GOP Falling Apart?
Is the immigration debate tearing apart the Republican Party? It seems so:
The Republican National Committee, hit by a grass-roots donors’ rebellion over President Bush’s immigration policy, has fired all 65 of its telephone solicitors, Ralph Z. Hallow will report Friday in The Washington Times.
Faced with an estimated 40 percent fall-off in small-donor contributions and aging phone-bank equipment that the RNC said would cost too much to update, Anne Hathaway, the committee’s chief of staff, summoned the solicitations staff last week and told them they were out of work, effective immediately, the fired staffers told The Times…
There has been a sharp decline in contributions from RNC phone solicitations, another fired staffer said, reporting that many former donors flatly refuse to give more money to the national party if Mr. Bush and the Senate Republicans insist on supporting what these angry contributors call “amnesty” for illegal aliens.
At the center of the storm is GOP Chairman Randy Pullen â€” who edged out 38-year-old fundraising machine Lisa James by only four votes during that January election. He made national news this week for standing up for the party’s grassroots rather than the state’s two U.S. senators…
Pullen publicized the concerns about Kyl, in response, he said, to a flood of calls and letters from angry Republicans.
His critical remarks drew the attention of the national media, and by Wednesday he was playing hardball with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews. On the Fox News Channel, anchor Brit Hume declared: “That battle in the Senate over immigration legislation seems mild compared to the fight in Arizona between state GOP conservatives and Arizona’s two Republican senators.”
Hot Air’s Bryan comments:
Iâ€™m not saying anything here that most of our readers donâ€™t already know, but I do know that we have readers in the White House and in Congress. I hope theyâ€™re watching whatâ€™s happening to the AZ GOP, and realize that smearing the base while pushing legislation that the base despises could very well destroy the party as we know it. I wouldnâ€™t be shocked at all to see the next opinion polls put the presidentâ€™s approval rating at 20% or less, which would be yet another historic low.
What political conservatives and on-the-ground Republicans must understand at this point is that they are not breaking with the White House on immigration. They are not resisting, fighting and thereby setting down a historical marker–”At this point the break became final.” That’s not what’s happening. What conservatives and Republicans must recognize is that the White House has broken with them. What President Bush is doing, and has been doing for some time, is sundering a great political coalition. This is sad, and it holds implications not only for one political party but for the American future.
The White House doesn’t need its traditional supporters anymore, because its problems are way beyond being solved by the base. And the people in the administration don’t even much like the base. Desperate straits have left them liberated, and they are acting out their disdain. Leading Democrats often think their base is slightly mad but at least their heart is in the right place. This White House thinks its base is stupid and that its heart is in the wrong place.
This entire immigration debate will hurt Bush more than I initially anticipated. Bush seems to alienate the conservative base, the very ones who brought him into power. Now, Bush and McCain et al. are effectively labeling those who do not support the immigration bill racists. Continue reading this.