The Repub­li­can Party is at death’s door

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - Pat Buchanan

Af­ter its sec­ond de­feat at the hands of Barack Obama, un­der whom un­em­ploy­ment has never been lower than the day Ge­orge W. Bush left of­fice, the Repub­li­can Party has at last awak­ened to its ex­is­ten­tial cri­sis.

Eigh­teen states have voted Demo­cratic in six straight elec­tions. Among the six are four of our most pop­u­lous: New York, Penn­syl­va­nia, Illi­nois and Cal­i­for­nia. And Obama has now won two of the three re­main­ing mega-states, Ohio and Florida, twice. Only Texas re­mains se­cure — for now.

At the pres­i­den­tial level, the Repub­li­can Party is at death’s door. Yet one al­ready sees the same physi­cians writ­ing pre­scrip­tions for the same drugs that have been killing the GOP since W’s dad got the small­est share of the vote by a Repub­li­can can­di­date since Wil­liam Howard Taft in 1912.

In as­cer­tain­ing the cause of the GOP’s crit­i­cal con­di­tion, let us use Oc­cam’s ra­zor — the prin­ci­ple that the sim­plest ex­pla­na­tion is of­ten the right one.

Would the GOP wipe­out in those heav­ily Catholic, eth­nic, so­cially con­ser­va­tive, blue-col­lar bas­tions of Penn­syl­va­nia, Michi­gan, Ohio and Illi­nois, which Richard Nixon and Ron­ald Rea­gan swept, have any­thing to do with the fact that the United States since 2000 has lost 6 mil­lion man­u­fac­tur­ing jobs and 55,000 fac­to­ries?

Where did all those jobs and fac­to­ries go? We know where.

They were out­sourced. And in the dein­dus­tri­al­iza­tion of Amer­ica, the Repub­li­can Party has been a cul­pa­ble co-con­spir­a­tor.

Un­like fam­ily pa­tri­arch Sen. Prescott Bush, who voted with Barry Gold­wa­ter and Strom Thur­mond against JFK’s free-trade deal, Bush I and II pumped for NAFTA, GATT, the WTO and open­ing Amer­ica’s bor­ders to all goods made by our new friends in the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of China.

Swiftly, U.S. multi­na­tion­als shut fac­to­ries here, laid off work­ers, out­sourced pro­duc­tion to Asia and China, and brought their fin­ished goods back, tax-free, to sell in the U.S.A. Prof­its soared, as did the salaries of the out­sourc­ing ex­ec­u­tives.

And their for­mer work­ers? They headed for the ser­vice sec­tor, along with their wives, to keep up on the mort­gage pay­ment, keep the kids in Catholic school and pay for the health in­sur­ance the fam­ily had lost. These ex-Rea­gan Democrats came out to vote against some guy from Bain Cap­i­tal they had been told in ads all sum­mer was a big-time out­sourcer who wrote in 2008, “Let Detroit Go Bank­rupt!”

Yes, the sim­plest ex­pla­na­tion is of­ten the right one.

Republicans are also fall­ing all over one an­other to ex­press a love of His­pan­ics, af­ter Mitt won only 27 per­cent of a His­panic vote that is now 10 per­cent of the na­tional vote.

And what might be prob­lem­atic about fol­low­ing this ad­vice?

First, it will en­rage pop­ulist con­ser­va­tives who sup­ported the GOP be­cause they be­lieved the party’s pledges to op­pose amnesty, se­cure the bor­der and stop il­le­gals from tak­ing jobs from Amer­i­cans.

And in re­turn for dou­ble­cross­ing these folks and los­ing their votes, what would be gained by amnesty for, say, 10 mil­lion il­le­gal aliens?

As­sume in a decade all 10 mil­lion be­came cit­i­zens and voted like the His­pan­ics, black folks and Asians al­ready here. The best the GOP could ex­pect — the Bush share in 2004 — would be 40 per­cent, or 4 mil­lion of those votes.

But if Tues­day’s per­cent­ages held, Democrats would get not just 6 mil­lion, but 7 mil­lion new votes to the GOP’s less than 3 mil­lion. Thus, if we as­sume the per­cent­ages of the last three elec­tions hold, the Demo­cratic Party would even­tu­ally gain from an amnesty a net of be­tween 2 and 4 mil­lion new vot­ers.

Still, the GOP cri­sis is not so much il­le­gal as le­gal im­mi­gra­tion. Forty mil­lion le­gal im­mi­grants have ar­rived in re­cent decades. Some 85 per­cent come from Asia, Africa, Latin Amer­ica and the Mid­dle East. Most ar­rived lack­ing the aca­demic, lan­guage and la­bor skills to com­pete for high-pay­ing jobs.

What does gov­ern­ment do for them? Sub­si­dizes their hous­ing and pro­vides free ed­u­ca­tion for their kids from Head Start through K-12, plus food stamps and school lunches, Pell Grants and stu­dent loans for col­lege, Med­i­caid if they are sick, earned in­come tax cred­its if they work and 99 weeks of un­em­ploy­ment checks if they lose their job. These are peo­ple who de­pend upon gov­ern­ment. Why would they vote for a party that is go­ing to cut taxes they do not pay, but take away gov­ern­ment ben­e­fits they do re­ceive?

Again it needs be said. When the coun­try looks like Cal­i­for­nia de­mo­graph­i­cally, it will look like Cal­i­for­nia po­lit­i­cally. Republicans are not whistling past the grave­yard. They are right at the en­trance. Patrick J. Buchanan is the au­thor of “Sui­cide of a Su­per­power: Will Amer­ica Sur­vive to 2025?”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.