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Immigration Bill Illustrates Need to Break “Republican Ratchet”

“When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the Republic.”

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As I became politically aware in my formative years, I took for granted that the battle between political parties was as contentious as the bitter rivalry between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees I’d seen from the seats of Fenway Park. Not once did it occur to me while watching debates between Mitt Romney/John McCain and Barack Obama that I wasn’t witnessing a true ideological throw-down.

Former president Donald Trump‘s barnstorming of the standing political order – and his beatdown of the establishment figures on both the left and the right – was eye opening. This was clearly a different debate, more of a rhetorical street-fight than one of the gentlemen’s duels of a now-bygone political era.

Trump was crass, spray tanned, populist but above all else … effective, so it was no surprise when the political left went DEFCON One on him as his meteoric rise began. What did surprise me was how many on the Right also scrambled to destroy the man who put a Republican back in the White House for the first time since George H. W. Bush paved the way for two terms of Obama.

Obama, like Trump, was effective. Democrats didn’t waste the opportunity to use his presidency to enact monumental changes to the fabric of America. The partial-socialization of America’s health care industry was doubtlessly Democrat’s’ biggest legislative victory. As Ronald Reagan said “government programs, once launched, never disappear.”



Republicans proved Reagan right by failing to advance any policy to wind back the Affordable Care Act once they took control of the House, Senate and executive branch during Trump’s first term. Despite campaigning on the issue, they lacked both a plan and the political will to take action.

As I wrote in my recent article about Texas demanding the right to protect its border, these same Republican leaders failed to work with Trump to advance meaning immigration reform legislation while they had the chance.

While the Republicans were limited by their narrow majority in the U.S. Senate, it became increasingly clear that many of Trump’s supposed legislative allies were in fact acting to undermine him. As these failures repeatedly played out I began to understand the American political fight not as a tug of war, but as the turning of a ratchet.

For those of you who don’t spend enough time in your garage, a ratchet is a tool which only spins in one direction, if you’re tightening a bolt it will only apply clockwise pressure (and will save you a lot of time over a crescent wrench).

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Ratchet and socket set

During the Obama administration liberals scored a significant number of turns of the woke-socialist screw. During Trump’s administration, “ratchet Republicans” failed to reverse Obama’s gains (or, heaven-forbid, advance a conservative legislative agenda of their own). Fast-forward to Biden’s presidency and the same cast of characters continue to collude with their political “enemies” to sell their constituents down the (Rio Grande) river.

Utah Senator Mike Lee boiled down the negotiations on the U.S. Senate’s latest bipartisan border bill in a lengthy tweet.

“Earlier today, a reporter standing outside the Senate chamber told me that, after four months of secrecy, The Firm™ plans to release the text of the $106 billion supplemental aid / border-security package—possibly as soon as tomorrow.”

How did the “secret” negotiations work? According to Lee …

The Law Firm of Schumer & McConnell (“The Firm™”) is perpetually trying to normalize a corrupt approach to legislating—in which The Firm™

(1) spends months drafting legislation in complete secrecy.

(2) aggressively markets that legislation based not on its details and practical implications (good and bad), but only on its broadest, least-controversial objectives

(3) lets members see bill text for the first time only a few days (sometimes a few hours) before an arbitrary deadline imposed by The Firm™ itself, always with a contrived sense of urgency, and then

(4) forces a vote on the legislation on or before that deadline, denying senators any real opportunity to read, digest, and debate the measure on its merits, much less introduce, consider, and vote on amendments to fix any perceived problems with the bill or otherwise improve it.

Lee pointed out the obvious flaw in this plan.

“Whenever The Firm™ engages in this practice, it largely excludes nearly every senator from the constitutionally prescribed process in which all senators are supposed to participate,” he wrote.

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Sen. Mike Lee (Via: U.S. Senate)

Why is it a travesty that this bill was concocted behind closed doors? Because it is an absolute betrayal of core conservative principles, and a cudgel for Biden (or whoever may replace him) to beat Trump over the head with in an election year.

The bill, which establishes new emergency executive authorities to combat illegal immigration, allows 1.83 million annual illegal “encounters” every year before an emergency is declared. These recorded encounters do not include the millions of “got-aways” – illegal immigrants whose crossings are observed but who are never detained. The official number also fails to include the number of undetected illegal alien crossings at the border.

