What’s Happening with Conservatives and the Tea Party

Rush Limbaugh: Gang of 8 Bill “guarantees Democrats power”

On his last radio program before going on vacation, Rush Limbaugh (pictured) stated that, if the Gang of Eight Amnesty Bill is enacted into law, it will Rush Limbaughresult in an overwhelming majority for the Democratic Party into the future.

The passage of "a path to citizenship" with voting rights for the 11 million illegal aliens will be the end of conservatism in the United States.

A recent issue of this newsletter cited a Pew Hispanic Center poll that found:

Support for a larger government is greatest among immigrant Latinos.  

81% say they would rather have a bigger government with more services than a smaller government with fewer services.

The share that wants a bigger government falls to 72% among second-generation Hispanics and 58% among third-generation Hispanics.

Limbaugh is apparently aware of that poll or similar polls, as he stated in his broadcast:

There are two things here, folks, that if they happen--and one of them practically already has--then this country's never, ever gonna be the same.  One is Obamacare; the other is amnesty.  

And I would say of those two that amnesty is the most transformative, because that guarantees Democrats power for as long as you can see the future.

I mean, if we're gonna grant amnesty and path to citizenship and voting rights, which is what this is all about, if we're gonna grant voting rights to whatever the number, 11 million people, so let's say 70%, which is what the polling data says that Hispanics vote Democrat, if we're gonna just automatically anoint eight million new Democrat voters, with not one new--or--well, two million Republican voters at best, sorry, don't know what you're gonna do.  

That's transformative.

In another place in the broadcast, Limbaugh said:

And I just want to reiterate with all of these things that are going on, amnesty is the biggie, folks, because if amnesty is achieved, then all the rest of this is academic, and we basically have a one-party government and country for at least a generation.

Limbaugh is absolutely correct that the Gang of Eight Bill is the most dangerous and destructive legislation that has ever been considered by Congress, because if it passes, it will create an "end game" in which Democrats will then win all major elections and liberals will be able to enact any legislation they want.

Senator McConnell won’t fight Amnesty Bill

Sen. Mitch McConnellSenate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (pictured) will not fight against the Gang of Eight Amnesty Bill, which was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee 13-5 and will be on the Senate floor in early June.

In the Judiciary Committee, the vote on S 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, was:

Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
Charles Schumer (D-NY)
Richard Durbin (D-IL)
Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Al Franken (D-MN)
Chris Coons (D-DE)
Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
Mazie Hirono (D-HI)
Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Jeff Flake (R-AZ)

Charles Grassley (R-IA)
Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
John Cornyn (R-TX)
Mike Lee (R-UT)
Ted Cruz (R-TX)

Schumer, Durbin, Graham, and Flake are members of the Gang of Eight that drafted the bill.

Alexander Bolton reported in The Hill that McConnell would not try to block the immigration bill and, in fact, was hopeful it would pass:

McConnell praised the work of Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Charles Schumer (D-NY), and other members of the Gang of Eight, who crafted the comprehensive legislation during months of private negotiations.

"The Gang of Eight has made a substantial contribution to moving the issue forward. So far, I'm told that the Judiciary Committee has not in any fundamental way undone the agreement reached by the eight senators, so I'm hopeful we’ll be able to get a bill we can pass here in the Senate."

McConnell could end up voting against the bill on final passage, but he won't fool many people who understand how Senate procedures actually work.

Rubio's TV Ad for Amnesty Bill is Deceptive

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) (pictured) is appearing in a 60 second TV ad in support of the Gang of Eight immigration bill, but Jon Feere at the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) said, "Every claim made in the ad is deceptive."
Sen. Marco Rubio
The ad was paid for by a group that calls itself Americans for a Conservative Direction, which Politico reported is a front group for FWD.us, an organization supporting "comprehensive immigration reform" that was founded by Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and headed up by Joe Green, a veteran of John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign.

The Organizing Director for FWD.us is Daniel Shih, "an experienced community organizer," in the 2008 Obama campaign and later "served in the White House as Domestic Policy Analyst for Vice President Biden."  Lisa Conn, a "regional field director with the 2012 Obama campaign" is listed as the Organizer.

Feere's CIS analysis listed exactly what the TV ad claimed and provided a detailed response, partial excerpts of which follow:

RUBIO: Anyone who thinks what we have now in immigration is not a problem is fooling themselves. What we have in place today is de facto amnesty.

