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Jerry Shenk


Double Standards Damaging GOP

by Jerry Shenk
 

I'm no Donald Trump fan and doubt he will be the nominee, but Trump's presence in the GOP presidential race has had a beneficial effect.

Trump has forced Republicans to publicly address some issues many would rather not, notably, the relationships between and among securing our borders, illegal immigration and national security.

More importantly, perhaps, Trump has exposed fissures in the Republican Party and revealed its most troublesome, fickle wing to be the GOP Establishment.

Institutional Republicans supported by and attentive to special interests and, especially, the interests of the pro-amnesty United States Chamber of Commerce would like to liberalize immigration laws and pass amnesty for aliens who broke laws to get and stay here. Their objective isn't so much to fill jobs "Americans won't do," as it is to provide cheap labor for businesses.

Concurrently, Jeb Bush, once the presumptive GOP nominee whose campaign has faltered despite spending many millions of advertising dollars in early caucus/primary states, is reported to be considering an announcement that, if Trump wins the nomination, Bush won't vote for him.

If Establishment insider Jeb Bush threatens to abdicate his party responsibilities with Donald Trump as nominee, voters will take note of how willing party elites are to abandon the GOP when their favorites fail. The controlling wing of the party and the donor class are "proud Republicans" until they don't get their way, at which point…POOF!...they're gone.

Earlier in 2015, the Chamber of Commerce threatened defection if corporate welfare and government hand-outs weren't renewed by the GOP congressional majorities which were delivered by its conservative wing. Unsurprisingly, the recently-passed, $1.8 trillion, eleventh-hour, "crisis" Omnibus Bill included everything the Chamber wanted in addition to most of the president's demands to facilitate his Executive Order immigration policies, Syrian refugee resettlement, EPA overreach, Obamacare and health insurance company tax bailouts, among dozens of other sellouts. The Omnibus dramatically changed federal immigration law by authorizing a four-fold increase in the number of low-wage foreign workers admitted under the controversial H-2B visa program, a Chamber and Silicon Valley priority.

Senator Jeff Sessions, a leading conservative, described the Omnibus as a "betrayal" of voters who backed Republicans in the 2014 midterms. Area Reps. Charlie Dent and Ryan Costello voted for the Omnibus.

The Omnibus and Jeb Bush's potential defection illustrate a double standard embraced by institutional Republicans: The Establishment tells conservatives they must remain loyal to the party no matter how few of their goals are addressed, while the corporate wing delivers ultimatums if their agenda isn't met or their candidates aren't nominated.

Donald Trump is just a recent example of the GOP Establishment's hypocrisy. Most Republicans, including thinking conservatives, may agree that Donald Trump would not make an ideal nominee, but Establishment presidential candidates haven't exactly been setting records for electoral success, either.

Institutional Republicans, please explain: Why should grassroots conservatives keep turning out for Establishment losers like John McCain and Mitt Romney if party elites and donors won't support fairly-nominated non-Establishment candidates?



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