Feed on Posts or Comments 07 October 2015

Books reviewed Susan Freis Falknor on 03 Oct 2015

Conquest’s Truth: How One Man’s Patient Scholarship Exposed Stalin’s Mega-Horrors And Why Our Schools Should Reveal Them Lest This Happen Here

Review of:
The Great Terror: A Reassessment: 40th Anniversary Edition, 2008
by Robert Conquest

Just last summer, Robert Conquest, a great hero of the Cold War, died—on August 3.

The weapons he wielded were exacting research and a mastery of expression that marked his many works of poetry and fiction, as well as history and politics.

But Conquest will be most remembered for his comprehensive research and expose of the Soviet Union’s 1934-1939 Great Purge.

Conquest published his magnum opus first as the Great Terror: Stalin’s Purge of the Thirties in 1968, then as The Great Terror: A Reassessment in 1990, and then as The Great Terror: A Reassessment: 40th Anniversary Edition, in 2008.

In an August 14, 2015 obituary in National Review on Line, John O’Sullivan calls Robert Conquest, “the single most important historian of the Soviet Union and its crimes.”

To read The Great Terror is to become schooled—against all our deep-seated Judeo-Christian values—in how utterly evil a total tyranny can become.

Although  can be dizzying in its accumulated emotional effect, The Great Terror is very readable scholarly work, documented with 67 pages of notes and bibliography.

Former Margaret-Thatcher-adviser O’Sullivan continues:

“Bob’s narratives balanced the large collective truths with the small, revealing personal details of callousness. He revealed terrible crimes by presenting the evidence for them. As two other tributes illuminate, however, it was not only the truth that set readers free. It was the teller, too. Bob’s narratives balanced the large collective truths (how many millions Stalin murdered) with the small, revealing personal details of callousness (after signing more than 3,000 death warrants, Stalin went to the movies). He revealed terrible crimes by presenting the evidence for them.
He refuted the casuistical Marxist justifications of such crimes with more evidence and without raising his voice. He had an instinct for detecting dishonesty and a talent for exposing it — qualities evident in his literary criticism as well as in his historical research. He himself claimed what the facts supported, and not an iota more. (Highlighting Forum’s throughout)

The Guilt-By-Confession System

As Conquest relates, for those accused, arrested, grilled, and tortured, the Great Terror operated through a guilt-established-by-confession system.

For the accused were compelled to name co-conspirators, who then must be arrested and made to confess and to name others as well.

The accused party luminaries often ended in major public “show trials.”

Most of the accused, however, received “administrative” judgements, with lengthy sentences to forced-labor camps or immediate execution by shooting.
The purge targeted party officials, but also professional groups (military officers, diplomats, churchmen, historians, poets, weather forecasters), and leaders (party members, cadre, plant managers); ethnic nationalities (Polish, Ukrainian, Georgian)—as well as pick-up categories such as the wives and children of enemies of the state, or anyone who had contact with foreigners.

Kirov’s Murder: “Crime of the Century”

In his 40th edition preface, Conquest presents evidence to show that Stalin arranged the 1934 assassination of prominent Bolshevik leader Sergei Kirov, and then used the sensational murder as a pretext to begin the Great Terror.

Conquest explained

“This killing has every right to be called the crime of the century. Over the next four years, hundreds of Soviet citizens, including the most prominent political leaders of the Revolution, were shot for direct responsibility for the assassination, and literally millions of others went to their deaths for complicity in one or another part of the vast conspiracy which allegedly lay behind it.”

Kirov’s death, in fact, was the keystone of the entire edifice of terror and suffering by which Stalin secured his grip on the Soviet people, declares Conquest.

Conquest allows that “the circumstances of the Kirov murder on 1 December 1934 are still disputed,” but he argues that the weight of evidence attests to Stalin’s central role.

And Today?

In the World War II years, some Americans understood the nature of the Soviet Union.

