I have wonderful, grass-roots friends at Freedomworks.
Dick Armey is not one of them.
He’s a clueless promoter of bailout-happy, big government Republican Sen. John McCain. And Armey’s a blowhard-y Beltway dinosaur who can’t resist shooting off his mouth and alienating the Tea Party base while criticizing other conservatives of alienation. At the National Press Club to promote the D.C. protest against Demcare, Armey veered off into a liberal platitude-littered rant against conservatives who believe in strict enforcement of our immigration laws.
Armey singled out former Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo and bragged about censoring him while they served in the House together:
Former Republican House leader Dick Armey said staunch anti-immigration opponents such as Rep. Tom Tancredo are destructive to Republicans — and are alienating a “natural” constituency that could help the party win elections.
“Who in the Republican Party was the genius that said that now that we have identified the fastest-growing voting demographic in America, let’s go out and alienate them?” Armey said, referencing Hispanics, during a luncheon in Washington at the National Press Club.
“When I was the majority leader, I saw to it that Tom Tancredo did not get on the stage because I saw how destructive he was,” Armey said of the Colorado congressman and 2008 Republican presidential candidate known for his opposition to illegal immigration.
Armey said “this is a nation of immigrants” and “if you love America, love freedom” and if you will work and pay taxes, you should be welcome in the country.
The “nation of immigrants” mantra has been addressed many times on this blog — history lessons here and here. Just like all the other open-borders zealots who smear those of us who believe in strict immigration enforcement and control, Armey whitewashes the distinction between legal and illegal.
Tancredo was on the right side of the illegal alien shamnesty debate from day one — and as John Derbyshire noted in defense of Tancredo, “Tom stood up for our national sovereignty, for the integrity of our borders and the enforcement of our laws, when most Republican politicians were weaseling on those issues (as too many still are). I’ll honor him for that.”
NumbersUSA details Armey’s pro-amnesty record. It’s abysmal.
In boasting about exercising his Beltway power to keep folks like Tancredo off the stage, Armey embodies everything the Tea Party movement is supposed to stand against — top-down control, political hubris, silencing of dissent. With “friends” like Dick Armey, who needs enemies?
The open-borders lobby will march on Washington this Sunday. Perhaps Armey can serve as an honorary grand marshal, with his good friends John McCain and Lindsey Graham leading the feckless GOP contingent.
Related reading from Tancredo: Republicans and the Hispanic Vote: Inconvenient Facts for Amnesty Proponents
Related: More issues with Dick Armey, via Dan Riehl.