The year 2015 will likely be remembered as the year the GOP base finally rebelled against the party leadership, taking the half-century long schism within the party to the point of no return. The betrayal by the party establishment was so profound and blatant that GOP voters everywhere discovered what many of us have known for years – the party establishment does not share our values.
It’s not that there is anything new about the party establishment shying away from providing a bold contrast to the Democrats. This divide within the party was reflected in the battles between Eisenhower and Taft, Rockefeller and Goldwater, Reagan and Ford/Bush, and Gingrich and Dole. It’s that there are graver consequences to not providing that bold contrast, and the people have noticed it.
This ain’t your grandfather’s Democrat Party; nor is this the party of Tip O’Neill or even Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer of the early ‘90s who supported border security and religious freedom respectively. This is the party of transgenders, illegal aliens, and the Muslim Brotherhood. This is the party of licentiousness, totalitarianism, and post-Americanism. So yes, the consequences of remaining silent and even tacitly supporting this agenda are more deleterious than the ineptitude of former GOP House Minority Leader Bob Michael in fighting Democrats of yesteryear.
Last November, Americans went out and voted for a GOP Congress. Out popped Democrat policies, much like the rigged ballot machines in Maryland that would render Republican votes as Democratic ones. As Chuck Schumer jubilantly declared following the omnibus bill, “the bills we’re passing reflect Democratic values.” He boasted that “even though we’re in the minority, we are passing a program that we have been for all along.”
Let’s take stock of the top 10 betrayals of this year that have precipitated the final divorce of the GOP elites and its party base:
1.Reelecting John Boehner
This year started with a Speaker’s fight after the American people rose up spontaneously and flooded the capitol with tens of thousands of calls demanding the resignation of John Boehner. Following Obama’s executive amnesty, it was revealed that Boehner told Obama “do what you gotta do,” which was emblematic of his broader modus operandi of giving Obama everything he wanted. The voters were onto his betrayal, yet despite the spontaneous groundswell from their constituents, all but 25 members voted to reelect Boehner as Speaker. Their reason? An instinct for self-preservation and fear of intimidation by insiders outweighed the unanimous voice of their constituents. The year ended with the people rising up once again to force Boehner out of the Speaker’s chair, but despite the warnings of the GOP base, they replaced him with Paul Ryan, a craftier salesman for the capitulation agenda.
2. Funding the Entire Amnesty Program
In the greatest executive power grab of the modern era, Obama suspended immigration law in an act that even King George lacked the authority to do. Yet, Congress fully funded Obama’s amnesty both in last December’s budget bill, then in March, and every budget bill thereafter, despite promises to defund it. Even though the courts halted part of the program, the DACA amnesty and the complete suspension of Secure Communities and deportations have gone into effect. We are paying for it to this day, and as a result, the border surge is continuing.
3. Corker-Cardin Iran Deal
With news reports that Obama spied on Israel and members of Congress while promoting his Iranian alliance, we are still seeing the fallout of the most treasonous alliance cut by a modern president with an enemy nation. Despite the bipartisan public outrage over the Iran deal, Republicans not only declined to defund it, but they passed the Corker-Cardin bill. That bill gave Obama implicit blessing and legitimacy from Congress by essentially granting approval by default with just one-third of the Senate. Additionally, Mitch McConnell blocked all conservative amendments that would have embarrassed Democrats so that they could be provided a loin cloth and shielded from any blowback. Since then, Republicans have abandoned any meaningful opposition to the Iran deal, despite the fact that the details and the betrayal continue to worsen by the week.
4. Social Issues, Religious Liberty, and Judicial Tyranny
In June, we had a bloodless coup de ta from the federal courts, culminating with the SCOTUS decisions on marriage, Obamacare, and disparate impact. Decisions like these will remake America forever if nothing is done to reverse the courts’ power grab, but you would never know it from watching the behavior of the GOP. Many members failed to even issue press releases. They are done talking about marriage and have not proposed a single piece of legislation protecting religious liberty or reclaiming power from the courts. In fact, Republican leadership even blocked conservatives from using a special legislative process to circumvent a filibuster and place, on Obama’s desk, two resolutions nullifying anti-religious liberty edicts enacted by the D.C. municipality government.