During the Cold War, more people did.

George Orwell’s Animal Farm and 1984, as well as Boris Pasternak’s Dr. Zhivago, became touchstones.

But do today’s Americans know much about the Soviet Leviathan?

Now television history documentaries of varying depth typically cover the crimes of Hitler’s Germany (against Jews, Christians, dissenters of all kinds, and conquered peoples).

But there is very little television portrayal of the malevolent regime of Joseph Stalin.

The slogan “Never Forget” properly evokes Jews under Hitler, but there is no slogan recalling the deaths of millions during Stalin’s Terror.

“Exact numbers may never be known with complete certainty,” writes Conquest, “but the total of deaths caused by the whole range of the Soviet regime’s terrors can hardly be lower than some fifteen million…. Yet the worst of the terror was not the killings, however excessive, but the regular accompaniment throughout of torture.” 

The voices of the Hard Left ignore if not “justify” the truly monstrous record of Stalin’s regime.

For example, read here about the “New York Times Moscow correspondent whose dispatches covered up Stalin’s infamies.”

In her essay on Conquest’s death, historian Diana West points to the denialist strain of the American “intelligentsia” when they discuss the Soviet regime.

“To be able to ‘deal with’ the evil of Communist extermination history, then, as Conquest writes, is to be judgmental as well as inquisitive. This suggests a continuum between such fruits of curiosity and academic labor—the repugnant facts of Communist extermination history—and our judgment of them.”

Reminding us of the scorn that met Ronald Reagan’s characterization of the Soviet Union as an “evil empire,” West notes—

“Reagan’s exhortation to face ‘the facts of history’ was a broad challenge, his reference to ‘the aggressive impulses of an evil empire’ an ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ moment. The cataclysmic histories of Ukraine, Finland, Bessarabia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Austria, Korea, East Germany, Vietnam, China, Cuba, Angola, and on and on were not the shining raiment becoming an empire of peace. Reagan was challenging us to acknowledge the implications of this fact, to fight the paralysis of ‘moral equivalence,’ and see not two bullies in a playground, as the East-West struggle was repetitiously framed, but one aggressor seeking to impose a totalitarian system over as much of the world as possible. Good and Evil.”

Robert Conquest’s life shows that the dedication of a few or even one person to the truth of a matter can make a global difference.

The Great Terror remains a testament to the strength of truth established by scholarship and evidence.

It also provides a perspective on the unnatural appetite of many on the American left for a “total elimination of dissent,” as Rush Limbaugh puts it.

And it should be a book to teach our emerging generations about the vigilance needed to keep our freedom—and to open their eyes to the evil that homegrown tyrants could inflict even on their fellow Americans.

Shariah & Civilization Jihad Richard Falknor on 02 Oct 2015

YouTubes–The Red Pill Brief: To Protect Our Freedom of Speech from Shariah

Stephen Coughlin explains the grave threats of Shariah to our civilization – – and does so in plain words to a European audience in Vienna.

Click here for the YouTube “Stephen Coughlin Red Pill Brief #1″ *

Click here for the YouTubeCoughlin red pill Q&A part 1″ *

Patriots should take pains to ensure that all those Virginia GOP General Assembly members who patroned “HJ 934 Commending the ADAMS Center” (see our June 11, 2015 post here) become acquainted with Coughlin’s analyses.


*Via Eeyore for Vlad — Click here for all 10 videos.


First things . . . Richard Falknor on 01 Oct 2015

Tammany McConnell’s Attacks on Cruz Are Attacks On The Institution of The U.S. Senate

Tammany Tiger Cartoon

GOP Leadership to Conservative Base (Drawing by Thomas Nast)

Hear Mark Levin sum up Mitch McConnell’s disgrace via The Right Scoop – – click here and scroll to audio.

For the record, read Ted Cruz’ indictment of the US Senate leadership! (at S6967).

from RedState 2011 by Kelila Horowitz

— from RedState 2011 by Kelila Horowitz

2014 Virginia Senate candidate Ed Gillespie now reportedly running for Virginia governor must be a pal of Mitch McConnell — “Top senators, lobbyists to help Ed Gillespie recoup lost money”.

So does the good Mr. Gillespie agree with senator McConnell’s schemes to “quarantine” senator Ted Cruz. Is this Ed’s approach to governing?



2016 Election Richard Falknor on 01 Oct 2015

“The Last Refuge” Declares “Day #1–Operation ‘Cold Anger” Begins…”

The Last Refuge (click here) tracks the GOP Establishment closely in their schemes to continue the Bush Dynasty and to wipe out what Angelo Codevilla calls the “Country Party” — that’s us, for those of you who missed Codevilla’s magisterial “America’s Ruling Class — And the Perils of Revolution” (click here).

Today The Last Refuge reports – –

“Operation ‘Cold Anger’ is in direct response to the GOPe road map created by the republican party apparatus (professional political class) to nominate Jeb Bush.
Unlike 2012 and the success of their chosen candidate Mitt Romney, in this election cycle we have quietly been watching them since October 2013, and we have been able to identify their GOPe road map.
As a direct result of Donald Trump, the only stumbling block they did not anticipate and the most significant wrecking ball to their entire scheme, the power-players have necessarily adjusted their scheme.
Unfortunately, many state party officials are part of the RNC program; still more are actually influenced by the Bush family tentacles (Colorado Bush/Stapleton example).  And as a consequence we are working through a series of states identifying what changes to the road map are being constructed in secret.
For those who remain skeptical the latest evidence of the RNC/GOPe machinations is abundantly evident in North Carolina. Continue reading

The Last Refuge stresses – –

“Our goal will be to move/switch a significant number of people, conservative minded Dems and common sense Independents, into the Republican party registration, specifically for the purpose of eliminating the GOPe candidate.”


Common Defense Richard Falknor on 01 Oct 2015

Middle East Now: Norman Bailey, David P. Goldman (aka Spengler), George Koo

All three takes today from Asia Times-Chatham House Rules —

“Nothing positive can be expected from Washington until after January 2017 or at all from Europe now or in the foreseeable future.  It will be lucky to emerge from the current Islamic invasion with its culture tattered and dirtied but intact.  By no means certain.”
“Russia apparently is bombing CIA-backed rebels in Syria. How did they find them? The last time we heard from the Pentagon, there were only four or five of them.”
“Again, Asia Times is presenting a perspective not seen in the American mainstream, which is sad because the American public needs to be better informed.”

 Click here to see Asia Times contributors.

First things . . . Richard Falknor on 15 Sep 2015

Not Enough Just To Replace John Boehner — A New GOP House Leadership Team Oriented To America’s Survival!

UPDATE SEPTEMBER 16!  FPM’s Daniel Greenfield: How Obama Bullies a Weak Republican Congress
“You get a banana republic by starting with a dictator.”
. . . . . . . . .
“Meanwhile gun control is coming up. Here Obama intends to take on not just Congress, but the Supreme Court. And it’s an issue where the anti coalition has remained strong and intact. It’s an anti coalition that also includes plenty of Democrats. The Iran Deal is a political appetizer for the real ugliness that’s coming. And if the Republican Congress doesn’t figure out how to take on Obama effectively, it’s going to pave the way for the base to embrace those who do.”
(Highlighting Forum’s.)

The forces driving the Trump Candidacy will shape the House of Representatives too! (Better now than an angry reckoning at election time.)

By forces, we mean the exasperation of our GOP base — as well as of working-class Americans of all ethnicities –with what Ted Cruz aptly calls the Washington Cartel and its way of doing business.

