, the GOP Senate will never fight but only run, and run away faster, and eventually it will actively work with Democrats in a futile attempt to avoid losing seats to them.
They’re the Vichy Republicans now. And until we get rid of them, we can’t organize a fight against the real enemy ourselves.
• The August Recess and the Planned Parenthood Fight
By Erick Erickson at Red State
Conservatives need to treat the 2015 August recess the way they treated the 2009 recess.
In 2009, conservatives overwhelmed townhall meetings to demand opposition to Obamacare. This year, conservatives need to get out in force and demand Congress defund Planned Parenthood, even if it means a government shutdown.
You need to show up in force because all lives matter, even those of children in the womb. Heritage Action has a list of Congressional townhall locations by date. Show up at yours and tell your congressman to defund Planned Parenthood no matter what.
• Heb, Jillary and the Billionaire Straddle
Democracy Managed like the Risk That It is
By: “Repair_Man_Jack” at Red State
Democracy can be a nasty business risk. It has to be managed. You can manage a risk in four ways. You can assume it, avoid it, transfer it or mitigate it*. A business leader assumes risk by remaining politically neutral. They avoid it by not doing business in ways potentially impacted by political meddling. They transfer it by selling assets or industries that are impacted and they can mitigate it by buying the right political leadership. In this iteration of the American Election Cycle, the two preferred assets to hold in any well-structured portfolio of bought off politicians are Heb and Jillary.
More than 60 ultra-rich Americans have contributed to both Jeb Bush’s and Hillary Clinton’s federal campaigns, according to an analysis of Federal Election Commission data by Vocativ and The Daily Beast. Seventeen of those contributors have gone one step further and opened their wallets to fund both Bush’s and Clinton’s 2016 ambitions. (The Daily Beast)
This is because the economics overwhelmingly favor mitigating the risk by buying up the democracy so that it can be effectively exploited to further the wellbeing of their business enterprises. This has been subjected to study and the following results were reported.
We find firms lobbying for this provision have a return in excess of $220 for every $1 spent on lobbying, or 22,000%. …… This paper provides compelling evidence that lobbying expenditures have a positive and significant return on investment.
Nope, you just can’t afford to leave Democracy in the hands of actual voters. So what do you look for when you buy a politician? You go for the mushy centrism. You want a known-name franchise. Clinton and Bush have names. Low-information voters of both parties will zombie on into the voting booth and pull that lever if they recognize the stiff on the ballot. It’s like a Mickey D’s Crapple Burger; it won’t taste good, but it shouldn’t infect you with Ebola.
You want pragmatism and power-lust to overwhelm silly things like principals and loyalty. They can “offer critiques” when we enter into stupid deals with foreign powers that offer up that special daily prayer of ‘Death to America!’ You can “feel concern” when well-connected non-profits sell parts of dead babies for profit because they want a Lamborghini. But you can’t do anything that qualifies as, you know, radical. We mustn’t upset the apple carton over at GE, Tyson Foods, Google or Stem Express. The voters don’t get a voice on important things like the economy, the borders, foreign policy or regulatory policy. Money could be at stake.
This situation is part of what powers some of the recent and vicious criticism of GOP Congressional Leadership. They frankly don’t lead. They carry out predictable kabuki routines that increasingly appear to have been run past approval authorities. It feeds into the appeal of Donald Trump. Sure THE DONALD is trying to buy himself the GOP Primary. It’s more efficient that way. You cut out all the Wall Street and Silicon Valley middle management.
Now that’s not how we want to feel about our country. A certain, low level of corruption is frustrating, yet survivable. It’s just that it seems so all-encompassing. We’re already being told it’s Heb vs Jillary and the fine bouquet of bungholes that bankrolls them each has already straddled the most likely outcomes. It’s a bummer when you feel like your entire political system has been successfully bought out.
*-Also known colloquially as burning down the risk.
Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely:
(Hat tip: “B-Squared”)
The failure of the Republican presidential field (with one notable exception) to stand with its own voters on the burning issue of our time — mass uncontrolled and unresisted illegal immigration to America — is one of the most infuriating examples of electoral incompetence in living memory. Not only is this issue central to the concerns of an overwhelming majority of regular Republican and conservative voters, but it is the issue most likely to carve off substantial numbers of regular Democratic voters. In short, vigorously opposing the ongoing, unprecedented, presidentially invited and abetted invasion of America across its southern border is not only obviously the right policy for the country on its merits, but very possibly the only issue with the potential to carry the Republican nominee not merely to victory but to decisive victory.
In America as in Europe, electoral necessity has placed the Left on the wrong side of illegal immigration for a perilously significant number of its own voters. In America many of those voters are there for the taking — in Iowa, in Ohio, in Virginia, in Colorado, in Florida, to name but a few not insignificant places — but the question, as always since Reagan, is whether the Republican Party wants to win the presidency or to lose politely.
