The Straw that May Break the Establishment's Back

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) ouster in a recent primary campaign was undoubtedly a signal to politicians of both established political brands.  It is only too obvious, media and politicians to the contrary notwithstanding, that Cantor’s constituents unseated him because of his position in support of rewarding illegal immigrants with an imminent path to citizenship, while securing our borders seemed a far more distant priority. 

In fact, this is so obvious that few would argue against the truth in that last statement.  The more fashionable tactic is to assert that this primary was just a microcosm that just cannot, in any way, represent the American people.  Brit Hume suggested something akin to this on Fox News, saying that “Republicans will go forward into the 2016 election without their name associated with immigration reform which will make it very difficult for any Republican to become president.”  And Las Vegas Sands Corp. CEO Sheldon Adelson argues the very same point at Politico.

“If we are led to believe,” Adelson writes, “that the results of a local election with 12 percent voter turnout in a single congressional district (one of 435) with a mere 65,000 votes cast is all that it takes to disrupt a necessary and important policy debate, then America is in big trouble.”  Far better, he assumes, to institute “a process in which all undocumented immigrants receive permits to legally work here.”  This, in other words, is a suggestion that our betters among the elite, unfettered by their constituents’ opinions, should offer a holistic pardon to violators of federal law, and the eventual reward should be a path to citizenship -- and all the benefits which citizenship brings, via rights to vote and taxpayer-funded social entitlement programs.

If you happen to be a taxpayer, you may be less excited than Mr. Adelson, who happens to be the CEO of an extremely lucrative company that posted record profits in 2013, about the investment he wishes the government to make in providing for the unprecedented number of Central American children being escorted northward of our southern border.  But though he may not like it, we taxpayers still have a say in when the federal purse strings are loosened.  Virginia’s voters, far away from the Sands of Nevada, have exercised that right, much to his obvious chagrin.

To be sure, seated Democrats are probably less fearful of the signal that the Cantor defeat portends.  They’ve been out pitching amnesty under the guise of “immigration reform” for years with no immediately discernable effect.  And why should they expect anything different from the Democrat faithful in the coming election?  When you can successfully pitch absolute federal regulation of the relationship between doctors, insurers, and American individuals as “healthcare reform,” it’s safe to say that your target voting demographic is too anesthetized and euphoric on a fanciful abstraction high (“hope,” “change,” “social justice,” etc.) to care about how practical outcomes might correlate with the rhetoric.

But many Democrats are taking notice of the implications of this tapping of the public pulse that Cantor’s election implies.  Confronted with the recent reporting of this incredible influx of illegal migrants crossing our borders from Central America, particularly children escorted here by efforts that could be nothing less than orchestrated, even Barack Obama has taken steps to engage the Mexican government with the blunt directive that “immigrants crossing into the US illegally won’t qualify for legalized status or deferred deportation, including children.”

That may sound contrary to the Barack Obama we’ve come to know, but he is right to take such action, if only for the political implications involved for his presidency and his party. 

But Republicans, in particular, are right to be not just fearful, but petrified of touching this issue. 

The Republican establishment may very well be emboldened by the fact that conservative candidates have not won every primary election against their heavily-funded establishment Republican counterparts this year.  Notable among these is notoriousl-bribed Mitch McConnell, and to my more immediate lament as a Texan, Senator John Cornyn who voted for cloture to give Democrats the votes to fund Obamacare last October in opposition to his junior senator, Ted Cruz, only to later vote against the funding of Obamacare, in a devious act that was as much of a betrayal of his constituents’ trust as can any that can be imagined. 

Much of the success of such establishment Republicans, however, has to do with the natural deficit created by plentiful dollars funding campaigns against unknown, often unsuitable, and numerous candidates.  But just as Rome could not have been built in a day, the razing of the corrupt edifice it became took more than a day, too.  And given the bold and prescient social contract our Founders gave us, we have no need to sack the Capitol, but to employ the Constitutional measures afforded us to reclaim the sovereignty which is rightfully ours, and has never rightfully belonged to an elite gaggle of career politicians in Washington.

This is the entire premise driving Chris McDaniel in running a winnable campaign against six-term incumbent Thad Cochran in Mississippi, and why Dr. Milton Wolf may very well win a campaign in Kansas against three-term establishment Republican Pat Roberts.  These will both be elections to watch with keen interest.

This very dynamic of dissent is the reason for the present fear in Washington among both establishment Republicans and Democrats today.  They are all right to recognize it.  The illegal immigration issue, and the recent unsustainable and calculated influx, has only brought what was once an obscure abstraction into the realm of uncomfortable reality for Americans, reaffirming our nation’s need for borders, and the enforcement of them. 

It will only be out of desperation that Washington staples like John Boehner may continue to admonish their citizen benefactors for the gall of challenging them on the issue of amnesty for illegals.  To grant any path to citizenship for lawbreakers prior to securing our borders and enforcing existing federal law is nothing more than an effort to subvert our existing law.  Americans will not tolerate this, which is why the recent outcry against the influx of illegal immigrants has come to pass, and illegal immigration will continue to be, barring a drastic change in public policy that Barack Obama may be attempting to signify, a rallying issue against the Washington establishment.

The political tides certainly wavered in this country in 2010.  Given all that we have witnessed since, it is not far-fetched to assume that this issue could very easily drive an outright changing of the guard in 2016.  Given that our representatives currently hold a dismal 13% approval rating, who among us wouldn’t welcome that?

William Sullivan blogs at: and can be followed on Twitter.