Rush Limbaugh put it this way yesterday in his “Memo to the Inside-the-Beltway GOP: Trump Is Popular Because He’s Not You”

“There is conservative literature all over the place, but there’s no action behind it. There’s no fight for it.  When’s the last time Obama was stopped at anything?  When was the last time anybody even made a serious attempt at stopping any of this?  It’s really not hard to figure any of this out, unless you literally don’t see it.”
. . . . . . . . . .
“because clearly there isn’t any Republican opposition in Washington that can be spotted.  The thing Trump has going for him, whatever else you might want to add to the list: None of his fingerprints are on any of the stuff that has happened that people are angry at, opposed to — and, frankly, scared of.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)

And yesterday Breitbart’s  Matthew Boyle in his Exclusive: GOP Push Against Boehner Leadership Reaches Critical Number declared–

“The significance of a 29th Republican joining the opposition Boehner can’t be understated.
This means that if all members of the House are present and voting should the motion to remove Boehner as Speaker come up for a vote—and no Democrats vote for Boehner—those seeking to ouster Boehner have reached the bare minimum threshold necessary to remove him as Speaker of the House.”

But Boyle also quotes Alabama’s Representative Mo Brooks–

“I have seen nothing that suggests to me that someone from the conservative 25 percent or third of the GOP conference can muster the votes with this GOP conference to win the nomination in the GOP conference for a GOP leadership position.”

This might well have been true last January.

The Trumpian Revolution Reaches Beyond the Race For President

But now as the GOP Establishment comes under increasing fire — The Republican establishment is in DEEP trouble says the Washington Post’s todaythe 2/3 of non-conservative House Republicans Mr. Brooks speaks of could emerge from their bubble and become a vigorous and confrontational opposition to the Obama Regime.

But this will require the leadership of a new kind of Speaker with a new leadership team — a Speaker with vision on both domestic and defense matters — who can rally the country behind the House when that chamber challenges both a lawless president (with fifteen plus months remaining), and a deeply flawed Senate leadership.

In short, a fighting American statesman who will reclaim the constitutional powers of the House. 

* * * * * * * * *  *

What should the House defund and why and how? (In addition to Planned Parenthood.)

See our posts below —

Congress Back: Boehner Enables An Increasingly Dangerous Obama–Rep Mark Meadows Helping Advance A New Team

Fearful Times: Conservatives Must Extract Commitments From Members To Fight For Our Survival and Our Liberty When House Begins Summer Vacation Friday

Conservatives should “Read, Mark, Learn, and Inwardly Digest” Angelo Codevilla’s magisterial guidance, Continuing Appropriations Resolutions Subvert Limited Government.

First things . . . Richard Falknor on 06 Sep 2015

Congress Back: Boehner Enables An Increasingly Dangerous Obama–Rep Mark Meadows Helping Advance A New Team

We are writing today about the necessity beginning this month to use the power of the purse to slow the Obama Regime’s now-accelerating transformation of our country; about how the current Speaker of the House is unwilling (and incapable) of effectively leading such an appropriations fight; and about the recent work of Representative Mark Meadows in trying to make possible the election of a new leader in the House.

The Congress returns to work in Washington, D. C., Tuesday, the day after tomorrow.

This fiscal year ends on the 30th of this month.

And the current Republican Congressional Leadership apparently plans another “Cromnibus” (click here) this time for FY 2016 — likely aiding favored interests.  They fear the dread “shutdown” for which the president in reality would be responsible, but this inept GOP leadership apparently trembles at trying to make that case.

from RedState 2011 by Kelila Horowitz

— from RedState 2011 by Kelila Horowitz

The House GOP leadership in particular has no plans to use that chamber’s historic power of the purse** to disable the growing number of the Obama Regime’s “transformations” which threaten our liberties and, in the case of the Iran Deal, very possibly our lives.

As most of us have observed, this Boehner Cabal avoids serious confrontations with the president, and “works” diligently (if quietly) to advance their own goals, which are neither the priorities of the GOP base, nor of independent conservatives, nor of working-class Americans.