In unmistakably blunt language, all the Republican candidates should be declaring the following:
That our border to the south must be secured, whatever it takes, as an absolute, non-negotiable prerequisite to discussing how to deal with the tens of millions who are already here illegally. The idea that real border security is unachievable is facially absurd to the American people, as is the morally spurious argument that any nation needs to apologize for defending its own borders or establishing its own immigration criteria.
That, after election, the new Republican president will not, under any circumstances, grant any form of blanket amnesty to those who have entered the country in violation of our laws, and that he will work to achieve a complete reversal of the illegal and unconstitutional executive amnesty already granted by President Obama (which Hillary Clinton promises to uphold and enforce).
That our immigration laws do indeed need comprehensive reform, but not the kind of “reform” the Democrats want, where millions of impoverished uneducated future government dependents are taken in and distributed among key states until the country becomes a dependable one party nation — the 1965 Immigration Act has indeed done its work. We need a new immigration law that will favor assimilable immigrants, possessing skills and education that improve the competitiveness of the American economy and meet real needs.
None of the foregoing should be even remotely controversial in a well run, first world republic that wants to continue being one. None of it would be controversial to about 75% of the electorate. All of it would be music to the ears, not only of virtually the entire voter base of the Republican Party but to substantial numbers of regular Democratic voters, both of whom see the connection between mass low skilled illegal immigration, on the one hand, and low wages, declining schools and neighborhoods, and increased crime on the other.
In failing to address this enormous and potentially decisive issue, the Republican field has single-handedly created its Trump headache. It is Politics 1A that when an issue of great concern to a party’s voters is ignored, that issue will be latched onto by someone. Here, predictably, it was picked up by The Donald, who now, instead of paying the price for a lifetime spent creating the image of a self-promoter, has instead grown into a hero to millions of Americans desperately eager to hear someone, anyone, say what they think about out-of-control illegal immigration.
If this issue had been appropriately addressed by a non-marginal candidate, instead of Trump (Walker comes to mind), that candidate would now be substantially farther ahead in the polls than Trump, while Trump would still be near the bottom.
By its silence, timidity and wrong-headedness on illegal immigration the Republican field has created a twofold danger. First, that, in stumbling over themselves to respond to Trump, they will make statements appearing to align themselves with the enormously unpopular illegal immigration policies of the Obama administration. In consequence of that, their ultimate candidate will lose much of the electoral benefit that might have accrued as a result of those policies. Second, that the present public discussion of the issue, in which the Republican candidates are seen as pro-illegal rather than anti Obama and the Democrats, will so deeply offend many regular Republican voters that they do not vote in 2016. Either effect would be potentially lethal to Republican presidential prospects in 2016. Ask Mitt Romney how many more votes in Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa, and Colorado he needed in order to be addressed now as “Mr. President.”
The risk of losing conservative voters is always discounted by the leadership of the Republican Party; but that risk is real and has materialized to great ill effect in the historically recent past. Romney in 2012 may be debatable, but George H. W. Bush in 1992 is clear. In 1992, the senior Bush managed to alienate enough regular Republican voters by raising taxes in the teeth of his categorical pledge not to that they voted for a less credible third Party candidate than Trump would be. This caused the elder Bush to lose to an obscure, scandal-plagued small state governor who received only the bare Democratic Party base vote (43%). Sadly for the great American Middle, the Bush family’s past could be prologue for America.
The illegal immigration issue is at least as significant today to Republican voters as taxes were in 1992. More ominous still are the two principal characteristics of the debate over that issue in the Republican Party. 1. Solid opposition to the present obviously out of control illegal immigration into America, promoted by Obama the Democratic Party, is the overwhelming position of the Party’s regular voters. 2. Acceptance of that invasion appears to be the position of the Party’s elite. This kind of chasm between Party voters and leadership on an issue of enormous significance is unprecedented at the major party level. Its consequences are unknowable but they cannot be good for Republicans.
This article is premised on an obvious truth that will not be argued at length here: That firm opposition to mass illegal immigration, or to compromising with it, which is widely seen as changing America dramatically, rapidly and for the worse, is the dominant viewpoint among the US electorate as whole. That includes — of special importance — a minority of regular Democratic voters. This is obvious to all who live in and associate with the US middle and working classes (therefore, it is not obvious to the Republican Party elite). To those who know America this truth requires no polls to be proved.
To argue the contrary, highly paid Republican consultants — dependent on the good will of the candidates, who are dependent on the good will of corporate donors, who in turn seek an unending supply of cheap labor — will point to polls containing tendentiously phrased questions. They are dead wrong. If questions are asked in the form, “Do you support a path to citizenship for nice people who have lived and worked hard in America for twenty years and have children who have done the same,” answers can be obtained that the questioners are looking for. If questions are framed as the American middle and working classes experience their lives, and as they should be articulated the 2016 fall campaign, the real views of the electorate will emerge.
“Do you believe America’s border with Mexico should be secured?”
“Do you believe that America’s border with Mexico should be secured before discussing how to deal with the millions of people who are now here illegally?”