CIS:  The problem is that Rubio wants to turn this "de facto" amnesty into a formal amnesty, and grant millions of law-breakers work permits, driver's licenses, Social Security accounts, travel documents, and an unknown number of additional state-level benefits…

The (Gang of Eight) amnesty bill would make permanent the inability to enforce the law by giving Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano "virtually unlimited discretion" to waive all enforcement of immigration law.

ANNOUNCER: Conservative leaders have a plan, the toughest immigration enforcement measures in the history of the United States.

CIS:  The so-called Gang of Eight senators who wrote the bill aren't all "conservative leaders", unless you consider Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) to fit that description. True, the gang also includes Republican senators, but it is up for debate whether one considers Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), and Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) to be conservative on immigration.

Their immigration report card grades
, from the pro-enforcement group NumbersUSA, are troubling: Graham has a "C", McCain a "D", and a Flake "C"…

On closer inspection, many of these measures (noted below) are not as tough as they seem to be.

Gang of 8 Bill hurting Sen. Rubio with GOP voters

1.  A new poll from Rasmussen Reports found that Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) (pictured) has lost support with Republicans because of his prominent advocacy of the Senate Gang of Eight Immigration Bill.
Sen. Marco Rubio
"Three months ago, 44% of GOP voters viewed him very favorably. Today, just 31% offer such strong praise," the Rasmussen analysis said.

The 844-page Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, S 744, would provide amnesty for illegal aliens and an eventual pathway to citizenship--including the right to vote in elections--while allegedly strengthening the security of the U.S border with Mexico to prevent a future influx of "unauthorized immigrants."

However, another Rasmussen poll found that just 30% of voters think it's likely the federal government would actually secure the border and prevent illegal immigration if the reform plan became law. That's down from 38% in March and 45% in January.

Furthermore, a new Gallup Poll found that voters are not very interested in immigration reform.

Dr. Frank Newport, Gallup's Editor-in-Chief, stated:

Americans put reforming immigration and reducing gun violence--the focus of much of the attention on Capitol Hill in recent weeks--at the bottom of a list of 12 priorities for Congress and the president to address.

Americans instead say leaders in Washington should give highest priority to jobs and the economy, followed by making government work more efficiently and improving the quality of education.

This result was similar to a previous Gallup Poll on this subject, on which this newsletter reported last month.

The Heritage Foundation issued a new report indicating that the amnesty in the Gang of Eight's bill would cost the U.S. taxpayers $6.3 Trillion.

Gang of Eight Bill Would Destroy GOP

The U.S. Senate Gang of Eight's Immigration Bill would provide a "path to citizenship" for the 11 million illegal aliens now in the U.S., who would vote overwhelmingly Democratic in elections and move the nation sharply and permanently to the Left.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) urged its members to contact senators with the simple request: Read the 844-page bill, which is S 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act.  

The sponsor is Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), but Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) has been a prominent advocate for it.

The previous issue of this newsletter cited an article by A. J. Delgado in Mediaite, which found many differences in the statements about this bill in Rubio's news releases and what the legislation actually provided.  

FAIR also found that claims about S 744 didn't match its provisions.  According to FAIR, the Gang of Eight Immigration Bill:

1. Grants amnesty to illegal aliens simply after the Secretary of Homeland Security submits plans to secure the border;
2. Grants amnesty to criminals and gang members;
3. Does not require amnestied illegal aliens to pay back-taxes;
4. Does not require amnestied illegal aliens to learn English;
5. Allows illegal aliens to sue the government for amnesty;
6. Allows the open borders and pro-amnesty lobbies to sue to prevent enforcement measures from taking place before illegal aliens can receive green cards;
7. Requires taxpayers foot the bill for illegal aliens to fight deportations at the Attorney General's sole and un-reviewable discretion;
8. Requires only 3 of 9 southern border sectors to have a 90% apprehension rate, leaving the rest in the porous status quo;
9. Grants green cards and citizenship after 5 years to illegal aliens claiming to have come to the U.S. before the age of 16 who meet certain criteria; and
10. Effectively halts all deportations for years by requiring Homeland Security to allow every illegal alien its agents intercept to apply for amnesty and prohibiting agents from deporting them until the illegal alien's application is adjudicated.

Gang of 8 immigration bill deeply flawed

1.  The "Gang of Eight" Immigration Reform Bill, S 744, appears to be filled with errors and provisions that have alarmed many conservatives.