Anybody remotely serious about actual border security understands that this bill is a joke, yet many members of the Grand Old Party have rushed to support the legislation. Here’s what S.C. Senator Lindsay Graham told NBC News as the bill was being negotiated.

“To my Republican friends: To get this kind of border security without granting a pathway to citizenship is really unheard of.”

So Graham is telling us this bill is the best Republican leadership can do, short of ensuring the GOP’s destruction by legally finalizing the importation of millions of future wards-of-the-state sure to vote blue forevermore?

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Lindsay Graham (Facebook)

This is how the ratchet works. So-called conservatives negotiate with liberals to craft a monstrosity of an omnibus bill that nominally addresses a conservative policy priority while in reality giving liberals multiple policy wins.

Oh and by the way, the border spending contained in the bill is only a small portion of this “must pass” legislation … it also includes another $60 billion for our proxy war against Russia and another $14 billion to continue to guarantee the security of the state of Israel (as a part of a larger $118 billion foreign aid package).

So what is this bill? It’s the D.C. establishment doubling down on the continued importation of hordes of illegal immigrants who (as Graham’s statement indicates) will eventually be granted amnesty as a part of a future Faustian bargain. It’s also the D.C. establishment doubling down on its failed uniparty foreign policy.

I love America, and believe our values and interests are worth defending on the world stage. But when octogenarian war hawks continue to inch us closer to World War III, all the while paying little heed to our unfathomable and ever-growing $34.2 trillion national debt, I (who am young enough to suffer the inevitable taxes/ inflation that will result from these policies) am livid.

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Graham promises Ukraine “2017 is the year of offense”

Our policymakers must recognize reality. We live in an increasingly multi-polar world, and attempting to hold onto America’s post-World War II status as sole security guarantor for a multitude of far flung allies is a dangerous fantasy. Thanks to new technology, a $200,000 drone can take down a $2 billion warship. The defense economics of massive power projection continue to tilt farther and farther against interventionist U.S. foreign policies.

Trump is far from perfect. He spent like a drunken sailor, empowered Anthony Fauci, and still refuses to discuss remedying the entitlement programs which fiscally imperil our nation.

Trump is a man – and all men are full of faults – but what he has done by providing a stark contrast to the McCains, McConnells, Romneys and Haleys of the world is performing an invaluable service to those who’d like the United States to be a country worth living in 100 years from now.

Trump opened the door for politicians to have a viable electoral path outside of the Republican status quo – and to more effectively challenge their GOP leaders on policy. For example, congresswoman Nancy Mace called the senate’s immigration bill “mass amnesty” – adding in a Fox News interview that “anything short of shutting down the border will not pass in the House.”

Mace also voted to oust former house speaker Kevin McCarthy last fall. As a result of that vote, she faces Haley administration veteran Catherine Templeton in what will certainly be a contentious primary election between the vocal second-termer and the establishment’s hand picked, sure-to-be-well-funded challenger.

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Templeton and Lindsey Graham (USDE)

Mace, like Trump, has her flaws – but her willingness to do the right thing and demand effective border reform is vital to disempowering senators like Graham. Their “ratchet” only works so long as Graham and other career politicians can continue to convince other Republicans on Capitol Hill to play ball, which is why we can expect the uniparty to throw all they’ve got against representatives like Mace who buck the party line.

South Carolina has the opportunity to install additional advocates for meaningful change in D.C. The seats of the upstate’s philandering social conservative duo of Jeff Duncan and William Timmons could both be filled by representatives who will spend their time in Congress challenging the status quo (rather than engaging in extramarital affairs with lobbyists and real estate developer’s wives).

Looking ahead further, the seats of solid GOP incumbents such as veteran representative Joe Wilson realistically won’t change hands until these long-serving lawmakers are no longer in the running – but these seats must also eventually be occupied by candidates ready to restore America to the prosperity enjoyed by previous generations.

And of course Graham and his allies within the SCGOP political machine must be challenged (although Trump’s repeated ringing endorsements of this machine have been of absolutely no help in this department).

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FDR (White House Archives)

While I oppose many failures of the current Republican party, I certainly understand the political pressures which facilitated them. The modern GOP can only be seen as a byproduct of the transformational policies of Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR).

As the Great Depression destroyed the livelihoods of millions, Republican politicians failed to provide meaningful solutions. Roosevelt took a completely different approach. Implementing America’s first European-style Social Democratic policies he stabilized our economy, while his successful navigation of America through World War II left our nation as the West’s undisputed superpower.

