What the New Republican Majority Could Do on Immigration

Rush Limbaugh was in full on denial mode today, bragging that yesterday’s election result meant that the American people soundly rejected liberalism.  Nu-uh.  All it means is that civic minded Republican voters are more likely to turn out to vote during mid-term elections than young people who only know about the President and not much else.  Here in the State of Florida, the purpose behind John Morgan’s Medical Marijuana amendment 2 was to draw in young voters to pull in Democratic votes to put his lickspittle, Charlie Crist, into the governor’s mansion.  Close, but no cigar; or more appropriately, no bong.  Crist and the Medical Marijuana amendment failed by a hair.  Based on an informal survey of my son’s friends, the spirit was willing, but the future time orientation for young people required for registering to vote before the deadline was weak.  If it wasn’t for those darn kids…

glum Obama

And that will be obvious in 2016 when Republicans, who will have more Senate seats to defend than Democrats, lose the Senate gains they’ve just won.  But that’s then.  What about 2015?

One of the most currently divisive issues within the Republican Party is immigration. Half the party agrees with the most extreme Democrats that there really shouldn’t be any barriers to anyone coming to our shores; for different reasons of course.  The Democrats want a poor, uneducated, unskilled mass that will be dependent on them and provide a reliable voting bloc for generations.  The Republicans are split between death wish libertarians who just don’t see a problem with allowing 500 million foreigners to swamp the country, making it resemble Old Calcutta, and Wall Street Journal and Chamber of Commerce types who feel that worker wages are too high if they top a dollar an hour.

Think I’m kidding?  A Silicon Valley tech company was recently fined for actually flying some Indian tech workers from India to the US, paying them $1.21 an hour (the same rate they were paid in India as contractors) and forced them to work 120 hours a week.  That’s an absurdly egregious crime, and rather than mere fines, someone should be facing jail time.  But that’s the future “immigration reform” backers have in store for all of us if they get their way.

That’s why Silicon Valley is spending so much to push immigration reform.  They’ve already spent 50 million dollars on immigration reform lobbying.  Why?  If they get their way, it’s worth it. So it would really be a good strategic move on the part of Republicans to separate the money and lobbying of Silicon Valley from the Democrats, who want poor, ignorant vote fodder forever, and Open Borders Republicans who want declining wage rates stomping on our face forever.  From the Republican Party  perspective, an immigration reform bill along the lines of last year’s Senate bill 744 would split the Republican Party, perhaps permanently. Establishment Republicans may think they want to drive conservatives out of the party, but they wouldn’t like the results of a Republican Party that would no longer be able to win elections in Red States.

But there is a work around to avoid that sort of Republican Party Götterdämmerung.  In 2012 the Republican House tried to get a bill through Congress that would grant 55,000 green cards a year to foreign Doctorate and Masters level graduates.  It wouldn’t have increased immigration numbers since the slots would have been taken from the Diversity Lottery, one of the dumbest immigration programs ever. The bill passed the House and languished in the Senate, since Harry Reid wasn’t interested in bringing any bills up for a vote unless it was something that President Obama specifically wanted to sign.

But starting in 2015, Harry Reid goes back to the bench. With Republicans in control of the Senate and the House, Harry Reid can’t be Obama’s pocket veto anymore.  President Obama will actually have bills arrive on his desk that he will have to actually make decisions on.  He will no longer be able to have Harry Reid vote “present” for him.

Of course the ball will then be in the President’s court.  He can veto the bill, and thereby veto something that his Silicon Valley supporters really want, or sign it, and therefore removing them from the current amnesty coalition.  If Silicon Valley can be tossed a bone to get them separated from the Democrats mass amnesty coalition, it will also separate them both from the lobbying and money they provide, but also one of the phony reasons given for the need for “immigration reform,” the STEM Worker shortage myth. Republican pro-Amnesty warhorses like John McCain might recognize the trap, since the entire purpose of immigration reform isn’t really about STEM workers, border security, or anything else claimed about it other than amnesty for illegals.  On the other hand, new Senate leader Mitch McConnell, who isn’t a pro-amnesty warhorse, might prefer a united Republican Party rather than one fractured along amnesty lines.

I would prefer that myself.

Florida’s Medical Marijuana Amendment a Dopey Idea

Let me say right out of the gate that I’m in favor of some form of marijuana legalization.  I would support H.R. 499, which would remove marijuana from coverage under the Controlled Substances Act.  States would still be free to regulate or ban marijuana as they chose, but it would no longer be a federal issue.

As a political issue, it seems a foregone conclusion.  States that are legalizing Marijuana for either medical or recreational reasons are popping up at each election cycle.  Gallup shows that the majority of Americans now support marijuana legalization.  A mixed bag of Institutions and people now support marijuana legalization. This past year, the editorial board of the New York Times endorsed marijuana legalization; however the editorial board of the conservative flagship magazine National Review beat them to the punch by 18 years.  From Rand Paul, to David Koch to Pat Robertson; many figures on the right have spoken out in support of marijuana legalization.

