On his Friday radio show, conservative talker Mark Levin challenged support from for this current of immigration reform coming from prominent Republicans, particularly Jeb Bush and Karl Rove.
Levin, author of “Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America,” began his attack by arguing some members of the Republican Party make policy gestures without mentioning the U.S. Constitution.
“It amazes me how few Republicans in elected office actually talk about the Constitution,” Levin said. “They have no more respect for it, no more concern about its boundaries and limits than the left. That’s why I say they’re neo-statist.”
Levin went through his litany of big government abuses by these Republicans, which included the most recent half-trillion-dollar farm bill and the 2008 TARP bailout.
“Folks, this is not conservatism,” he said. “This is not constitutionalism. This is not Reaganism. It’s warmed-over big government Rockefeller, Scranton, Nixon, Ford — you name it. That’s what it is. So what they’ve tried to do is steal our nomenclature — conservative or conservatism and apply it to what is neo-statism.”
But what drew Levin’s ire on his Friday program was GOP support for the current immigration bill.
“As I said earlier, people like Jeb Bush are in a very bad habit of putting down the American people while holding up the illegal alien,” he said. “You see ladies and gentlemen, American cannot survive with just citizens. But you and I — we haven’t said shut the door to immigration. No, we haven’t said shut the door to immigration at all. All we ask for from our overlords of these great governing masterminds who screwed up things so badly is that we have a stable, predictable, orderly, lawful, legitimate immigration system and that we uphold the very laws that they pass. And they won’t do it.”
Levin pointed out that the previous Republican presidential nominees — John McCain, Mitt Romney, Bob Dole and Jeb and George W. Bush all had their shortcoming, but none of which fit the conservative mold. But it was conservative that got the blame for the Republican Party’s electoral losses.
“Apparently we have a branding problem,” Levin said. “The Republican establishment has the gall to blame you and me for what they’ve done. And the funny thing is in a sick way that despite their pandering, they can’t win elections. And what do they insist on? More pandering, more big government and less liberty.”
Levin cited a letter to The Wall Street Journal from former Attorney General Ed Meese responding to a column written by Karl Rove days earlier, where Rove attempted to delineate the differences in this round of immigration reform from the 1986 Simpson-Mazzoli Act that offered up amnesty to an estimated three million illegal immigrants. Rove had argued it would be different because of all the “penalties and hurdles” one would have to overcome to obtain legal status.
But Meese, who was the attorney general at the time of Simpson-Mazzoli’s passage, said there were “penalties and hurdles” that had to be overcome. But in the long-run they were never enforced and the illegal immigrant problem just grew:
“The ’86 reform bill also had supposedly ‘rigorous’ border security and immigration law enforcement provisions. So how did that pan out? On the day Reagan signed ‘comprehensive’ reform into law, only one thing changed: Millions of unlawful immigrants gained ‘legal’ status. The promised crackdowns on security and enforcement never happened. Only amnesty prevailed.
Since the ’86 amnesty, the number of illegal immigrants has quadrupled. That should teach Congress a very important lesson: Amnesty ‘bends’ the rule of law. And bending the rule of law to reach a ‘comprehensive’ deal winds up provoking wholesale breaking of the law. Ultimately, it encourages millions more to risk entering the country illegally in the hope that one day they, too, might receive amnesty.”
“You got that, Marco?” Levin said. “You got that Paul and Karl Rove, as you lie through your teeth, you got it, pal? This thousand-page amnesty bill, comprehensive amnesty bill in its core is really quite similar to what happened in 1986. And what Attorney General Edward Meese is saying is learn from our experience. Don’t repeat mistakes. That Mr. [Michael] Gerson is what conservatism is all about, not your abstractions, not your neo-statism, not your big government Republicanism. That Jeb Bush is how you come up with quote, unquote ‘solutions’ rather than failed experiment based on formerly failed experiments. Now we’re supposed to redefine amnesty according to Paul Ryan — ‘This isn’t amnesty.’”