Cuccinelli: 'My President Is Wrong'
I no longer consider him the head of my Republican PartyHow true. And how rarely one of our state legislators rises to the level of statesman.
Virginia State Senator Ken Cuccinelli, one of the very few in office at any level that I trust, says what so many of us are thinking - and what so many who hold office are so reluctant to say.
Dear Fellow Republican:
My President Is Wrong. There's no other way to say it.
Like you, I believe that I am a loyal American, Virginian and Republican. As a general matter, I believe that most people view the President as the head of the Republican Party in America. It is not a formal position, but as the elected head of our nation, Presidents typically also function as the head of their respective political party. For much of his Presidency, President Bush has functioned as the head of the Republican Party.
Not any more.
President Bush began his Presidency somewhat inauspiciously by pushing and signing the largest increase in the role of the Federal Government in local education in history with the so-called 'No Child Left Behind' legislation. The President's partner in that enterprise was Senator Ted Kennedy.
More recently, the President has teamed up with Sen. Kennedy again. This time on immigration and the result may be much worse for America than their last partnership.
Given the clear message that had been coming from the Republican faithful on the issue of immigration, i.e., actually secure the border before doing anything else, it could only be said that the President has chosen to ignore us. At least, that is how I would have characterized it until he started attacking those of us that oppose his bill - and with shocking severity.
Not too long ago, the President declared that he would start 'pushing back' against opponents of his bill. This tells me that he wasn't merely ignoring his Republican base, he was thumbing his nose at us (or worse). Well Mr. President, as President you can certainly 'push harder' than I can, but I promise you that on this issue I will 'push back' too.
And I will not be alone.
My Senate District is included in both Congressman Wolf's and Congressman Davis' districts, and I am happy to report that they both oppose the bill.
Since I am up for re-election this year, I started going door to door much earlier than usual, and even in traffic-congested Northern Virginia, concerns about illegal immigration and the ease with which the President wants to advance an amnesty bill have suddenly leaped to the top of the list of issues about which my constituents are concerned. And rightly so. If Washington compounds its historic irresponsibility on the issue of illegal immigration by passing the proposed bill, there will be a bi-partisan/non-partisan political explosion the likes of which we have not seen in some time.
In Virginia, it will start to play out immediately, during our 2007 elections. But it will touch every state in 2008.
Here in Northern Virginia, in the town of Herndon last year, citizens had had enough of the aiding and abetting of illegal aliens by their town council. What did they do about it? They got involved in local politics (many for the first time) and literally swept a strong majority of candidates into office that have vowed to fight the town's growing problem with illegal aliens. Nearly the entire slate of candidates, including Mayor Steve DeBenedettis, had never run for office before. They now hold 5 of the 7 seats on the town council!
Illegal immigration is one of those issues that crosses party lines, engages otherwise apathetic people in politics who normally don't even vote, and pushes people to challenge their local establishment (including both businesses and their elected officials).
Politicians like my opponent that have not stood against illegal immigration will, I predict, alter their positions as they knock on doors and meet more upset voters. For them, it will be about pure politics, not policy. But make no mistake, for the vast majority of Americans, this is a substantive concern that has been growing in their minds as Washington has continued to fail us.
The immigration (amnesty?) bill was put together by a bi-partisan coalition of Senators, and there are both Republican and Democratic Senators that would like to amend the bill. But to give you an idea of just how bad this bill is, one of the supposed 'deal killing' amendments is Senator Sessions' amendment that would deny illegal aliens that get amnesty the right to claim certain welfare benefits.
Let me say that again, forbidding illegal aliens that get amnesty under the proposed bill from getting welfare benefits is considered a 'deal killer.' What does that tell you about just how bad this bill is?
The President's bill will undermine the rule of law by putting illegal aliens whose first act upon entering this country was to break our laws on the path to citizenship (sounds like amnesty to me ... ). The Republican Party has always prided itself on valuing individual responsibility and the rule of law. This bill makes a mockery of those principles, while sacrificing our sovereignty at the same time.
The President's bill will result in a further increase, not a decrease, in the flow of illegal aliens to America as they rush to get the goodies being offered in this bill.
The proposed bill is bad policy, bad politics, and it represents a willingness by the President to throw his (former?) Republican supporters under the proverbial bus.
Following the President's high-spending partnership with Congress that handed majorities to the Democrats in both houses of Congress (Republicans lost the majorities, Democrats didn't win them), this immigration bill is something of a "last straw" for ordinary Republicans.
As someone that would like to see the Republican Party thrive and grow, I cannot countenance the abandonment of our principles and the vast majority of our party faithful that is represented by the President's immigration bill. This is no ordinary break within a political party, as it may not be repairable. Only time and the President's positions will tell ...
President Bush is a good-hearted man, and he is still our President, but as for myself, I no longer consider him the head of my Republican Party.
It's good to see he's getting some press for this singular stand against the corruption that infects the Republican Party at its highest level.
Now, if it is important to you to have at least one Virginia official who has not caved in to the forces of corruption, DONATE TO SENATOR CUCCINELLI'S CAMPAIGN ONLINE BY CLICKING HERE.
Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: Cuccinelli: 'My President Is Wrong'.
TrackBack URL for this entry: