The outcome of today’s amnesty vote was a forgone conclusion. The cloture motion on the Corker-Hoeven substitute amendment easily passed 67-27. Every last Democrat voted for this, including the red state Democrats. 15 Republicans also supported the amendment:
The amazing thing is that most of these members will either never stand for reelection again or not for several more years. Roger Wicker (MS) was just reelected from a state that opposes this nonsense by a huge margin. Orrin Hatch would have never won reelection had he campaign on amnesty. It’s a shame he didn’t have the courage to stand before his people and tell them the truth. The only members who are in cycle are Lindsey Graham and Lamar Alexander.
Folks, we must work tirelessly to defeat these two losers. But in the meantime, conservatives in South Carolina and Tennessee must pledge never to vote for these clowns, even in the general election. Let’s face the truth, as a movement we have failed to challenge these people enough for them to fear us. They know that after running unopposed in the primaries, Republicans will dutifully support them in the general election. That has got to stop.
Conservative donors must also make it clear that they will not give money to the NRSC as long as they help support the reelection of Lamar Alexander and Lindsey Graham.
Now, on a different note, there is something to admire about those 15 Republicans who came out of the shadows to support amnesty. We know there are about a dozen more Republicans who are undocumented supporters of immigration deform. Mitch McConnell did everything possible to avoid the issue until the last minute. He didn’t even give a floor speech against the bill. Once he knew that Schumer would have a strong showing, he released a pathetic statement suddenly feeling underwhelmed by Corker-Hoeven. In that sense, he did more damage in his capacity as leader to pass this bill than the other 15 members.
There will be a couple of more procedural votes and then they will vote on final passage. That vote will track very closely with today’s cloture vote. Henceforth, the fight moves to the House, and more importantly, to the grassroots. In a sane world, the GOP-led House would not only balk at amnesty-first, they would go on offense and turn this into another Obamacare fight. They would expose Obama’s mendacity on border security on a daily basis and withhold funding for DHS when the budget comes due at the end of September.
Unfortunately, we don’t live in a sane world. Republicans will take this winning issue and play defense while agreeing to the premise that we need to pass some sort of amnesty now, just not this version. Paul Ryan is already working tirelessly to craft a deal with the left. Our next job must be to bring every House member out of the shadows and have them state their principles on this issue, and pledge to oppose any amnesty until Obama enforces the laws on the books.
It’s time to get active. This issue will be won or lost within the Republican Party. We are fighting with home-field advantage. It’s time we start acting like it.
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