Theory: Republicans Want to Win the 2014 Election Narrowly, Without the Tea Party
February 03, 2014
RUSH: Look, I ran into something over the weekend that I want to run by you very soon here after we get through with this segment and at the start the next segment. Everybody's trying to figure out, "Why in the world are the Republicans acting suicidal with this amnesty business?" Everybody. It doesn't make sense no matter how you slice it, unless the Republicans are trying to damage themselves.
That's the only way it makes sense. The only way a Republican push for amnesty and immediate citizenship and all that makes any sense is if, for example, they don't like the Tea Party base and they're gonna do anything they can to anger them and get rid of them. So I ran across a theory that's being bandied about out there, and I'm gonna run it by you, just to show you how wacko this is getting.
One of the theories to explain what the Republicans are doing is they are nervous at the possibility, nervous at the prospect of winning the midterms in November in landslide. They don't want to win that big. There's too much pressure involved winning that big. So they're doing amnesty to anger a lot of their own voters to stay home so that they win narrowly and do not have a huge mandate.
And at the same time, they are trying to win an election without the Tea Party to demonstrate that it can be done. That is a theory I ran into. Now, part of that theory makes some sense, but I have never heard that -- and I don't know how you would do it in politics, in an election, structuring things so that you barely win it. I don't know how you would go about doing that. There are too many variables.
RUSH: I'll telling you, we'll get your phone calls in but I just wanted to tease you with the theory that I have run into explaining why the GOP leadership is pushing immigration reform, is because they don't want to win in a landslide. Apparently, the polling data is so bad for the Democrats in the midterms, and I think that's true, that the Republicans (so goes this theory) are afraid to win too big. I'm gonna explain theory to you.
RUSH: Let me just get to this theory here. I've teased you enough with this. Let me explain to you what this is. I'm gonna give you the theory. There are many sources for this. I first came across this sometime during the day on Saturday. I'm doing a little show prep, because I figure once Sunday and the Super Bowl comes around, I'm not gonna be doing any show prep.
So I was getting some stuff done on Saturday, and I ran across, in a blog, a reference to some other blogger who thinks that the Republicans are doing what they're doing with immigration because they really don't want to win, or they don't want to win in a landslide. But the blogger that made that reference had no details. So I said, "What is this?" and I had to hunt it down.
I had to start using search algorithms, and I came across a piece at RealClearPolitics by a young man named Sean Trende, or Trende. It's the word "trend" with an E on the end. I've not heard it pronounced so I don't know how he pronounces it. It's Trende or Trende or Trende. I hope I've gotten it right in one of those attempts. He has a very, very lengthy piece at RealClearPolitics on this.
Point five here is: "Republicans are afraid of winning." I read this, and it dovetails with a couple/maybe three other places. Here, in a nutshell, is the thinking -- and the thinking, by the way, derives from people who can't make head nor tails of the Republican strategy. They think it makes so little sense that there's got to be some conspiratorial reason. There has to be some hidden reason that we wouldn't figure out immediately to explain this because it doesn't make any sense.
When, in fact, the simplest and most easily understood explanation is probably the reason. But since that's so unacceptable, people have had to search and come up with theories to explain this. And again, it's: Why are the Republicans committing suicide? Why are they advancing an issue that otherwise is dead? Why are they advancing an issue that the base of their party opposes virulently?
Why are they advancing an issue that only 3% of the population deems important right now, given everything else going on? This is "amnesty" or "pathway to citizenship" or "comprehensive immigration reform." Why are they doing it? The simple answer is that moneyed Republican donors, as epitomized by the Chamber of Commerce, are demanding it, and money is the mother's milk of politics.
These donors are saying, "If you want our money -- and further, if you want a high-paying job with my trade association when your career is over in Congress -- then you'll give me this." That's the simple explanation. They're simply responding to the money people. But that's not good enough for some. "It's got to be more. It can't be that. They wouldn't be willing to commit suicide."