Voters loved his policies, and Democrats by-and-large ran the U.S. House and Senate for decades after Roosevelt’s death. As a result, Republicans failed to regain any legislative might until Jimmy Carter‘s failures exposed some of the underlying faults of socialist policies.

Still, the post-FDR Republican party has only ever existed within the socialistic paradigm erected by Roosevelt. The Republican party recognized its candidates would be slaughtered come election day if they ever attempted to scale back any of the financially unsustainable and socially degenerative transfer-payment programs Roosevelt and his disciples enacted. And so the “Republican ratchet” was born.

This is the inherent flaw of democratic forms of government, famously encapsulated in a quote often attributed to Scottish philosopher Alexander Fraser Tytler: “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. 

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So long as Republicans continue to exist within a fundamentally flawed framework, they continue to advance our nation towards such a reckoning.

Perhaps the inertia of the system is so great that this reckoning is inevitable … but perhaps it isn’t.

The constitutional republic envisioned by out nation’s founders is still the best form of government conceived of to date, but the gradual distortion of their vision threatens to bring ruin upon the United States of America.

The generation of political leaders who could dig us out of this hole must be willing to eschew the current D.C. status quo, even if it means a vicious fight against entrenched power bases benefiting from the current system’s destruction of America. Republican voters must demand their elected representatives step out of the current failed paradigm and “break the ratchet” to usher in a new era of American prosperity.



(Via: Travis Bell)

Dylan Nolan is the director of special projects at FITSNews. He graduated from the Darla Moore school of business in 2021 with an accounting degree. Got a tip or story idea for Dylan? Email him here. You can also engage him socially @DNolan2000.



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Dylan Nolan


Bob February 15, 2024 at 3:20 pm


Still trying to claim the MAGA GQP is the party of “Reagan” or anything like Reagan, at all.

MAGA morons, like the bloggers here, claim Biden is too old and losing his mind. Welp, Reagan would be ridiculed by the MAGA mob. Reagan would spit in your face if some MAGA turd started praising Russia, while putting down our veterans, currently serving soldiers and NATO members. Reagan would be attacked by a violent mob of drugged up MAGA supporters, if they heard his views on gun control.

The only thing in common between today’s MAGA controlled GQP & the so-called Party of Reagan is that you traded a California B-movie actor from the 40’s with a reality-show fraud from New York.

Well played, dipshits!

Your Average Republican February 19, 2024 at 11:34 am

Amnesty for undocumented immigrants is only cool if you go back in time 38 years with a handful of jelly beans.

Deception February 15, 2024 at 3:53 pm

Excellent article, Mr Nolan! The Republican Party is nothing more than the right wing of the New World Order, aka The Deep State. All are either bought off or blackmailed to do their bidding for some master, unseen by us. They do not work for us and they never will. They all occasionally throw us a tidbit to make us believe they are working for us, or that they might be about to change for the better, but they won’t.
Trump is one of them. He tells us what we want to hear. He tells us what is wrong. He tells us what needs to be done to correct what is wrong. He might even tell us that he will do what needs doing to correct the wrong, but in most if not all cases, he manages to trip on his own shoelaces and fall flat on his face before doing what needed to be done. At best, he will achieve a half-assed version of what was promised.

Take his beloved, high-priority, wall. Throughout 2016, Trump toured the country and basked in the applause and adoration of the crowds each time he mentioned his wall. In late 2017, he signed his first budget, with no provision for a wall. When called on it he said that it was “an oversight” and would not happen again. In late 2018, he was about to sign his second budget, again with no provisions for a wall. Conservative pundit, Ann Coulter, called him out on this. Trump was not happy. He stuttered, stammered, and spazzed out for a few days. He refused to sign the budget and created the longest GovCo shutdown in history. Just as it looked like the Democrats and RINOs were ready to talk with him, Trump folded like a cheap piece of lawn furniture and signed the budget. By the time that Trump had diddlefarted around, supposedly gathering funding for his wonderful priority wall, his term was half over. This ensured that his successor, Biden, got to decide whether the wall, a fraction as long as promised, would be completed or not. So much for Mr 5-D Chess super negotiator, huh? He did similar on other issues though exactly what and when escapes me. Folding was a talent he excelled at.