Lamentably, most GOP Representatives have gone along with the Boehner Cabal.

Here are the Liberty Scores of Maryland and Virginia Republican House members. Only Dave Brat has an outstanding score, and only Andy Harris a passing one. Special kudos, moreover, for Harris and Brat:  both voted (among only 19 Republicans) against the Iran-Deal-facilitating*** Corker-Cardin bill.

What Must Be Defunded Now – In Addition To Planned Parenthood?

We offer below a sample of new Obama Regime rules and initiatives that should be defunded now —  before they develop a powerful “constituency” of special interests, such as Obamacare has had from the very beginning.

Faithful readers will recall the proposals we spelled out at the end of July (highlighting added)–

“A National House GOP Campaign For Pulling Obama’s Purse Strings?
For any such fight over money with the president to be successful, the House leadership will have to tussle with the White House the traditional way — over individual money bills for various parts of the Federal government — and pave the way with a public campaign explaining what their objectives are and why they are important to ordinary Americans, all the while being undercut by senate bosses Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid.
What are just a few of the schemes the House needs to defund in 2016 starting on October 1?
  • Daniel Horowitz proposes “An Immigration Solution that Puts Americans First” (click here) including the defunding of some Obama immigration schemes. (We would add at least a temporary defunding of the H-1B visa program until it is cleaned up.)
  • Stanley Kurtz explains the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing horror (Obamazone) here — a rule that should be defunded now;
  • The Justice Department should be kept on a very short money leash to stop more of their social engineering –“disparate impact,” cultural diversity, and anti-gun activities among others.
We’ll expand our list, but we are sure our readers can do the same.
All of us should catalog likely or current Obama Regime attacks on Christians whether in the military or by the IRS — in programs that could be defunded.
Of course, we won’t get everything this year or even next, but we can defund enough to begin slowing down the Obama Leviathan and thus demoralizing its operatives.”

And how should a new House GOP Leadership fight the FY 2016 appropriations battle with the Obama Regime? As we wrote last July–

“Make Obama Responsible For Any “Shutdown”!
The House leadership will have to play public hardball just like the Left — or perhaps like Mr. Trump — to exercise the power of the purse effectively.
Is this Speaker up to such a task?
The influential Citizens United (click here) polled their 4,025 member national activists and found that–
“If the election for Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives was being held today, would you want your Member of Congress to re-elect John Boehner as Speaker of the House?
Yes, Re-Elect Boehner As House Speaker: 5.6%
No, Don’t Re-Elect Boehner As House Speaker: 90.3%
No Opinion: 3.9%”
So we have–
  • a Speaker many conservatives find, to put it charitably, inept;
  • a Senate majority leader denounced for lying to his Party colleagues;
  • a lawless president who tried to deceive the United States Senate on a supposed ‘agreement’ with an enemy of the United States.”

Revisit all of our July 26, 2015 post “Fearful Times” here!

Don’t miss senator Ted Cruz’ and Rush Limbaugh’s comments on the maleficent influence of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Yesterday Breitbart’s  Matthew Boyle in hisExclusive — Behind the Scenes with John Boehner’s Worst Nightmare: Mark Meadows Launches Mission to Fix Broken Congress” reports–

“MORGANTON, North Carolina — Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) ’s worst nightmare is on the rise here in rural North Carolina. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) is gaining steam as a clearly coordinated, highly orchestrated effort to remove Boehner as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives—and fix a broken Congress that no longer represents the wishes of the American people—comes into much clearer focus.
Meadows invited Breitbart News to accompany him on a district visit, and the concerns he discussed with his constituents offer a microcosm of the issues America wants Congress to address. Everyone here agrees: John Boehner needs to go as Speaker of the House, and Mark Meadows is doing something about that.” (Highlighting Forum’s)

The buck stops with all of us, then, to get our House leadership replaced right away with statesmen who can exercise that chamber’s historic and Constitutional power of the purse . . . and maybe even more.

