As House Republicans prepare for their aptly-named “GOP Retreat” at the end of the month, they are planning to make immigration the centerpiece of their legislative strategy. Both Politico and Roll Call offer a glimpse into their grand scheme. They will offer a lot of window dressing about enforcement and all the things the GOP base wants to hear. But ask yourself this question: why the urgency?
According to a new Gallup poll, immigration ranks among the lowest priority issues in the minds of voters. Only 3% listed it as a top issue, whereas most people felt the economy, jobs, and healthcare (Obamacare) were much more important. More strikingly, the largest plurality of respondents listed dissatisfaction with government as the most pressing issue.
And therein lies the key to understanding the wide gulf between the priorities of the Country Class and those of the Ruling Class. No issue accentuates this schism more than immigration. If you walk the corridors of the elite institutions and firms in Washington, there is nothing more important than granting amnesty to illegals. Yet, when you step outside the beltway, it becomes obvious that nobody cares about the issue, and to the extent they do most people are on the other side. In fact, the dyslexic and wrongheaded focus on immigration amidst a healthcare crisis is precisely why people view the Ruling Class as the biggest policy problem.
So, again, we must ask, why the urgency? With so many people prioritizing the problems pertaining to jobs, healthcare, debt, and big government why would anyone think it would be an electoral boon to push an issue so few people care about?
With more people listing declining morals as more important than immigration maybe the establishment will start fighting back on social issues. Just kidding.
On the one hand, establishment Republicans have nothing else to do. With Boehner echoing Obama’s talking points today on the debt ceiling and with the Chamber of Commerce surrendering on Obamacare, there’s plenty of time to focus on less pressing issues.
However, ultimately, we all understand the urgency of this issue. Democrats want to begin creating a permanent majority, and Ruling Class Republicans want to butter up their money-handlers at the expense of the American people. They can then use that money to perpetuate the game of politics – the red vs. blue game – in pursuit of no worthy end-goal other than accumulation of power and money.
If you think that merely electing six more Republican senators of any persuasion – without rebuilding the party from the ground-up – will change this dynamic, you haven’t been paying attention.