A summary provided by the authors of the bill, officially titled the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, is online at http://tinyurl.com/cy4z77u

However, in an article in the Mediaite website, A. J. Delgado, compared the bill, as it was introduced, to the summary and to multiple news releases and a video about it from Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and found many discrepancies.  He lists the top 10 problems with the legislation:

1.  There are no actual triggers of border enforcement or border security.

2.  It could extend to undocumented immigrants who arrived after the news of a potential amnesty.

3.  No, they don't have to go to the back of the line and there is special treatment.

4.  Family members can piggyback on one's application.

5.  "Rigorous background check"?  Doesn't look like it!

6.  Did we deport you?  Come on back!

7.  Are you currently undergoing deportation proceedings or have a deportation order?  No worries!

8.  Sure, the bill specifies applicants may not qualify for federal benefits but…

9. The bill does little, if anything, to track down those who overstay their visits.

10.  A one-time fix?

Former Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), the new president of the Heritage Foundation, cites the problems which this legislation will cause taxpayers.  He wrote in part:

Now that the "Gang of Eight" has introduced a comprehensive immigration bill in the U.S. Senate, the cost to taxpayers of implementing amnesty for an estimated 11 million unlawful immigrants has come into focus.

The core problem with amnesty is clear: It encourages more unlawful immigration in hopes of future amnesties, and it treats unlawful immigrants more favorably than more than 4 million law-abiding people who wait outside our borders, following the rules, for their chance to come to contribute to the economic and social well-being of America…

Taxpayers are right to be cautious of another large, incomprehensible bill…In fact, Section 2524 of the bill sheds light on the rising taxpayer costs likely to flow from the bill, as it creates a new federal commission specifically designed to promote the use of federal benefits to newly legalized immigrants.

And the Washington Times' Stephen Dinan reported that Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), a libertarian-leaning supporter of immigration reform, said debate on the bill should be halted until Congress grasps what went wrong in Boston.

"We should not proceed until we understand the specific failures of our immigration system," Paul said.

Few regard gun control or immigration reform as top problems

1.  A new Gallup Poll found that very few Americans regard either gun control or immigration reform as a top problem facing the nation.

While President Obama and the news media have been consumed with these issues, voters are clearly much more concerned about the economy, unemployment, and the national debt.  Other issues that ranked far above immigration and guns include dissatisfaction with government, health care, and the decline in ethical and moral values.

When asked the open-ended question, "What do you think is the most important problem facing this country today?," here is what people replied:

24% Economy in general
18% Unemployment/Jobs
16% Dissatisfaction with government
11% Federal budget deficit/Federal debt
  6% Health care
  5% Ethical/Moral/Family decline
  4% Immigration/Illegal aliens
  4% Education
  4% Guns/Gun control
  4% Situation with North Korea
  3% Lack of money
  2% Welfare
  2% Lack of respect for each other
  2% Poverty/Hunger/Homelessness
  2% Foreign aid/Focus overseas
  2% Taxes

A total of 62% mentioned some aspect of economic problems, while gun control and immigration were mentioned by a scant 4% each.
Dr. Frank Newport
Dr. Frank Newport (pictured), Gallup's Editor-in-Chief, commented:

"This is not an unusual state of affairs; the economy or economically related issues have nearly always in recent years ranked at the top of the 'most important problem' list.

"The low frequency of mentions of guns is also not unusual--guns have never been highly prevalent on this measure. The low ranking of immigration is a bit more unusual, because Americans have been significantly more likely to mention it at previous points than they are now."

This complete lack of saliency for these two issues could explain that, while a Washington Post--ABC News Poll found that 90% of Democrats, 84% of Republicans, and 84% of independents support new background checks for gun purchases, the Senate defeated an amendment to do that.  Needing 60 votes to pass, the vote was 54 to 46.

Another amendment to ban so-called assault weapons garnered only 40 votes in the Senate to 60 against.

Grassroots vs. Establishment Fights at the Republican National Committee Meeting

Michael Falcone of ABC News reports that a rules fight at the spring meeting of the Republican National Committee (RNC) threatens "to turn it into the political equivalent of the wild, wild west."

Meeting April 11-13 at the Loews Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles, the RNC will discuss the recommendations of the "Growth and Opportunity Project," Morton Blackwellotherwise known as the party's "autopsy" on the 2012 elections.  Chris Moody of Yahoo News states the meeting agenda includes a trip to the Ronald Reagan Library in nearby Simi Valley to "spend five hours basking in the greatness of the Gipper."

But it is the rules discussion that may bring about the most fireworks.  

Conservatives are seeking to reverse, or at least substantially modify, new rules that were adopted last August at the Republican National Convention in Tampa that would affect future national conventions and the entire structure of the GOP.

