Dick Armey of Freedom Works to you—stop the goofiness and support an amnesty bill!
I warned readers way back in 2010, here and here, that so-called Tea Party groups like Freedom Works and Americans for Prosperity (both largely funded by big business interests) were squishy on amnesty and were not even secretive about their wishes for more immigration (for cheap labor!). Don’t get me wrong, they have done good work in many areas, but Tea Party grassroots will soon be asked where they stand on AMNESTY.
The theory, a wrong one in my opinion, is that “Hispanic” voters will flow over to the GOP side as soon as they see Republicans cave on the border issue. I think Rush Limbaugh has it exactly right when he says it isn’t about amnesty for immigrant voters, it’s about which side gives out stuff! Taxpayer funded goodies! Presents! You know! As Rush asked, who is going to vote against Santa Claus?
So now the Republicans are freaking out and so are Freedom Works and Americans for Prosperity. Here is a story, one of those why-we-lost stories from Dave Weigel of Slate in which he pushes his personal ideas about who or what the Tea Party is. By the way, search PTPR for Dave Weigel (a creepy and often dishonest guy who is a friend of Grover Norquist) who has been spinning on the Tea Party for years. But, I think he is correct here—look for Freedom Works and AFP to join the ESTABLISHMENT REPUBLICANS on amnesty. It will be 2007 deja vu all over again! And, I hope the message from the country class is the same as in 2007—no amnesty, just close the borders!
Here is Weigel:
Republicans will need to resist some elements in their base and pass immigration legislation that wins over Hispanics.
“If the Republicans were smart, in January, maybe they’d come out with that bill and win some of that support in exchange for some of the Tancredo-style support,” said FreedomWorks’s Steinhauser. “The left saw the future and built a demographic coalition among people who don’t maybe necessarily agree. You lose some of your hard-core supporters and you pick up new ones.”
For the first time, there’s an issue that could pit the GOP’s best-organized and best-funded grass-roots against other parts of the party base. Talk radio helped kill immigration legislation in 2007. Some of the Tea Party’s leaders wanted that legislation to survive. Dick Armey, the former GOP majority leader who now chairs FreedomWorks, was warning Republicans to “get off this goofiness,” stop talking about a border fence, and pass the bill.
David and Charles Koch [major funder of AFP–ed], and other businessmen who’ve discovered politics in the Tea Party area,* are far more simpatico to immigration reform than, say Rush Limbaugh or Mark Levin. In 2007, Iowa Rep. Steve King fought reform so hard that he brought a small model of a border fence to the floor of the House, to show how ready-made it could be. In 2009, King was linking arms with Dick Armey. King will be in D.C. come January. So will FreedomWorks. And for the first time, they completely disagree about how they can win the country.
* I’ve said it over and over, the Kochs and other big Republican funders saw the Tea Party grassroots train coming down the tracks and said we gotta get out in front of this—not to be crushed and so that we can steer the engine! So not only do they fund big outfits like Freedom Works and AFP, but other large Tea Party groups. That is how you control people and they know it!