Otherwise when the president by executive action soon further limits your First or Second Amendment rights or redesigns your suburbs or further colonizes your backyard with imported “migrants” of another country, there will be no way to fight back.  The current House GOP just might deign to pass “show bills” that will never be enacted, but will finally brush you off by promising “only wait for the next (Establishment) Republican president (in nearly seventeen months) and everything can be fixed.”

* * * * * * * * *

** Conservatives should “Read, Mark, Learn, and Inwardly Digest” Angelo Codevilla’s magisterial guidance, Continuing Appropriations Resolutions Subvert Limited Government.

*** Andrew McCarthy writes here “in order to get the Corker bill across the finish line with White House support, Republican leadership provided Democrats with astonishing help….McCarthy’s analysis of the Corker scheme casts doubt on the vigilance and judgment of every Republican member voting for it.

First things . . . Richard Falknor on 31 Aug 2015

“Donald Trump ‘No Compromise’ Tour” in Virginia —- October 16 Trump National Golf Club in Sterling!

UPDATE SEPTEMBER 1! Howie Lind reports today –“The event that was publicized for a Donald Trump appearance on October 16th has been cancelled. However, there will be an authorized Northern Virginia event for Donald Trump in the very near future, at an approved location and at no charge for the public. As the exact details are available for that event, we will get more information to you. In the meantime, encourage your neighbors and friends to join the campaign to ‘Make America Great Again!'”

And our advice . . . look to a vigorous Trump campaign in Virginia.  Stay tuned!

* * * * * * * * *

Our friend and Virginia Trump chairman Howie Lind sends this message of hope today!


Dear friend,

As the Virginia Chairman for Donald Trump for President, I would
like to invite you to a special event where you can hear Donald Trump
in person, speaking about how we can “Make America Great Again!”

It’s my honor to serve on the Host Committee for the event to be
held at the beautiful Trump National Golf Club, 20391 Lowes Island Blvd, Sterling, VA 20165, on Friday, October 16, from 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM.

If you would like to come out to support, hear or meet Donald
Trump in person,
please use this registration form. If you are not able to attend
but know someone who would be interested, please forward
this invitation. Contact me directly if you have any questions,
or if you would like to participate on the Host Committee.

“Make America Great Again!”

Howie Lind
Virginia Chairman – Donald Trump for President
703-336-3940 –

Paid for by Friends of DT
www.friendsofdt.us “


Overpass Media Richard Falknor on 26 Aug 2015

Overpass Media: Immigration and The Trump Solution!


Last Friday, Tea Party of Maryland and Maryland 20-20 Watch activist Lewis Porter organized this overpass display on Maryland’s I-95 — close to Washington, D. C — during the rush hour from 3:00 to 6:30 PM.

Porter estimates some 50,000 views.
Howard County, Maryland police visited the overpass display, but Porter reports “they respected our First Amendment rights.”
The previous Saturday, presidential candidate Donald Trump had released his immigration policy paper — Donald Trump Releases Immigration Reform Plan Designed To Get Americans Back To Work (Matthew Boyle, Breitbart)–

“The paper—which really constitutes a completely new look at immigration and a complete overhaul of the current system, politicians’ priorities, and special interest involvement—starts with three principles. Firstly, Trump argues, ‘a nation without borders is not a nation.’
As such, he writes, ‘there must be a wall across the southern border.’
Secondly, Trump argues, ‘a nation without laws is not a nation.’
‘Laws passed in accordance with our Constitutional system of government must be enforced,’ he writes as part of his second principle.
Thirdly, Trump argues, ‘a nation that does not serve its own citizens is not a nation.'”

Breitbart’s Boyle declares that the immigration position paper was “clearly influenced” by senator Jeff Sessions who chairs the Senate Judiciary panel on Immigration and the National Interest.

(Activist Porter related to Blue Ridge Forum that his grass-roots group had been working on immigration concerns for several years.)

