The anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001 has come and gone. Despite all the chatter and fearful anticipation, nothing happened. The threat is still present and very real; radical Islamists are here and more are coming through our southern border. As our new-found strategy against the Islamic State is rolled out, the likelihood of an attack grows by the day.
If the unthinkable happens and we are attacked by terrorists in America, this administration will blame Republicans.
President Barack Obama will come out to the podium, most likely outside, to speak about the tragedy. His sorrowful voice will begin to express sympathy and condolences to those who were killed or injured.
Credit: Getty Images
"Our hearts and prayers go out to them in this time of unimaginable grief."
Then he will take a pause. His quiet voice will be set aside for a more commanding tone; his shoulders will square a bit and he will make more eye contact with the cameras.
"Those folks who committed this cowardly act will be found and brought to justice. We will not rest until justice is served."
Then the blame game will begin.
He will once again urge Congress, or perhaps call on Congress, to pass the bipartisan immigration bill.
"This bill, which has wide support in both houses, has been held up by the tea party wing of the Republican Party."
He will describe it as a common-sense bill that would strengthen our border, send money to close the gaps and add Border Patrol officers to keep the dangerous folks out.
But the Republicans in the House, he will claim, are putting politics above the good of the country.
"These common-sense ideas, which were supported by Republicans until I got into office, should be passed and funded so that this kind of senseless tragedy does not happen again."
He will finish with the great resolve of this nation and that we will never be deterred by such cowardly acts as this. God bless you and God bless America, turn and walk away.
The administration and the talking point Democrats will never outright blame Republicans for a domestic terrorist attack, but it will be a very thinly veiled inference that will be repeated over and over, especially by the White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.
U.S. Border Patrol agents look for footprints along the highly polluted New River which crosses from Mexico into the United States and forms part of the U.S.-Mexico border on November 15, 2013 in Calexico, California. The river and border fence separate the large Mexican city of Mexicali with Calexico, CA, and is a frequent illegal crossing point for immigrant smugglers. Credit: John Moore/Getty Images
That inference is this - if the stubborn and hyper-political Republicans would have just passed the immigration bill to strengthen the border, then this wouldn’t have happened. The bill must be passed right now or it could happen again. As Rahm Emanuel said, "you never let a serious crisis go to waste."
Republicans would be wise to get ahead of this possibility and remove that argument from the table of blame. It will require unity within the Republican Party, something that is hard to come by these days, and it will require a singular and cohesive message – the border is unsafe and we need to fix it immediately.
They need to begin by highlighting the porous nature of our Southern border and the threat that it poses to our national security and safety. The should say:
"The Islamic State is actively recruiting members to infiltrate the U.S. through our border with Mexico, and they have shown their brutality and evil desires for death."
"The president called the Islamic State a cancer, and we all agree that cancer is most dangerous when it spreads. We need to stop it from spreading, and securing our Southern border is one of the most important steps in doing that."
"We cannot wait any longer for the president to join us in this urgency and so we will be crafting and passing a bill every single week until he steps up to the plate and secures the border against infiltration by those who want to harm and kill us."
That is a simple and effective message that, if hammered enough by a large number of Republicans, will resonate with the American people. Republican leadership in the House of Representatives and in the Senate need to spearhead this for it to be effective. Establishment and new-blood tea party Republicans need to stand together with the same message for it to work.
It then needs to be followed by action, immediately.
Larry DeRocher, of Onawa, Iowa, right, and his grandson Blake stand outside a forum on immigration held by U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Friday, Aug. 2, 2013, in Ames, Iowa.
Start crafting and passing bills that add Border Patrol agents to the Southern border, provide funding and a plan for a fence that will actually be built and increase the detection technology in the most porous and heavily trafficked areas. Keep the bills simple, keep them lean and keep them coming.
President Obama has become the aggressor in the immigration battle by ripping the responsibility away from Congress and taking it upon himself to act. Congress has effectively abdicated their duty and have relegated themselves to the sidelines as we all await the executive orders from Obama after the elections in November.
This is the perfect time to act.
By deploying that unified message and repeatedly passing border security bills, the Republicans will be the aggressive ones and shift the focus from the president back to Congress where it belongs. President Obama is content to wait until after the elections because he knows no one will do anything in between. Not only that, but it will put the president and the Democrats on defensive footing, a position they do not often find themselves in.
This is an actual strategy that will not only make it more difficult for the president to blame Republicans for an attack, but will hopefully decrease our chances of being attacked in the first place!
Republicans often find themselves in lose-lose positions because they haven’t taken the time to think ahead and confront possibilities before they happen. They play the short game and devote little time or energy to positioning themselves for the future, something that the Democrats excel at. With the timing of the executive orders and the state of our security, right now is the perfect time to do just that – think ahead and move to a better position.
If the Republicans can actually come together and stay together on this one thing, they can turn a lose-lose into a win-win, not only for themselves, but for the country as well.
For other articles and writings by Darrell, please visit the Milk Crate.
Feature Image: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
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