Establishment Republicans have no idea that their support of the Senate's immigration reform bill has so angered their own voters it threatens the party's existence, says conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh.
"The establishment of this party is authoring its demise," Limbaugh said on his show Monday. "I honestly think that the Republican establishment doesn't know what awaits it regarding this issue. ... Maybe they do and they just don't care."
Republican leaders know there's opposition from their base for the legislation to offer a pathway to citizenship, Limbaugh said, but don't realize the full depth. Many, like Limbaugh himself, are doubtful Congress will keep its word to enforce border security before legalizing those already here.
"I don't think they have the slightest idea how deep the anger at the current thinking, as expressed by supposedly smart Republican establishment people, exists," he said. "I don't think they have any idea how deep it is in towns large and small all across this country."
Some members of the Republican "establishment" are saying "they are loved now, that the Hispanics get us now," Limbaugh said. "It's a fantasy like I've not seen in a long time."
More people have begun talking about a third party, he noted. Sarah Palin, who ran as vice president under immigration reform supporter Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said she's open to starting a new party
for disaffected Republicans.
Limbaugh has warned for years against creating a third party because it would essentially put Democrats in control of government.
"If that happens," he said Monday, "you can kiss the Republican Party goodbye."
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