A week before he died I asked Lyn Nofziger if the White House was arrogant or just plain stupid.
“Both,” he said.
Nofziger was one of the nation’s most astute political analysts and a White House aide my father Ronald Reagan greatly admired. If you need proof that Lyn knew what he was talking about, you need only consider the White House policies on illegal immigration, which are both incredibly stupid and incredibly arrogant.
Aside from the Iraq war, no issue threatens Republican control of Capitol Hill more than the problem of illegal immigration. The overwhelming majority of Americans are outraged over the problem of our porous borders. People are demanding that the borders be sealed tight against the thousands of illegals violating them.
If the president and the Republicans in the House and Senate don’t act to enforce our current immigration laws and vastly increase border security you’ll have to hire a private detective to find any Republicans on Capitol Hill next year.
“Will they win? I think that’s still up to the Republicans,” Newt Gingrich told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review the other day.
He added that he agrees with those who believe a substantial number of conservative voters — upset over unbridled federal spending and unsecured national borders — could sit out the mid-term elections, giving Democrats an edge in close House races that might otherwise go to Republicans.
“The problem you have right now is the conservative movement — which is still very healthy in the country at large — feels very abandoned in Washington,” he told the Trib. “Conservatives actually believe in a balanced budget as a moral issue. Conservatives actually believe you ought to control the border as a matter of national security. Conservatives are the people who pay the taxes. They’re not the people who get the pork.”
He put his finger on the solution. “If you have the White House, the House and the Senate, and if you have the natural majority in the country, you always have the potential to be able to pose the election on your terms,” he said.
The president had better wake up to the fact that the only thing he’s got going for him right now is that the Democrats are in absolute disarray. They have no leader, they have no direction, and even with the president down to his lowest point in the polls, as low as he is, the Democrats aren’t much higher due to their lack of leadership.
As a result, the Republicans still have it within their power to hang onto control of both houses of Congress – providing they stop being stupid, and pose the election on their terms.
The Republicans need to pass two immigration bills immediately. First and foremost the border must be closed, and only after that should we negotiate the other issues, such as what to do about the 11 million-or-so illegal immigrants living here.
In addition the GOP has to alert the American people to exactly what would happen should the Democrats take over the Congress, with all their wild talk about tying the president’s hands with countless investigations and impeaching him in the middle of a war. The people have to be warned about the dangers of letting the Democrats legislate us into cutting and running in Iraq, creating hugely expensive new programs that will require massive tax increases, sabotaging the prescription drug plan now saving seniors billions of dollars, and making Rep. John Conyers chairman of the House Judiciary Committee where he says he wants to hold hearings on reparations for slavery.
It’s time for the president to listen to his base – the people who put him in the White House twice. He’s lucky that the Democrats have the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, Ted Kennedy and Howard Dean. If they had anybody else but this bunch the Republicans would be flat on their backs.
But because the Democrats lack real leadership and their party is being run by their far-left whacko wing, the GOP has a golden opportunity to exploit the Democrats’ weaknesses and win back their base and a majority of the voters.
©2006 Mike Reagan. If you’re not a paying subscriber to our service, you must contact us to print or web post this column. Mike’s column is distributed exclusively by: Cagle Cartoons, Inc. Cari Dawson Bartley email Cari@cagle.com, (800) 696-7561.