« »

Monday, May 06, 2013

Heritage Foundation joins GOP Civil War

Steve Benen: For many years, the Heritage Foundation has partnered with the Republican Party on, well, just about everything. When Republican policymakers need aides, they often hire Heritage staffers. When Republican policymakers want to give a speech to raise their visibility, they schedule an event at Heritage. When reporters call GOP offices, asking for evidence to bolster one of the party’s policy arguments, Republican staffers routinely send over Heritage materials.

But on immigration, the party and its favorite think tank are at odds. In fact, they’re practically enemies.

The Heritage Foundation held a press conference this morning to unveil its new condemnation of comprehensive immigration reform, arguing that it will cost at least $6.3 trillion — $9.4 trillion in government benefits, minus $3.1 trillion in tax revenue.

As a substantive matter, independent estimates, including research from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, make clear that Heritage’s numbers are literally unbelievable.
Heritage’s numbers never match up to reality. It was in describing the Heritage Foundation that I first used the term “a bullshit factory.” Heritage is a “think tank” in the same way the guys on an infomercial are — all of their “thinking” involves trying to figure out how to trick you into buying a bunch of crap.

But more important is that this is another sign of the battle for control over the GOP. Heritage represents the purists who would rather not change anything and instead of dealing with demographic trends, begin stealing elections through a War on Democracy. They don’t want to see immigration reform, because they’re convinced (and probably right) that all these new immigrant citizens will vote Democrat, forcing the GOP to make drastic concessions to the will of the voters in order to remain relevant.

The other side of the debate recognizes reality. They can’t possibly disenfranchise enough people to win national elections — if they could, we’d be talking about Pres. Romney right now. Besides, even if they could steal enough votes, that task would become harder and harder each cycle until it eventually became impossible anyway. So the thing to do is start listening to voters instead of dictating policy down at us from on high.

Whether Heritage pulls an NRA and bullies the GOP into defending the minority position remains to be seen, but if they do, it’ won’t win them a single voter. It’ll only cost. You can’t keep taking on the majority of voters and expect to be rewarded for it.

Search Archive:

Custom Search