- - Thursday, September 25, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Twenty years ago Saturday, then-House Minority Whip Newt Gingrich released the legendary Contract with America, thereby nationalizing the 1994 midterms and delivering both houses of Congress to the Republicans. It’s a playbook the GOP needs to run again to dethrone Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the Democrats from the Senate, this time around a single hot-button issue: immigration.

Not only are the prognosticators claiming that Senate contests are tightening, but also seemingly vulnerable Democrats have been solidifying their positions in red states that President Obama lost in 2012; namely, Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina. Nonetheless, the incumbents remain quaking in fear over the polls — from Gallup to Kellyanne Conway and The New York Times/CBS News to Politico — showing likely voters furious over the Southwestern border crisis, opposing Mr. Obama’s planned amnesty order and supporting the GOP over the Democrats on immigration.

Even the president has rope-a-doped on the issue, postponing his unconstitutional, unilateral amnesty designs until after the election. He understands that had he pulled his stunt by Labor Day as originally promised — and given the globalists, the multiculturalists who hate America and the “malefactors of great wealth” on Wall Street and Silicon Valley exactly what they have demanded for years — he would have lost the Senate. So Mr. Obama and Mr. Reid are colluding to keep the issue at bay.

Knowing this, Sen. Jeff Sessions last week handed his party the silver bullet needed to prevail this November. The Alabama Republican forced a procedural motion to allow a vote that would prevent the president from decreeing millions of illegal immigrants American citizens. The noble effort fell just one vote short, but four Democratic senators in tight races — Kay R. Hagan of North Carolina, Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark L. Pryor of Arkansas and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire — joined with the Republicans to oppose their president and majority leader.

The GOP needs to strike fast to keep the heat on the Democrats. Specifically, the party’s House and Senate leadership should call all their incumbent members, along with all other GOP candidates, to Washington next week to sign a one-page Security First Pledge on the Capitol Steps.

All Republicans would promise to counter the president’s open-borders craziness with legislation that would elevate the imperative of national security, step up border enforcement, and fully reverse the flood of illegals into America. With the Islamic State eager to fly its ominous flag over the White House — and as hordes of Central American migrants overburden public-school districts and escalate public health and safety risks — such defensive measures would resonate with anxious voters of both parties. The measure might also impose an emergency moratorium on all guest-worker permits while showing the door to all noncitizens whose visas and green cards have expired.

Offering voters what Phyllis Schlafly years ago called “a choice, not an echo,” the GOP would be standing for the “general welfare” of American workers, not the K Street interests of globalists and foreigners to whom Mr. Obama and even some prominent Republicans pander. By putting America and American workers first, Republicans could start building the road to 2016, resurrecting the center-right coalition that delivered the White House to Eisenhower, Nixon and Reagan.

Many party bosses, following the GOP consultant and donor class, would rather not win under these terms, as they would rather socialize with adolescent billionaire Mark Zuckerberg than stand with middle-class working stiffs like Joe the Plumber. Witness Speaker John A. Boehner’s assertion last week that “immigration reform will help the economy.”

Yet they don’t have a choice. Opposition to Obamacare won’t enable the GOP to retake the Senate. It didn’t four years ago, and recent polling suggests that voters oppose “comprehensive immigration reform” more than Obamacare. Only an immigration-control platform that upholds American sovereignty and national security will sweep Republican candidates into office, as did the Contract in 1994. Such a law-and-order tidal wave would be strong enough to give even Senate nominees such as Jeff Bell in New Jersey and Ed Gillespie in Virginia, both of whom are behind by double digits, a fighting chance.

It’s not too late for the Security First Pledge. By following Mr. Sessions’ lead — fighting for America, her borders and her people — Republicans can nationalize the election around a big theme that overwhelming favors them, keep Democrat incumbents squarely on the spot, and finally regain that elusive gold ring: the U.S. Senate.

Robert W. Patterson served as senior speechwriter in the George W. Bush administration.

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