Picture your dream scenario for 2016: your favorite Republican candidate becomes president and the more conservative candidates win Senate seats. For good measure, let’s continue dreaming and toss in the resignation of Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan as a viable political outcome for 2016. We are all set and ready to restore our republic, right?
Not so fast.
First, as we’ve noted before, the courts will continue to illegally grab power from the other two branches and invalidate many of our priorities, especially as it relates to immigration.
But more fundamentally, the next president will immediately be confronted by the “fourth branch of government” — the administrative state. Even when Republicans win the White House, the various departments and agencies that actually run government serve as a collective fourth branch and a fifth column countermanding any semblance of the conservative agenda.
Let’s consider the issue of immigration as one example of this dynamic.
Ian Smith, a friend of mine and an expert on immigration law, wrote an eye-opening column at the Washington Times detailing the extent of control the radical open borders lobby wields over immigration “enforcement”:
After receiving through a public records request the resumes of every immigration judge approved by the Justice Department since 2012, around half were found to have past ties to open-borders groups. Fifteen of the 34 hires whose resumes IRLI received worked for either open-borders advocacy groups, such as the Soros-funded Catholic Legal Immigration Network, or had been in private immigration law practice, an industry whose remuneration is tied to open borders. Several of the appointed judges were affiliated with both groups, while others were actual AILA chapter board members.
A note on the particularly cynical field of immigration law: Although it is true that immigration attorneys understand immigration law and, therefore, may appear best suited for a role in the immigration courts, it’s not an exaggeration to say that their work hinges on impeding those very laws and pushing for ever more-porous borders. AILA, for instance, attacks states that try to pass their own immigration laws and it claims publicly that the president’s unilateral amnesty programs are, in fact, legal.
Ideological imbalance at the Department of Justice was once made the subject of an investigative series by PJ Media. Within the Office of Special Counsel, the section tasked with enforcing the anti-discrimination provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act, PJ Media found that most Obama hires in the department had a background involving open-borders fanaticism.
Not only do the fanatical open borders groups control the legal profession and influence the Article III courts, they serve as the foxes guarding the immigration enforcement hen house within the administrative courts. Consequently, even a president who wants to enforce immigration law will be stymied with every last deportation unless he has the resolve to flush DHS and DOJ of every last vestige of open border influence. This is no easy task because, as Ian Smith notes, there is an entrenched and inherent ideological balance in these agencies that has accumulated over the years. These groups have a monopoly on the relevant departments because they have long been regarded as the only people with core competency and expertise on the subject matter.
This is true of almost every department. It is the Sierra Club-style groups that control the EPA; the Acorn-types who control HUD, the race hustlers who control DOJ; the open borders lobbyists who control DHS; the Muslim Brotherhood and liberal Islamist sympathizers who influence the State Department.
These are the questions that are never asked at the debates. Where a candidate “stands on the issues” in the abstract is meaningless unless he or she has the principled foundation, the moral resolve, and a cadre of movement conservative staff around who are willing to clean out every one of these agencies and install intrepid constitutionalists to run them.
Democratic presidents never have these problems because, as noted above, the inherent ideological balance in most of these public policy fields is already oriented towards implementing their priories. And after eight years of Obama, every nook and cranny of the executive branch will be contaminated with hostile elements. Obama has left no stone unturned in orienting each department, agency, and office towards the execution of a cross-sectional portfolio of liberal priorities. For example, he has the U.S. embassies in Central America not only promoting open borders but promoting national transgender day.
With Donald Trump as the front-runner, these are some of the questions he needs to answer. He has recently extolled his ability to work with people and cut deals. He has decried the gridlock in Washington. The problem with that mentality is that if you are looking for efficiency instead of principle, as many businessmen are often inclined to do, the path to least resistance is to work with the administrative state instead of going to war with it. And that would render the presidency worthless, especially following Obama’s fundamental transformation of an already-imbalanced administrative state.
Trump has captured the minds of many conservatives with his promises to enforce our immigration laws and sovereignty. But if he is committed to cutting deals in order to avoid gridlock, nowhere will his agenda be rendered more worthless than in the realm of immigration enforcement.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.