While Breitbart News has been reporting for months that John Boehner’s speakership was in jeopardy, the Washington media was stunned on Friday with the historic announcement of Boehner’s resignation.
The anti-leadership sentiment seems to be growing as the Washington Times is now reporting that a top Republican party official, Louisiana GOP Chairman Roger Villere, has called for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s resignation.
The populist, anti-establishment groundswell could spell trouble for the presidential campaign of donor-class darling Marco Rubio—who has twice fearlessly ignored voters and risked his political career to advance the goals of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The populist backlash has been developing for quite some time. Earlier this year, Boehner received more votes against him than in any other speaker’s election since 1923. The revolt came shortly after the historic electoral defeat of Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor—the first majority leader to lose his seat in a primary since the position was created in 1899.
Both Boehner and Cantor’s demise were closely tied to a blue-collar voter insurgency connected to trade and immigration—two issues where the Republican leadership has sided with its party’s donors over its base. Cantor, for instance, was largely taken down due to his support for Marco Rubio’s plan to grant amnesty to illegal minors known as DREAMers.
Now that the Republican base has its sights set on Mitch McConnell, it could pose a serious problem for the campaign of Sen. Marco Rubio, whose two notable accomplishments are closely tied to Mitch McConnell’s agenda—namely co-authoring the Gang of Eight amnesty bill and casting the 60th and deciding vote for Obamatrade.
According to the Washington Post, it was Mitch McConnell who encouraged Rubio to join the Gang of Eight.
The senator from Florida [Rubio] was added to the group after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) made clear to Graham and McCain that Rubio’s participation would be critical to winning conservative support… Graham and McCain initially attempted to recruit conservative Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), but he declined to endorse a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants… [so] McConnell suggested Rubio, who expressed interest.
Indeed, countless reports have confirmed that it was Rubio’s job to launch a “charm offensive” that would sell conservatives on Obama’s immigration agenda.
As The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza reported at the time, “[Sen. Bob] Menendez told me that Rubio’s role was to ‘work over the conservative universe, particularly the conservative opinion-maker universe,’ in order to ‘neutralize them’ and, in some cases, ‘proselytize them.'”
This process was aided and encouraged every step of the way by Mitch McConnell. McConnell created the very circumstances possible for Rubio to take on the role of “salesman” and to make innumerable misrepresentations about his immigration expansion bill—misrepresentations, which to this day, Rubio has never retracted.
Although the Republican base overwhelmingly opposed the policies in Rubio’s amnesty bill, Mitch McConnell refused to block the bill from coming up to a vote—a stark contrast from Sen. Harry Reid, who has blocked numerous bills that were Republican priorities, but were opposed by the Democrat voter base.
Although McConnell eventually cast his vote against the Gang of Eight bill, he did so only once it was clear that the bill would easily pass the Senate and after he had done everything that was necessary to ensure its smooth passage.
One of Republican voters’ many frustrations with its leadership is not only that GOP leadership fails to advance conservative priorities, but that they often times engage in elaborately staged Kabuki theatre to ensure that Republican donors’ agenda is enacted—even if it comes at the expense of the economic and physical security of everyday voters.
As Georgetown University professor Eric Gould has documented:
The overall evidence suggests that the manufacturing and immigration trends have hollowed-out the overall demand for middle-skilled workers in all sectors, while increasing the supply of workers in lower skilled jobs. Both phenomena are producing downward pressure on the relative wages of workers at the low end of the income distribution.
Indeed, as Breitbart News has exclusively reported, not one Republican leader in the House or Senate is willing to reduce immigration levels. Moreover, a Senate leadership internal messaging document exposed by Breitbart News failed to make any mention of immigration whatsoever. The leadership’s messaging memo instead encouraged Republican Senators to meet with business groups to tout the GOP’s support for Obama’s unpopular globalist trade pacts.
Obamatrade is one of Rubio’s signature accomplishments. Despite casting the 60th critical vote for the passage of the wage-depressing bill, Rubio has yet to provide any evidence that he read the bill prior to authoring an op-ed in support of it, delivering speeches in favor of it, and passing multiple votes to advance it.
While Democrat donors and leaders fight hard to pursue the priorities of their progressive base (such as mass immigration, expanding welfare, etc.), Republican donors and leaders frequently work against the interests of the Republican base.
Some worry that Republican leadership and the donor class seem to be actively working to minimize the social and economic power of the people voting for them—both by refusing to advance legislation supported by the base (such as legislation to stop sanctuary cities) and by pushing through legislation opposed by the base (such as the Rubio-Schumer bill and Obamatrade).
Perhaps the crux of the voters’ frustration with Republican leadership is the palpable anxiety amongst Republican voters that, with each passing year, their ability to control their own affairs, protect their communities, maintain their schools, and provide for their children, is eroding as the people donating to the Republican party grow wealthier and more powerful and promote their globalist agenda.
Only days before Boehner’s resignation announcement, Rubio seemed to defend John Boehner and Mitch McConnell—arguing that Republican voters were expecting too much when they sent their elected officials to Washington to represent them.
“Expectations were raised unnecessarily high,” Rubio said in an interview with Fox News host Bret Baier.
Rubio told Baier, “The idea that you would win the Senate, control the agenda never was true,” he said. “You need a president. It’s one of the main reasons why I decided to run for president.”
Indeed, even though Rubio was able to pass Republican leadership’s immigration agenda through the Senate, the bill went down in flames as a result of mass public opposition. From the Oval Office, Rubio would have a much greater vantage point to enact Mitch McConnell’s agenda and increase the admission of foreign workers, which Republican donors desperately want to lower wages and reduce their cost of labor.
Given the strong desire of Republican voters to remove Mitch McConnell, it remains to be seen whether the voters will be willing to give over control of the Republican party to the young presidential hopeful who has been one of the most ever faithful champions of the McConnell-Boehner agenda.