However where we are now, is that even though several States have legalized medical marijuana, it’s still illegal at the federal level.  This means even though if you are in a State that has some sort of marijuana legalization, and can smoke a joint in front of your local sheriff, a federal agent could walk right up behind you and arrest you.

After all, marijuana is still illegal everywhere in the country under federal law.

What this means in the real world is that pot is still illegal, but various states have decided to facilitate breaking the law, whether it’s under the rubric of “medical” marijuana or in a more honest version, like Colorado where it’s available for recreational use.  This is the rankest sort of hypocrisy that would normally be a red flag to the young people who are more likely than not favor some version of pot legalization.  But in the case of pot…eh…they’ll let the hypocrisy slide.

And it is hypocrisy because for all practical purposes, “medical’ marijuana doesn’t exist.  Oh I realize there have been studies that have shown benefits to glaucoma patients, and for some chemotherapy patients, it’s allowed them to get their appetites back in the recovery from each chemo session, but that’s not who makes up the typical medical marijuana patient.  California provides a good case study since it’s had medical marijuana longer than any state in the nation. As writer David Frum noted recently:

“To understand where the marijuana debate is going, it’s important to appreciate that “medical marijuana” is a laughable fiction. In California, the typical user of so called medical marijuana s a 32-year-old white man with no life-threatening illness but a long record of substance abuse.

Under Colorado’s now-superseded medical marijuana regime, only 2% of those prescribed marijuana suffered from cancer, and only 1% from HIV/AIDS. Some 94% cited unspecified “pain” as the justification for their pot prescription. False patients find unscrupulous doctors: in Oregon, only 10 practitioners write the majority of all marijuana prescriptions in the state.” 

Even pro-pot Reason magazine noted that in California:

The top three reasons physicians gave for recommending marijuana were “back/spine/neck pain” (31 percent), “sleep disorders” (16 percent), and “anxiety/depression” (13 percent).

In other words, total bullshit reasons.

So now, medical marijuana has come to Florida.  Amendment 2 to the Florida constitution is on the ballot for Election Day, November 4th. Like other medical marijuana proposals, Florida’s is a sham for the purpose of legalizing pot under a fig leaf of medical diagnoses.  And this is the fig leaf from the defining of the phrase debilitating medical condition:

The measure defines a “debilitating medical condition” as cancer, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, hepatitis C, HIV, AIDS, ALS, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease “or other conditions for which a physician believes that the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health risks for a patient.

So in other words, anything, like undiagnosed back pain, anxiety, and trouble sleeping would warrant a “prescription” for pot. So as far as Florida’s medical marijuana amendment goes, sorry but I’ll (puff puff) pass.

This constitutional amendment, like others in the State of Florida, are not the product a grassroots movement of people in the state, it’s the product of special interests.  In this case, the special interest is the PAC People United for Medical Marijuana, which is the creation of Florida attorney John Morgan.  For those unfamiliar with Florida, Morgan is the state’s equivalent of Boss Hogg.  He runs the most powerful personal injury law firm in Florida, and the power of his advertising dollar buys compliance from local Florida media.  Morgan has personally contributed over 3 and a half million dollars to the PAC, which is more than half the amount the PAC has raised.John Morgan

Morgan has a public reason for supporting medical marijuana, a paralyzed brother who depends on pot to dull the pain from his accident. That could be a perfectly legitimate reason if not for the timing of it.

Charlie Crist, the Democratic candidate for governor, works for Morgan in his law firm.  In fact, it was under Morgan’s tutelage that Crist, a former Republican who became an independent when he lost his senate primary run against Marco Rubio, was baptized as a Democrat.  All Crist had to do was reverse every single public position he ever had; a simple enough task for Crist.  Now Florida is a purple state trending blue. Obama won the state twice, but Florida also put in a Tea Party backed Republican governor, Rick Scott, in 2010.  How can that be?

Florida’s governor’s race is on what are nationally off year elections.  Although nationally this is an off year election since no President is on the ballot, in Florida, we elect governors.  Since the turn out for off year elections tends to run older, whiter, and more Republican, it’s no surprise that Florida gets a bit schizophrenic, turning red and electing a Tea party backed governor and senator (Marco Rubio) during off year elections like 2010, and re-electing President Obama and Democratic senator Bill Nelson during a Presidential election year.

So this year, it’s an off year election.  Now if you were a high rolling Democratic fundraiser and player, and had your employee running for governor, a man with no convictions at all, ready to serve and obey you, how could you increase Democratic turnout to get your guy over the top?  Let’s see, what would be an issue that might draw out young people and get them to the polls during an off year election that most of them have no real interest in?

I guess it’s a real head scratcher.

 

Dear Senator Rubio

This afternoon the Senate passed its version of Immigration Reform, 68-32.  14 Republicans voted for the bill, including my Senator, Marco Rubio, severely damaging his chances for the Republican nomination in 2016.

English: Former Speaker of the Florida House a...

