Those of us who were looking for a blistering or even heated retort to the SOTU didn’t get what we wanted. We didn’t even come close (see: Did Obama Apologize? No, but the GOP Might.). Senator Joni Ernst told us what Republicans must have thought everyone wanted to hear. Everyone included middle-of-the-roaders, RINOs, and yes, Democrats and the White House. Conservatives didn’t make the list.
Did conservatives back a party of capitulation?
Before Senator Ernst’s talk the Blackburn defection in the House spelled big trouble for conservatives. November’s mandate seemed pretty clear, but 26 Republicans who voted against the anti-DACA Blackburn Amendment either didn’t get the message or decided to look out for themselves instead. Two Republican congressmen defected in my illegal-loving, sanctuary-embracing state of Illinois, the same state where leftist Jan Schakowsky continues to beat the drum for her wealth-punishing Fairness in Taxation Act. Both Bob Dold and Adam Kinzinger said no to Blackburn. Dold also joined seven “Republicans” to say no to the Aderholt/Mulvaney/Barletta anti-executive amnesty amendment. He sold out scarcely a week after he was sworn into office with this limp explanation for his Blackburn vote:
… simply attempting to defund the President’s actions while failing to bring forth and advance immigration reform legislation is not a solution to this problem.1
It may not be a solution to America’s immigration problem, but it’s certainly a solution to the president’s disregard for the rule of law that both parties like to hide behind.
Colorado Congressman Mike Coffman was even more blatant in his disregard for conservatism, claiming DACA would have been OK if Congress had passed it:
Under the DACA amendment that passed, young people who were taken to this country as children, who grew up here, went to school here, and often know of no other country but the United States, would not be allowed to renew their status and would face deportation. We should have had an opportunity to pass a version of the DACA program into law.2
We should have had an opportunity to enforce the law, as well, but that opportunity was denied the people when Obama sidestepped Congress. Republicans owned the House when DACA began. Now renewals are in full swing and conservatives have to listen to RINOs break rank while refusing to reject a policy their party should have stopped in its tracks.
DACA and the next step, Obama’s amnesty order, are what happens when conservative politicians turn tail and refuse to step up to bad government. So is a Republican address that was conciliatory, condescending to voters, and obdurate in its refusal to lock horns with an administration that will absolutely not stop unless those we elect show the courage to stand up and say no.
Worst Political News Story This Week published January 24, 2015.