“Do you believe that people who enter our country illegally should receive taxpayer funded public benefits?”
“Do you believe that people who enter our country illegally should be permitted to vote?”
“Do you believe that low skilled illegal immigrants drive wages down and reduce job opportunities for American workers?”
“Do you believe that American workers should be preferred for good jobs over illegal immigrants who are willing to work for less?”
“Do you believe that the public schools are better or worse in your area because of the presence of large numbers of non-English speaking illegal immigrants?”
The possibilities of poll questioning on immigration that track Americans’ thoughts, experiences and — critically — potential campaign themes are legion. But don’t look for either Gallup or the Republican candidates to do this work. Gallup isn’t interested, and the Republican field doesn’t want to know the answers, which would be unwelcome to corporate donors.
The Republican field is frozen in error by lack of either vision or courage on this issue, and by its need to please its corporate donors. These corporate donors want cheaper labor forever and delude themselves about the not far off social and political consequences of massive illegal immigration. After all, those consequences will reach them later than they do the rest of us — they have not shown up yet in the gated communities, elite private schools, high-income jobs and country clubs of the nation’s governing class. Only the Democratic Party knows what is really happening, and it appears destined to get exactly what it wants: A few hundred thousand more dependable client voters in a bunch of key states, after which it can rest easily in the certainty of victory in every presidential election for the next half century.
Meanwhile, the great American middle is still there for the taking on the illegal immigration issue. It waits for an articulate and courageous champion who will tell the truth about the catastrophic consequences of our current chaotic system of unrestricted immigration and open borders. The significance of the previously unserious Trump’s stratospheric rise — on this issue alone — should get through even the thickest skull.
The 2016 presidential election hangs in the balance much earlier than usual.
McConnell: The craven Vichy Republican face of the Permanent Bi-Partisan Fusion Party
By Mike Flynn at Breitbart
Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell moved swiftly Thursday to shut down any possible conservative attempt to block funding for Planned Parenthood, the federally-funded abortion provider weathering a political scandal.
“There’s no education in the second kick of the mule,” McConnell said, referring to an attempt by conservatives to block government funding for ObamaCare. “We’ve been down this path before,” McConnell added.
In recent weeks, the activist group Center for Medical Progress has released several undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing the harvesting and sale of baby organs and body parts recovered from abortions. The activities discussed in the videos could violate federal law and raise the possibility of criminal charges against the organization that receives half a billion dollars from taxpayers every year.
Congress will have to authorize a new spending authorization for the federal government after it returns from the August recess. Conservatives have discussed defunding Planned Parenthood as a condition for keeping the federal government open.
McConnell is trying to head off that effort and reiterate his commitment to keep government funding open. “Yeah, we’ll fund the government. I can’t tell you what will finally end up in or out of any government funding resolution; I can tell you without fear of contradiction there will be no government shutdown.”
In other words, McConnell would rather a possibly criminal organization like Planned Parenthood continue to receive money from the federal Treasury than risk a bad news cycle.
McConnell explained that a vote last week seeking to defund Planned Parenthood allowed Senators to be “on record” against the organization.
That comment goes to the heart of the problem with McConnell’s leadership. He has picked up the mantle from Sen. Harry Reid and runs the Senate through the prism of the next election cycle. For leaders like Reid and McConnell, having the opportunity, or pitfall, of being “on the record” with votes, which can of course be turned into campaign ads, is the standard by which Senate action is measured.
McConnell is basically saying that Senators have had a vote on Planned Parenthood, so there is no reason to risk a government shutdown to actually defund the organization. For McConnell, a vote against Planned Parenthood is the same thing as legislative action to hold the organization accountable.
This is the fundamental divide between conservative and many Republican voters and the party’s leadership in Washington. The DC GOP leadership wants to hold power. The voters that put them there want them to do something with that power.
The entire playbook of the present-day Republican leadership is basically a political prevent defense. Take no action that the media could use against it, don’t concede any goals, hope for Democrat missteps and amass a compelling rhetorical message that can win elections.
In some cases, this strategy works, but it also helps explain why Republicans almost never contest Democrat-leaning districts or states. Democrats often win Republican-leaning Congressional districts and statewide elections in very Red states. Republicans almost never do the opposite.
Sometimes you have to fight to win. And, often, that fight involves creating and dictating the terms of the engagement. The American public is overwhelmingly opposed to public funding of abortion. They are almost universally opposed to the idea of harvesting and selling aborted baby organs and parts.
Supporters of Planned Parenthood will disagree with that characterization of the current debate. That political challenge is for them to face, however. Republican leaders should force them to do it.
One hundred years ago this summer, a dark cloud settled over Europe as the industrialized might of the world settled into the largest showdown of “prevent defense” ever seen. The world has not yet recovered from the carnage that ensued.
The Republicans won the majority in Congress last November. It is far past the time they did something with it.
• • • •
Contact McConnell HERE
Contact the House HERE
Contact the Senate HERE
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Hat tip to “B-Squared” for curating the images below: