The Corner

This Spirit of Capitulation Ends Now

Rich, you make a powerful point. Schumer ran rings around Gang of Eight Republicans. Those Republicans gave away the store on every important issue. This immigration bill is a disaster. But why? Were our negotiators just stupid? I don’t think so. They were desperate. They believed that it was necessary to put the immigration issue “behind them” if the party was to prosper. Schumer used that desperation to stampede our negotiators into buying a bad bill.

The Republicans on the Gang of Eight are wrong. The politics of this issue cuts two ways, but as the Politico story you cite claims, the larger effect of this immigration bill will cripple Republicans nationally for the foreseeable future. Maybe there are some Republican pols out there whose personal situation will be improved in the short term by even a bad settlement on this issue, but the party itself will be harmed overall. It’s wrong to think of this battle as politicians who have the long-term interest of the party at heart versus the short-sighted base. The opposite is the case.

Republicans have been in a funk ever since Obama’s re-election. I’m the first to agree that there’s a deeper problem, but it’s got more to do with under-thirties and what education and the culture are doing to them than with anything a path to citizenship will fix. The ill-designed and ill-considered bill is being pushed on the country by snake-bit Republican pols who’ve made a fundamentally mistaken judgment about how to solve the problem.

They’re acting out of desperation, and what we’ve gotten from that is a disaster of a bill. Well it’s got to stop. Republicans need to snap out of it, wake up, and kill this bill. Circumstances have changed. Obama lost on the sequester and lost on gun control. The left is tearing itself apart on energy issues and making a fool of itself on terrorism. There’s no need for conservatives to go along with nonsense like this bill. It’s time to stop the surrender. This spirit of capitulation ends here, ends now.

Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

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