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“Leaving The Top Of The Ticket Blank”: More Conservatives Backing Away From Trump Nomination

As conservatives all over the country come to terms with Donald Trump’s takeover of the Republican Party, a cohort of conservative political figures and media personalities are actively fighting against him. Here’s what they have said about the racist billionaire’s ascension to the party nomination:

Steve Deace, host of conservative talk show The Steve Deace Show, in USA Today.

“But it’s not Donald Trump’s fault any more than it’s the fault of your pet scorpion when it stings you. After all, it takes a special kind of stupid to allow an animal with a poisonous stinger close enough to do that to you in the first place. The scorpion is simply being a scorpion. You, on the other hand, are supposed to know better.”

David Limbaugh, brother of conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, in Townhall:

“If Trump wants our support (and sometimes he implies he doesn’t), he should have to convince us that he will not move toward authoritarianism; that he will honor the Constitution; that he will not take steps to use the Republican Party (or any other party) to permanently undermine constitutional conservatism; and that he won’t cater to those in his movement who want to cast constitutional conservatism into the burning dumpster.”

“I am not ‘NeverTrump’ — I recognize how bad Clinton is — but I think conservatives should now use what leverage they have to hold Trump’s feet to the fire so that we don’t lose either way.”

Former Republican Dallas County party chairman Jonathan Neerman, quoted in TIME

“That would leave me with leaving the top of the ticket blank,” [he said.] “I will fill out the rest of my ballot for every other Republican candidate. I just won’t vote for Donald Trump, and I certainly won’t vote for Hillary Clinton.”

South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, quoted in The Hill

“I also cannot in good conscience support Donald Trump because I do not believe he is a reliable Republican conservative nor has he displayed the judgment and temperament to serve as commander in chief.”

Former Texas congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul, speaking on Fox Business:

“I don’t think he offers anything and hardly do I think Hillary offers anything,” said

Conservative commentator Linda Chavez, in Newsmax:

“I have said it often enough, but it bears repeating: I will not vote for Donald Trump for president. There are millions like me. We fully understand the consequences — another four years of a Democrat in the White House — even if we do not like them.”

Former Massachusetts governor and 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, at “a dinner in Washington,” according to The Washington Examiner

“I happen to think that the person who is leading the nation has an enormous and disproportionate impact on the course of the world, so I am dismayed at where we are now, I wish we had better choices, and I keep hoping that somehow things will get better, and I just don’t see an easy answer from where we are.”

Radio host and leading anti-Trump conservative Glenn Beck, speaking on his network, The Blaze:

“Because what’s going to happen is you are now going to have Hillary Clinton legalize as many voters as you can, the GOP is going to be completely racist – whether it’s true or not – because of Donald Trump. You will never have another Republican president ever again.”

Despite the widespread opposition to Trump, it’s uncertain whether so many conservative politicians and commentators will have any effect. Trump has picked up the endorsements of a growing number of Republican governors and congressmen who have insisted that the racist billionaire should be supported as a matter of duty to the party. Despite their exhortations, it will be hard to paper over the deep divisions that have emerged between the two sides of the Republican Party.

 

By: Saif Alnuweiri, The National Memo, May 6, 2016

May 8, 2016 Posted by | Conservatism, Conservatives, Donald Trump | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Why Is This Issue Going Nowhere?”: How Eric Cantor’s Killing Immigration Reform

“Gentlemen, start your engines.” That message, played repeatedly in a commercial beamed on the Jumbotron at this year’s Indianapolis 500, had nothing to do with race cars. A coalition of faith, business, and law enforcement leaders used the iconic event to launch their call for House Republicans to get moving on immigration reform.

“It’s time for effective, common-sense, and accountable solutions that respect and enhance the rule of law,” says Mark Curran, a Lake County, Illinois sheriff in the commercial.

Unfortunately, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor can’t shift gears. The Virginia Republican won’t allow the most incremental of immigration bills, known as the ENLIST Act, to go forward.

This bill would let immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children to enlist in the military. If they serve and are honorably discharged, they would then be eligible for a green card, which would put them on a path to citizenship.

These are young people who didn’t choose to come here. Their parents brought them. An opportunity to serve in the military would give them a chance to demonstrate their loyalty to the United States. In the long run, the ENLIST Act would allow these folks to become full, productive members of society.

Naturally, the ENLIST Act has a broad support base. Republican Jeff Denham of California introduced the measure, which 26 Democrats and 24 Republicans co-sponsored.

Conservative commentator Linda Chavez called the ENLIST Act “the right — and principled — thing to do,” in her syndicated column.

When asked about the ENLIST Act, Cantor suggested that he supported it. “If you’ve got a kid that was brought here by their parents — unbeknownst to the child — and that they’ve grown up in this country and not known any other, and they want to serve in our military, they ought to be allowed to do that and then have the ability to become a citizen after that kind of service,” he told Politico.

But actions speak louder than words. Cantor blocked the ENLIST Act from being included in a military authorization bill, and it doesn’t look likely that it will come up for a vote anytime soon.

