Radio talk show host Laura Ingraham recently penned a criticism of an excellent column written by George Will about immigration. Although George Will is more than capable of defending himself, I thought I should step in and push back against many of Ingraham’s points.
The first two arguments made by Ingraham respond to practical political concerns – the midterm elections in 2014:
Will claims that the GOP should not focus its arguments in 2014 solely on Obamacare. I agree, and so do other conservative opponents of immigration reform. But that hardly proves that we will benefit politically from giving in to the president on his top priority and yielding a huge political victory to the Democrats that will boost their morale and devastate many people in our base.
Will maintains that if the GOP enforces unanimity on major issues, it will not grow. GOP supporters of reform are not being silenced or pushed out of the party. And, again, I don’t see the political benefits of siding with the president and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) against the conservative base on such a vital issue. The easiest way for the GOP to do very poorly in 2014 would be for its base to stay home, and that is more likely to happen if conservative voters watch the GOP cooperate with the president on immigration.”
Many Republicans are looking at polling data, months in advance, and counting their electoral chickens before they hatch. The train wreck of Obamacare will likely help Republicans in the 2014 elections. I’m not a political strategist so I won’t comment on Ingraham’s or Will’s arguments about that. Ingraham, however, misleadingly leaves off the name of prominent conservative Republicans who support immigration reform, namely Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ). It is true that President Obama and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) support immigration reform, but excluding conservative backers makes the bipartisan reform effort appear entirely Democratic – which it isn’t.