English: Former Speaker of the Florida House at CPAC in . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As frequent readers to this blog know, I strongly oppose the current Senate Immigration Bill and the concept of blanket amnesty in general.  I’ve contacted my Congressman on this and am satisfied that we are of like minds on the issue.  However my Senators are another story.  Bill Nelson is Harry Reid’s lapdog so he does whatever he’s told.  Marco Rubio on the other hand, is one of the architects of this immigration proposal.  If there has been a bigger Tea Party disappointment in both the House and Senate, I can’t think who it would be.

I tried calling the Senator’s office this week and got a voicemail to leave my comments after the beep.  Unsurprisingly, the box was full.  Apparently I’m not alone.  So I wrote this letter and emailed it to the Senator.

Dear Senator Rubio,

As your constituent, I have to say that you’ve profoundly disappointed me.  But what really bothers me is that you’ve managed to fool me.   I remember your debate with Charlie Crist in which you took the risky position (in Florida) that Social Security may have to be trimmed in order to save the program.  You took a difficult and courageous political position while Crist looked like a weasel in comparison.  “That’s a guy I can get behind.”  I thought to myself.

And I did.  I voted for you and was proud to do it.  I had heard you speak enough times that I felt sure of your Tea Party bonafides.  You sir, were the real deal.

Or at least that’s what I thought.  I knew you had a special interest in immigration, but you had spoken out against amnesty enough in the campaign that I didn’t think that you were secretly harboring that as a legislative goal.  I was sympathetic to your Dream Act proposal.  Those kids didn’t commit crimes.  They were brought into this country when they were too young to have any moral responsibility for what their parents did.  Some sort of accommodation should be made for them.

After the border was secure of course.

But instead you rolled me.  Me, and many others who had voted for you.  After the experience of Obamacare, I wouldn’t have thought a Republican, let alone a Tea Party “darling” would support any bill that is billed as “comprehensive.”  The purpose of comprehensive bills is to smuggle in what you really want by covering it with tons of other things.  That’s certainly what your comprehensive immigration bill does.  Every day I’m reading of new revelations of Easter eggs buried in your bill.  You know them of course, since you helped put them there.

I’m not opposed to cooperating with Democrats; that’s politics after all.  I’m upset that you are not representing a Republican or conservative position in immigration reform.  This wasn’t a compromise; this is a Democratic / liberal bill.  You’ve merely provided cover for a liberal bill.  I can’t tell where you begin and Chuck Schumer ends.  Do you have any differences on this issue?

Frankly, I can’t see that I’ve gotten anything different from you than if Charlie Crist had won the senatorial nomination.  Oh one thing; Crist was honest about his support for amnesty.  He didn’t lie about it like you did.  You may argue that technically you weren’t lying, “go back and check the transcript!”  But if you were parsing your words from the beginning, then what other conclusion can I draw but that you intended to deceive?

Virtually everything you’ve promised has already been promised in the Simpson-Mazzoli bill.  Since we didn’t get any of the border security promises then, why should I think we would get them now?

I can see both the political and policy benefits for the Democrats.  It will over the long run provide millions of Democratic voters, effectively neutering the Republicans as a national party.  Policy-wise it creates an ever expanding underclass that will need the entitlement services that the Democrats will be peddling.  The Democrats have been at their strongest when, as FDR said, “one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, and ill-fed.”

That’s what you are importing.

Your position doesn’t even make sense on its own merits.  It goes without saying its bad politics.  It’s a slow motion suicide of the Republican Party as a national contender, but I could forgive that if it was good policy.  But it’s not.  It’s bad policy too.  It lowers the wage rates of the native working poor, it increases income inequality, it increases by millions the numbers of American poor, it inflicts long term financial stress on our entitlement programs, and creates a massive new underclass.

Your bill is unfair.  It grants sweeping immunity for crimes that would throw a citizen in jail.  And no, I’m not talking about merely crossing the border illegally or overstaying a visa.  Using,  false identification and Social Security numbers aren’t minor misdemeanors, they are felonies.  How can that possibly be justified?

Since you seem committed to this dangerous course of action, you’ve left me and many others no choice but to support your primary opponent for your re-election, whoever that may be.  And there will be a primary opponent.  Don’t think that your former supporters will shrug and figure better you than a Republican who can’t will the general election or a Democrat.  If your bill becomes law, in the long run there won’t be a real future for Republicans anyway.  So if you are going to burn down the house, I want to at least make sure you don’t get re-elected to collect the insurance money.

Of all the political issues I’ve researched, I’ve never understood how someone on the right could support blanket amnesty.  If there is an intelligent argument to be made on its behalf, I’m still waiting to hear it.  Instead, I hear insults to my intelligence like the kind your fellow gang member, Senator Graham offers.

You really had a promising political future and I’m flummoxed at why you decided to throw it away in order to help Democratic political ambitions.

Sincerely,

A Republican Primary Voter

If I get anything more than an automated response to this, I’ll be sure and post it, but won’t expect any sort of response.  Rubio, even if ever read this, which is unlikely, won’t have an answer for it.

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