Read the complete Trump paper here.

And stay tuned for more Overpass Media displays in Virginia as well as Maryland!


2016 Election Richard Falknor on 18 Aug 2015

Will our GOP “appeal to working Americans of all backgrounds”?

Over two years ago on July 29, 2013, Republican senator Jeff Sessions** (today chairman of the Senate Judiciary panel on Immigration and The National Interest) made these important points to his GOP colleagues (Highlighting Forum‘s throughout)- –

  • “The GOP lost the election—as exit polls clearly show—because it hemorrhaged support from middle- and low-income Americans of all backgrounds.”
  • “Now is the time to speak directly to the real and legitimate concerns of millions of hurting Americans whose wages have declined and whose job prospects have grown only bleaker. This humble and honest populism—in contrast to the Administration’s cheap demagoguery—would open the ears of millions who have turned away from our party.”

Via a Weekly Standard post at the time by Daniel Halper Sessions to Republicans: GOP Elite View on Immigration Is ‘Nonsense’, here is the full text of the 2013 Sessions memo – –

“Memo: How The GOP Can Do The Right Thing On Immigration—And Win
July 29, 2013
To: Republican Colleagues
From: Ranking Member Jeff Sessions
The GOP needs to flip the immigration debate on its head.
The same set of GOP strategists, lobbyists, and donors who have always favored a proposal like the Gang of Eight immigration bill argue that the great lesson of the 2012 election is that the GOP needs to push for immediate amnesty and a drastic surge in low-skill immigration.
This is nonsense.
The GOP lost the election—as exit polls clearly show—because it hemorrhaged support from middle- and low-income Americans of all backgrounds. In changing the terms of the immigration debate we will not only prevent the implementation of a disastrous policy, but begin a larger effort to broaden our appeal to working Americans of all backgrounds. Now is the time to speak directly to the real and legitimate concerns of millions of hurting Americans whose wages have declined and whose job prospects have grown only bleaker. This humble and honest populism—in contrast to the Administration’s cheap demagoguery—would open the ears of millions who have turned away from our party. Of course, such a clear and honest message would require saying “no” to certain business demands and powerful interests who shaped the immigration bill in the Senate.
In Senator Schumer’s failed drive to acquire 70 votes, he convinced every single Democrat in his conference to support a bill that adds four times more guest workers than the rejected 2007 immigration plan while dramatically boosting the number of low-skill workers admitted to the country each year on a permanent basis. All this at a time when wages are lower than in 1999, when only 58 percent of U.S. adults are working, and when 47 million residents are on food stamps. Even CBO confirms that the proposal will reduce wages and increase unemployment. Low-income Americans will be hardest hit.
Ordinarily, this would be an act of political suicide for Democrats. How can they possibly succeed with a plan that will so badly injure American workers? Perhaps Senator Schumer, the White House, and their congressional allies believe the GOP lacks the insight to seize this important issue, push away certain financial interests, and make an unapologetic defense of working Americans. They seem, in fact, to expect the GOP House to drag their bill across the finish line. Indeed, more than a few in our party will argue that immigration reform must ‘serve the needs of businesses.’ What about the needs of workers? Since when did we did we accept the idea that the immigration policy for our entire nation—with all its lasting social, economic, and moral implications—should be tailored to suit the financial interests of a few CEOs?
Americans broadly oppose further increases to our current generous immigration levels by a 2-1 margin, but the opposition among those earning less than $30,000 is especially strong: they prefer a reduction to an increase by a 3-1 margin. And no wonder: according to Harvard’s Dr. George Borjas, it’s the working poor whose wages have declined the most as a result of high immigration levels.
The GOP has a choice: it can either deliver President Obama his ultimate legislative triumph—and with it, a crushing hammer blow to working Americans that they will not soon forgive—or it can begin the essential drive to regain the trust of struggling Americans who have turned away. As Rich Lowry and Bill Kristol wrote in a joint op-ed, “the Gang of Eight bill unleashes a flood of additional low-skilled immigration. The last thing low-skilled native and immigrant workers already here should have to deal with is wage-depressing competition from newly arriving workers… It’s most important that the party perform better among working-class and younger voters concerned about economic opportunity and upward mobility.”
Like Obamacare, this 1,200-page immigration bill is a legislative monstrosity inimical to the interests of our country and the American people. Polls show again and again that the American people want security accomplished first, that they do not support a large increase in net immigration levels, and that they do not trust the government to deliver on enforcement. The GOP should insist on an approach to immigration that both restores constitutional order and serves the interests of the American worker and taxpayer. But only by refusing any attempt at rescue or reprieve for the Senate bill is there a hope of accomplishing these goals.
Instead of aiding the President and Senator Schumer in salvaging a bill that would devastate working Americans, Republicans should refocus all of our efforts on a united push to defend these Americans from the Administration’s continued onslaught. His health care policies, tax policies, energy policies, and welfare policies all have one thing in common: they enrich the bureaucracy at the expense of the people. Our goal: higher wages, more and better jobs, smaller household bills, and a solemn determination to aid those struggling towards the goal of achieving financial independence.”