Now we have people being thrown in jail for not signing marriage licenses, private business owners fined for not baking cakes, and schools and institutions turned upside down over the transgendered agenda. Republicans don’t want to utter a peep about these issues. This is one case where inaction truly speaks volumes and represents a monumental betrayal.
5. Funding of Planned Parenthood
While Republicans have agreed to continue funding Planned Parenthood for years, this year represents a most jarring betrayal. With the ubiquitous videos showing PP openly bragging about harvesting and selling baby organs, Republicans had a once-in-a-generation opportunity to simply cut off taxpayer funds in the budget bills (the bills that actually mattered). Yet, they couldn’t stand before the American people and say “not one penny of taxpayer funds for a private organization under criminal investigation for harvesting baby organs.” Sadly, a number of establishment pro-life organizations, which decided to play interference for leadership, were exposed as frauds.
6. Criminal Justice Deform
This is the year that, thanks to Obama’s war on law enforcement, the two decade long trend of declining crime was reversed in many major cities. Rather than drawing a bold contrast and continuing the GOP tradition of standing with the silent majority of the country on law and order Republicans helped codify Obama’s agenda in multiple ways. Similar to the gang of eight on immigration, Republicans responded to Obama’s program of early release from prisons with a bill of their own to retroactively release violent drug and firearms offenders from federal prison. They have used the House and Senate judiciary committees as conduits for the left wing soft-on-crime agenda. Likewise they have done nothing to investigate the DOJ’s racist strong-arming and intimidation practices against local police departments. Instead the GOP gave the DOJ more funding to get involved in local law enforcement matters.
7. The Great Fiscal Betrayal
Ok, so Republicans have given up on defending our sovereignty, security, and civil society, but aren’t they fiscal conservatives? Not a chance. Republicans reversed the only fiscal gains they’ve secured since winning back the House in 2011 by busting the budget caps and essentially vitiating the budget control act. They suspended the debt ceiling twice this year, the latter time extending until the end of Obama’s presidency. Additionally, they passed a $70 billion highway bailout, 5-year extension of No Child Left Behind programs, and passed a massive Medicare doc fix bailout that will cost $500 billion over 20 years without any conservative structural reforms.
Even those conservatives who are generally predisposed to support trade deals should be appalled by the lengths GOP leaders went to hand Obama one of his biggest political victories this year. They spent an entire month ignoring Obama’s fundamental transformation of our nation and begged Democrats to support their own party leader’s bill by offering them all sorts of goodies.
9. Islamic Refugees from the Middle East and Africa
Following the Paris terror attacks, and even before the San Bernardino terror attack, some friends told me not to worry about defunding refugee resettlement and move on to focus on some other issues. The issue had been won already, they said; there was no way Democrats could get away with continuing to bring in more refugees in light of the news. Well, despite the torrent of news about the break down in vetting of Tafsheen Malik, Republicans funded every aspect of Obama’s refugee program without placing any restrictions on immigration from the Middle East. Instead, the GOP passed a phony refugee bill, a visa waiver bill that did nothing but promote Obama’s distraction (it also contained a waiver Obama is now utilizing), and blocked all conservative amendments despite promises for an open amendment process.
10. Surrendering the Power of the Purse
The sum total of all the legislative betrayals this year, culminating with passage of the omnibus, is that Democrats know with absolute certainty Republicans will never use the budget process to stop even the most harmful policies. Obama now has his final year to fundamentally transform America with a clear playing field and the full confidence that he will not face any opposition.
The good news? You can’t fool all the people all the time. This year voters will respond to these betrayals, and if the polls are any indication, it appears the establishment is in for a rough 2016.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.