Friends who still believe in him, when I point out many of Trump’s betrayals, like not keeping his promise to protect our gun rights, when cornered, will retort, “We’ll, he’s better than Biden”. Is he though. I don’t see Trump as a man making bad mistakes. I see him doing just what his puppet masters at the Deep State or NWO want him to do. He keeps the hopeful conservative masses in a mode where they are hopeful, watching, waiting, and doing nothing more. His handlers knew that if they had installed their other option, Hillary, that the possibility of American Revolution II was a very real thing. Trump keeps his worshipful masses spellbound and sitting on their hands, just as his masters want him to do.

Tom February 16, 2024 at 12:09 pm

Your formative years? You have not even reached your formative years. You just graduated from college. You are young and I am sad to say indoctrinated by someone or some entity with influence over you. Donald Trump is a liar. He went into politics for the same reason he goes into any venture, to make money. He did not intend to drain the swamp. He is part of whatever swamp there is. He was just making his play to become in his mind the top swamp monster and kill off his swamp monster rivals. He even bragged about bribing public officials in his 2016 campaign and no one even blinked. That makes him by definition part of the swamp.

Let me try to explain. There is no deep state running everything. This is just a bunch of malarky made up by people to manipulate naive people (people like Donald Trump and the current GOP). And the new world order you talk about. It’s not a bunch of shadowy figures pulling strings behind a curtain. The new world order the US tried to set up was what many call the American Century. Post WWII the United States decided there needed to be a NWO. One that would not pull us into more world wars killing millions of our people and costing us untold amounts of our treasure. So we set up a system of alliances each dominated by the United States. We would become the world’s police and in exchange Europe and much of the rest of the world would stay within their boundaries, not attack each other, and engage in peaceful world trade, because America would make the seas safe. And it worked. The world post-WWII boomed. There was unprecedented peace and prosperity for those who joined the American-dominated NWO.

Now there were always those who opposed a world dominated by the US. Mainly the USSR and now Russia. China actually welcomed the American Century and prospered there until they decided they were big enough to take on the USA as the leader of the world and became our enemy. They are failing miserably by the way and America is once again the dominant world economy. Our GDP is now higher than China’s, and our trade deficit with China is falling rapidly. Because of things like the CHIP Act, and the now rapid return of manufacturing to the US that is likely to continue to fall until China is no longer a major part of the world economy and it reverts to a minor player in world trade. If the Republicans had not blocked Obama’s attempt to set up an American-dominated South East Asia Trade Alliance, China would be in even worse shape than it is today. A trade alliance between the US, Australia, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, and Thailand would have ended China, and they would take Russia down with them.

In any event, their effort to set up an alternate trading currency from the dollar is going nowhere. The dollar is the only safe reserve currency in the world and everyone knows that. China’s economy is in freefall, Russia’s economy has been destroyed, the American-dominated alliances are once again the center of world finance, and the American-dominated alliance known as NATO is more powerful militarily than ever, and we are trying to revive the SE Asia trade process. China’s aggression is making that easy. Please read or watch some blogs by author Peter Zeihan if you want more in-depth about this. I don’t necessarily agree with everything he says, but he is brilliant and advises multinational corporations all over the world on where the world economies are going.

So what is Trump all about? Trump has destroyed one of our two major parties. He has turned the Republican Party into a simi-cult dedicated to making him as rich and powerful as possible in the hopes of garnering scraps from his table. They are afraid they are losing power and they are willing to make him a virtual dictator to protect that power. They are wrong, but hopefully, we can overcome this assault on freedom and justice. You see the irony is MAGA is doing everything in its power to make America less great than it already is. Isolation is not the answer. Did isolation keep us out of WWI or WWII? No. So if we go with MAGA we can go back to being a regional superpower in a world with no order, everyone fighting militarily for resources and half the world (possibly us dominated by corrupt tyrants, like Putin). Or we can fight for a world dominated by democratic nations, general peace, and prosperity. The next century is going to be a tough place, but if we play it right it can be another American Century. Donald Trump and the current Republican party wants nothing good for the average American.

Stunted Growth is Still Growth! February 19, 2024 at 11:35 am

Psst! “Formative years” is his way of saying he peaked in high school.

equoamicus Top fan February 18, 2024 at 7:06 am

So the same descendants who imported enslaved citizens from around the world now complain about immigrants? Make up your damn mind.


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