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Selective Outrage: National Review Trashes Trump, Rallies Behind Ryan


A little over three months ago, National Review endorsed Paul Ryan for Speaker of the House. In doing so, National Review helped place a man with a two-decade history of pushing open borders immigration policies in charge of the Republican Party’s entire legislative agenda.

Ten weeks after that endorsement helped Paul Ryan secure the Speakership, Ryan proceeded to swiftly pass an omnibus spending bill that funded and expanded President Obama’s immigration agenda.


Ryan’s bill provided funding for sanctuary cities, illegal alien resettlement, illegal alien tax credits, and visa issuances to nearly 300,000 (temporary and permanent) Muslim migrants over the next 12 months alone. The bill also funded an expansion of the highly controversial H-2B foreign worker program, which Sen. Tom Cotton said violated Ryan’s “promise not to bring major immigration legislation to the floor this year.”

The H-2B foreign worker program imports low-wage laborers into the country to take American jobs in maintenance, theme parks, construction, food processing, restaurants, and hospitality– meaning that Ryan’s Speakership and immigration policies have already resulted in the GOP’s own constituency, along with workers nationwide, losing their livelihoods and ability to support their families.

This outcome was perhaps not surprising, as NumbersUSA president Roy Beck warned prior to Ryan’s election as House Speaker, “Open borders is in his [Ryan’s] ideological DNA… open borders seeps out of every pore of his being.” Ryan was even involved in the effort to derail the bipartisan push to curb immigration in the 1990s, which would have reduced future immigration growth by 10 million migrants, according to Beck.

Having helped put arguably the biggest booster of immigration in Congress in charge of the House, National Review has now gone all out for the cause of stopping Donald Trump— who has promised to build a border wall and pause the enormous inflow of Muslim immigration into the United States.

Trump has also vociferously attacked fast-track trade authority, which the American Jobs Alliance’s Curtis Ellis has explained would “surrender [Congress’s] constitutional authority” and “strip Congress of its ability to vet or amend” international trade deals.

By a minimum of 92 percent, GOP voters oppose Ryan’s expansive immigration polices, and by a nearly 5-to-1 margin they believe that Ryan’s globalist trade deals will reduce wages, not increase them.

It is interesting that National Review, rather than going after Ryan— who directly violated a pledge that he made to the Republican electorate and the publication’s readership— has instead decided to go after Trump.

It is similarly noteworthy that while National Review is pulling out all the stops to keep Trump from assuming control of the White House, the publication has been effusive in its praise of Sen. Marco Rubio, who like Paul Ryan, has pushed for massive expansions to immigration that would disenfranchise the GOP electorate and, according to polling data, would put conservative policy victories perhaps permanently out of reach.

“Rubio is the most articulate, thoughtful, inspiring, and consistently conservative of any Republican running,” National Review’s Mona Charen writes in a recent piece.

National Review’s Jim Geraghty, in a similarly effusive Rubio piece entitled, “Marco Rubio Is Plenty Conservative,” writes: “If Rubio is no longer conservative, then conservatism is now primarily a matter of aesthetics.” Geraghty did not explain how it is conservative to want to increase immigration to levels never before experienced in American history.

Rubio’s campaign spokesman Alex Conant seemed so appreciative of Geraghty’s piece that he marked it as a “pinned tweet” on the top of his twitter page and declared that it “raises the bar for all future ‘must-reads.’” Interestingly, this is the same spokesman who in 2013 suggested that those– such as the National Review’s editors– who opposed Rubio’s plan to grant citizenship to illegal aliens were akin to promoters of slavery. As The Washington Examiner‘s Conn Carroll noted at the time, “For those of you keeping score at home, Rubio spokesman ‪@AlexConant just compared all Schumer-Rubio opponents to slave owners.”

In an op-ed last month, National Review’s Rich Lowry declared that if Rubio is the Establishment’s choice candidate, it “would be an enormous victory for the tea party.”

However, how this would be “an enormous victory” for the Tea Party is unclear. About 17% of national adults, according to Gallup, said they are Tea Party supporters—or, if we apply that figure to the 2012 electorate, about 22 million American voters. If Rubio’s immigration plan had been enacted, according to a Center for Immigration Studies analysis based on CBO data, immigration could add a potential 32 million new voters in the span of around two decades—or more than one new voter to cancel out the vote of every one Tea Party voter in America– nullifying completely their national electoral impact.

In effect, if a President Rubio were able to enact the immigration system he wanted, Tea Party voters could continue to live in conservative clusters and some might read the National Review, but their ability— and the ability of their elected representatives— to affect national policy would be totally weakened. As the National Review has documented in the past, liberal leaning migrant voters would likely cancel out Tea Party votes.

Indeed, by devoting its resources to reining in Trump while promoting Ryan and Rubio, National Review seems as if it’s trying to perpetuate the mass immigration policy that its own publication has said would end conservatism as we know it.

Almost two decades ago, National Review ran a cover story entitled “Electing a New People” which warned that American voters would be disenfranchised by the continued importation of millions of poor migrants on visas.

“The Republican hour is rapidly drawing to a close,” the 1997 story reads, “being drowned—as a direct result of the 1965 Immigration Act.”

Since that story ran, the foreign born population has increased by more than 16 million— not even counting the children of the incoming migrants.

As Lowry himself wrote in 2004:

Outside the merits of the immigration issue– its costs, its implications for security and national cohesion– the partisan dynamic is clear: Higher levels of Latin American immigration benefit the Democrats, while digging an ever-deeper demographic hole for Republicans. Pro-immigration conservatives fool themselves into believing that being pro-immigration will make it possible for the GOP to convert large numbers of Hispanic voters to their side. This is a party strategy that could have been crafted in Oregon, since it amounts to a kind of partisan assisted suicide.

While National Review has devoted a special edition to make the case against Trump, they have not devoted a special issue to make the case, for example, for pausing our large-scale visa issuances to Muslim migrants—a migration embraced by Ryan and Rubio. While a policy of mass Muslim migration may be beneficial to big GOP donors, as it helps to keep labor costs low, it is hard to understand how it would help expand the National Review’s influence on public policy.

In addition to spreading Female Genital Mutilation, giving rise to honor violence within the United States, and forcing law enforcement to scour the country to foil terror plots, large scale Muslim migration has a clear electoral impact. According to Pew, only 11% of Muslim migrants and their descendants identify as Republican or leaning-Republican. Pew did not say how many Muslim migrants are readers of the National Review, but polling data suggests it would be a small share.

All of National Review’s stated goals: Obamacare repeal, tax cuts, entitlement reforms— would be placed further out of reach by Ryan and Rubio’s desire to resettle millions of non-Western migrants within U.S. borders.

In a recent interview with Breitbart News, in which she expressed support for Donald Trump, conservative legend Phyllis Schlafly issued a clear warning to publications like the National Review— whose writers have promoted Ryan and Rubio in spite of their views on immigration. Schlafly warned that their Rubio and Ryan boosting will come at the nation’s peril: “If they’re not right on immigration, they’re going to destroy our country.” Schlafly explained:

If we don’t stop immigration—this torrent of immigrants coming in—we’re not going to be America anymore because most of the people coming in have no experience with limited government. They don’t know what that is. They look to the government to solve all of their problems, and as soon as we have a high majority of people who think that, it’s going to be a different country.

The grassroots heroine, who helped launch the modern-day conservative movement, continued: “I think that we need to respect the will of the majority. Republicans ought to be a grassroots party. And the grassroots certainly agree with Donald Trump on most issues, but certainly on the immigration issue… I certainly think he represents everything the grassroots want.”

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