Well, they're not. The people who are gonna score with high-paying jobs after doing this are not committing suicide. They are, in effect, greasing the skids. The party ends up having suicide committed for it, but because the simple and most logical explanation doesn't fly, theories have been concocted to explain it. So here it is, the grandchild to 2010 big, Republican landslide win, brought on by who? The Tea Party.
In 2010, the Tea Party comes to life outta nowhere. Nobody saw it when it was happening; nobody knew what it was. When it was growing, nobody knew how to define it because there wasn't a single leader. There wasn't a headquarters. There wasn't a policy statement, position paper, anything like that. It was just mom and pop showing up at town halls, and they were upset about Obama.
They were upset about all of the spending, the stimulus bill and everything. They were upset about the rising level of debt, and what that meant for them and their kids and grandkids. They saw an unresponsive political class in Washington. They didn't see an opposition party in the Republican Party. They didn't see anybody trying to stop Obama. They saw a party paralyzed by media criticism.
They saw a party paralyzed by the president's race. So they, for the first time in their lives, got involved in organizational politics -- and, as a result, the Republicans picked up 50-some-odd seats when they weren't even trying to. A lot of those new seats were held by people from this new so-called Tea Party, and they were real conservative Republicans -- and the Republican leadership, the Republican establishment was not happy, it turns out.
I mean, they liked winning, htey liked getting the House back, but they didn't like the fact that the reason for it was the Tea Party. And the 2010 midterms, if you go back and look, happened not because the Republicans put forth any ideas. I mean, there wasn't a Contract with America people could vote for. There wasn't a single person on the ballot people could vote for. That was strictly an anti-status quo election.
It was people voting. I mean, they were rising up in opposition to Barack. They were rising up in righteous anger to the Democrat Party. I should have seen then... Well, I did, but I should have put two and two together a lot faster. Here you have brand-new people in politics, never before involved in organizational. Yeah, they voted, but they hadn't participated in get-out-the-vote; they had not participated in voter-registration drives.
They hadn't done anything but vote.
Now, all of a sudden, they're organized.
Here's a massive new bunch of people, and they exist solely because of Barack Obama.
It would seem to me an automatic match-up for these people with the Republican Party. And, therefore, it would make sense to me if the Republican Party began outreach to 'em. Try to bring 'em into the fold, make 'em Republicans. That didn't happen. In fact, just the opposite happened. As the Democrats mounted their criticism and began calling them "teabaggers," the Republicans themselves expressed suspicion and consternation and anger with these people for one reason or another.
So they remained isolated, even though they were the sole reason there was any pushback against Barack Obama. Well, the theory begins with the notion the Republicans do not want that happening again, because the Republicans are trying to get rid of the Tea Party influence within the party, because the Tea Party doesn't understand the role of government in politics or in people's lives.
The Republican establishment right now happens to believe that the game is over in terms of Big Government being involved in people's lives. Some very astute -- well, not astute. Some intellectual Republican theorists, commentators, writers, journalists really believe that the debate over big and small government is over and that Big Government has won. And they believe that the vast majority of the American people want a Big Government. Therefore, the Republican establishment believes that their future success is tied to convincing Americans who want an active, involved government, that they are better at running such a government than the Democrats are.
But at no point and at no time are Republicans to talk about limiting government or reducing it because, standard operating procedure today, Republican establishment, Democrat establishment is that you and the low-information crowd and whoever else, Americans have accepted and want an actively involved Big Government in their lives. The Tea Party is devoted to the exact opposite premise. And therefore, the Tea Party is a problem. And so, therefore, are conservatives a problem, because conservatives and the Tea Party, to the extent that they differ, are now the old-fashioned fuddy-duddies, out of touch and out of tune with the mainstream of America.
So goes the thinking. Which, again, has bought the notion that Americans, by large majorities, want an active, Big Government with a strong executive, but doing it smartly and wisely and with the proper respect on limits. That is how they're trying to differentiate themselves from the Democrats. So now if you come forward to 2014, the polling data is such -- I mean, when Henry "Nostrilitis" Waxman announces his retirement, when Pelosi alludes to it and then has to call it back, which she did last week. "No, you misunderstood me. I'm gonna be here," she said.