A previous issue of this newsletter reported on these rules, which were supported by the Mitt Romney campaign:

Morton Blackwell (pictured, above), the longtime Republican National Committeeman from Virginia and a Romney delegate, was livid. In a letter to fellow delegates, he wrote that these rule changes "could fundamentally change our Republican Party--and not for the better."

Blackwell, who has attended every convention Rules Committee meeting since 1972, said, "These rule changes are the most awful I've ever seen come before any National Convention."

When they came up for a voice vote on the Convention floor, many neutral observers thought that, while it was close, the "no" was slightly louder.  But the presiding officer, Speaker John Boehner, ruled the "aye" vote had prevailed.

At the time, ConservativeHQ.com editorialized:

This was actually a plan that the Republican Party's establishment elite have been hatching for many years…

The last thing Washington's establishment Republicans want is a Republican Party controlled by a bunch of people from the sticks who will nominate a candidate who actually means what he or she says about ending crony capitalism, reining-in spending, and holding the Republican Party to small government constitutional principles.

Immigration Reform is Too Complex to be Rushed

President Obama and congressional Democrats want to pass immigration reform quickly, but the issue is much too complex to be rushed.

In an interview with Univision, Obama said he expects an immigration bill to pass the Senate next month and the final bill to reach his desk for signature by the summer.

Politico’s Mike Lillis reported that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) also predicted enactment of an immigration bill soon.  "The good news is that we really do think that on the immigration issue, that we will, before summer, have comprehensive immigration reform," she told the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

The reason Obama and Pelosi are so upbeat is the collaboration of a bipartisan group of eight senators who have been working, with some apparent success, to forge an immigration plan that would garner widespread support in Congress.

The members of the Gang of 8, profiled by Rachel Weiner in the Washington Post, are Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Michael Bennett (D-CO).

The Associated Press reported the Gang of 8 has agreed to a package that would "provide a new class of worker visas for low-skilled workers, secure the border, crack down on employers, improve legal immigration, and create a 13-year pathway to citizenship for the millions of illegal immigrants already here."

Graham told Candy Crowley on CNN, "We've got a deal" and predicted the Gang of 8 bill will pass the Senate.

Supreme Court May Render Split Decision on Marriage

The U.S. Supreme Court may render a split decision on the re-definition of marriage.

As the Obamacare case illustrated, the questions and comments of the Supreme Court justices may not be a conclusive indicator of how he or she will vote on the case.  But as far as can be determined, it appears the Court may provide a limited victory to the supporters of homosexual marriage but could fall well short of a blanket 50-state ruling.

There are two different cases before the high court:  The federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Proposition 8, the California voter-approved state constitutional amendment, both define marriage as between one man and one woman.

Homosexuals want to re-define marriage in a completely different way.

However, there are serious questions whether either case is properly before the Court.  The Obama Administration refused to defend the federal statute and both the current governor of California, Jerry Brown, and the previous governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, refused to defend the constitutional amendment.

So, in both cases, these measures are being defended by entities that may not have actual legal standing to do so.

In the DOMA case, United States v. Windsor, the U.S. House of Representatives is defending the law through an entity called the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG).  An outside lawyer appointed by the Court, Vicki Jackson, urged the justices to wait for "another case, another day" as a challenge to DOMA.

This would be a welcome outcome for conservatives.  Instead, the Washington Post, The Hill, and the Huffington Post all believe that a majority of the justices have clearly indicated their willingness to overturn DOMA.
Justice Anthony Kennedy
Interestingly, the rationale for finding DOMA unconstitutional may be used to uphold California's Proposition 8.  Justice Anthony Kennedy (pictured) appeared to side with the view that DOMA interferes with the right of states to define marriage.  

"The question is whether the federal government, under our federalism scheme, has the authority to regulate marriage," he said.

While many observers felt the defense of DOMA didn't go well before the Court, Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council (FRC), had a more optimistic assessment.  He wrote:

FRC's Senior Fellows Chris Gacek and Ken Klukowski, both attorneys, were at the Supreme Court for the oral arguments, and Chris said not to believe media spin that DOMA took a total beating. He reported that Paul Clement, the former U.S. Solicitor General hired by the House BLAG to defend DOMA, gave the strongest performance of any attorney in the two days of arguments.

Readers can hear for themselves how things went.  Complete audio arguments on DOMA are available on the Supreme Court's website.

The Court's website also has a written transcript of the arguments.

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