The following is my response to Rachel Bovard’s article ‘Immigration Furor Flares in Farm Bill Fight’ at American Greatness (https://amgreatness.com/2018/05/20/the-trump-coalition-and-the-electoral-college/)
However cynical this view might be, the adage ‘Follow the money’ has the benefit of explaining the behavior of Ryan and McCarthy.
What the estimable Ms. Brovard is too polite to point out is that this conflict is not, strictly speaking, between Republicans. But between the Republican donor class — like the Koch brothers — and the Republican rank-and-file. The reason why Ryan and McCarthy are not punishing pro-amnesty Republicans is precisely because Ryan and McCarthy are utterly beholden to pro-amnesty donors.
There are parts of the donor class to both parties that agree on the same policy: Open borders. This is why you can see both the Koch brothers and George Soros promoting illegal entry and amnesty.
What needs to be understood is that — so far as these pro-amnesty Republicans are concerned — the donors are more important than the voters. Not only do the donors provide money for re-election (McCarthy), but they also provide employment after leaving office (Ryan).
Both Ryan and McCarthy know that amnesty for illegal aliens is not popular (to put it mildly) among a large number of Republican and independent voters. But, if you understand that the voters do not count so far as their political calculations are concerned, their failure to take the necessary actions to shut down pro-amnesty legislation makes sense.
But there is something even more sinister in the behavior of Ryan and McCarthy: The willful efforts by the Republican donor class to hurt Republican candidates in the upcoming midterms.
Even allowing these pro-amnesty amendments to come to the floor is almost certain to hurt Republicans in the midterms while helping the Democrats.
The adverse effects on the Republicans — and the beneficial effects on the Democrats — would be even more pronounced if any of the amendments were to pass.
The Republican donor class is using amnesty to exercise a ‘Gotterdammerung option’ on the Republican Party.
The logic goes something like this: If the Republican Party is going to become the party of secure borders and immigration restriction, then the donors who previously used the Republican Party to promote open borders and amnesty intend to destroy the Republican Party.
When the GOP is hurt in the midterms, the donor class rhetoric will not be that pro-amnesty votes hurt Republican candidates but that the failure to support amnesty hurt them. Even though this is the exact opposite of what has occurred, the MSM and National Review ‘conservatives’ can be counted on to support this narrative.
The Republican donor class is not interested in supporting a ‘populist’ Republican Party and will, if necessary, do everything in their power to prevent a ‘populist’ Republican Party from coming into existence.
I miss Steve Bannon. If he were still a public figure, I suspect he would have already promoted this kind of analysis of the Republican pro-amnesty efforts.