Brat Flusters the Establishment
The dust hasn’t settled from the downfall of Eric Cantor and David Brat is already receiving “directives “.
Two op-eds, both courtesy of the NY Sun, appeared on the dawn of the primary congratulating Brat, declaring that he was very promising indeed, and providing friendly advice to drop that immigration stuff if he knows what's good for him.
The first is from the generally sensible Larry Kudlow:
… Mr. Brat seems to be saying that free-market capitalism is the best path to prosperity. My kind of guy.
However, during the late stages of his primary campaign, Mr. Brat railed against immigration reform and hammered Mr. Cantor on the issue. On this subject, he’s not my kind of guy.
The second, unsigned, was probably produced by Seth Lipsky:
The issue in Mr. Brat’s kit that we worry about most is immigration. We take immigration to be a sign of America’s position of relative attractivensss and the immigrants themselves as a gift. We have previously written about the need to merge the pro-immigration and pro-life movements, to choose life.
Overlooking that last strange appeal to prolifers, both pieces are saying the same thing: lay off immigration. There are a number of things wrong with this stance. The first is the fact that it is a vote-getting issue. Eric Cantor should not have lost this contest. He had everything going for him: incumbency, a position of power as majority leader, vast amounts of money (he outspent Brat by twenty to one), and the support of the GOP establishment. The sole thing that hurt him was his trimmer’s stance on immigration – that was the nail that lost this battle. Now Brat goes on to face a Democrat, who must support illegal immigration – it’s a critical component of the party’s future. A Democratic candidate cannot deny it, or remain neutral, or turn his back on it. He must back it to the hilt – and fail in the polls as a result.
So now Brat is supposed to toss this weapon aside?
Gentlemen, thanks for your input.
The second point is that it is in no way an economic issue, as both pieces assert. Virginia GOP voters did not vote their wallets. It is an issue of both national identity and political survival. The Dems are willing to plow under America as it exists in order to retain political power. Illegals represent a replacement for the long-fled white working class and the fading black vote. As AT’s own Michael Bargo has demonstrated in detail, failure to curtail illegal immigration is no accident, but a well-thought-out political program going back to the late 80s. GOP efforts to pass “amnesty” for the sake of a few shekels from agribusiness is nothing other than cooperation in its own demise. Not for the first time, Republicans are avidly burying their long-term interests in favor of ephemeral short-term gains.
The third point is that the immigration issue is not David Brat’s to drop as he wishes. It is the quintessential grassroots issue, arisen out of pressing historical circumstance and demanding a response from any and all political figures. The GOP has been trying to slough it off for years now with no success. They force it out the back door only to have it climb in the window, glaring through its hockey mask and swinging that axe. If David Brat were to sell out tomorrow, like Marco Rubio and Kelly Ayotte, another politician would appear to take up the banner. For good or ill, illegal immigration is the domestic issue of the age, and it will not be denied.
Illegal immigration also marks one of the gravest fault lines between grassroots and establishment conservatives. David Brat has already proivded a valuable service by forcing postponement of any “amnesty” vote until some point in the dim future, and there is nothing that can change that. Some advice to the establishment: the cards are on the table and the bets have been laid down. Stand aside and let the game play out.