George Miller, another congressman from California who has been there since before the Sandinista days. George Miller was the Sandinistas' liaison in Congress. George Miller was the liaison for communists in Nicaragua -- well, wherever he could find them. George Miller is resigning, and a bunch of Democrats who do not want to be in the House if they're not running it or retiring. So it tells us that the Democrats' own polling data is such that it's lost in 2014. The House, the Democrats don't have a prayer getting it back. In fact, the same polling data shows that the Republicans could win the Senate.
But let's stick with the House because the theory is that it's so bad for the Democrats that the Republicans are again going to win by default simply because they're not the Democrats, because they didn't have anything to do with Obamacare, because they hold no responsibility for anything that's happened, because they just haven't. I mean, there's no way you can put Republican fingerprints on anything because the media has spent the last five or six years bashing the Republicans for not helping, for not doing anything constructive, and not helping the president. There's no way you can turn around now on a dime and do a 180 and blame any of this on the Republicans.
Obama's tried to get their fingerprints on stuff with tricks, on debt ceiling increases and so forth, but there aren't any. Until you get to amnesty. And then that's being set up that if that happens, that's gonna be only the Republican's fingerprints. The only owners of it will be the Republicans. Now, theory holds that the Republicans were not happy with what happened in 2010 because of who made that majority possible, who made that landslide possible, and they don't want to go through it again. They're trying -- you know this is true -- Republican leadership is trying to get rid of Tea Party influence in the House, trying to get rid of conservative influence, trying to get rid of anybody who believes government should be limited. They're trying to get rid of anybody who believes the role of government should be rolled back.
So reading now from Mr. Trende: "In the course of my musings on Twitter, AmishDude suggested that the real motive here is that the GOP leadership is actually concerned about the implications of a landslide. Of all the suggestions put out there, this seems to make the most sense, and synthesizes the above theories reasonably well while addressing most of my pushbacks on them. The idea is twofold. First, a landslide would present as much of a problem as it does an opportunity for those who might want to revisit the issue in 2015."
Oh, that's another thing. If there is a landslide for the Republicans brought on by the Tea Party in 2014, it's not good for people like Christie and others who want the Republican nomination in 2016. If the Tea Party delivers another landslide, then the Republican establishment is in deeper trouble when it comes to time to nominate their presidential candidate because the Tea Party is going to demand one of them, a conservative, limited government, roll it back.
So the theory is the Republicans will do anything to limit the power and influence of the Tea Party, including championing an issue that's designed to make them so mad, they don't vote in 2014. And that the Republicans' position is so strong that they can still win the midterms while ticking off the Tea Party. The best of all worlds would be if the Republicans hold the House, minus Tea Party votes, by passing amnesty. They get their money from the Chamber. They get to say they've run out and bridged the gap to the Hispanics, and they get their high paying jobs with the Chamber and its companies and related businesses when they retire, and the Tea Party has no influence in the win and therefore no influence when we get to 2016 and presidential nominee time.
RUSH: Now, I haven't finished in this theory business, and I'm not gonna be able to in this segment, and I'm gonna start taking phone calls before I wrap up the theory presentation, just because I don't want to lose the calls. They're good and people have been waiting for a long time and I've gotta get it in. So just sit tight. There's not that much more to go on this. I mean, you basically heard everything except what I think of it. And one of the two glaring things wrong with it, who in the world ever plans to run a prevent offense?
Have you ever heard of anybody trying to win a squeaker in politics? There's simply too much that cannot be accounted for. "Yeah, we want to win, but we don't want to win by 10 or 12 percent; we only want to win by two or three percent." How do you do that? The second thing, you really gonna bank on the fact that polling data now shows you a landslide win and you're going to start implementing a policy that you know is going to cut the rug out of your support by 20 or 30%? You really gonna do that kind of thing? I don't know anybody who ever plans to win a political contest by a squeaker.