Meanwhile, the public continues to support an overhaul of our broken immigration system. Even Fox News pollsters find that most Americans support reform, including majorities of Republican voters. In fact, a May poll conducted by conservative advocacy groups found that Tea Party Republican voters favor immigration reform. The Tea Party Express and Americans for Prosperity report that over 70 percent of Tea Party-aligned voters want Congress to pass immigration legislation this year.

It seems like everyone is on board. Why is this issue going nowhere?

For one thing, Cantor isn’t willing to lead on immigration. If he won’t permit a vote on something as narrowly targeted as the ENLIST Act, it’s doubtful that House Republicans will tackle a more comprehensive approach.

That’s a loss for our military, which will lose out on a group of qualified, dedicated recruits. And it’s a loss for the Republican Party, which is destined to win scant numbers of Latino voters in 2016. More importantly, our country as a whole will suffer if our broken immigration system continues to hobble along as is.

Sure, illegal immigration is contentious. Representative Steve King, an Iowa Republican, has compared offering undocumented veterans citizenship to “handing out candy at a parade.” But one study showed that non-citizen enlistees were “far more likely to complete their enlistment obligations successfully than their U.S.-born counterparts.”

King himself avoided serving in Vietnam in the 1960s through multiple deferments. How ironic that he and his colleagues are now squashing the military service dreams of others.

Of course, not all undocumented immigrants want or are able to serve in the armed forces. They still deserve a chance to get right with the law, pay fines and back taxes, and become citizens.

But young immigrants who are willing to put their lives on the line for our country should be allowed to do so. It’s time to pass the ENLIST Act, then move ahead with immigration reform.

 

By: Paul A. Reyes, The National Memo, June 6, 2014

 

June 9, 2014 Posted by | Eric Cantor, Immigration Reform | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Dangers Of Repealing Birthright Citizenship

People born on American soil are guaranteed automatic citizenship by a provision found in the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This provision, often referred to as “birthright citizenship,” has recently come under intense attack by conservative politicians. Conservative lawmakers in state legislatures throughout the country have introduced bills aimed at blocking children born in the state to undocumented immigrants—as well as professional workers and other noncitizens with long-term visas—from claiming a right to citizenship. House Judiciary Committee Chair Lamar Smith (R-TX) has declared his intention to hold hearings on the subject.

Opportunistic politics helps explain the reasoning behind this attack on the citizenship clause of the Constitution. A broken national immigration system coupled with a slow economic recovery characterized by sluggish job growth creates an opening for certain politicians to create short-term electoral gains by demonizing immigrants. Nonetheless, numerous conservative scholars and politicians such as Linda Chavez and James Ho voice grave concerns about the political and policy ramifications of this trend.

A CAP report released this month from CAP Senior Fellow Sam Fulwood III and Director for Immigration Policy Marshall Fitz explains the cascading effect of unforeseen, unintended, and unwanted consequences a retreat on birthright citizenship would set in motion, among them:

  • “Big Brother” in every hospital delivery room, a profoundly costly and intrusive process of checking and verifying documents for every baby born in the United States
  • A new underclass of less-than-citizens who are marginalized from society and detract from our future economic competitiveness
  • Women burdened with childbearing decisions depending on citizenship parentage, endangering the newly born and their mothers in our country
  • An America that is suddenly and deeply anti-immigrant—contrary to our historical heritage and core national values and undermining our cherished democratic system, built by and for immigrants

Nevertheless, the matter is not dead in the eyes of some politicians. On January 25, 2011, Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and David Vitter (R-LA) introduced legislation to amend the Constitution and restrict citizenship to those newborns who can prove that one of their parents is a U.S. citizen, a legal immigrant, or an active member of the Armed Forces at the moment of the child’s birth.

The Center for American Progress and the American Constitution Society jointly hosted an event earlier this month featuring leading civil rights thinkers who discussed what our nation would look like should the birthright citizenship provision in the 14th Amendment be repealed, as well as its effect on all Americans.

“It’s important to look at the arguments that people are making to repeal the 14th Amendment,” said Fulwood at the event. “It goes to the core of what it means to be an American.”

Margaret Stock, a professor at the University of Alaska, noted that “The 14th Amendment [was the] crowning achievement of the Republican Party after the civil war. … it’s appalling Republicans have proposed this amendment.”

As President Barack Obama said in his speech in El Paso on May 10:

It doesn’t matter where you come from; it doesn’t matter what you look like; it doesn’t matter what faith you worship. What matters is that you believe in the ideals on which we were founded; that you believe that all of us are created equal, endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights. All of us deserve our freedoms and our pursuit of happiness. In embracing America, you can become American. That is what makes this country great. That enriches all of us.

Amending the 14th Amendment to end birthright citizenship would create a very different America, one characterized by dual classes of residents born here—citizens and less-than-citizens.

By: Philippe Nassif, Center for American Progress, May 17, 2011

May 18, 2011 Posted by | Congress, Conservatives, Constitution, Democracy, Elections, Equal Rights, Freedom, GOP, Human Rights, Ideologues, Ideology, Immigrants, Immigration, Lawmakers, Politics, Populism, Republicans, Right Wing, State Legislatures, States, Women | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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