I think it’s awfully hilarious that the GOP gets this public image that they are extreme, out of touch, and wholly enslaved to the Far Right, even despite the stories that come out about their full and unconditional surrender to the president’s executive fiat on immigration. As my RedState colleague (and, despite all reports, a decent human being), Erick Erickson puts it:
…[S]ome House Republicans still seem to be desperately clinging to the illusion that in a few months they will be able to stand on stronger ground alongside a Republican majority in the Senate to oppose amnesty. They couldn’t be more wrong – both House and Senate leadership have no real intention of undoing the President’s unconstitutional executive amnesty. In fact, while they publicly act outraged, they’re secretly relieved, because the President has removed by executive fiat the single biggest obstacle to their long running efforts to force comprehensive immigration reform through Congress.
What more, though, do you expect from a man like John Boehner? I hold nothing against men who cry, but for God’s sake, the man cries at the drop of a hat. Mitch McConnell and John Boehner have been in Congress too long to still be in touch with what the party’s voters want, and even if the voters were for this immigration plan (I, like a few others, actually don’t mind Obama’s ideas, but despise the way it happened), there is an obligation for the Congress to keep executive overreach in check. The fact that they will take a symbolic vote (as idiotic as the votes to repeal Obamacare have been since they reclaimed the House in 2010) that will go nowhere before surrendering is adding insult to injury. The Republican leadership are being absolute cowards in this fight… actually, you know what? It’s not even a fight. It’s an unconditional surrender before the battle starts.
There’s an old military legend about a strategist who was soon to be besieged by an army 20 times the size of his own. He had only about 10,000 men to the enemy’s 200,000, and no reinforcements that could effectively hold off defeat. In light of this information, the strategist remained calm and ordered all the banners be put away and the war drums be silenced. He had most of his soldiers hidden away, but a few were ordered to dress in civilian clothing. The gates were opened and the “civilians” were out sweeping the streets leading into the city.
The enemy strategist saw all this and hesitated his advance, because he knew that his opponent was prudent and never took unnecessary risks. Thus, he came to the conclusion that there was an ambush and ordered a retreat from the city. In fictionalized versions of this story, there were then ambushes along the path, as the strategist had sent out messages calling for reinforcements, but not to the city. The enemy was dealt a pretty serious blow, and the enemy tactician was outraged that he had fallen for the trap.
I share this story because, in spite of being outnumbered in the Senate (for only another month or so) and not holding the White House, the House Republicans have strategies that can fend off Democrat policies that are, at best, dangerous precedents of overreach. However, unlike the strategist mentioned above, they are choosing to surrender, wanting to avoid a fight. Even worse, unlike the strategist, the goals of the Republican leadership are in this case aligned with the goals of the Democrats. They are only showing a fight, but in reality, they are negotiating before the fight even begins.
The Republican leaders are cowards who don’t want to fight, and the subordinate Republicans in the House are cowards who won’t stand up to this blatant and offensive smoke-and-mirrors act.