At the end of 2013, the Hudson Institute’s John Fonte in his Re-Branding the GOP: From the party of big business to the party of the little guy (NRO) declared —

“Republicans as a party, however, and conservatives specifically, should not be subservient to corporate interests on core issues. The American electorate must come to view Republicans as the party of the middle class rather than the courtiers of big business. The GOP ‘brand’ must change. While conservatives and business will remain part of a broad center-right coalition, the key question is: On what terms, and who calls the shots?”

(Read this entire NRO post to learn more about the growing “‘de-nationalization’ of American corporate elites.”)

Historian Fonte gives us some background from the Reagan era – –

“One of the big internal fights in the Reagan administration pitted business interests against national-security conservatives. In the 1970s, hundreds of major corporations as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers had joined to form a private pro-trade group, the U.S.-USSR Trade and Economic Council (USTEC). While conservative hawks wanted to curb the flow of military-use items to Communist countries, USTEC lobbied to remove barriers to Soviet trade. The group opposed, for example, the Jackson-Vanik amendment, which placed trade limits on certain Communist-bloc countries that restricted emigration, as the USSR did with Jews and Evangelical Christians.”

More recently, explained Fonte – –

“In July 2013, House Republicans voted to remove some federal mandates in the No Child Left Behind Act and empower the states to formulate their own accountability systems and curricular standards. Strong opposition to this federalism-affirming legislation came from every Democrat in the House, the Obama administration, an array of leftist groups (including the ACLU, the Children’s Defense Fund, the National Education Association, the Center for American Progress Action Fund, and the Southern Poverty Law Center) and also from business interests led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable. Former Reagan education official Chester Finn Jr. rebuked the two business groups for their stance: ‘Both . . . joined the left . . . in savaging the Kline [House Republican] bill and demanding more federal regulation and control of education. . . . I suppose this is yet another sad example of corporate America succumbing to big-government-itis.’

And Fonte underscored the central lesson for today —

“Sessions made the key political point that Republicans have a golden opportunity to appeal once again to Reagan Democrats, who are, as John O’Sullivan put it in a statement lauding Sessions, an ”electoral bloc that dwarfs any other in numerical terms.'”

What to do?  When your state and national lawmakers, and GOP apparatchiks roll out prepared talking points on “outreach,” ask them what specific steps are they taking to reach working-class Americans of all ethnicitiesReagan Democrats and their children and grandchildren, in plain words. 

Check out the websites of your GOP politicians to see whether they show any information or photographs a blue-collar worker, or a small contractor hurt by cheap immigrant labor could find encouraging or identify with? 


** Here is senator Sessions further advice this month on immigration and trade.



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